Legend says


that long ago there was a dog of Antwerpen called Kastaar. Kastaar was a strong and confident pupper who was in love with Antwerpen. He was known throughout ‘t Stad as the dog who helped Brabo defeat Antigoon, the Giant. 


The Giant, Antigoon, was a real pain in the ass of all Antwerpenaren. He would hide under De Kaaien waiting for boats to enter ‘t Scheldt and bribe them of their money when they wanted to enter ‘t Stad. “If you want to enter ‘t Stad” he yelled, “you must pay your way in. If you don’t pay, I’ll send you back to the parking! With or without boat!” His voice could be heard throughout Antwerpen. It would send shivers down the spines of all Antwerpenaren.


“ENOUGH” said Brabo firmly when he heard Antigoon’s voice once again ring through the streets of ‘t Stad. “I had it with this Apsjaar! He needs to be taught a lesson!” Brabo said when looking at his loyal side kick, Kastaar. Kastaar looked into the eyes of Brabo and saw the love and passion Brabo had for Antwerpen, but also the sadness about his beloved city and people being divided by the terror of The Giant. Kastaar knew the time had come to act. 


Brabo figured out a plan how to defeat Antigoon. But they would need all the help they could get. It wouldn’t be an easy task, but when did an Antwerpenaar ever back down from a fight? Right. Never! 


The day had come. Brabo was ready to face Antigoon. And Kastaar? He was born ready!


“Ha! Who are you to challenge me? A man and his dog can never defeat the Giant of Antwerpen!” Antigoon yelled out loud. Brabo and Kastaar looked at each other, then looked back at Antigoon and gave him a quirky smile. “What are you laughing at peasants? You can’t stop me! I am the ruler of ‘t Scheldt and everyone shall pay me or they will meet my wrath!” continued Antigoon.


A silence fell over Antwerpen. The eye of the storm had arrived. Antigoon peered at Brabo and Kastaar. Brabo looked at Kastaar, and gave a slight nod. Showtime!


Kastaar looked back at Antigoon with that Antwerp attitude and barked. “WAF WAF”. Antigoon looked confused but knew he was in trouble when he saw all the puppers of Antwerpen emerging from ‘t Stad onto the Antwerpse Kaaien. De Kaaien were filled with big impressive dogs, small and fierce pups and all of them had the same Antwerpen attitude, also known as Nen Dikke Nek. 


Kastaar barked once again, followed by the howls and barks of the pack.


Antigoon was in trouble. And he knew it! “You can try to bring me down with your wannabe wolfs but you will go home with your tails between your paws!” bluffed Antigoon. 


Brabo saw the doubt and despair in Antigoon’s eyes but he was trying to hide it. “Don’t ever compare this pack to ‘just a dog pack’. These dogs are De Antwerpse Pootjes! And you haven’t seen nothing yet.” said Brabo with confidence to Antigoon while the Antwerpse Pootjes were standing firmly on their 4 paws ready for the signal of Kastaar. “Leave Antwerpen” said Brabo, “and de Antwerpse pootjes will stand down. Choose wrongly, and we will make sure to send you back to the parking.”. 


Antigoon didn’t want to loose face and yelled “I’m not afraid! You can’t hurt me!” while running towards Brabo and Kastaar ready to deliver the first punch. 


Kastaar barked once. It was the loudest, most deep and raw bark that was ever heard through the streets of ‘t Stad. It was the signal de Antwerpse Pootjes were waiting for. 


They charged. They charged hard towards Antigoon and before The Giant had the time to strike out, de Antwerpse pootjes had pushed him back over the ede of De Kaaien. Antigoon fell into the water, into the net that was quickly spun over the river, from Rechteroever to Linkeroever by the humans of all the dogs of de Antwerpse Pootjes. From the moment Antigoon fell into the net, the net was closed quickly and was firmly tight shut by de Antwerpenaren. “NOOO” yelled Antigoon out loud while the Antwerpenaren towed Antigoon out to the sea. 


In a final attempt, Antigoon grabbed a bollard in desperation and tried to pull him back onto De Kaaien. Brabo took his sword and swiftly cut off the hand of Antigoon leaving nothing behind but his severed hand cramped on the bollard.


Antigoon was out of sight. Antwerpen was released from the terrors of The Giant. De Antwerpenaren cried out in relief and cheered out loud “Antwerpse Pootjes! Antwerpse Pootjes!”


‘T Stad was saved.


Today these dogs of Antwerpen are still known for their bravery, their attitude and their courage. To this day, they are known far and wide across the globe as De Antwerpse Pootjes.


Legend says the hand of Antigoon can still be found in ‘t Stad. Just like the paw prints of this magnificent community.


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