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Pond stories

There are many exciting stories to tell about the ponds and the Lusatian fish. Grandpa Fischer Frank often talks about adventures and experiences that happen here.  
What, you don't know the secret of the old magnifying glass yet? Then listen up ... 

The secret of the old magnifying glass

It's a wonderfully sunny day at the Erlebnis-Fischereihof. Franzi is busy with her favorite hobby: exploring large and small pond creatures. Her tiny amphipods are swimming in the bucket. To get a better look at them, Franzi needs a magnifying glass, of which she actually owns two - a very fancy old beaker magnifier and a small modern magnifying glass.

But whenever Franzi needs one, neither of them can be found! Franzi is a clever and curious girl, and she is sure to become a pond keeper or biologist one day. Her great weakness, however, is that she is always misplacing things. And so yesterday, once again, both magnifying glasses were missing, even though Franzi had turned everything upside down to find them! But because she wanted to examine a very exciting little animal, she absolutely had to have a magnifying glass! What was she supposed to do?

She had sneaked into the office of her grandpa Frank, who works here as a pond manager, and had secretly taken his old magnifying glass from his desk. Franzi knew that she wasn't actually allowed to do this because Grandpa Frank had been keeping this old magnifying glass a big secret for years. There was a story about it, but he didn't want to tell her until Franzi was big enough! But Franzi is big! She is 9 years old - and she is bursting with curiosity!

Anyway, yesterday she just wanted to try out the old magnifying glass, Grandpa didn't need to know about it ... She had put it in her jacket pocket and it should still be there now ... Franzi is shocked out of her wits. Where is the magnifying glass? Both jacket pockets are empty. Her grandpa is standing in the neighboring pond and doesn't seem to have noticed any of this.
"Search!", Franzi thinks to herself. And she quickly sets off. She is going to do a big tour of the whole fishing yard and take the guests with her. That way she can show everyone the whole fishing yard and also: many eyes see more. She is sure to find the magnifying glass again.

Franzi starts her search in the farm building. That's where her rucksack usually hangs in the checkroom and maybe the magnifying glass is in there. But what is that? Today there are 4 rucksacks hanging there, and they all look exactly like Franzi's! Franzi looks in all the rucksacks, but there is no magnifying glass in any of them. Instead, she finds the following items:

1st rucksack: a jar of earthworms
2nd rucksack: a fish cookbook
3rd rucksack: binoculars
4th rucksack: a fish knife
Strange, what's going on today?!

She walks on to the bus stop. She sat here yesterday afternoon and watched the hiking groups arriving by bus. Maybe her magnifying glass slipped out of her pocket?

Unfortunately, it's nowhere to be found and the cyclist coming towards her doesn't know anything either. Franzi meets smoker Rudi in front of the smoker. As always, he tells her the best way to smoke fish. Franzi already knows it by heart, but she listens dutifully because she likes Rudi. I wonder if he has seen a magnifying glass. Smoker Rudi is worried: "Just don't leave your magnifying glass by the water," he says, "otherwise the ..." He doesn't say any more and Franzi is now completely beside herself. She has to find this mysterious magnifying glass again and uncover its secret!

She quickly runs on to the fish tank. Doesn't she see something suspiciously glittering in the water? But no, as she gets closer, she recognizes it: a young carp is swimming very close to the surface.

Franzi moves on. On the shore of a lake, she meets a group of amateur ornithologists. They are talking about water birds and fish predators. But they haven't seen a magnifying glass either. Nevertheless - they give her a tip: you can sometimes see a magnifying glass blinking from a distance when the sun hits the glass. Oh, what was that? Sure enough, something flashes on the other side of the lake. Franzi's magnifying glass? An ornithologist lends Franzi his binoculars and what does she see? Right on the observation tower opposite is another ornithologist with another pair of binoculars, which are flashing brightly in the sunlight.

