Category Archives: National Legend

The Prince’s Ears

This is one of our favourite traditional Welsh tales taken from the story book ‘Once upon a time in Wales’ by John Owen Hughes.

There was once a rich prince called March. He was King Arthur’s cousin. He lived in Castellmarch and although he was rich and lived in great comfort, March was unhappy. He was unhappy because he had two long hairy ears like horse’s ears! In Welsh ‘March’ means ‘horse’.


March kept his hair long to hide his ears. Only one person knew his secret and that was his barber. The secret worried the barber greatly as March had told him he must keep the secret under pain of death! The barber was so worried he became ill and had to go to the doctor. The doctor asked him what was worrying him and the barber replied “I can’t tell you!” The doctor replied, “you must tell someone or something!”
“Something?” thought the barber. The doctor had given him a great idea.
If he couldn’t speak to a person then he would whisper his secret to the earth. So the barber went to the river Soch and whispered his secret to the earth. He felt better at once that he had shared his secrets and yet no one was any the wiser.


Some months later March decided to hold a feast. All the important people were invited, the finest food prepared and the best bards and musicians ordered to perform. One of the musicians was a young piper named Deio Bach. As it was such as important occasion he wanted to play with a new pipe so he went to the river bank and cut down one of the fine, long reeds that were growing there.

That night after the guests had finished eating, Deio Bach was the first musician to perform. He took a deep breath and began to blow his new pipe. But instead of sweet music this is what people heard:
‘March has horse’s ears! March has horse’s ears!’


The prince was absolutely furious! Now everyone knew his secret!
“Take the piper out and cut off his head at once!” shouted the Prince.
But Deio Bach said to the prince ‘It’s not my fault! There must be a spell on my new pipe!’ The prince blew the pipe and once again the people heard,
“March has horse’s ears! March has horse’s ears!”

Then the barber came forward and said it was his fault. He told March he had whispered the secret to the river bank. He was sure March would kill him but instead the prince smiled.
“I thought everyone would laugh at my ears. That’s why I hid them. I have been very foolish.”
From that day on March was happy and he no longer had a secret to hide.
The end.


Polish Legend – The Polish White Eagle

A thousand years ago, or maybe even more, there lived three brothers, Lech, Czech, and Rus. For many years they had been content in their villages, but the families grew larger and they needed more room to live.

The brothers decided to travel in different directions to search for new homes. Lech, Czech, and Rus traveled with their troops for many days. They rode their horses over mountains and rivers, through forests and wild country. There were no people to be found anywhere, not a town or tiny village. On the crest of a mountain top, they separated, each going in a different direction. Czech went to the left, Rus went to the right and Lech rode straight ahead, down the mountain and across vast plains.

The young prince, Lech, was riding his horse through a thick forest.The sun was setting and the sky was red. While he was looking for a place to stop, he noticed an eagle’s nest. Lech was looking at it when, suddenly, an eagle spread its wings. As the eagle spread its wings and soared into the heavens again, a ray of sunshine from the red setting sun fell on the eagle’s wings, so they appeared tipped with gold, the rest of the bird was pure white.“I’ll build my home here” thought the prince and got off his horse.

“Here is where we will stay!” declared Lech. “Here is our new home, and we will call this place GNIEZNO … (the eagle’s nest).

He and his people built many houses and it became the center of his territory. They called themselves Polonians, which means “People of the Field”. They made a banner with a white eagle on a red field and flew it over the town of Gniezno, which became the first historical capital of Poland.

And, now you know how Poland began . . .

The Polish Eagle

(courtesy of polandpoland)

Copyright © 2004

And here You can read our legend
“Story Carousel” -> Poland Story

Hammurabi and his God Given Code of Laws

Although Hammurabi’s Code of Laws is one of the most famous collections of laws from the ancient world, it is certainly not the oldest. In fact, it is preceded by at least two other codes of laws, namely the Laws of Ur-Namma (c. 2100 B.C., Ur) and the Laws of Lipit-Ishtar (c. 1930 B.C.., Isin). It may be pointed out these ancient Mesopotamian texts are not legal codes in the modern sense, i.e. collections of written laws compiled according to specific subject matters ( civil code, penal code, etc.), but were rather compilations of laws “carved in stone”. Although these collections preceded that of Hammurabi’s, it cannot be said that the latter borrowed directly from the former, as these were legal rules of political entities that were independent of each other. So, who was Hammurabi? Hammurabi (reigned from 1792-1750 B.C.) was the sixth ruler of the First Dynasty of Babylon. During his long reign, he oversaw the great expansion of his empire, and made Babylon a major power in Mesopotamia. By the time of Hammurabi’s death, Babylon was in control of the whole of Mesopotamia, although his successors were not able to maintain this control. This may be due to the lack of an effective bureaucracy, as his active participation on regional wars meant that he did not focus on establishing an administrative system that would ensure the continual running of his empire after his death.


