This week’s fairy tale is a Polish story. It centres around King Krak who lived in a castle on the top of a hill. King Krak’s kingdom was not a happy one. Down in the kingdom below, there was a terrifying dragon called Smok Wawelski.
Smok Wawelski terrified everyone. He stole cattle, set fire to houses and took people back to his lair. Brave men tried to fight Smok, but they couldn’t get close enough without being burned to cinders. Princess Wanda offered her hand in marriage to anyone who could defeat the dragon.
Many men arrived desperate to marry the princess. But everyone ended up meeting the same fate. A clever shoemaker watched others fail and decided that he would venture out to buy some sulphur. The miner told him to be careful with it. The shoemaker bought three dead sheep and filled their stomachs with sulphur. Then he stitched them up and put them on his cart.
The sheep were pushed right infront of the dragon’s lair. He hurried out of sight but watched for Smok. Smok soon found the sheep and took a bite, then devoured the three sheep. Smok went back to his lair to rest. Moments later, Smok came out desperate for water, but no matter how much he drank he couldn’t stop the fiery feeling in his belly. He got bigger and bigger until he exploded.
At once, people came running and realised what the shoemaker had done. He got to marry Princess Wanda!
An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)