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Full text of "Folk-lore and legends"



0. 

' T 

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THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



FOLK-LORE AND LEGENDS 
RUSSIAN AND POLISH 



UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME. 

" These dainty little books. "STANDARD. 

FOLK-LORE AND LEGENDS. 

FIRST SERIES. 

1. GERMAN. 

2. ORIENTAL. 

3. SCOTLAND. 

4. IRELAND. 

SECOND SERIES. 

1. ENGLAND. 

2. SCANDINAVIAN. 

3. RUSSIAN. 

4. NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN. 

"They transport us into a romantic world." TIMES. 



FOLK-LORE 



AND 



LEGENDS 



RUSSIAN AND POLISH 



W. W. GIBBINGS 

18 BURY ST., LONDON, W.C. 

1890 



?2LS,I 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE. 

IN this volume I present selections made from the 
Russian chap-book literature, and from the works 
of various Eussian and Polish collectors of Folklore 
Afanasief, Erben, Wojcicki, Glinski, etc. The 
chap-book tales, and many of those of Glinski, are, 
there is little doubt, of foreign origin, but since 
Russia and Poland are the countries in which these 
tales have found their home, and since they have 
there been so adapted by the people as to incor- 
porate the national customs and lore, they appear 
to me to belong properly to the present volume. 

C. J. T. 



545103 

fO L. I*. I, G f* 



CONTENTS 



. The Poor Man and the Judge, . 

The Wind Rider, . . . 

The Three Gifts, .'.'-. 
Snyegurka, .... 
Prince Peter and Princess Magilene, 
The Old Man, his Wife, and the Fish, 
The Golden Mountain, . . 

The Duck that laid Golden Eggs, 
Emelyan the Fool, . . 

Ilija, the Muromer, 
The Bad-Tenipered Wife, ... 
Ivashka with the Bear's Ear, . 

The Plague, . . . 

The Peasant and the Wind, . 

The Wonderful Cloth, . . 

The Evil Eye, . . . 

The Seven Brothers, . . . 



Russian, 


1 


Polish, 


4 





9 


Russian, 


22 





28 





35 





42 


> 


53 





58 





76 





83 


ii 


88 


Polish, 


96 


Russian, 


99 


Polish, 


. 107 





125 


Russian, 


. 136 



viii CONTENTS. 

MM 

Sila Czarovitch and Ivaschka, . Rustian, . ,146 

The Stolen Heart, . . . PofoJi, 164 

Prince Slugobyl, . 159 

Princess Marvel, . . 167 

The Ghost, . . . . .177 



THE POOR MAN AND THE JUDGE. 

ONCE upon a time there were two brothers who 
lived upon a piece of ground. The one was rich 
and the other poor. One day the poor brother 
went to the rich one to ask him to lend him a 
horse, so that he might carry wood from the forest. 
The rich brother lent him the horse, and then the 
poor one asked him to also let him have a collar for 
it. The rich man, however, got angry, and would 
not let him have one, and then it occurred to the 
poor man that he could fasten the sledge to the 
horse's tail. Away he went to the forest to get his 
wood, and he got such a load that the horse could 
scarcely draw it. When he came home with it he 
opened the gate, but he did not think of the board 
at the foot of the gate, and the horse tumbling over 
it tore its tail out ! 

The poor fellow took the horse back to his rich 
brother, but he, when he saw that the horse had no 
tail, would not receive it, and went off to the judge 
Schemyaka to complain to him of the poor brother. 
The poor man saw that things looked bad for him, 



2 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

and that he would be sent for by the judge. He 
thought over the matter for a long time, and at last 
set off after his brother on foot. 

On their way the two brothers had to pass over 
a bridge, and the poor man, thinking that he should 
never return from the judge alive, jumped over it. 
It chanced that, just at that time, a man's son was 
driving his sick father to the baths, and was passing 
under the bridge. The poor man fell upon the old 
man and killed him, and the son went off to the 
judge to complain of his father's having been 
killed 

The rich brother, when he came to the judge, laid 
his complaint before him, telling him that his brother 
had pulled out his horse's tail. Now the poor man 
had taken a stone and wrapped it in a cloth, and he 
stood with it in his hand, behind his brother, in- 
tending to kill the judge if he did not decide in his 
favour. The judge thought the man had brought a 
hundred roubles for him in the cloth, so he ordered 
the rich man to give his horse to the poor man until 
the tail was grown again. 

Then came the son to complain to the judge of 
the poor man having slain his father. The poor 
man again took the stone wrapped in the cloth and 
showed it to the judge, who thought the man must 
there have two hundred roubles to give to him for 
deciding the case. So he ordered the son to take 
his place upon the bridge and the poor man to stand 



THE POOR MAN AND THE JUDGE. 3 

below. Then the son was to throw himself off the 
bridge on to the poor man and crush him to death. 

The poor brother went to the rich one to take the 
horse without a tail, as the judge had ordered, so 
that he might keep it till the tail grew. The rich 
man, however, was not willing to lose his horse, 
so he gave the poor man five roubles, three bushels 
of corn, and a milch-goat, and so they settled the 
matter. 

Then the poor man went off to the son, and said 

" According to the judgment you must stand on 
the bridge while I must stand underneath it, and 
then you must jump off and crush me to death." 

Then thought the son 

"Who knows whether if I jump off the bridge 
I may not, instead of crushing him to death, kill 
myself?" 

So he thought it would be best to come to an ar- 
rangement with the poor man, and he gave him two 
hundred roubles, a horse, and five bushels of corn. 

After this the judge, Schemyaka, sent his servant 
to the poor man to ask him for two hundred roubles. 
The poor man showed him the stone, and said 

" If the judge had not decided for me I should 
have killed him with it." 

When the servant came back to the judge and 
told him that, he crossed himself 

"Thank Heaven," said he, "I decided as he 
wished ! " 



THE WIND-RIDER. 

A MAGICIAN was once upon a time much put out 
with a young countryman, and being in a great rage 
he went to the man's hut and stuck a new sharp 
knife under the threshold. While he did so he 
cursed the man, saying 

" May this fellow ride for seven years on the fleet 
storm-wind, until he has gone all round the 
world." 

