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Valley of the Ahr
St. Peter at Walporzheim

     All the dark red wines of the Ahr are well known, especially the one called Walporzheim. The old story still goes the round how many a one, having drunk deep of Walporzheim wine, has been caught by the goblin who lives on the Bunten Kuh Mountain, as Klaus and Velten once were. These were two cousins whose gay nocturnal adventures have thus been described by a Rhenish poet: "Velten reeled towards the right and fell staggering over a rock, which caused his nose to bleed copiously. Klaus reeling to the left fell sheer into the river Ahr; and those were the deeds of the fiery wine and the goblin of Walporzheim, as the old saying goes."

     Much the same, though the upshot was different, happened to St. Peter once at Walporzheim. No less a person than Our Lord himself with the disciple bearing the key, visited the valley of the Ahr one day, and stopped at several different wine-taverns. There had been a splendid vintage that year, and the wine had an excellent relish, so St. Peter was in an extremely gay humour, and continued drinking, even though Our Lord Shot many a warning glance at him. His head at last became very heavy, and still heavier was the key of heaven in his hand. They had stopped at a respectable inn, and as the wine there pleased the thirsty apostle even better than anywhere else, they remained. When the evening bell rang, announcing to the villagers that the day's work was over, and a few stars were already to be seen in the sky, Our Lord made a sign to St. Peter that it was time to go.

     The disciple took one more long, last drink, cast a look of regret at the remaining wine, and followed his Master in silent obedience. He was obliged to make haste, as there were already some souls at heaven's gate demanding entrance. As they were just passing the Bunten Kuh Mountain, the heavenly door-keeper discovered to his horror that he had left the key behind him in the tavern.

     An angry word escaped from him, as on the occasion when he cut off Malchus' ear, and with a heavy heart and a heavier head he turned back. But the wicked little goblin played him a most mischievous trick. St. Peter wandered about in a circle not being able to find the right way, and at last in fierce anger he turned back to follow his Lord who was calling him from afar.

     There is no sequel to tell us what happened to St. Peter in heaven. The inn-keeper at Walporzhiem however soon found out who the guest was that had left the great key behind him. As he was a cunning fellow he christened his inn after his celestial visitor, and hung the big key over his doorway in memory of this event, and if you go to St. Peter's hostelry at Walporzheim, you may see it for yourself.

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