Previously, Ursa Minor was considered just seven close stars, mythologically regarded as sisters. In early Greek mythology, the seven stars of the Little Dipper were the Hesperides, daughters of Atlas. Together with the nearby constellations of Boötes, Ursa Major, and Draco, it may have formed the origin of the myth of the apples of the Hesperides, which forms part of the Labours of Hercules. Ursa Minor with its modern associations was invented by Thales of Miletus in approximately 600 BCE, from what had previously represented the wings of Draco, the Dragon. He did so out of a desire to commemorate the location of the North Celestial Pole, then near Beta and Gamma Ursae Minoris.
In Hungarian mythology, though, the constellation is called 'Little Goncol cart' (Göncöl szekér) after a legendary shaman (Ursa Major is 'Big Goncol cart'). The shaman's knowledge knew no limit. He invented the cart: his nation was wandering, so the cart was the biggest gift of the Gods to the country. Legends claim he knew everything about the world. Nobody saw his death; his body simply disappeared among the stars.