Sorapis and Misurina

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In the Eastern Italian Alps there is a beautiful lake, named Misurina, behind which the high mountain Sorapis is situated. The following myth narrates how these stunning places came into existence…

Once upon a time, in the Dolomites mountains, there was a very tall and gentle king, named Sorapis, who was very loved by his subjects. His wife had died and he had only one child, a little girl called Misurina. On the contrary of her gigantic father, his daughter was very very tiny: she was so small that she could stay in her father’s hand. 

Misurina was extremely pretty, but also extremely mischievous. She used to go in the streets and pull the tale to cats, tear off the flowers from the vases, trip old people or steal candies from younger children. However, Sorapis never told her off or punished her, as he was just thinking: “She is still young, she will become better when she grows up… I am sure she is behaving like this because she suffers for the lack of her mother”. So,  the spoiled Misurina kept making pranks to people or animals and ruining plants. 

One day she was told that a fairy was living next to the Crystal mountain, and that she had a magic mirror. The owner of the mirror would be able to see the thoughts of anybody who would look into it. There is no need to say that Misurina desperately wanted to get this mirror, so she went back home and asked for it to her father. She insisted so much that Sorapis agreed and decided to visit the fairy, in order to ask her the magic object. Once there, the fairy did not want to give it to him, so he tried and offered her silver, gold, precious stones, but she refused every present. After thinking about a proper price for the object, she made a proposal: “I will give you the mirror just on one condition: that you become a gigantic rock. It will bring some shade to my beautiful garden, that is always too exposed to the sun rays”. The king, hearing these words, was horrified and started crying, so the fairy said: “I promise you that, if your daughter will decide to give up the mirror, after knowing what would happen to you, I will not turn you into a rock anymore and she will still get the magic object”. Sorapis, then, regained some strength and made for his house, hoping that Misurina’s affection for him was bigger than her stupid and useless desire. When he was back home he told her the whole story. The little girl was so happy to see the magic mirror that she grabbed it and said: “Thank you father! I am extremely glad  for this beautiful present! When you become a mountain I will come and play under your shade or tumble down from your sides!”. She had not finished speaking yet, when the transformation of the king in a mountain started taking place: he became taller and larger, his skin turned grey or brown, and his hair turned into trees. Misurina screamed with fear, and she fell down what used to be her father’s hand: she tumbled down a very dangerous slope, hurting herself very badly. She went down down down and crashed into a sharp rock, together with the mirror that broke into pieces. Sorapis managed to see the whole gruesome show, as he still owned his eyes. He started crying for the loss of his beloved child, so enormous tears were falling down his enormous eyes, in such a big quantity that they filled the underlying valley. In this way a lake was formed, and then called Misurina.

Nowadays, Sorapis Mountain and Misurina Lake are among the most beautiful places in the Dolomites. And if you are lucky, you might see a shiny piece of Misurina’s broken mirror in the deep waters of the lake. 

Tags: legend; mountain; lake; princess; death. 

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Question: According to this legend, Misurina Lake was filled with:

  1. The water that exited from the magic mirror
  2. The melted ice of the Crystal Mountain
  3. King Sorapis’s tears

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