Friday, August 12, 2011

The Talking Fish

The oldest preserved graveyard in Vienna is a Jewish cemetery located in the 9th district. It was created in the 16th century and between 1540 and 1783 the main burial site for members of Vienna’s Jewish community.

At that graveyard you find a secluded fish sculpture made of limestone.
Of course there exists a legend about this sculpture.


One day the Jew Simeon caught a big fat fish and was looking forward to the meal.

But at the kitchen table the fish lifted its head and cried out “Shema Yisrael”, those words one should say in the moment of death.

But it was too late, the head had been cut off and the fish died.

Quite surprised Simeon asked the Rabbi what to do. The Rabbi said it was probably a “Dybbuk”, a malicious possessing spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person and so the fish should be buried.

So did Simeon and placed a gravestone in the form of a fish.

Copyright © 2011 Ingrid Prohaska

Special thanks to JRD Skinner and the Flash Pulp Crew for putting the legend on their 'FlashCast 31 - Gone Fishin'' !


Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Ghost Rider

Once upon a time a Viennese woman was in great need. One evening she decided to go with her child to the magical source known as Agnesbründl near a glade called the Jägerwiese deep in the forests of Vienna.

Agnes was a legendary fairy of the woods. She lived in a subterranean palace and was known as a generous helper when one was in financial need. And people knew that the best time to visit this magic place and to meet Agnes was around midnight.

Mother and child lay down near the wondrous source and while the woman hoped that Agnes would appear her child fell into sleep.

Suddenly the woman saw a tall man on a huge white horse coming out of the woods. The animal shone as bright as the sun, so that it was as light as day at that moment.

Without a sound the horseman galloped down the meadow. When he saw the woman and her child he stopped his horse and asked,”What are you looking for?”

Startled she replied, “Just wood.”

He moved his hand to show her some pieces of wood, “Take that one with you. It’s much better than any other wood you can find here!”

The woman followed his advice, but she took just a few pieces, because she noticed that it was almost rotten.

While she bent down to pick the wood the mysterious rider disappeared.

Quickly the woman took her child and hurried back home.

The next morning she wanted to take the pieces of wood out of her bag but when she looked at it she saw that it was pure gold.

Immediately she ran back to the place where she met the ghost rider but not even one single piece of the magical wood was there anymore.

Copyright © 2011 Ingrid Prohaska

Special thanks to JRD Skinner and the Flash Pulp Crew for putting the legend on their 'FlashCast 30 - Agnesbründl' !