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The Snake Well

Hadí studánka

The people, who lived near Humprecht, by the wide dirt road that led to Kost Castle, often went to a well that was so clear that the water shone and you could see almost all the way to the bottom. But nobody took water from this well, nobody ever drank from it. They did not want dust to settle on the surface, and they looked after that blue beauty. And why? The legend of the snake well will tell us.

Once upon a time, Eliška lived in Humprecht with her little son, Petřík. Her husband, Petřík's father, had died in battle and left them big wealth.

Petřík was still very young, and often played with the children that lived near the castle that was his home. He was also friends with the farmer, the cobbler and the herbalist. His mother often told him stories about a brave soldier, whom Petřík believed was his father.

“Mummy, we're not alone,” Petřík said, smiling, “there are cottages and a lot of good people live there”. His mother would gently stroke his hair, saying: “We are not alone, we have each other.”

Everyone in the region knew that the estate belonged to Petřík, but that he would not be able to rule it until he became an adult. In the meantime, it was his mother, Eliška who ruled the region, wisely. They all lived very well.

One day, some relatives of the deceased father visited the castle. Eliška gave them a royal welcome, but she soon realised that all they wanted were the estate and its riches. She was afraid.

“Come with me, Petřík. We must liberate our region of the injustice that the enemy will commit.” Eliška decided. She took Petřík by the hand, and told the coachman to prepare the horses. Together, they loaded the coach with chests full of treasure.

“Where are we going, mother?” Asked Petřík.

“Don't be afraid, my dear. You know that without wealth, there isn't envy.”

The horses broke into a trot and did not stop until the Humprecht forest.

Petřík jumped from the coach and saw a sky-blue well; it looked like a mirror that reflected the golden rays of the midday sun. It was beautiful! It was more beautiful than all the gold and silver.

Eliška carried all the treasure to the well and put it on the bottom. Coins, bracelets, jewels, everything disappeared beneath the water. She did not feel sorry for the riches, deep wells are the best hiding places for shiny objects.

Once everything, even Petřík's crown, had disappeared in the well, Eliška smiled. “Here, my darling, you will always find your treasure.” And they went back to Humprecht.

“Where have our dear guests gone?” Eliška asked the cook.

“They searched the whole palace, and when they couldn't find even a single coin, they left as quickly as they came.”

Eliška smiled and Petřík realised that his mother had saved him and the whole country.

Petřík grew up to be a man ruled wisely and fairly. He never needed the treasure in the well. Instead of riches, he was satisfied with the kindness and the joy he gave everyone.

And the well? Every sunny day, a snake wearing a crown basks, guarding its treasure until the day that a wise and fair person comes; someone who carries their wealth in their heart and not in their pockets. Then, the snake will put the crown at their feet and that person will get the treasure hidden under the sand, and they will become the new, fair ruler of the country.

If you are ever around, go have a look at the blue well. If you lie on the soft grass, the well will tell you the story of Eliška and her son, Petřík.


 


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Created 16.6.2005 13:14:30 - updated 30.3.2020 8:48:36 | read 794x | Jan
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