Now when the peasant went into the meadows in 
order to carry the hay, there came suddenly a gust 
of wind. It quickly scattered the hay, and then 
seized the peasant. He endeavoured in vain to 
resist; in vain he sought to cling to the hedges 
and trees with his hands. Do what he would, the 
invisible power hurried him forwards. 

He flew on the wings of the wind like a wild 
pigeon, and his feet no more touched the ground. 
At length the sun set, and the poor fellow looked 
with hungry eyes upon the smoke which curled up 
from the chimneys in his village. He could almost 
touch them with his feet, but he called and screamed 



THE WIND-RIDER. 5 

in vain, and all his wailing and complaints were use- 
less. No one heard his lamentation, no one saw his 
tears. 

So he went on for three months, and what with 
thirst and hunger he was dried up and almost a 
skeleton. He had gone over a good deal of ground 
by that time, but the wind most often carried him 
over his native village. 

He wept when he saw the hut in which dwelt his 
sweetheart. He could see her busied about the house. 
Sometimes she would bring out some dinner in a 
basket. Then he would stretch out his dried-up 
hands to her, and vainly call her name. His voice 
would die away, and the girl not hearing him would 
not look up. 

He fled on. The magician came to the door 
of his hut, and seeing the man, cried to him, 
mockingly 

" You have to ride for seven years yet, flying over 
this village. You shall go on suffering, and shall 
not die." 

" my father," said the man, " if I ever offended 
you, forgive me ! Look ! my lips are quite hard; my 
face, my hands, look at them ! I am nothing but 
bone. Have pity upon me." 

The magician muttered a few words, and the man 
stopped in his course. He stayed in one place, but 
did not yet stand on the ground. 

" Well, you ask me to pity you," said the magician. 



6 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

" And what do you mean to give me if I put a stop 
to your torment 1 " 

" All you wish," said the peasant, and he clasped 
his hands, and knelt down in the air. 

"Will you give me your sweetheart," asked the 
magician, "so that I may have her for my wife 1 ? 
If you will give her up, you shall come to earth 
again." 

The man thought for a moment, and said to him- 
self 

" If I once get on the earth again, I may see if I 
cannot do something." 

So he said to the magician 

" Indeed, you ask me to make a great sacrifice, 
but if it must be so it must." 

The magician then blew at him, and the man 
came to the ground. He was very pleased to find 
the earth once more under his feet, and to have 
escaped from the power of the wind. Off he 
hurried to his hut, and at the threshold he met 
his sweetheart. She cried aloud with amazement 
when she saw the long-lost peasant, whom she had 
so long lamented and wept for. With his skinny 
hands the man put her gently aside, and went into 
the house, where he found the farmer who had 
employed him sitting down, and said to him, as 
he commenced to weep 

"I can no longer stay in your service, and I 
cannot marry your daughter. I love her very 



THE WIND-RIDER. 7 

much, as much as the apple of my eye, but I 
cannot marry her." 

The old farmer wondered to see him, and when 
he saw his white pinched face and the traces of his 
suffering, he asked him why he did not wish for 
the hand of his daughter. 

The man told him all about his ride in the air, 
and the bargain he had made with the magician. 
When the farmer had listened to it all, he told the 
poor fellow to keep a good heart, and putting some 
money in his pocket, went out to consult a sor- 
ceress. 

Towards evening he returned very merry, and 
taking the peasant aside, said to him 

" To-morrow morning, before day, go to the witch, 
and you will find all will be well." 

The wearied peasant, who had not slept for three 
months, went to bed, but he woke before it was 
day, and went off to the witch. He found her 
sitting beside the hearth boiling herbs over a fire. 
She told him to stand by her, and, suddenly, 
although it was a calm day, such a storm of wind 
arose that the hut shook again. 

The sorceress then took the peasant outside into 
the yard and told him to look up. He lifted up 
his eyes, and wonder ! saw the evil magician 
whirling round and round in the air. 

"There is your enemy," said the woman, "he 
will trouble you no more. If you would like to 



8 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE 

see him at your wedding, I will tell you what to 
do, but he must suffer the torment that he meant 
to put you to." 

The peasant was delighted, and ran back to the 
house, and a month later he was married. While 
the wedding folk were dancing, the peasant went 
out into the yard, looked up, and saw right over 
the hut the magician turning round and round. 
Then the peasant took a new knife, and throwing 
it with all his force, stuck it in the magician's foot. 

He fell at once to the ground, and the knife held 
him to the earth, so that he could only stand at the 
window and see how merry the peasant and his 
frieuds were. 

The next day he had disappeared, but he was 
afterwards seen flying in the air over a lake. 
Before him and behind him were flocks of ravens 
and crows, and these, with their hoarse cries, 
heralded the wicked magician's endless ride on the 
wind. 



THE THREE GIFTS. 

A VERY rich widow had three children, a step-son, 
a fine young fellow, a step-daughter of wonderful 
beauty, and a daughter who was not so bad. The 
three children lived under the same roof, and took 
their meals together. At length the time came 
when the children were treated very differently. 
Although the widow's daughter was bad-tempered, 
obstinate, vain, and a chatterer, her mother loved 
her passionately, praised her, and covered her with 
caresses. She was favoured in every way. The 
step-son, who was a good-natured lad, and who did 
all kinds of work, was for ever grumbled at, checked, 
and treated like a sluggard. As for the step-daughter, 
who was so wonderfully pretty, and who had the 
disposition of an angel, she was tormented, worried, 
and ill-treated in a thousand ways. Between her 
sister and her step-mother her life was made miser- 
able. 

It is natural that one should love one's own 
children better than those of other folk ; but it is 
only right that liking and disliking should be 



10 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

indulged in with moderation. The evil step-mother, 
however, loved her child to distraction, and equally 
detested her step-children. To such a pitch did she 
carry these feelings that when she was angry she 
used to say how she would advance the fortune of 
her daughter even at the orphans' expense. 

An old proverb says, " Man sets the ball rolling, 
but Heaven directs it," and we shall see what 
happened. 

One Sunday morning the step-daughter, before 
going to church, went out into the garden to pluck 
some flowers to place on the altar. She had 
gathered some roses, when, on lifting up her eyes, 
she saw, right in front of her, three young men who 
sat upon a grassy bank. They were clothed in 
garments of dazzling white which shone like sun- 
shine. Near by them was an old man, who came 
and asked the girl for alms. 

