Karl among women

A Valais legend in which the women of Zermatt defend the village from wild horde of attackers.

With the help of the telescopes on the Gornergrat, you can look down on the Theodul Pass, the setting for this legend.

"Many, many years ago the Valais lands were once more at war. In times of war those men able to bear arms had to leave their homes and take to the field against the enemy. This is exactly how it was in the war I am describing; all able-bodied men and boys had gone to war; only one, named Karl, stayed behind to keep order.

Suddenly, news came that a wild horde had gathered at the foot of the Theodul pass, preparing to attack Zermatt. But our Karl didn't lose his head. He quickly gathered all the women and their strongest daughters together, instructed them to put on the clothes that the men and their brothers had left behind and led them, armed with all kinds of different tools, to the mountain to meet their enemy.

The enemy then appeared at the top of the pass and noticed the preparations that were being made for their arrival. They sent some spies to assess their opponents. They observed everything before them very carefully and asked the leader, Karl, where he had found these strange warriors who pushed out their chests so bravely.

He answered that it was courage, fury and a determination to fight that made their hearts swell. The spies returned full of apprehension – and the enemy was never seen again. This is the story of Karl among women. To this day, that's still what we call anyone who spends time alone with the women folk."



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