Unfortune Water Nymph

Unhappily in love

True love gives you wings, and unhappy love cuts your wings. The beautiful acrobat Inez, who once visited Lublin at the impresario theater at the corner of Jezuicka and Dominikańska streets, found out about it.

The summer theatre building was willingly hired for circus performances. The audience was always fully packed. Józio – this was probably the young gentleman’s name – often visited the place with his friends. All his life he would remember the night when a troupe of travelling acrobats performed at the theatre. The light of oil lamps was reflected by sequined costumes of beautiful girls swinging on trapezes under the theatre dome. And suddenly Józio saw something more glittering than sequins and stars.

He saw the eyes of one of the acrobats, a raven-haired beauty using the stage name of Inez. The youngster fell in love with the circus artist. They went for walks in the light of the moon. Józio ardently assured the girl of his lifelong affection. And the heart of beautiful Inez reciprocated his feeling. Every morning, after she parted with her beloved one, the girl counted those few days left to the end of her contract. “I’ll leave and he will forget about me,” she worried. In the end, she took a decision. On the night before the last performance, she said to her lover: “I’ve made up my mind, you must introduce me to your Mom, I’m staying.”

The boy was on the verge of fainting, yet it was not because of his overwhelming affection but because he faced the prospect of telling his mother that her pampered only child had chosen a gadabout with no property or reputation. So he explained to his sweet Inez that she did not have to sacrifice herself so much for him and break her stage career. “I’ll be suffering terribly,” he said, drawing his words out in a sweet tone, “but I’ll be brave”. Inez gave him a terrifying look and disappeared. And during her last performance, when she was flying just under the theatre roof, instead of catching the trapeze, she fell down.

The soul of the unfortunate suicide turned into a water nymph (rusałka) and the whole district was named after the event. To this day, gibbering, moaning and sighing can be heard in the local corners. Especially in summer, husbands tend to disappear here for whole nights and weekends.

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