The girl was a little frightened when she saw the 
three men, but when the old man came to her she 
took her last piece of money out of her pocket and 
gave it to him. The poor man thanked her, put 
the piece of money into his bag, and, laying his 
hand on the girl's head, said to the young 
men 

"You see this little orphan; she is good and 
patient in suffering, and has so much pity for the 
poor that she gives them even the last penny she 
has. What do you wish for her ? " 



THE THREE GIFTS. 11 

The first one said 

" I wish that when she cries her tears may turn 
to pearls." 

" I wish," said the second, " that when she laughs 
the most delicately perfumed roses may fall from 
her lips." 

"And I," said the third, "wish that when she 
touches water golden fish spring up in it." 

"So shall it be," said the old man, and he and 
his companions vanished. 

When the girl saw that, she gave thanks to 
Heaven, and ran joyfully into the house. Hardly 
had she entered when her step-mother met her 
and gave her a slap on the face, saying 

" Where are you running to ? " 

The poor girl began to cry, but behold ! instead 
of tears pearls fell from her eyes. The step-mother 
forgot her rage, and set herself to gather them up 
as quickly as possible. The girl could not help 
laughing at the sight, and from her lips there fell 
roses of such a delightful scent that the step-mother 
was beside herself with pleasure. After that the 
girl, wishing to preserve the flowers she had 
plucked in the garden, poured some water into a 
glass : as soon as she touched the water with her 
finger, it was filled with beautiful golden fish. 

From that time the same things never failed to 
happen. The girl's tears turned to pearls, when she 
laughed roses, which did not die, fell from her lips ; 



12 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

and water which she only touched with her little 
finger became filled with golden fish. 

The step-mother became better disposed towards 
her, and by little and little learned from her the 
secret of how she had obtained these gifts. 

On the following Sunday she sent her own 
daughter into the garden to pluck flowers as if 
for the altar. Hardly had the girl gathered some 
roses, when, lifting up her eyes, she saw the three 
young men sitting on a grassy bank, beautiful, and 
shining like the sun, and by them was the old man, 
clad in white, who asked her for alms. When she 
saw the young men, the girl pretended to be afraid, 
but when the old man spoke to her, she ran to him, 
took out of her pocket a gold piece, looked hard at 
it, and then gave it to him, but evidently very much 
against her will. The old man put the money in 
his bag, and said to the three others 

"You see this girl who is her mother's spoilt 
child ? She is bad-tempered, wicked, and is hard- 
hearted as regards the poor. We know very well 
why she has been so charitable, for the first time in 
her life, to-day. Tell me then what you wish for 
her." 

The first said 

" I wish that when she cries her tears may change 
to lizards." 

" I," said the second, " wish that when she laughs, 
hideous toads may fall from her lips." 



THE THREE GIFTS. 1 3 

"And I," said the third, "wish that when she 
touches water with her hand it may be filled with 
serpents." 

" It shall be as you wish," said the old man, and 
he and his companions disappeared. 

The girl was terrified, and ran into the house to 
tell her mother what had happened. All occurred 
as had been said. When she laughed toads sprang 
from her lips, when she cried her tears changed to 
lizards, and when she touched water it became full 
of serpents. 

The step-mother did not know what to do. She 
paid greater attention than ever to her daughter, 
and hated the orphans more and more, and so 
tormented them that the lad, not being able to put 
up with it, took leave of his sister, praying Heaven 
to guard her, and, leaving his step-mother's house, 
set out to seek his fortune. The wide world was 
before him. He knew not where to go, but he 
knew that Heaven, that sees all men, watches over 
the orphans. He prayed, and then walking down 
to the burial-ground where slept his father and 
mother, he knelt at the grave. He wept and 
prayed for a time, and having kissed the earth 
which covered them three times, he rose and 
prepared to set out on his journey. All of a 
sudden he felt, in the folds of his dress on his 
bosom, something he had not perceived there 
before. He put his hand up, and was so astonished 



14 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

that he could scarcely believe his eyes, for he found 
there a charming little picture of his much-loved 
sister, surrounded by pearls, roses, and little golden 
fish. Delighted at the sight, he kissed the picture, 
looked around the burial-ground once more, made 
the sign of the cross, and set out on his way. 

A story is soon told, but events move slowly. 

After many adventures of little importance he 
came to the capital of a kingdom situated on the 
sea-shore. There he sought to obtain a living, and 
he was not unsuccessful, for he was engaged to look 
after the king's garden, and was both well fed and 
well paid. This good fortune did not, however, 
make him forget his poor sister, about whom he 
was much troubled. When he had a moment to 
himself, he would sit down in some quiet spot and 
look at his picture, sometimes melting into tears, 
for he looked upon the portrait of his sister as a 
precious legacy given to him by his parents at their 
grave. 

One day while the lad sat thus by a brook, the 
king saw him, and creeping up to him from behind 
very softly, he looked over his shoulder at the like- 
ness that the young man was regarding so atten- 
tively. 

" Give me the portrait," said the king. 

The lad gave it to him. 

The king looked at it and was delighted. 

" Never," said he, " in all my life did I see such a 



THE THRliE GIFTS. 15 

beautiful girl, never have I heard of such a one, 
never did I dream there was such. Tell me, does 
she live?" 

The lad burst into tears, and told the king that 
the picture was the portrait of his sister, who some 
time ago had been so favoured by Heaven that 
when she cried her tears became pearls, when she 
laughed roses sprang from her lips, and when she 
touched water it was filled with golden fish. 

The king ordered him to write at once to his 
step-mother, to tell her to send her lovely step- 
daughter to his palace, where the king waited to 
make her his wife. On the occasion of his marriage 
he declared he would heap rewards on the step- 
mother and on the brother of his bride. The lad 
wrote the letter, and the king sent a servant with it. 

A story is quickly told, but events move slowly. 

After she had read the letter, the step-mother did 
not show it to the orphan, but to her own daughter. 

