The legend of Bruncvík

Bruncvik's odyssey only took him away from home for seven years, but it was action-packed enough for twenty.

His wife Neomenia was worried about him - she begged him not to leave Prague to seek adventure, but Bruncvik wouldn't listen. He gave her his ring to wear, and took hers, and told her that he would return in seven years' time. She would recognize him by her ring, and if he didn't return in time it meant that he was dead, and that she should remarry. 

Neomenia said him a tearful goodbye when he set out on his adventures accompanied by fifty men on horseback. They travelled many months and they reached the sea. They took to the sea in a large boat. While on the sea they sailed into a yellow mist. It was the dreaded Amber Isle, which sucked sailors onto its shores.

After two years on the island, all the men and horses were dead except for Bruncvik and the oldest of his former companions.

An old man told Bruncvik how to get away from the Amber Isle.  The old man sewed Bruncvik into one of the horse skins and left him near the top of the Amber Mountain in the middle of Amber Isle. A large carnivorous bird carried Bruncvik away to its nest, as food for its young. Then the bird flew off for more food. Bruncvik took out his sword and he made short work of the rest of his disguise. Then he made short work of the baby bird and he got out of there before the big bird returned. 

He travelled as far and as fast as he could, and soon found himself in a deep, wild forest. It was there that he found the lion that would become his lifelong friend. The lion was fighting with a nine- headed monster, and Bruncvik could see that the big cat was becoming very tired. Although he was scared, he entered the fight      on the side of the lion. 

The lion fainted from exhaustion, and Bruncvik battled the nine- headed monster all afternoon, then all night, the next morning, and the next afternoon. The lion returned to the fight and together the man and the lion finished off the monster, chopping off its entire heads one by one. 

They both dropped down with exhaustion. Bruncvik woke up first, and became very scared when he saw the lion sleeping next to him. So Bruncvik climbed into a large tree and waited for the lion to wake up and go away. But when the lion woke up, he came to the base of Bruncvik's tree and waited there. On the third day, Bruncvik fell out of the tree. He was sick with fever, and too ill to move. For three more days, Bruncvik lay at the bottom of that tree and all that time, the lion was caring about him and bringing him food, and finally nursed him back to health. From that time on, the two were inseparable.

Bruncvik and his lion had many adventures together in strange lands. In one land, Bruncvik was kept in prison in a castle. It was at this castle that he stole a magic sword that knew how to chop people's heads off all on its own - all Bruncvik had to do was say "Blade, heads off!" and off they rolled.

By now, Bruncvik wanted desperately to get home. When Bruncvik came home, he was surprised to see everyone dressed in their holiday best. When he asked what they were celebrating, the people told him that Neomenia the Queen was to marry a new husband that day.

It had, after all, been longer than seven years. Bruncvik sneaked his wife's ring - which he had worn all the time on his adventures - into her glass of wine. As he left the castle gate, he wrote this message on it: "He who set off seven years ago has returned."

 When his wife drank her wine and saw the ring, she recognized it immediately. She called the wedding off, this of course send her  ex- bridegroom into a mad fury. He and fifty of his friends set off to track Bruncvík down and kill him.

They did, indeed, track him down - but it wasn't them who did any killing that day. Soon, the fifty-one heads of all of his rivals were rolling on the ground, chopped off by that magic sword, and Bruncvik was in his beloved Noemenia's arms. 

Bruncvik's lion is said to be the two-tailed lion in the Czech state symbol, while his sword is hidden somewhere. 

by Pavlína Vágenknechtová and Denisa Drašarová (sexta)

Marta Ehmigová,
21. 3. 2012 14:48