The Poznań Billy Goat Legend

The Poznań Billy Goat Legend

The city lies on the Warta river. It is the capital of Wielkopolska Voivodeship and the see of the Archdiocese of Poznań.

When the town hall was rebuilt after the great fire, it was decided to install a clock. This was to be a celebratory occasion with a sumptuous feast to which several eminent persons were invited. The main dish was to be roast venison haunch and the preparation befell a young kitchen hand named Pietrek (Pete). A lot of exciting things were happening in the marketplace at that moment. So much so that the kitchen hand took his eye off the roast for a second to watch what was going on in the marketplace. Unfortunately, his absence dragged on... and on.... and... the roast fell into the fire and was burnt to cinders. The terrified lad ran to a nearby meadow where the city folk grazed their animals, made off with two billy goats and dragged them into the town hall kitchen. The goats, sensing their imminent demise, wrested themselves free of the boy and fled to the tower. There, they started head butting each other before the assembled crowd. The spectacle so amused the mayor, voivode and all the guests that Pietrek was pardoned and the clockmaker bidden to construct a special mechanism to set the horological goats in motion every day. Ever since then, once the bugle sounds at the stroke of noon, the assembled crowd has been treated to the two head-butting billy goats every day.


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