So they plotted together, and the step-mother 
went to an old sorceress to consult her, and to be 
instructed in magic. She then set out with her two 
daughters. As they came near to the capital of the 
king's dominions, in a place near to the sea, the 
step-mother suddenly threw the step-daughter out 
of the carriage, muttered some magic words, and 
spat three times behind her. All at once the poor 
girl became very little, covered with feathers, and 
changed into a wild duck. She commenced to 



16 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKT.ORK. 

cackle, threw herself into the sea, just as ducks do, 
and began to swim about there. The step-mother 
dismissed her with these words : " By the force of 
my hate, I have done what I wished ! Swim away 
upon the shore like a duck, happy in liberty, and in 
the meantime my daughter, clothed in your beauty, 
shall marry the king, and enjoy all that was meant 
for you." 

Hardly had she finished these words when her 
daughter found herself clothed in all the charms of 
the unfortunate girl. So they went on their way, 
came to the palace, which they reached at the time 
named in the letter, and there the king received the 
daughter from the hands of the treacherous step- 
mother, in place of the orphan. After the marriage, 
the step-mother, loaded with presents, returned to 
her home. The king, looking upon his wife, could 
not imagine how it was that he did not feel that 
love and tenderness that had been aroused in him at 
the sight of the portrait. However, there was no 
remedy, what was done was done. Heaven sees 
one, and knows of what malady one shall die, and 
what woman one shall marry ! The king admired 
his wife's beauty, and thought of the pleasure he 
would have when he saw the pearls drop from her 
eyes, the roses from her lips, and the golden fish 
spring up in the water she touched. During the 
feast, however, the queen chanced to laugh at her 
husband, and a mass of hideous toads sprang forth ! 



THE THREE GIFTS. 17 

The king ran off quickly. Then the queen com- 
menced to cry, and instead of pearls, lizards dropped 
from her eyes. An attendant presented a basin 
of water to her, but she had no sooner dipped the 
tip of her finger in the water than it became a mass 
of serpents, which began to hiss and dart into the 
middle of the wedding party. Every one was afraid, 
and all was in confusion. The guards were at last 
called in, and by their aid the hall was cleared oi 
the horrible reptiles. 

The king had gone into the garden, where he met 
with the orphan lad ; and so enraged was the king 
at the trick that he thought had been played him, 
that he gave the lad a blow on the head with his 
stick. The poor lad, falling down upon the ground, 
died at once. 

The queen came running to the king, sobbing, 
and, taking him by the hand, said 

"What have you done? You have killed my 
brother, who was altogether guiltless. Is it his fault 
or mine that, since I have been married to you, I 
have lost the wonderful powers I once had ? They 
will come back again in time, but time will not 
bring my brother to me more." 

" Pardon me, my dear wife," said the king. " In 
a moment of rage I thought he had betrayed me, 
and I wished to punish him. I am sorry for what 
I have done ; now, however, it is beyond recall. For- 
give me, and I forgive you with all my heart." 

Russian. B 



18 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

" I pardon you," said the queen, " but I beg you to 
order that my brother shall be honourably buried." 

The queen's wish was carried out. The poor lad, 
who was thought to be the queen's brother, was put 
in a fine coffin, and laid on a magnificent catafalque 
in the church. When night came on a guard of 
honour was placed around the coffin and at the 
gates to watch till morning. Towards midnight the 
doors of the church opened of their own accord and 
without any noise, and, at the same moment, an 
irresistible drowsiness came over the soldiers, who 
all went to sleep. A pretty little wild duck entered, 
stopped in the middle of the church, shook its 
leathers, of which it freed itself one by one, and 
there stood the orphan girl in her former shape. 
She approached the coffin of her brother, and shed 
very many tears over him, which all changed to 
pearls. After she had wept for some time, she 
reassumed the feathers once more, and went out. 
When the guards awoke, great was their 
surprise to find a number of beautiful pearls on the 
coffin. The next day they told the king how the 
gates of the church had opened of themselves at 
midnight, how an irresistible desire to sleep had 
overtaken them, and how the pearls had been dis- 
covered upon the coffin. The king was surprised at 
their story, and more so when he saw the pearls. 
He doubled the guard, and told them to watch more 
carefully the second night. 



THE THREE GIFTS. 19 

At the same time the doors opened again of 
themselves, and the soldiers again fell asleep. The 
wild duck entered, shook off its feathers, and 
became the lovely girl. At the sight of the double 
guard, all of them fast asleep, she could not help 
laughing, and beautiful roses fell from her lips. As 
she approached her brother her tears broke forth 
and fell in a shower of pearls to the ground. At 
length she took her feathers again and flew away. 
When the guards awoke they collected the roses 
and pearls and took them to the king, who was now 
more surprised than before, seeing not only the 
pearls but the roses also. He again doubled the 
guards, and he threatened them with the most 
severe punishment if they did not keep awake. 
They did their best, but all was of no use. At the 
end of their nap on the third night they found not 
only pearls and roses, but also golden fish swim- 
ming in the church font. The king was now very 
much astonished, and began to think that there 
must be some magic in the matter. When night 
came on he again doubled the number of the 
guards, and hid himself in the chapel, after having 
put up a mirror in which he could see everything 
reflected without being himself seen. 

At midnight the doors opened of themselves, 
the soldiers dropt their arms, lay down on the 
ground, and fell fast asleep. The king did not 
take his eyes off the mirror, and he saw a little 



20 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

wild duck enter, and look timidly around it. When 
it saw the guards all asleep it seemed to take 
courage, and came into the middle of the church. 
Then it cast off its feathers and became a girl of 
extraordinary loveliness. The king was trans- 
ported with joy and wonder, and felt that this must 
be his true bride. When she had come to the 
coffin the king rushed forward with a wax taper in 
his hand and set fire to the feathers, the flame 
leaping up and waking the guards. When the girl 
saw what was done she ran to the king wringing 
her hands, while pearls dropped from her eyes. 

" What have you done 1 " she cried. " How shall 
I now escape the fury of my step-mother, by whose 
magic arts I was turned into a wild duck ? " 

Then she told the king all, and he at once 
ordered some of his guards to seize the woman who 
had so treacherously married him, and to conduct 
her out of the kingdom. He also sent some soldiers 
to take the step-mother and burn her as a sorceress. 
While the king gave these orders the girl took from 
her bosom three little vessels, which she had 
brought with her from the sea, full of different 
liquids. She sprinkled the liquid in one of them 
over her brother, and he became supple and warm ; 
his cheeks took their colour again, and the warm 
red blood began to run from his wound. His sister 
sprinkled him again with the second liquid, which 
had the property of healing, and his wound at once 



THE THREE GIFTS. 21 

closed. She sprinkled him the third time with the 
water which had the property of calling back to life. 
The young man opened his eyes, looked on his sister 
with astonishment, and threw himself, full of happi- 
ness, into her arms. 

