Syrenka Warszawska, the story of Warsaw’s Mermaid.
The story of Syrenka has been told countless times, here at Jamboree, this is our verison.
Once upon a time the region of Mazowsze was covered by a thick dense unpassable forest. The then ruler, Prince Ziemomysl who was out on a hunting expedition got lost in the forest and so after many hours, he found his way to the Vistula River.
Tired and hungry, he rested and it was then he spotted something in the water, at first glance it was a half-naked woman, beautiful and angelic, but that was not all. She was a woman yes, but he bottom half, he bottom half was that of a creature. From her waist down she was covered in scales and her feet were in the shape of a fish tale. The Prince stood motionless, in part because of her magnetism and in part fear for she held a bow and arrow aloft and it was pointed in his direction.
She turned and fired the arrow in yonder direction and it was then that she spoke, he voice soft and soothing “Follow my arrow, for there you will find food and shelter” and with a seductive giggle she flipped and in a manner much like a dolphin she dived into the water and disappeared.
With no other options, the Prince did as the mermaid had requested and ventured on in the direction of the arrow. His path lead him to a small fishing hut, in which lived a fisherman, his wife and their two children – twins Wars and Sawa. He was a poor fisherman and had little to offer, but on seeing the tired lost traveller, hungry and thirsty, they invited him in for feed him as best they could. After playing with the children and talking well into the night, the Prince took shelter and rested, he thoughts swam with that of the beautiful mermaid and the kind hospitality offered him by his hosts.
The next morning, the well-rested Prince rose and before saying his goodbyes, and revealed to the fisherman his real title and standing. He made many promises that morning, and although the fisherman took his words in jest, the Prince promised himself he would fulfil his word to build a grand village around the lands where the fisherman hut stood, and to make the poor fisherman a castellan, a governor of his own castle.
It took many years for the Prince to fufill his promise, but houses were built and a castle was erected. The town was named Warsawa after the fisherman children Wars and Sawa and the crest of the town was the mermaid whom had directed the prince to salvation.
Nobody ever saw the mermaid, but her voice was carried by the wind as she sang peacefully during lazy afternoons. The sound brought with it a feeling of hope. With all things good comes evil, and the evil was in the form of a Hermit who wondered the forests nearby. He plotted and manipulated some local fisherman to help me catch the mermaid, for she was dangerous and should face justice. The following night when the mermaid began singing, the homed in on her location. A fishing net was thrown and the mermaid was captured. After transporting her to a nearby barn the fishermen retired. The mermaid wept and began to sing a song, a song so deep he broke the hearts of anyone who could hear her. It was this deep sadness that drew a local farmer to the barn. Tears feel as he opened the door and stood in amazement as the shackled mermaid lay before him.
As he freed her she whispered her name to him and thanked him. Then she swam, she swam along the Vistual River far away never to be seen or heard again, the only thing left to remember her by was the city crest. Some say the hermit continued the search for her towards the Baltic Sea, only to anger and infuriate Neptune, others say he was brought to justice by the Prince… The truth is we’ll never know. What we do know is that the city of Warsawa or Warsaw as it is commonly known will never forget her.