A local legend

A local legend about a fat cock, or else, why a cock is a part of a Libverda device …

Stará kolonáda 4On your coming to Libverda have a look at a roof above Eduard`s spring. What you will see is a fine-looking cock that was, at the time I am telling this story, bright green. It was as green as the roof on which it stands so proudly, as green as leaves on trees in summer, so it merged with all that green. But who has ever seen a green cock? Well, at that time the cock was coloured faithfully, so it could be seen in winter, in summer duly and praiseworthy. The cock on the top of the Eduard`s spring roof is not just an ordinary cock meant for decoration. It is a memorial for a discoverer of a Libverda spring. Because it was the cock who discovered a spring of mineral water Kyselka and actually it wasn’t green or colourful but very, very fat.

So listen to an old tale about a cock that became very fat because it had a well-known mineral water Kyselka for breakfast, as the first one of all.

Once upon a time only an old path was leading through the local deep forests and only watchmen were walking along it. In the area was nothing except for rocks, forests, clouds and again forests with deep valleys, through which ran plentiful brooks, some bubbling like Libverda Brook and some violent like Štolpich Brook. And then, in those faraway times, there was only a moorland valley and along the banks of the brook a bog and a swamp could be seen. Even so, one “salikvarda” made this place his home. He was a kind of a watchman, who didn’t walk along borders, but instead he lived there and offered refreshment and accommodation to other watchmen after a tiring journey along borders. So when a “salikvarda” settled there, he started a small farm as well. No-one knows what his name was, but it is important that he had a cottage, some fields, a courtyard and there a few thriving pigs – and a flight of hens together with a cock who was their leader.

It was the cock who started getting fat mysteriously one day, as if being under a spell. It became obvious not even to the “salikvarda” but also to his wife and children, so they started to observe the cock. Soon they found out that the fastidious cock didn’t drink water from a brook, like other hens did, but it went to a swamp nearby a path. The swamp was quite inaccessible, overgrown by bushes and trees and to go there was a dangerous task, as the ground was sagging and wobbling under feet. But not for a cock, of course, never mind how fat he would get. Soon the “salikvarda” was wondering what kind of water it could be that it had such a fattening effect on the cock. But that was not the end of the story. As the cock was getting old, it was still stout and full of life. Still it didn’t last up to a hundred and eventually one day it died. After the “salikvarda” cut it open – he was astonished. The cock wasn`t actually fat, but in fact, all its entrails were enormous! And so he decided to try the effects of the water for himself. He made a way to a bubbling spring, and afterwards he also got fatter and became healthier. Later on it got quite difficult to keep it a secret, and so all the watchmen went there to drink the mineral water. The place was called Libverda and that is the end of the tale.

If the legend is from the 15th or 16th century I can`t tell, never mind, the cock on the roof of the Eduard`s spring is that what really matters.