Žirnajų ežeras

The Lake of Žirnajai

There is such a lake in Ukmergė district, called Žirnaja, famous among fishermen for the largest and most delicious fish in the whole district. There is only one problem - you have to know how to fish there or hire a person from a nearby village to tell you where in the lake the hooks do not get entangled in the branches of sunken trees or where they do not hook up to the towers of the sunken manor or the roofs of rural huts.
Sometimes fishermen ask why it is so challenging to fish here, and the locals tell such a story:
A very long time ago, there was no lake in this place, only a tiny stream, which was so small that it dried up on hot summer days. One girl from the village loved the creek with all her heart; she played with the stream since her birth, splashing and bathing in it. When it dried up on hot days, she sat down waiting for him to come back, as soon as the rain poured, she ran to meet him. And over the years, the girl made friends with the creek, and the villagers considered her just weird. One day on her way home from work in the manor, she was quietly talking to the stream and asking him: “It is strange, I’ve known you my whole life, but I don’t know your name.”
She wondered how beautifully the water was flowing, and it turned out to her that the water was running like white peas – žirniai –, she had never noticed it before. Then she smiled and said: “Dear friend, the name of Žirnaja would suit you perfectly. “
As soon as she said this, the stream’s current intensified, and the water began to rise faster and faster. Her beloved creek told in a quiet voice: “I have been destined to be here as a lake for a very long time, thank you for guessing my name, for being good to me and talking to me, I warn you to run as soon as possible because my waters will flood your village, manor, and surrounding meadows.“
The girl managed to run to the village and warn everyone, thus saving the villagers’ lives.
After that day, neither the stream nor the lake spoke to her. She would return to the Lake of Žirnajai for a long time, calling her old friend by name, but in vain.