Disappointed, Franzi continues across the meadow, where she spots a deer at the edge of the forest. But no sign of the magnifying glass! She meets forester Friedrich in the forest. He hasn't seen the old magnifying glass either. But he warns her to be careful: a forgotten magnifying glass can cause a lot of damage, especially in the forest! If the sun falls on it at a certain angle, a magnifying glass becomes a burning glass. It then gets so hot in its vicinity that a fire can start and any forest fire would be a huge loss for plants and animals! There is a great diversity of species in the heath and pond landscape, which is why it has even been declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve. All people must therefore treat this landscape with care in order to preserve it. Franzi is startled: can't she see big clouds of smoke rising into the sky over there? Oh dear! And it's her fault! But the forester laughs: "No, no, Franzi! That's the Boxberg power station about 50 kilometers away. They burn brown coal there to generate electricity. The smoke is from the cooling towers." Phew, a load off Franzi's mind.

But now she has to move on to the fish restaurant. Here, her favorite chef Ferdinand Forell cooks the best fish dishes and sometimes Franzi is allowed to choose something just like that. The chef doesn't have many guests today and can take some time to talk about the secrets of fish cuisine and his many nice colleagues in the region. Unfortunately, he also doesn't know where Franzi left the magnifying glass. Certainly not in the kitchen!

And so she walks on and asks the people who are reading something on the information board. Nobody knows anything. Not even the school class that is having a project day at the fishery today. There is also a boy with a magnifying glass, but it looks completely different from Franzi's. Out of the corner of her eye, Franzi notices something blinking on a blanket where a family is having a picnic in the sun. But as she gets closer, she realizes that it was just the silver paper from the chocolate that was shining.

Then Franzi spots two anglers in a boat. They haven't seen the magnifying glass either and Franzi would rather leave them alone. Fishing is a science in itself ...

Finally, she stands in front of the jetty where Ranger Richy greets a family in colorful clothing for a pond exploration: "Dobry dźeń!", he says and Franzi knows: That's Sorbian and means: "Good day!" Many Sorbian people live here in Upper Lusatia , who are German citizens but speak their very own language. The children learn in Sorbian-language schools and kindergartens, there are Sorbian theaters, and the names of the streets and places here are written in German and Sorbian on the signs. Exciting! Franzi particularly likes the Sorbian culture with its dances, songs and colorful traditional costumes, just like this family is wearing here. She doesn't want to disturb Richy, so she listens for a while as he talks about the pond landscape and the tasks of a ranger. But Richy has noticed from Franzi's face that something is wrong and immediately guesses the reason: "You're probably looking for your magnifying glass again, Franzi, aren't you? You know what? I'll lend you my binoculars because I don't need them for the pond tour. That way you can search the whole area again with the binoculars and see if your magnifying glass is sparkling in the sun somewhere."

When Richy takes his rucksack off his back, Franzi almost catches her breath: "That's not possible ... that's ... Backpack number 5! Richy reaches inside and what does he take out? Not his binoculars, but Grandpa's old magnifying glass! It was all just a crazy mix-up! Franzi is so happy that she immediately throws her arms around Richy's neck. "It's okay, it's okay!" says Richy, because he's embarrassed in front of all these people. Everything is quickly cleared up and Richy wants to carry on again. After all, you don't keep your hiking group waiting! And Franzi has to go on too - to Grandpa Frank!

Franzi is so upset and relieved that she decides to tell Grandpa Frank the whole story. It's all very unpleasant for her and she apologizes. Nevertheless, Grandpa Frank is quite angry at first, because what Franzi did was simply not right! Besides, the magnifying glass could really have been gone! An ancient heirloom! But because he has a big heart, he can also understand Franzi's curiosity. So he finally forgives her and quietly makes a decision: Tonight he will tell his granddaughter the old story and let Franzi in on the secret. Surely she will then finally understand how precious his magnifying glass is and stop taking it to the water.

