Since time immemorial, there are a lot of stories, legends and even poems of the European Bison. This is only a small part of them. If you know the legend of which we have not heard - send it to us and we shall post it on this page.



You can find this legend in the book of Dimitrie Cantemir "Description of Moldova", which was written in the early XVIII century in America:

"... Dragos, the son of Prince Bogdan decided to cross the Carpathian mountains to east with three hundred hunters. During this journey, they casually found the trail of a wild bull that Moldovans called "Zimbru". In search of bison his hunters descended to the foot of the mountains. Fleeing from hunters, bison crossed a big river and there was pierced with arrows of hunters.

The dearest bitch of Dragos, called Molda, obsessed with chasing the animal, rushed into the river after him, but the river was too deep and fast, so the poor bitch drowned. In memory of his bitch Dragos named the first river on their way - Moldova (and later the country: Moldova) ... and decided that on the shield of this country was sculpted the head of a wild bull - Bison ".

D. Cantemir "Description of Moldova." Chisinau, 1973

In russian the word "bison" is pronounced "zúbr", much like the "zímbru" as moldovans called bison.  


One of the most famous castles in Moravia (historical region of Eastern Europe, which from 1945 went on to the Czech Republic), was probably built in the mid-thirteenth century and belonged to the legendary and noble family Pernstein. Over gateway to the castle is located the coat of arms of Pernstein, clan "Wieniawa." It is the head of a bison without neck, turned towards the viewer.

According to legend, the king came across a bison during the hunt. The King of Moravia was saved, thanks to one of his knights, called Lastek, who grabbed the bison by the horns and pulled it aside. Lastek broke a branch of young oak tree and passed it through the nose of bison instead of ring. Then he brought the animal to his king. Everything happened so fast, that when the king called to Lastek: "Wien haw", ie, "Come alone," Lastek already brought him his prey. Then the bison was delivered to the palace servants who do not dominated well the animal and it was escaped. Lastek ran to intercept him and killed the bison with a sword. As a reward, the king gave lands to Lastek and granted the coat of arms, called "Wien haw" or "Wieniawa. Since that time, the coat of arms of the knights who were born in the Lastek family has always decorated a huge head of bison.


Long ago, when the world was very young, the bison had no hump. He got his hump one summer because of his unkindness to birds.

He liked to race across the forest for fun. The foxes would run ahead of him carrying flowers and tell the little animals that their chief, the bison, was coming. 

One day when bison was racing across the plains, he went in the direction of the place where little birds live on the ground. They called to him and to the foxes that he was going where their nests were, but neither paid any attention to them. Bison raced on and trampled the bird's nest under his heavy feet as the fox sat eating. Even when he heard the birds crying, he ran on without stopping. 

No one knew that Nanabozho (Grandfather) was near. But he had heard about the birds ruined home, and was sorry for them. He ran ahead, got in front of bison and the foxes, and stopped them. With his stick he hit Bison on the shoulders, hard. Fearing that he would receive another blow, bison humped up his shoulders.

But Nanabozho only said, "You shall always have a hump on your shoulders, from this day forth. And you shall always carry your head low for shame."

The foxes, thinking to escape from Nanabozho, ran away, dug holes in the ground, and hid themselves. But Nanabozho found them and gave them their punishment, "Because you where unkind to the birds, you shall always live in the cold ground."

Ever since then, foxes have had their homes in holes in the ground and bison have had humped shoulders. 

Unknown author

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