Legends, tales and stories are usually connected with lakes and rivers, mounts and valleys and of course old castles. Such places have always inspired poets, bards and story-tellers. What was the force that made a hill onto the plain land and when was the river channel here? Where is the hidden treasure and whose restless spirit is wandering along the castle? What we know now was once told by old folks and every noteworthy story gets add-on bits from noteworthy story-tellers.
Famous places and weird legends often captivate famous poets. One of our beloved romantic ballad-writers, famous poetess Marie Under has nearly a century ago put in writing a dark poem about the Damsel of Porkuni, which is by far the best known folk myth of this locality.
The story goes that once upon a time there lived a brave Knight, whose sister, being home alone, fell in love with a young lad. Sooner or later happened what was bound to happen and the enraged brother killed the lad and pushed his sister to the ice hole. Thereafter one can sometimes see flickering rushlight on the lake – the spirit of the damsel.
There are Kaani Hill and Danish Valley – two conspicuous landscape elements, which were called by these names long time ago, when the Valgejõgi River was a great lot wider, so that ships, coming from the Gulf of Finland, could float even up to Porkuni. Here goes that two brothers from the Piisupi village – the Kaan Brothers made a fortune by pillaging the passing vessels. With their dirty money they built a castle, that sinked to the ground one night with all the loot. Only a small hill denotes the place these days.
Another time the Danish fleet, which was heading up to Porkuni, was damaged by a storm, the ships were stuck to the bottom and sinked. By now the Valgejõgi River is only a small rivulet.
The famous floating islands on the Lake Porkuni are also having murky origin.
So it goes that a poor village girl was having a job in the manor. The squire soon noticed the comely maiden and he craved her love. The maiden, having a handsome groom in the village, was distressed and refused the claim. The disrespected squire boiled over and pushed her in a burst of anger into the lake, while she was making hay. The fellow haymakers attempted to rescue her, but abortively. “I shall rather drown, than give myself to the squire!” said she and lapsed into the water. Her armful of hay spilled around and drifted away. In the course of time they turned into the floating islands, that we know today.