He has to smile about the five identical rucksacks. He should have known, because he bought the rucksacks himself for his employees - with the logo of the fishing farm! But who do you think the other 4 belong to? Can you guess? While Grandpa and Franzi are sitting and talking, they hear a loud cheer from the opposite pond, where a group of people are busy fishing. As always, the fishing during the Lusatian Fish Weeks is a real festival and so Grandpa Frank and Franzi immerse themselves in the hustle and bustle once again. Grandpa is amazed at how well Franzi can explain to the guests what fishing is all about. In the evening, when Franzi is lying in bed, Grandpa Frank sits down with her and begins:

"You know, Franzi, this day has shown me that you've already become a big girl and understand a lot of things. You made a mistake, but you were honest enough to admit it. That's why I forgive you and now I finally want to tell you the story about the old magnifying glass, which I don't even know if it's true. But I heard it from my grandfather, and he in turn heard it from his, and he from his, and so on. One of these ancestors is said to have come into possession of the magnifying glass in the following way ...


There was a time, perhaps 600 years ago, when the ponds in this region belonged to a rich man who lived on a manor with his two sons. Whenever there was a dance evening in the village inn, the rich man's two sons wanted to be there to dance with the pretty girls of the village. One evening, they got together with two real beauties and the boys asked them who they were and where they came from. But the girls didn't want to tell them. When the clock struck 10, the beauties jumped up to leave, but the boys stopped them.

When the dance was finally over after midnight, the girls ran out of the hall. The boys followed them and what did they see? The hems of their beloved's long skirts were dripping with water and left a wet trail on the stones of the hall. As they made their way to the pond, the boys guessed: They were the daughters of Nix, the water sprite!

At the pond, the girls struck the water with a whip. A green overgrown path opened up into the pond, where the two of them lived. The two young men sat behind a bush and heard one of them say to the other: "I'm so scared! Our father will be very angry because we've been away so long!" Then the other said: "We'll see from the bubbles. If red bubbles rise from the water, then it will be bad. But if the bubbles are white, it will be good." They waited a moment and then the boys saw it too: White bubbles were rising from the bottom of the pond, which meant that the Nix was in a good mood. The girls ran in and were soon out of sight.


Nevertheless, they didn't get to dance for a long time afterwards and the two boys longed for them very much. In their anxiety, they tried to look into the water and because it didn't really work, one day they came to the shore with a magnifying glass. They had probably found it in their father's desk, because in those days only rich people with an education had a magnifying glass. But these simple-minded lads could not be said to be educated, because today every child knows that you cannot look at the bottom of a body of water with a magnifying glass, but can only make small things more visible.

Nevertheless, the two of them were sitting there looking through the magnifying glass into the water when suddenly a little man in a red coat stood behind them and shouted: "Ha, there are the guys who are lying in wait for my daughters! Come into my kingdom if you want her and ask for her hand in marriage!" With these words, he wanted to lure the boys into the pond, but they were terrified. They ran away as fast as they could. But the Nix - because no one else was this little man! - only meant well! One of the boys lost the magnifying glass on the shore out of fright. The water sprite picked it up and looked through it. But because he didn't know what to do with it, he threw it into the reeds.

But there sat the grandfather of the grandfather of the grandfather of the grandfather of the grandfather ... of my grandfather and had watched everything. As soon as the Nix had disappeared again, he took the magnifying glass and since then it has been in our family's possession. Now you know everything I know, dear Franzi. I can't tell you whether the story is true or not. But people here still tell each other about Nix, the water sprite, or the wódny muž, as he is called in Sorbian. Here, in the ponds, he was at home or still is ...

Perhaps now, Franzi, you will understand why this magnifying glass is so unique and take good care of it from now on. Because from now on it will be yours." With these words, he placed the magnifying glass in Franzi's little hand and she decided never to let it out of her sight again.

She lies awake for a long time that evening, listening to the croaking of the frogs. When she finally falls into a deep sleep, the frogs' voices turn into the song of a water sprite who will give her a wonderful dream tonight.