The legend of Neringa

Once upon a time, when the spit hadn’t yet formed and only a chain of islands protruded above the water in its place, a girl was born in autumn in one of the islands which belonged to the lord Karvaitis and where the temple of Laima – the goddess of fortune and fate – stood. The newborn, seemingly guarded by the goddess Laima, was growing into a pretty, intelligent, and kindhearted little girl. And when the parents gave her the name of Neringa, the little girl began to grow up by the hour rather than by the day, at least so it seemed. In nine months she was a beautiful young girl. When she reached eighteen, Neringa was already famous for her extraordinary work: she was so powerful that she could single-handedly drag a Kurenkahn out of a stormy sea or a carriage out of viscous sand. The fame of the girl’s beauty and her kind heart spread far and wide; crowds of youths flooded to win her heart. But she said she would only marry the one who succeeded in throwing a stone all the way across the bay to the Ventė Castle. Only the heir of the Ventė Castle himself managed to complete this difficult task and Neringa became his fiancée. Infuriated by Neringa’s self-serving behaviour, Bangpūtys (the Tideblower) caused a dreadful storm – for thirteen days and nights, it rained and poured, and clouds merged with the earth. Finally, Neringa filled her apron with sand, poured out a path, and separated the raging sea from the bay. The sea calmed down and the young couple celebrated their wedding.