At the sight of this the king was overjoyed. 
He took the young man by the hand, and, leading 
his sister, the three went to the palace. 

In a short time he married his true bride, and he 
lived happily with her and her brother for many 
years. 



SNYEGURKA. 

THERE was once upon a time a peasant named Ivan, 
who had a wife named Mary. They had been 
married many years, and loved one another, but 
they had no children, and this caused them so much 
sorrow that they could find no pleasure but in 
watching the children of their neighbours. What 
could they do ? Heaven had willed it so. Things 
in this world do not go as we wish, but as Heaven 
ordains. 

One day, in the winter, the children played about 
in the road and the two old folk looked on, sitting 
in the window seat. At last the children began to 
make a beautiful snow figure. Ivan and Mary 
looked on enjoying it. 

All of a sudden Ivan said 

" Wife, suppose we make a snow figure ? " 

Mary was ready. 

" Why not ? " said she ; " we might as well amuse 
ourselves a little. But what is the use of making a 
big figure? Better make a snow-child, since God 
has not given us a living one." 



SNYEGURKA. 23 

" You are right," said Ivan, and he took his hat 
and went out into the garden with his wife. 

So they set to work to make a snow-child. They 
fashioned a little body, little hands, and little feet, 
and when all that was done they rolled a snow-ball 
and shaped it into a head. 

" Heaven bless you ! " cried a passer-by. 

" Thanks," replied Ivan. 

" The help of Heaven is always good," said Mary. 

"What are you doing?" asked the stranger. 

" Look," said Ivan. 

" We are making a snow-girl," said Mary. 

On the ball of snow which stood for a head they 
made the nose and the chin. Then they put two 
little holes for the eyes. As Ivan finished the 
work, oh, wonderful ! the figure became alive ! He 
felt a warm breath come from its lips. Ivan drew 
back, and looked. The child had sparkling eyes, 
and there was a smile upon its lips. 

" Heavens ! what is this 1 " cried Ivan, making 
the sign of the cross. 

The snow figure bent its head as if it was alive, 
and stirred its little arms and legs in the snow as if 
it was a real child. 

" Ivan ! Ivan ! " cried Mary, trembling with joy, 
" Heaven has heard our prayers," and she threw her- 
self on the child and covered her with kisses. The 
snow fell aAvay from the little girl like the shell from 
a chicken. 



24 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

" Ah, my dear Snyegurka ! " cried Mary, embrac- 
ing the long wished for and unexpected child, and 
she carried her off into the cottage. 

Ivan had much to do to recover himself, he \v:is 
so surprised, and Mary was foolish with joy. 

Snyegurka grew hour by hour, and became more 
and more beautiful. Ivan and Mary were over- 
joyed, and their hut was full of life and merriment. 
The village girls were always there playing with 
Snyegurka, dressing her, chattering with her, sing- 
ing songs to her, teaching her all they knew. 
Snyegurka was very clever ; she noticed everything, 
and learnt things quickly. During that winter she 
grew as big as a three-year-old child. She under- 
stood things, and when she spoke her voice was 
so sweet that one could have listened to it for ever. 
She was amiable, obedient, and affectionate. Her 
skin was white, her hair the colour of flax, and 
her eyes deep blue ; her cheeks, however, had no 
rosy flush in them, for she had no blood, but she 
was so good and so amiable that every one loved her. 

"You see," said Mary, "what joy has Heaven 
given us in our old age." 

" Heaven be thanked," responded Ivan. 

At last the winter was ended, and the spring sun 
shone down and warmed the earth. The snow 
melted, the green grass sprang up in the fields, and 
the lark sang high up in the sky. The village girls 
went singing 



SNYEGURKA. 25 

"Sweet spring, how did you come to us? 
How did you come ? 
Did you come on a plough, or on a harrow ? " 

Snyegurka, however, became very sad. "What 
is the matter with you, my dear child ? " said Mary, 
drawing her to her and caressing her. " Are you 
not well 1 You are not merry. Has an evil eye 
glanced on you ? " 

" No," answered Snyegurka ; " it is nothing, 
mother. I am quite well." 

The last snow of the winter had melted and dis- 
appeared. Flowers sprang up in all the gardens 
and fields. In the woods the nightingale and all 
the birds sang, and all the world seemed very happy 
save Snyegurka, who became more and more sad. 
She would run away from her companions, and hide 
herself from the sun in dark nooks, like a timid flower 
under the trees. She liked nothing save playing by 
the water-side under the green willows. She seemed 
to enjoy only the cool and the shower. At night- 
time she was happy; and when a good storm occurred, 
a fierce hail-storm, she was as pleased with the drops 
as if they had been pearls. When the sun broke forth 
again when the hail was melted then Snyegurka 
began to weep bitterly. 

The spring was ended, the summer came, and the 
feast of Saint John was at hand. The girls were 
going to play in the woods, and they called for 
Snyegurka to go with them. 



26 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

Mary was afraid to let her go, but she thought 
that the outing might do her child good, so she got 
her ready, embraced her, and said 

" Go, my child, and play with your friends ; and 
you, my daughters, look well after her. You know 
I love her better than the apple of my eye." 

" All right," cried they all, and they ran off in a 
body to the woods. 

There they plucked the wild-flowers, made them- 
selves wreaths, and sang songs. 

When the sun was setting they made a fire of 
dry grass and placed themselves in a row by it, 
each of them having a crown of flowers on her head. 
"Look at us," said they to Snyegurka, "how we 
run, and follow us," and then they began to sing 
and to jump, around and over the little fire. 

All of a sudden they heard, behind them, a sigh 

"Ah!" 

They looked about them, and then at one another. 
There was nothing to be seen. They looked again, 
and found that Snyegurka was no longer among 
them. 

" She has hidden herself," cried they. Then they 
looked for her, but could not find her, calling out 
and shouting her name, but there was no answer. 

" Where can she be ? She must have gone home," 
said they. 

They ran back to the village, but there no one 
had seen Snyegurka, All the folk searched during 



SNYEGURKA. 27 

the next day and the day following. They went 
through all the woods, they looked through every 
thicket, but no trace of the child was discovered. 

