The Dragon Killer of Mixnitz

In legendary times, the so-called Mixnitz Kogellucken - called the Dragon's Cave - is said to have housed a monstrous dragon.

It was a hideous monster that lived up there, resembling a huge snake, but wearing a scaly carapace with two jagged wings staring up at the top, and armed with four sharp-clawed feet. The monster caused a lot of damage in the whole area, people and animals had already fallen victim to it, and fear and horror reigned in the area. No one knew what to do against this terrible enemy.

Now a farmer from Pernegg, who owned a large farm near Röthelstein on the Mixnitzbach, also felt the voracity of the monster. The beast devoured two cattle from his herd and also killed a shepherd boy. The farmer promised a great reward to anyone who could kill the dragon and rid the area of the plague. The prospect of a rich reward attracted many to dare the dangerous undertaking, but none succeeded in killing the beast. Some lost courage when they saw the hideous beast from afar or heard its ghastly roar, some tried to fight, but were finally happy to save themselves from the dragon's claws, covered in more or less hideous wounds, and others were never seen again; they had probably died in the fight with the hideous beast. But the beast still went about its business, spreading fear and terror among the people. No one dared to take up the fight with the hideous dragon any more, even the servants and maids left the endangered dairy farm.

Then the farmer's son, who worked on the farm, decided to get rid of the dragon. But since nothing had been done against him in open combat so far, he devised a ruse and quietly made his preparations.

First, he wanted to scout out the dragon's camp on the mountain. In doing so, he discovered that the dragon had carved out a gully from the mountain down into the valley, which was perfectly smooth and without stones or ruggedness. From this he concluded that the dragon must have a soft, tender skin on the side of its belly, and based his plan on this consideration, how he could rid the area of this terrible plague. He went to the gully at dusk, when the wind was favourable, so that the beast could not sense his proximity, and buried a large number of sickles and scythes in the ground, in such a way that the tips protruded from the earth in the direction of the hill from which the beast descended. Then he hid himself sideways in a bush to witness the effect of his remedy.

He did not have to be long before he heard the monster, who was trying to quench his thirst in the stream, come snorting and roaring down from the mountain, and soon he saw through the branches of the bushes the eyes of the dragon, from whose huge maw fiery steam was pouring.

When the dragon came to the place where the sharp points of the scythes and sickles stood out of the ground, he suddenly began to roar and howl terribly, so that the young man behind the shrubs became frightened. The sharp, cutting tools bored into the soft belly of the monster sliding across it and tore terrible wounds. When the beast reared back in its pain and then let itself fall forward again, the points would dig into the skin once more and bore deep into its guts. Tormented by raging pain, the monster howled terribly, rolling back and forth in its bed and flapping its huge tail and clawed wings so mightily that whole trees were bent and great boulders torn out of the ground. But the more the beast raged and raged, the deeper the hidden weapons penetrated its guts. Mortally wounded, the dragon finally clenched into a hideous, bloodstained lump and rolled helplessly down into the valley, where it perished with terrible convulsions.

Great joy filled all the inhabitants of the area when they learned that the terrible enemy had now been dealt with. From all sides, the people rushed to the place where the monstrous freak lay dead in its blood, still looking terrible in death, with its scaly giant body and the horrible snarling maw. The stinking carcass was buried in a deep pit, requiring the labour of many strong men to roll the giant body into the pit.

But to the clever, brave young man who freed the region from this dragon's plight, the farmer gave the Meierhof as a reward for his brave deed, and all the people of the Muttal celebrated him as their saviour and deliverer.