Rumšiškės

Devil's Bridge: the story of flooded village

Did you know that once upon a time, there was a sprawling village on the right bank of the Nemunas river? That village had an interesting name, Aštragas, or Sharp Horn. The Nemunas was particularly ferocious near Aštragas, and that's because one of its most dangerous shoals, named Devil's Bridge, was located right there.
Nowadays, hardly anyone remembers the village of Aštragas, submerged and buried under the Kaunas Lagoon, but the legends about the shoal of Devil's Bridge are still alive. People tell about the manor of Dvareliškis, whose cattle were tended by the shepherd named Dvarelis. The shepherd's daughter was a real beauty – the most beautiful girl in the entire village; no, in the entire Kaišiadorys district.
Not only was the girl pretty as a seraph, but also very arrogant. All the young girls in the village envied the shepherd's daughter because matchmakers kept flocking to her father's house from everywhere in the district. But she, arrogant as she was, kept rejecting all of them with such words, "Find me a groom who will fulfill my every desire, or I won't take a step out of my father's house."
One late evening, all the dogs in the village began to howl. The girl and her father went out into the porch only to see a coach enter their yard. The coach was black as pitch, shiny as water, and quick as a devil. The hunchbacked matchmaker, who scrambled out of it, introduced the groom, who was so well-dressed and handsome that they thought he was German.
This lad promised the young girl to fulfill her every wish, but her father, the shepherd, noticed one odd thing about the lad's face… Instead of a nose, there was a gaping hole, black as the darkest night. Despite her father's suspicions, the girl promptly agreed to marry the fancy lad, but first, she wanted to make sure he had made his promises faithfully. She decided to test him. Since the groom had arrived from the other side of the Nemunas river, he would have to build a bridge overnight, which he would then be able to use to transport his beautiful bride to his manor.
Without further ado, the groom set off to work, but the shepherd decided to watch him closely and hid in a neighbor's tun. And he had grounds to dislike this fancy gentleman because the lad swiftly turned back into his devil shape and started dragging the heaviest stones into the river. The shepherd knew that no real devil could show himself to the human eye in the morning, and so he decided to deceive the groom and started crowing, "cock-a-doodle-doo," like a rooster so that even the night birds thought it had started dawning.
Startled, the devil dropped the stones and vanished, and the locals named the pile of rocks he had brought into the river Devil's Bridge.