Oghuz legends

The legend of Oghuz Khagan is a central political mythology for Turkic peoples of Central Asia and eventually the Oghuz Turks who ruled in Anatolia and Iran. Versions of this narrative have been found in the histories of Rashid ad-Din Tabib, in an anonymous 14th-century Uyghur vertical script manuscript now in Paris, and in Abu’l Ghazi’s Shajara at-Turk and have been translated into Russian and German.

oğuz kaan

The Maiden’s Tower Legend

The Maiden’s Tower is located 150-200 meters off the shore of the Salacak district in Üsküdar. Although it is not definite as to when the Maiden’s Tower was built, the tower’s architectural style is said by some sources to be from around 340 BCE.

Previous names of the Maiden’s Tower were Damalis and Leandros. Damalis is the name of the wife of the king of Athens,Kharis. When Damalis died, she was buried on the shore, and the name Damalis was given to the Tower. It was also known during Byzantine times as “arcla” which means “a little castle.”

After the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottoman Turks, the tower was pulled down and a wooden tower was constructed in its place. The wooden tower was destroyed by a fire in 1719. It was rebuilt from stone once again by the head architect of the city, Nevşehirli Damat İbrahim Paşa. The cone-capped part of the tower was taken away and a kiosk fitted with glass replaced it. A lead-covered dome was later added to the kiosk. Rakım Efendi, a famous calligrapher, added an inscription with Sultan Mahmut II’s  signature on marble and placed it above tower’s door. A lantern was added to the tower in 1857, and in 1920, the tower’s light was a converted into an automatic lighting system.

The Maiden’s Tower has been used for many different purposes over time, such as a tax collection area from merchantman, a defense tower, and a lighthouse. During the cholera epidemic in 1830, it was used as a quarantine hospital and  radio station. During the Republic Period, it was again used as a light house for a little while. The tower was handed over to the Ministry of Defence in 1964 and then to Maritime Enterprises in 1982. It has undergone renovations and presently functions as a restaurant open to the public owned by a private Kiz-Kulesi-6

Polish legend-The Wawel Dragon


It was a very, very long time ago … The Wawel hill on the Vistula stood a wooden castle where King Krak lived with his beautiful daughter, Wanda. And in the mouth, in the depths of a hill lived a terrible dragon.
The dragon ate the sheep and lambs, then demanded human sacrifice, and finally wanted to eat the princess. The King Krak knights called for help, but none of them managed to defeat the dragon. Monster gaped fire, wagged his tail bristling with spikes and sharp claws tore his steel armor knights.
In the city of Krakow, situated at the foot of Wawel Hill, lived shoemaker Cuba. Cuba decided to kill the dragon and laid a cunning plan. He took the sheep skin, it napchał sulfur and tar, zszył exactly made of sticks leg. At sunrise threw the effigy of the dragon cavity.
The dragon came out in the morning to get something to eat and very pleased when he saw the finished breakfast. Napchanego ram devoured sulfur and tar, but just ended, he felt it burning desire. He went down to the river and began to drink. He drank and drank and drank … Water filled his belly so that he became like a balloon and round like a balloon burst.
The city and the castle reigned great joy. A shoemaker Cuba gathered pieces of dragon skin and sewed them shoes for princess Wanda.

The Legend of Skarbnik

In our region of Silesia we have lots of legends and stories. One of them is the legend of the so-called “Skarbnik” (The Treasurer). Skarbniks (the Treasurers) in Polish mythology live in mines and underground workings and are the guardians of gems, crystals, and precious metals. It is said, that they will protect miners from danger, and lead them back when they are lost. They will also lead them to veins of ore. To people who are evil or insult them they are deadly; pushing them into dark chasms or send tunnels crashing down upon them. Hurling rocks, whistling or covering one’s head are actions that are offensive to the Skarbnik; who will warn the offender with handfuls of pelted soil in their direction before taking serious action. The word for treasurers is still a mystery.

Prins Hatt under jorden

Folktale from Sweden ”Prins Hatt under jorden”

We’ve had Britta on a visit at our school.  She is a great storyteller.  She told year 2 and 3 the Swedish folktale “Prins Hatt under jorden” (“Prince Hat under the ground”). Britta says that the tale originally may have come from Greece, because there are fairytales and myths in Greece that is reminiscent of this. We made a resume of the folktale and then we made a Photo Story of it. If you want you can listen to the tale.

Do you have a story similar to this in your country