Basic Information

Type/Species: Hydra
Origin: Lithuanian Folklore

About Nine-headed Dragon

There were once nine brothers, who had a sister. These brothers were forced to ride off to war, leaving their sister with their stepmother, who was, unbeknownst to them, a witch. Having no love for the nine brothers nor the sister, she plotted to rid herself of the young girl. She knew that, deep in the forest, there was a nine-headed dragon. So, she ordered the girl to go into the forest and bring back word about her brothers at war. [1]

And, as the girl was proceeding through the forest, the nine-headed dragon saw her. Quickly, he chased after her to get her. The sister, however, was quite smart and was able to climb an apple tree to keep out of reach of the dragon. The dragon was unwilling to leave, so he began to chew on the tree, attempting to get at the girl. [1]

A bear passed by and saw the dragon, who was obviously tired. So, the bear asked just what the dragon was doing, and, when the dragon told him that he was attempting to get someone in the tree, the bear offered to help chew the tree so that the dragon could rest. The Nine-headed dragon, happily accepting the offer, rested his head. The bear then began to run around the tree, singing. [1]

With this, a cuckoo began to call the brothers, warning them that their sister was in danger. The witch, having followed her stepdaughter into the forest, tried to chase the cuckoo and silence it, but to no avail.

The ground began to tremble as the brothers rode towards the forest. The dragon was awakened by this and looked over to the tree, which had become three times as thick as it was before, thanks to the bear. The dragon, angry, chased the bear away and again began to gnaw at the tree. However, a fox came by, and made the same offer to this dragon. The dragon was wary, for the bear had tricked him, but the fox said he would not do the same thing as the bear. So, the dragon rested, and the fox ran around the tree. [1]

However, the rumbling had bothered the dragon, and he wondered what it could be. Finally, the brothers of the girl appeared and cut off all of the dragon's heads. They rescued their sister, and tied their witch stepmother up and burned her. [1]

Physical Description

The nine-headed dragon had, obviously, nine heads. However, little description was given about the dragon. [1]


  1. Zobarskas Lithuanian Folk Tales

For more information on footnotes and references, please see the bibliography.