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☻Bonfire Man☻

Kresnik (Bonfire Man)

I. Kresnik is the goldenhaired and goldenarmed son of the heavenly ruler. Nine years his mother carried him, until her husband, who was all the while under the spell of an evil witch. When Kresnik was young, he grazed his herd on the mountain pasture. He just dozed off, and then the serpent king Babilon, his deadly enemy, arrived from the far lands. He stole all his cows, herded them far away into the hills, and hid them in a cave. Kresnik woke up and found his stock missing; he went on his way to look for it. After a long while he reached the cave and knocked with his great firebrand against the rocky doorway. Instantly thousands of evil spirits bursts out of the cliff; as soon as the spirits show themselves in the light, it began to thunder and lightening flashed as on the judgement day. However, Kresnik knew that these dogheads were evil wizards. He slayed them to the last one and then the weather immediately cleared up. When the king Babilon appeared, ke slayed him also. In the cave Kresnik found his herd and drove it home.

II. It happened long long ago, when princes still pastured their own herds. Kresnik had many cows, and he liked to graze and milk them himself. The milk from his cows smelled so good, that the snake often hid in the stable and suckled all the milk from the cows. Once when the prince slept, Vouvel the giant came and stole his herd. He took it far away into the Pohorje hills and closed them into a deep cave. For a long time Kresnik searched for his stock, but he could not find it. However he had a dog with four eyes and he sent him to search into the world. The dog soon smelled out the cows. He ran back to report to his master, that he had found the herd.. Like a bird Kresnik flew over the mountains. In the deep stillness of the Pohorje forests was the cave, from which issued the sounds of mooing. Kresnik knocked on the door. Tolovaj, half dragon, half man refused to return the cows. So Kresnik killed him with thunderbolts.

III. A better ending has the tale about Vouvel. The giant Vouvel has, hidden deep in the cave of Pohorje Turjak a great herd of stock, that he stole from Kresnik. Kresnik comes to the cave with a thick iron hammer and strikes the door. The White woman inside calls out: “Whoever you are, you won’t be able to open the door! But if you find vouvelica grass and say: Go, cow, back to Kresnik, the earth needs rain! then the door will open at once!“ He searched for a long time for vouvelica grass, but did not find it. Then he saw a black fog, and it was Vouvel riding home. They fought. Kresnik killed the giant and saved the stock.

IV. Once, when Kresnik was far away in strange lands, there came from somewhere a terrible serpent. When it entered Drava, in order to cross the water, the river banked up and flooded the fields; so huge was the monster. Then the snake crawled towards the castle and clasped it with its body, drawing tail into the mouth. In the castle lived imprisoned the beautiful princess Vesina. Six months the dragon lay in wait for Vesina beneath the castle walls. On St.George’s Day came the handsome count Kresnik with bright sword and stood on the snake. But the snake had wings and took to the air. Kresnik also had magic - he grew wings, and Kresnik and Ses did fierce battle in the air. When the serpent saw, that he was the weaker, he spoke to the hero: “No use to you, to take the maiden from me, she is your sister! No use to you!“
The hero answered: “What is fated, will happen; it will avail nothing to resist“, and swings with his arm the last, forceful blow against the snake. The snake fell heavily to the ground; the hero later threw it into the castle brook and chained it with heavy rope to the cliff, where it still lies today. When Kresnik defeated Ses, golden wheat fell to earth. Kresnik took Vesina for a wife and lived happily with her.

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