Ivan and Mary were inconsolable, and for a long 
time did the poor mother seek her child in the 
woods, crying 

" Snyegurka, my sweet, come to me." 

Sometimes she thought she could hear the voice 
of her child replying to her; but no, it was not 
Snyegurka. 

"What could have become of her?" folk asked 
one another ; " can a wild beast have carried her off 
into the woods 1 Has some bird of prey flown off 
with her ] " 

No beast had carried her off, nor had a bird 
flown away with her. When she began to run with 
her companions she suddenly changed into a light 
vapour, and was carried up to heaven. 



PRINCE PETER AND PRINCESS 
MAGILENE. 

IN the kingdom of France there was once a high- 
born prince named Volchvan who married a noble 
lady named Petronida. They had one son, who was 
called Peter. This Prince Peter in his youth was 
very fond of horsemanship and of war, and when he 
grew up he thought of nothing but knightly deeds. 
Now it chanced that just at that time there arrived 
a knight named Ruiganduis, who had come from 
Naples, and he, seeing the Prince's disposition, said 
to him, " Prince Peter, the King of Naples has a 
beautiful daughter named Magilene, and he bestows 
great rewards on the knights who by their deeds 
do honour to her." 

Peter, when he heard that, went to his father and 
mother, and begged them to let him go to Naples 
to learn knightly arts, and, especially, to see the 
beautiful Magilene, the daughter of the King. 

They parted with Prince Peter with great sorrow, 
and bade him only make friends of good folk. Then 
they gave him three gold rings with precious stones, 
and also a golden key. So they sent him off. 



PRINCE PETER AND PRINCESS MAGILENE. 29 

When Prince Peter came to Naples he went to a 
clever workman, and ordered him to make him a 
coat of mail, and a helmet to match, and told him 
to fasten to it two golden keys. When he had 
done this he rode away to the place where the 
tournaments were held, where he found the King. 
The folk called Peter, Peter with the Golden Keys, 
and off he went and placed himself among the 
knights. First of all there rode out the Knight 
Andrei Skrintor, and against him appeared the son 
of the King of England. Andrei dealt Henry such 
a blow, that he was nearly thrown off his horse. 
Then Landiot, the King's son, came forth and threw 
Andrei off his horse on to the ground. 

When Prince Peter saw that Landiot had thrown 
Andrei from his saddle, he rode out and cried 
aloud 

" Long may their Majesties live in happiness, the 
King, the Queen, and their beautiful daughter, the 
Princess Magilene." 

He rode at Landiot with such force that his 
horse rolled on the ground and the spear went 
through his heart. This deed won for him the 
praise of the King and of all the knights, but 
especially that of the Princess Magilene, and Prince 
Peter became the first of all the King's knights. 

Now when the beautiful Princess saw how brave 
and handsome Prince Peter was she fell in love 
with him, and resolved to marry him. She made a 



30 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

confidante of her maid, and from that time Prince 
Peter used to see the Princess daily. He gave her 
the three golden rings as a mark of his true love, 
and one day, taking her with him, rode away from 
the city. 

They rode off on their good horse, taking much 
gold and silver with them, and they continued their 
journey all night. At length they came to a thick 
forest which stretched far away to the seashore. 
There they stopped to rest, and the Princess, lying 
down on the grass, fell fast asleep. Prince Peter 
sat by her side and watched her, and as he looked 
at her he saw a locket having a golden fastening. 
He opened it and out fell the three gold rings he 
had given to her. The Prince put them on the grass, 
and, as it chanced, a black raven flew by at the 
moment, seized the rings, and took them off into a 
tree. Peter climbed up the tree, hoping to catch 
the bird ; but as he was about to seize it, the raven 
flew into another tree, and so from tree to tree till 
at last it went away over the sea to an island, letting 
the rings fall into the water. 

Prince Peter followed the bird, and, having come 
to the seashore, he looked about him for a boat in 
which he could pursue it to the island. At length 
he set off in a small fishing-boat, but as he had no 
oars he paddled along with his hands. All of a 
sudden, as he was on his way, there came on a 
storm of wind which carried him away to the open 



PRINCE PETER AND PRINCESS MAGILENE. 31 

sea. When the Prince saw he was far from the shore 
he thought he was lost, and he prayed with groans 
and tears. 

" Alas ! I am the most miserable and unfortunate 
of all men," said he. " Why did I not leave the 
rings in the locket where they were safe ? No one 
in the world is so unfortunate as I, for I have lost 
my happiness. I have led the Princess away, and 
have left her in the thick forest, where wild beasts 
will tear her in pieces, or she will wander about till 
she dies of hunger. I am her destroyer, and have 
spilt innocent blood ! " He then began to sink in 
the sea. 

As it chanced, a vessel came by, bound from 
Turkey, and when the sailors saw a man floating 
on the sea, they took him on board, and, carrying 
him away to Alexandria, they sold him to a Turkish 
Pasha, who sent him off as a present to the Sultan. 
When the Sultan saw how good his behaviour was, 
and how agreeable he was, he made him one of his 
counsellors, and his honesty and his good nature 
won him the love of all who came in contact with 
him. 

When the Princess awoke she found herself in 
the thick forest. She looked on every side, and 
when she could not see Prince Peter, she was much 
distressed, and sank down upon the ground. Then 
she went into the wood, and called with all her 
strength 



32 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

"My dear husband, Prince Peter, where are 
you?" 

She wandered on a long way until she met a nun, 
with whom she exchanged clothes, putting on the 
nun's dark garments and giving her her own light- 
coloured dress. Then she went on to a port, where 
she went on board a vessel which was about to sail 
to the country over which Prince Peter's father 
ruled. When she came there she went to live with 
a noble lady named Susanna, and, finding a place 
among the mountains, she made a harbour, built a 
convent there named after the apostles Peter and 
Paul, and there she also founded a hospital for 
strangers. So she became famous for her pious 
works. One day the father and mother of Prince 
Peter came to her and brought to her three rings. 
They told he* that their cook had purchased a fish 
in which the rings had been found. These rings 
they had given to their son Peter, and they there- 
fore concluded that he had been drowned, and they 
wept bitterly. 

