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Lithuanian legends & lore:

oak tree named Baublys

Large old oaks are highly regarded by Lithuanians as symbols of strength - in the words of a popular song, "Oaks will grow in the land of Lithuania!" (in Lithuanian: "Ąžuolai žaliuos žemėj Lietuvos!"). Because of their great size, these oaks were often struck by lightning during thunderstorms and, therefore, in pagan times, oaks were associated by Lithuanians with their most powerful god, Thunder-god Perkūnas. Some of the very old oaks developed large hollows in their trunks, which made deep bellowing sounds in a strong wind. One such oak in Lithuania's region of Samogitia was called Baublys and became famous through the efforts of historian-ethnographer Dionizas Poška. When the top of the tree was cut down, Poška enlarged the hollow near the base, added a door, a window, and a roof, and turned it into a small museum. He also wrote down a legend about this oak. According to the legend, in his youth, while hunting with his father Rimgaudas, King Mindaugas of Lithuania was charged by an aurochs, a fearsome wild bull. Rimgaudas killed the aurochs by striking it with a large oak club, which he then left stuck in the ground. Eventually, the club rooted and grew to become this huge oak named Baublys. (Click here to read more legends.)