In times of medieval Vienna when the town was surrounded by defensive walls there was a tavern outside but close to the town in an area which is still known as Leopoldstadt and part of the second district today. This tavern had the name “To the Golden Well”.
The inn was situated on an important road which led to Prague and Brno. Many merchants, coachmen and hikers had their rest there.
The innkeeper and his wife were happy with their doing and they could live in modest prosperity.
But one day war broke out, pestilences haunted the population and traders stayed away. Fewer and fewer people came to the inn and finally the owners had to borrow money to keep their house.
The situation was getting worse and so the faithful innkeeper’s wife decided to make a pilgrimage to the state of Mother Mary. She went to St. Stephen’s church and begged on her knees for Virgin Mary’s help.
Mother Mary heard the prayers and whispered to the faithful woman, “Don’t worry anymore my child, go home again and scoop water for the horses out of your house well and you’ll find a gold coin on the bottom of every bucket. But don’t take out more water than the animals need.”
The happy landlady thanked Mother Mary and hurried home. She told her husband about the prophecy. When it was time to water their horses they took two buckets of water from the well, and they really found the promised gold coins.
From now on the misery had an end. Step by step the couple could pay back their debts; and with the next gold coins they renovated their tavern.
But as it is in the nature of some people the landlord became greedy. He wanted more of those gold coins and so one night he sneaked off to the well and scooped a bucket of water.
He emptied the water carelessly on the floor and looked for the gold coin. But there was no gold coin. Once more he lowered the bucket into the well, but again – no piece of gold.
Sadly he realized that he had violated Mother Mary’s instructions and so it came that the wealth-generating source dried up.
Special thanks to JRD Skinner and the Flash Pulp Crew for including this legend in their 'FlashCast49 - The New Florida' !