Now when Peter had been with the Sultan a 
long time, he wished to visit his own land, and the 
Sultan gave him his leave to go, loading him, at the 
same time, with presents of gold, silver, and mag- 
nificent pearls. Having taken leave of the Sultan, 
the Prince went and hired a French vessel, bought 
fourteen casks, put salt at the bottom of them, laid 
the gold and silver in the casks, scattered more salt 



PRINCE PETER AND PRINCESS MAGILENE. 33 

on the top of the treasure, and told the sailors that 
there was nothing but salt in the casks. The wind 
was favourable, and they set off for the Prince's 
land, and, having arrived at an island not far off the 
coast of France, they weighed anchor, for the Prince 
was very sea-sick. He went upon shore and wan- 
dered about in the island till he lost his way, and 
being tired he lay down and went to sleep. He 
slept a long time, and the sailors sought him and 
called him everywhere, but as they could not find 
him they set sail. They came to the Princess's 
convent, and there they sold the salt. Now one 
day when salt was wanted Magilene went to the 
casks and was very much surprised to find in them 
all the treasure. 

Prince Peter was picked up by another vessel 
and came likewise to the convent. There he was 
in Magilene's hospital for a month, but all that time 
he did not recognise the Princess, for her black veil 
hid her features from him. While he was there he 
wept every day. 

One day as Magilene came into the hospital she 
saw the Prince weeping, and she asked him why 
he did so, and he told her all his misfortunes. 
Magilene then recognised him, and sent off to his 
father and mother to tell them that their son was 
come back. When they came to the convent they 
found the Princess arrayed in her royal garments ; 
and when the Prince saw his parents he fell at 



34 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

their feet, embraced them and wept, while they 
wept with him. At length he stood up, and, 
taking them by the hand, kissed them, and said 

"My father and my mother, this lady is the 
daughter of the great King of Naples on account 
of whom I left you." 

So they were married, and they lived in great 
happiness. 



THE OLD MAN, HIS WIFE, AND THE 
FISH. 

THERE once lived in a hut on the shores of the Isle 
of Buyan an old man and his wife. They were 
very poor. The old man used to go to the sea 
daily to fish, and they only just managed to live on 
what he caught. One day he let down his net and 
drew it in. It seemed to be very heavy. He 
dragged and dragged, and at last got it to shore. 
There he found that he had caught one little 
fish of a kind he had never before seen a golden 
fish. 

The fish spoke to him in a man's voice. "Do 
not keep me, old man," it said ; " let me go once 
more free in the sea and I will reward you for it, 
for whatever you wish I will do." 

The old man thought for a while. Then he said, 
" Well, I don't want you. Go into the sea again," 
and he threw the fish into the water and went 
home. 

" Well," said his wife, when he got home, " what 
have you caught to-day ? " 

35 



36 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

"Only one little fish," said the man, "a golden 
fish, and that I let go again, it begged so hard. 
' Put me in the blue sea again,' it said, ' and I will 
reward you, for whatever you wish I will do.' So 
I let it go, and did not ask anything." 

" Ah, you old fool ! " said the wife in a great rage, 
" what an opportunity you have lost. You might, 
at least, have asked the fish to give us some bread. 
We have scarce a crust in the house." 

The old woman grumbled so much that her 
husband could have no quiet, so to please her off 
he went to the seashore, and there he cried out 

"Little fish, little fish, come now to me, 
Your tail in the water, your head out of sea ! " 

The fish came to the shore. 

" Well, what do you want, old man ? " it asked. 

" My wife," said the man, " is in a great passion, 
and has sent me to ask for bread." 

"Very well," said the fish, "go home and you 
shall have it." 

The old man went back, and when he entered the 
hut he found bread in plenty. 

"Well," said he to his wife, "we have enough 
bread now." 

" Oh yes ! " said she, " but I have had such a mis- 
fortune while you were away. I have broken the 
bucket. What shall I do the washing in now 1 Go 
to the fish, and ask it to give us a new bucket." 



THE OLD MAN, HIS WIFE, AND THE FISH. 37 

Away went the man. Standing on the shore he 
called out 

" Little fish, little fish, come now to me, 
Your tail in the water, your head out of sea ! " 

The fish soon made its appearance. 

" Well, old man," it said, " what do you want 1 " 

" My wife," said the man, " has had a misfortune, 
and has broken our bucket. So I have come to ask 
for a new one." 

" Very well," said the fish, " you shall find one at 
home." 

The old man went back. As soon as he got home 
his wife said to him 

" Be off to the golden fish again, and ask it to 
give us a new hut. Ours is all coming to pieces. 
We have scarcely a roof over our heads." 

The old man once more came to the shore, and 
cried 

" Little fish, little fish, come now to me, 
Your tail in the water, your head out of sea ! " 

The fish came. 

" Well, what is it ? " asked the fish. 

" My wife," said the man, " is in a very bad 
temper, and has sent me to ask you to build us a 
new cottage. She says she cannot live any longer 
in our present one." 

" Oh, do not be troubled about that," said the fish. 
" Go home. You shall have what you want." 



38 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

The old man went back again, and in the place of 
his miserable hovel he found a new hut built of oak 
and nicely ornamented. The old man was delighted, 
but as soon as he went in his wife set on him, say- 
ing 

11 What an idiot you are ! You do not know how 
to take good fortune when it is offered to you. You 
think you have done a great thing just because you 
have got a new hut. Be off again to the golden fish, 
and tell it I will not be a mere peasant's wife any 
longer. I will be an Archduchess, with plenty of 
servants, and set the fashion." 

The old man went to the golden fish. 

" What is it ?" asked the fish. 

" My wife will not let me rest," replied the man ; 
" she wants now to be an Archduchess, and is not 
content with being my wife." 

" Well, it shall be as she wishes. Go home again," 
said the fish. 

Away went the man. How astonished was he, 
when, on coming to where his house had stood, he now 
found a fine mansion, three stories high. Servants 
crowded the hall, and cooks were busy in the 
kitchens. On a seat in a fine room sat the man's 
wife, dressed in robes shining with gold and silver, 
and giving orders. 

" Good day, wife ! " said the man. 

"Who are you, man?" said his wife. "What 
have you to do with me, a fine lady ? Take the 



THE OLD MAN, HIS WIFE, AND THE FISH. 39 

clown away," said she to her servants. " Take him 
to the stable, and whip some of the impudence out 
of him." 

