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A POLISH TALE

THERE IS POLISH TALE THAT TELLS ABOUT A PEASANT WHO WALKS ALL
THE WAY FROM POSNAN TO KOZIMIERZ, POLAND, WHERE THE KING
(KAZIMIERZ THE GREAT, 1300'S) RESIDED. THE PEASANT WANTS TO
COMPLAIN ABOUT THE LORD OF HIS MANOR WHO HAD KIDNAPPED HIS
WIFE RIGHT FROM THE WEDDING PROCESSION ON THE ROAD. HE HADN'T
SEEN HER SINCE THE KIDNAPPING.
WHEN THE PEASANT REACHES KOZIMIERZ, HE STOPS AT THE MARKET PLACE
WELL TO REST. AMONG THE MERCHANTS IN THE CROWD IS THE KING, WHO
STOPS AND QUESTIONS THE PEASANT. HE THEN EXPLAINS HIS COMPLAINT
AND PURPOSE. THE KING TAKES HIM TO THE CHURCH FOR THE NIGHT
WHERE THE PRIEST HAS THE PEASANT DRAW HIS COMPLAINT ON PAPER, AS
ALL COMPLAINTS WOULD BE ATTENDED TO THE NEXT DAY BY THE KING AND
VISITING LORDS. THE PEASANT DRAWS THE ROAD AND THE MANOR AROUND
IT.
AT THE POINT WHERE THE WIFE WAS TAKEN, THE PRIEST DREW A SKULL.
MEANWHILE, THE KING WAS RETURNING TO HIS CASTLE DOWN THE ROAD.
ON THIS SAME ROAD WAS ARRIVING THE LORD OF THE MANOR IN POZNAN
TO VISIT THE KING. HE APPROACHED WITH MUCH MUSIC AND FESTIVITY
IN ORDER TO MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION. ON THE ROAD NEAR THE CASTLE
THE LORD NOTICED IN THE DARK A FORM MOVING ALONG. THINKING IT
WAS SOME PEASANT IN THE WAY, HE CALLS THE PEDESTRIAN A BUM AND
WANTS TO HIT HIM. JUST THEN, THE FORM, WHO WAS REALLY THE KING,
ORDERS THE LORD TO STOP AND IDENTIFIES HIMSELF.
THE NEXT DAY THE COMPLAINTS WERE BEING EXAMINED BY THE KING AND
LORDS AND THE COMPLAINT OF THE PEASANT CAME UP. THE KING EX-
PLAINED THE PICTURE BY SAYING THAT A LORD HAD KILLED THE WIFE OF
A PEASANT ON THE ROAD, INDICATED BY THE SKULL. EVERYONE WAS
SHOCKED BY THE ACTION. THE KING ASKED EACH LORD WHAT PUNISHMENT
SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN FOR THE CRIME, AND WHEN HE CAME TO (THE)
GUILTY LORD, HE SAID THE PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE STARVATION. THE
KING THEN ANNOUNCED THAT THE LORD HAD COMMITTED (IT) HIMSELF, AND
THUS THE LORD WAS THROWN INTO THE DUNGEON BENEATH THE CASTLE TOWER
WITH ONLY SOME BREAD AND WATER, WHERE HE SOON DIED.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDFATHER REMEMBERS THIS TALE FROM HIS CHILDHOOD DAYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 10-22-1967

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