Tales from Silesia

Welcome to my website. Whether you got here on purpose or you have just happened upon it, I would love for you to take a few minutes and the read the story I have constructed here. And while you're reading, I ask you to do a little role playing. Imagine you are a traveling through the mountain roads of Silesia. For those who are unfamiliar, Silesia is a real place in Central Europe. Most of Silesia is rather flat and heavily forested. The Oder River forms the backbone of the region. However, the southern border of Silesia is quite mountainous. The people of Silesia are a mixture of ethnic Germans, Poles, and Czechs. Overtime, though, they have become a distinctive and unique people group. Being rich in natural resources, mainly coal, mining is the Silesians largest industry and has always been an integral part of their culture. Because of its economic significance, it has been highly sought after by numerous European powers throughout history. It has been ruled by numerous larger powers, including the Hapsburgs, Prussia, and the Soviet Union, but for a brief time in history, the Silesians did rule themselves. Today, most of the Silesian region lies within southwest Poland, with parts in the Czech Republic and Germany. But throughout its storied past, Silesia has always retained its own distinct language, culture, and folk tales. It is these unique stories I wish to share with you within the frame of my own storybook.

So, while you are traveling, imagine you see a fork in the road at which the path you're traveling converges with another. As you approach the intersection, you see a man going in the same direction as you on the opposite prong of the fork. As you get closer to one another, you see his bright red overcoat and golden belt buckle gleaming in the midday sunlight, contrasted by his well-worn boots and rustic fur cap. As you two merge onto the larger road almost simultaneously, he greets you with an enthusiastic wave and a charismatic "Cześć!" (which is Polish for "Hello.") He never introduces himself, nor does he ask you your name, but you can tell he is friendly and that he is excited to have a new travelling companion.

I, the author, will not project my own voice in my storytelling. Instead, all of the stories you are about to read are told by this man in the red coat directly to you, the reader. I want you to play a part in my story. Hopefully, as you picture yourself walking with my storyteller, you will also imagine how you, yourself, will respond. You can intently listen to his lofty tales, or you can remain disinterested, only listening to break the silence and pass the time. The choice is yours: to either travel on alone or continue journeying through my storybook with your friend in red.

This is a Storybook Project for MLLL-3043-995 at the University of Oklahoma, Spring 2019