A mysterious cave in the Neuburgerhalde, obscured by shadows and mist. In the foreground, villagers peer upward, faces etched with curiosity and fear. The hole in the rock looms ominously, embodying the legend of the Little Shepherd who still haunts the area. by Ted Tschopp and Midjourney

The Little Shepherd of Mellikon

written by

The Legend of the Little Shepherd : an image by Ted Tschopp and Midjourney

Swiss Legends from Aargau, Volume 1, Page 293

by Ernst L. Rochholz

Aarau, 1856

The Little Shepherd of Mellikon

At the time when the county of Baden was still ruled by three communities (by the three places of Bern, Zurich, and Glarus), a young nobleman from Uri lived in the little village of Mellikon, located in the Zurzach district near the Rhine River. He owned the most beautiful meadows and fertile fields, and a pretty mansion with a chapel beside itis summer residence. However, not trusting anyone from Baden and Aargau, he had appointed a man from Uri to manage his farms. This steward pleased him so much that the young nobleman often told the Schwarzheinrich farmer that since he had this overseer, money was raining into his coffers through the roof.

Gradually, this steward got to know the merry brothers in Mellikon and Reckingen and paid their bills whenever he drank and played with them. But to continue his extravagant lifestyle, he had to steal from the young nobleman. He sold several quarters of grain to the Obermüller of Reckingen at a ridiculously low price. They had loaded a sleigh with stolen grain one winter night, and the manager was about to carry the last sack behind the house when he fell down the stairs and died instantly. The miller left the scoundrel lying and rushed home with his cheap load. The next morning, a shoemaker from Rümikon found the dead man under his burden. But at the same time, there was a sighing and rumbling in the granary, so no one dared to go up there anymore.

To get rid of this evil spirit, the young nobleman turned to a Capuchin monk in the monastery at Baden, who successfully banished it into a cave in the Neuburgerhalde. The spirit still appears from time to time under a hole in the rock and mocks the people who look up at him. The people simply know him as the Little Shepherd.


With an account on the Fediverse or Mastodon, you can respond to this post. Since Mastodon is decentralized, you can use your existing account hosted by another Mastodon server or compatible platform if you don't have an account on this one. Known non-private replies are displayed below.


Connect your blog or website to this post via Webmentions. Link to this article and your response will appear below, fostering a web-wide discussion. Supports comments, likes, and reposts from any Webmention-enabled site.

The Chriemhild Trench

The Chriemhild Trench is a Swiss legend about dark magic, envy, and a miraculous twist of fate by the Türlersee....

The Bailiff of Brunnegg: A Swiss Legend

An in-depth look at the legend of the Bailiff of Brunnegg, a tale of mystery and horror from the Swiss...

The Well in the Schächental Valley

A Swiss folktale depicting the mysterious creation of an ever-flowing well in the Schächental valley.

The Basilisk

This Swiss folklore tale from 1474 revolves around the dangerous Basilisk, a creature born from a rooster's egg, feared for...

The Betten Dog

A Swiss German folk tale about a mysterious dog that appears in Betten and accompanies nocturnal wanderers, especially wrongdoers, without...