I know that officially they say the first man in space was Yuri Gagarin, and the first step on the Moon was made by Neil Armstrong. But here in Poland we know better! Already in the 16th century we had our first countryman both in space and on the Moon.
Read the story yourself!
In the 16th century Kraków everyone was crazy about alchemy, magic and witchcraft. The king, the noble men, the priests and the professors – they all wanted to find the way to live forever, to turn random things into gold and read people’s minds. And among all of them, there was this one guy who never had to experiment, learn, nor try, to learn all these tricks, because he made a deal with the devil himself – and that was Mr Twardowski! The devil pured all of the knowledge directly into his head. Of course, there was a price. In exchange, the devil wanted Twardowski’s soul.
The contract was simple – it said that „Twardowski will give the devil his soul, when he goes to Rome”. Twardowski thought to himself – this is an excellent deal! Why would I ever go to Rome, I can live without seeing it, and thanks to this contract I’m gonna get everything I’ve ever dreamt of, all the best things from the world, all of the super powers! He signed the deal and left to travel the world. But – as you can imagine – the devil was slightly more clever, than what Twardowski thought of him.
One rainy foggy evening, Mr Twardowski, exhausted after one of his travels, was coming back home, to Kraków. He saw a sign about an inn being nearby, on his way. He was really hungry, sleepy and cold. He thought – my life is eternal, I can turn to the inn, rest and come back to Kraków tomorrow, I’m not in a hurry! He did as he thought. But because of the terrible weather, he couldn’t see the name of that inn from the outside. Only when he stepped through the door, he looked above the bar, and saw that the name of the inn is „Rome”!
That moment, the devil appreared in front of Mr Twardowski and demended fulfilling his part of the deal. But Mr Twardowski was faster! He managed to cast his one last spell – why did he choose this one exactly – don’t ask me, I have no idea! But he created a huge rooster, jumped on the rooster’s back, he waved his wings and went straight to the moon! And as there is no Rome on the moon, that’s where Mr Twardowski’s been living now… Luckily, when the whole thing happened, he had a little spider in his pocket. Now whenever he misses Krakow and people or just feels lonely, he sends the spider down, on his spider’s web, to the Main Market Square of Krakow. The spider listens to all of the gossip the flower ladies are exchanging, then he goes back up and tells Mr Twardowski everything he’s heard. If you want to do something nice, next time you see the moon – wave!
Mr Twardowski will be very happy about it 😉