The Tale Of Goldhorn

The Tale Of Goldhorn

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If you want to tell stories to your children, here is one from Slovenian mountains.

In Trenta valley, Julian Alps, hundreds of years a beautiful fairy tale was passed from one generation to another. It tells about a hunter from Trenta valley and Goldhorn, a white chamois, having golden horns. The latter was a leader of a herd of white goats, inhabiting mountain ridges above the valley. And the herd was watched by White women, nymphs, who helped people. The story was first recorded by K. Dezman, later it was also the base for a beautiful R. Baumbach poem (in German). That poem was again translated in Slovenian language, became very popular, and the inspiration for many other art works (paintings, theatre pieces, etc.) Here is the original story, written down by Karel Dezman, published in Laibacher Zeitung, no. 43, February 21st, 1868.

The Tale Of Goldhorn

The Valley of Triglav lakes and Komna plateau were once a heaven in mountains, inhabited by gracious nymphs, White women. But nobody was allowed to approach their domicile. Intrudors were chased away by stone avalanches, triggered by white goats, who lived on ridges above Trenta valley. They were led by Goldhorn. If somebody would hurt him, from his blood a miraculous balzam would grow, called the Triglav flower, and when the wounded Goldhorn would eat it, even only one single leaf, he would instantly recover. His golden horns were the key of big treasures, which were on Bogatin mountain guarded by a multi-headed snake. The only mortal, who was able to climb on the highest summits of Trenta mountain area, was the son of a beautiful widow – the Trenta Hunter, to which, according to the legend, at his birth craddle White women were present. So he was under their special protection. To his sweethart, the landlord's daughter, far around famous by her beauty and virtue, the Hunter was bringing into her tavern on the confluence of Koritnica and Soca river, besides quarry also wonderful flowers from mountain summits. But through Soca valley also Italian merchants were transporting Venetian goods, stopping by in that famous inn.

One Sunday, when winter was coming to an end, Italian merchants came into the tavern, carrying rich goods from Venice. One of them, a wealthy and young gentleman, was trying to seduce the girl with gold and promises. He was putting on her fingers golden rings, a pearl necklace around her neck and he commanded musicians to play for a dance. When Trenta Hunter approached, inviting his sweethart for a dance her eyes reproached him. The Hunter, hurt by such behavior, went away. On his way off, the Green Hunter joined him. He was known in the valley to bring into troubles many decent young guys. So, he was the one, who proposed to the Trenta Hunter to kill Goldhorn, take his golden horns and with their help all the treasures of Bogatin mountain. On the very same night they went on mountains and the very next morning they were after the wonderful animal. Boy's bullet hit Goldhorn, heavilly wounded the animal creeped on a narrow ledge, high above abysses, which finished with an inclimbable vertical wall. The Green Hunter was pushing forward. But then the boy saw on the dangerous ledge, between ice and snow the most beautiful flowers - Triglav flowers, and among them also edelweiss, which before he was often picking up to prepare medicine for his mother's eyes. The memory on his mother was warning him to stop chasing Goldhorn and to pick up only Triglav flowers, but the Green Hunter was pushing on, to kill Goldhorn before he eats miraculous Triglav flowers, grown out of his blood, and recovers. But in the meantime Goldhorn already strenghtened by the miraculous balsam and, stimulated, he already raged by the narrow ledge towards the two hunters. His golden horns were shining in the bright sun, more prodiguously than ever before. Blinded by them Trenta Hunter looked down into the bottomless precipice, staggered, lost the ground beneath his feet and fell into the abyss.

Meanwhile the girl was bitterly sorry how she treated him. She was sadly waiting for her lover to return. But only when waves of Soca river, started to rise because of a melting snow, they brought the dead body of Trenta Hunter down. In the summertime, shepherds found a deserted, rocky landscape instead of blooming pastures, because Goldhorn rooted them up in his wrath. Even today you can see on the rocky ground the traces of his horns. And also White women left the place forever.


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Vid Pogachnik

Vid Pogachnik - Feb 27, 2006 4:36 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: a sad story

Thanks for stopping by, reading and voting, Lolli! We don't know for the Green Hunter, the story doesn't tell. When you read it, you would think that he is only a personification of Evil.


wuedesau - Mar 1, 2006 3:05 pm - Voted 10/10


This story might appear in your dreams after some bottles of Zlatorog :-&

Vid Pogachnik

Vid Pogachnik - Mar 1, 2006 6:01 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Goldhorn

Ha, ha, yes! And I like Zlatorog! But it was not me who thought the story out. I just did a translation :-)
So you know the meaning of 'Zlatorog'. I think also in Austria there are stories about Goldhorn.


rokaj - Mar 4, 2006 11:43 pm - Voted 10/10


I heard these before, now in English. Thanks, Vid, to do that. Now, others can find out one more miracle of us.

Viewing: 1-4 of 4