Name:  Smok Wawelski

Features:  Fire breathing dragon with six legs

Source:  Polish Folklore

Habitat:  Poland

Smok Wawelski was a popular fire breathing dragon in Polish Folklore.  He is described as having one head and six legs, but also sometimes described as having seven heads.

This dragon was evil and extremely destructive.  He lived in a cave at the foot of Wawel Hill that is situated on the bank of the Vistula River.

Many brave knights attempted to slaughter this monster but all of them failed.  This evil dragon seemed unstoppable to all that crossed his path.

A popular version of the story of the Wawel Dragon takes place in Krakow during the ruling of King Krakus.

This horrible dragon would repeatedly leave a path of destruction all along the countryside by ruining homes, killing the farmers and eating their livestock.

The people were desperate and it was observed that this wicked beast had a particular craving for young maidens.  So began the practice of leaving a young girl at the front of his cave once a month as a sacrifice to appease the dragon and protect the people and their livestock.

Eventually there was a shortage of young maidens to offer and it came to be the King’s daughter’s turn to be sacrificed.  Desperate, the King offered his daughter’s hand in marriage to anyone that would defeat the horrible dragon.

This is when a poor cobbler’ apprentice, or in some stories the son of a shoemaker decided to take on the challenge.  The young man stuffed the carcass of a lamb full of sulfur and offered it to the dragon by placing it outside its cave as a sacrifice.

Without hesitation, the hungry dragon ate the entire meal and soon became overwhelmingly thirsty.  He tried to quench his thirst by drinking from the Vistula River.   He drank and drank but no relief came to him. 

He kept drinking until he had consumed half the Vistula River while desperately trying to quench his thirst and appease his aching stomach.  He drank so much that he actually exploded.

The poor villager wed the King’s daughter as promised and they both lived happily forever after.

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