the dwarves

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Over the few days in Wroclaw, I heard that there are over 200 dwarves there. The official dwarf website says 163. Still enough to fill a few days of exploring. Not all of them are placed on the street. They are also in more or less official buildings - a museum, a public pool, a school. You also need to get on a tram with a specific side number to find one. Lots of work! So a hunt is truly a hunt and you cannot fear asking other people for help if you want to find them us. Map on the right shows the location of dwarves in the city centre. On the left, you can see the dwarf "Panoramist" Panoramist is what you would call – a historical dwarf. Look at his outfit and how well he rides the horse. He looks almost like Tadeusz Kościuszko. He gallops on a ledge of the rotund where Panorama Racławicka is displayed. Its authors – Mr. Kossak and Mr. Styka would probably be surprised that the masterpiece they painted is popular in dwarf world as well.

Just like I said in the previous post, our trip was not limited to dwarf searching. We also wanted to explore other sides of the city, so it wasn't our main goal to spend our days looking for them. If we came somewhere and we were lucky enough, we could add another little dwarf to our collection. I did not photograph all of them that we saw. I felt like it wasn't neccessary.

W-skers: Always smiling and full of energy. A dwarf who’s always busy and always has something to do, always in a hurry. One of the three ambassadors of the initiative “Wrocław without barriers”. He’s the first disabled dwarf that came to our city, when invited by the Wrocław Disabled Persons Council. For years now, W-Skers has been engaged in social campaigns, full of energy and enthusiasm. When asked to support the campaign “Wrocław without barriers” he did not hesitate. He packed his bags and set out directly to Wrocław in order not to waste even a minute.

Blindie and Deafie: Besides W-Skers these are the disabled dwarves of Wrocław. They patrol the city together in search of architecture barriers which make their life harder. In their own dwarf way, they constantly try to change the way of thinking about the disabled and encourage them to be more active.

WrocLover: The appearance of WrocLover in town is a sign of increasing dwarfisation, which is a positive phenomenon. The integration of Little Citizens with the Big Humans is on the rise and admirers of Wrocław such as WrocLover promote the city all over the world as the most friendly place for dwarves.

Drinker and Boozer: How surprising are the names these dwarves assumed. Probably in fear of the City Watch, to mislead them from what they are really doing in Św. Mikołaja Street. Paying no mind to bans and laws – they pour and swallow liquor out in the open! 

Professor: He’s beyond doubt the best-educated of all Wrocław dwarves. You’ll meet him strolling along the University main building wearing a toga. With his nose buried in a book as usual, he only glances up from time to time to throw a reproachful look on the students who are late for their lectures. 

Pigeon-Keeper: Pigeon-fancier has a job that was once highly esteemed by the Little Ones. Although dwarves no longer fly on the backs of pigeons, he still hasn’t abandoned his work and passion. You will meet him most probably on the Pigeon Square which is a part of the Market Square. Look for the ledge of “Spiż” Restaurant.
Water-Keeper: Water-keeper sits on a waterpump at the Market Square. For a better balance he got himself a stick with two buckets. On warmer days he likes to share some water for refreshment. He claims that it also helps those who are hung over, or even sooths wrinkles – such a joker he is.
Barton: Barton stuffs himself by the Barton Icecream Cafe, with icecream obviously. We don’t really know, what flavours he prefers, but he is clearly delighted. Let’s hope he won’t have too much , it might make his throat sick.

Prisoner: Day by day he remains behind thick bars by Więzienna Street. To his leg a heavy ball and chain are cuffed. What is he guilty of? That information’s been lost for a while. Sources state different versions of the story of how he got to be imprisoned. Might be that he was convicted for an anarchistic crime of shaving off his beard – conduct unworthy of a true dwarf. Others say that he was once called Lazy and overslept the annual dwarf parade for which he was sentenced. But the truth is quite different. He was guilty of uncontrollable appetite. Glutton (as he used to be called) and the Dumplinger were once best friends. They both came to Wrocław drawn by the famous taste of local dumplings. They even sometimes took them from surprised tourists. Their ways diverged when Glutton ate his friend’s dumplings. Stealing food from Big Humans is not considered a crime by dwarves. Just an innocent hobby. However, stealing from another dwarf is a serious offence. Dwarves are tolerant and believe that others can change, so Glutton was ordered community work – that is keeping an eye on the vats of souring milk. As you all know, such milk is created when dwarves pee into a regular one. This task was unfortunately beyond him. He drank all the milk making it impossible fordwarves to do one of their main duties. Finally, the Dwarf Committee decided to put him behind bars by Więzienna Street. He remains there up to today, and hardly anyone remembers his true name now. It can be only uncovered from the dusty Court Registers. All of us know him as the Prisoner.He kept only his appetite. His favourite meals are pies with hidden metal files.

Firemen: Firemen fear no fire. In full readiness, with a firehose and a ladder, they await the call. They keep vigil near the Garrison Church – commemorating this way the three dramatic fires of the temple. Let’s hope these smallest firemen won’t have to intervene to often.

Oławska Street Polers: It is thanks to the Columnists that the Lower Silesian dwarf community knows where and when to help somebody or what matters need urgent intervention of dwarves. First overground dwarves appeared in the city in 2006. Each of them weighs 6 to 8 kilograms. They were designed by an Academy of Fine Arts graduate Michał Osuch. You may meet some of them when strolling down Oławska Street. Besides observing and alarming about danger, they mostly play. Favourite games of theirs are speed-climbing and counting, for instance, how many women in hats passed by during an hour.
Water dwarves: They live in the fountain in front of the Wrocław Puppet Theatre. Judging by their appearance, for example caps different than other city dwarves – they are not from here. It is however no surprise, in these times of global migrations. Wrocław is a home for them and they spend their time together in concord, on the water and below. In the middle of the fountain there is Willow, sitting on a tree and reading a book. Right beside him we have the Umbreller and the Water-collector and on the other side you can see the Paper-ship-maker and Bird-feeder. Actor and Gardener decided to stand aside a little. They probably prefer not to have water pouring down their collars.

OddGuy: Is OddGuy a recluse? Not at all! He is a real philanthropist, acts as a symbol of the Helping Hand Association “Odd Fellows” (Polish: Stowarzyszenie Bratniej Pomocy “Odd Fellows”). You can meet him in the Oldtown Park, were he holds a chain symbolizing community and mutual help of those in need.

Congrats! We have just "found" over 20 dwarves together. I know starting is always the hardest part. So voila, you know so much already, you should visit Wroclaw and continue your hunt. Good luck! :)

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