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Picok - The legend of the roosters (Đurđevac)

The legend dates back to the time of the Turkish invasions on the Đurđevac fortress. When Ulama-beg encountered unexpected resistance and was unable to defeat the Đurđevac soldiers, he decided instead to siege the town, in order to starve the army and the population. He might have succeeded, but the wise and clever people of Đurđevac outwitted him.

How? Legend has it that food quickly ran out in the encircled fortress and both the army and population were hungry, but only one little rooster remained (called pevčec, picek, picok in the Đurđevac dialect); as the only "bite" left, it could not feed the people. The helpless situation forced the people to consider various options to save themselves, but one old woman proposed that the captain of the town put the rooster in the cannon and fire it at the Turkish camp, which they did.

Thinking that the town still had so much food that they could fire roosters from cannons and mock them in that manner, Ulama-beg backed down from his siege and retreated from the battlefield. As a curse, Ulama-beg called the people of Đurđevac picok or roosters. And this play ends with the lines:

"And you there, feathered heroes, who battle with roosters, you shall carry the name of ROOSTER forever! You children will be called ROOSTERS and you grandchildren will remain ROOSTERS!"

The legend tells of the courage and cleverness of the people of Đurđevac who are proud of their history, their nickname and their rooster that even today is the most common heraldic symbol of this region.  

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