The Dragon - A Tale from Lanz

But high from the air blessings can come in abundance. This is done by the flying dragon, who loves Lanz deeply and visits the village often. Whoever sees it in the evening skies in the shape of a dark red streak of fire must immediately throw all iron goods away from their bodies when the dragon is hovering above them, for otherwise the enraged dragon will roar into these items and tear the bearer apart. Furthermore, the witness must cross one foot with the other and remain silent. In that case the dragon will drop grain, but this grain must immediately be stored within a building. Once two men neglected to do this when the dragon came down to visit them one evening on their farm, as they became afraid during the night. Then, a short time before dawn, a massive grey wild boar appeared and ate the large heap of grain, making noises with its snout as if clothes were being washed or strong rain was falling on the ground. Thus, the two men were left with nothing.

The dragon can also become vengeful if it is disrespected. On J.’s farm a man mocked him by jumping backwards across a fence towards the dragon. He was punished viciously. The dragon assaulted his posterior, and for the rest of his life he suffered from a foul smell like rotten eggs. The dragon had sulfurized him well and truly.

The dragon loves to find millet on his journeys. When someone puts millet in front of their farm’s main gate for the dragon, it knows how to recompense their farm generously. The F.s had done this for a long time, but at one point forgot to do so. Then one Saturday evening the dragon entered their kitchen in the shape of a large fox and tore the pancake from the fire. The imprudent inhabitants yelled and wanted to avenge themselves and hurried after the fox. Then the fox changed its shape into that of a large owl and flew into a hollow Willow. “Now it shall get what’s coming to it” the pursuers shouted, “we shall smoke the owl out of the tree!” Set afire at its bottom by human hands, the rotten wood of the willow started to glow. But behold - from the crown of the tree much stronger smoke and fire burst downward. There the dragon had created a blaze through its own fire in which the fire of the human vanished entirely. The surrounding people had to close their eyes from the biting smoke and many became unconscious. And above the smoke clouds the dragon soared away with silent fluttering of its wings, screeching owlish laughter and mocking the foolishness of these people.

How much better is it to bow humbly before a secret power and cross one’s feet while kneeling down, than to impotently revolt against it while only earning harm and mockery!

Source: Handtmann, E. Neue Sagen aus der Mark Brandenburg. Ein Beitrag zum deutschen Sagenschatz, 1883, p. 22f.

Notes & Commentary: Dragon Kobolds - The Drak