The Story of Aquarius

This story comes to us from our partner school in Austria, Volksschule Kalkleiten.

There is a mountain in Styria, where the following story happened thousands of years ago.

Near the village there was a small cave with a lake. Sometimes in bright weather you could see an "Aquarius" coming out to swim in the lake or to relax in the sun. The farmers became curious and observed him. They tried to catch him, but they failed because he was so slippery. So they came together and thought about how it might be possible to catch the "Aquarius".

They brought some delicacies and fine wine to the lake and spread a coat with pitch wich they put near the food. The smell of the food would attract the "Aquarius" out and the wine would make him drunk. The farmers hid themselves behind trees and rocks and waited. After a long time the "Aquarius" came out.

He tasted the food and drank the wine. Then he saw the coat. It was so beautiful! Drunk from the wine, the "Aquarius" put on the coat, but it was like glue on his skin. The "Aquarius" cried for help - it was very easy for the farmers to catch him now and they set off back to the village.

On the way the "Aquarius" begged for his freedom but the farmers didn't want to let him go yet. After a while, the "Aquarius" suggested:
"If you give me my freedom, I will give you a very valuable present". The farmers agreed.
"You can choose," the "Aquarius" said, "but you should select wisely! I can give you a golden leg, a heart of silver or a hat made of iron."

" The golden leg will last for a few years, the silver heart will last for hundreds of years, the iron hat will last forever." After a short discussion, the farmers chose the iron hat. The "Aquarius" pointed to a mountain.
"It's over there" he said and escaped.

When the farmers began to dig on the mountain they found iron ore, and to this day there is a mine on the mountain which is called "Erzberg" (mountain of ore).

That mine brought wealth to Styria.

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