The servants seized the old man, took him off to 
the stable, and when they had him there beat him 
so that he hardly knew whether he was alive or not. 
After that the wife made him the door-keeper of the 
house. She gave him a besom, and put him to keep 
the yard in order. As for his meals, he got them in 
the kitchen. He had a hard life of it. If the yard 
was not swept clean, he had to look out. 

" Who would have thought she had been such a 
hag ? " said the old man to himself. " Here she has 
all such good fortune, and will not even own me for 
her husband ! " 

After a time the wife got tired of being merely 
an Archduchess, so she said to her husband 

" Go off to the golden fish, and tell it I will be a 
Czarina." 

The old man went down to the shore. He 
cried 

" Little fish, little fish, come now to me, 
Your tail in the water, your head out of sea ! " 

The fish came swimming to the shore. 

" Well, old man ! " it said, " what do you 
want ? " 

"My wife is not yet satisfied," said the man; 
" she wants now to be a Czarina." 



40 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

"Do not let that trouble you," said the fish, 
"but go to your house. What you ask shall be 
done." 

The man went back. In place of the fine house 
he found a palace with a roof of gold. Soldiers were 
on guard around it. In front of the palace was a 
garden, and at the back a fine park, in which some 
troops were parading. On a balcony stood the 
Czarina surrounded by officers and nobles. The 
troops presented arms, the drums beat, the trumpets 
blew, and the people shouted. 

In a short time the woman got tired of being 
Czarina, and she commanded that her husband 
should be found and brought to her presence. The 
palace was all in confusion, for who knew what had 
become of the old man 1 Officers and noblemen 
hurried here and there to search for him. At length 
he was found in a hut behind the palace. 

" Listen, you old idiot ! " said his wife. " Go to 
the golden fish, and tell it that I am tired of being 
Czarina. I want to rule over all the ocean, to have 
dominion over every sea and all the fish." 

The old man hesitated to go to the fish with such 
a request. 

" Be off" ! " said his wife, " or your head shall be 
cut off." 

The man went to the seashore and said 

"Little fish, little fish, come now to me, 
Your tail in the water, your head out of sea ! " 



THE OLD MAN, HIS WIFE, AND THE FISH. 41 

The fish did not come. The man waited, but it 
was not to be seen. Then he said the words a 
second time. The waves roared. A short while be- 
fore it had been bright and calm, now dark clouds 
covered the sky, the wind howled, and the water 
seemed of an inky blackness. 

At length the fish came. 

" What do you want, old man 1 " it asked. 

"My old wife," answered he, "is not satisfied 
even now. She says she will be Czarina no longer, 
but will rule over all the waters and all the fish." 

The fish made no reply, but dived down and dis- 
appeared in the sea. 

The man went back. What had become of the 
palace 1 He looked around, but could not see it. He 
rubbed his eyes in wonder. On the spot where the 
palace had stood was the old hut, and at the door 
stood the old woman in her old rags. 

So they commenced to live again in their old 
style. The man often went a-fishing, but he never 
more caught the golden fish. 



THE GOLDEN MOUNTAIN. 

IN a certain kingdom there once lived a Czar and 
his wife who had three fine sons. The eldest was 
called Vasili, the second Fedor, and the youngest 
Ivan. One day the Czar went with his wife to 
walk in his garden, and there suddenly came on 
such a storm that the Czarina was carried off by it, 
out of her husband's sight. The Czar was sore 
grieved, and sorrowed for a long time. When the 
two eldest sons saw their father's trouble they came 
to him, and asked him to let them go forth to look 
for their mother. So he gave them his blessing, 
and they set out. They travelled for a long time, 
and at last came to a great desert. There they 
pitched their tent, and waited to see if any one 
would come to tell them the way. ' For three years 
they waited, but they saw no one. 

Meanwhile the youngest brother, Ivan, went to 
his father to ask him for his blessing, and took 
leave of him. He travelled for a long time, until 
at last he saw some tents in the distance. He rode 
on, and on coming to them he saw that he had 
found his brothers. 



THE GOLDEN MOUNTAIN. 43 

" Why do you stop on the borders of this dreary 
waste, brothers 1 " said he j " let us go on together 
and seek our mother." 

The others agreed, and they once more set out. 
When they had gone a long way they saw in the 
distance a palace built of crystal, with a wall around 
it of the same material. They drew near to it, and 
Ivan opened the gate and rode into the courtyard. 
As he approached the door he saw a pillar to which 
there were attached two rings, one of gold and the 
other of silver. He put his bridle through the 
rings and secured his horse, and then went to the 
door. There the king of the palace came to meet 
him. They talked for some time, and the king, 
discovering that Ivan was his nephew, led him into 
his room, and brought his brothers in also. 

When they had been with him a long time, the 
king gave them a magic ball, which the brothers 
threw before them, and following it they came to a 
high mountain at the foot of which they stopped to 
rest. It was so high and so steep that no one could 
climb up it. Ivan rode round it to discover some 
means of getting to the top, and at last he found a 
crevice into which he stepped. Then he saw an 
iron door with an iron ring. When he had opened 
the door he found some iron hooks which he fastened 
to his hands and feet. By means of these he con- 
trived to climb to the top of the mountain. When 
he reached the top he was very tired, and sat down 



44 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

to rest, and as soon as ever he took off the hooks 
they vanished. Afar off in the mountain he saw a 
tent of fine cambric, on which was pictured a copper 
kingdom, and on its summit was a copper ball. On 
going to the tent he found at the entrance two large 
lions, which refused to let him pass. Ivan, however, 
saw two copper basins standing near, so he went 
and got some water and gave it to the lions, who 
were thirsty, and then they let him go into the 
tent. When he had come there he saw a lovely 
princess on a couch, and at her feet slept a 
dreadful dragon, whose head Ivan cut off with 
one blow. The princess thanked him, and gave 
him a copper egg, in which was contained a 
copper kingdom. Then the Czarewitch left her and 
went on. 

When he had gone a long way he saw a 
tent of fine gauze hung from a cedar-tree by silver 
cords. These cords had tassels of emeralds, and on 
the tent was the picture of a silver kingdom. On 
the summit of the tent was a silver ball. At the 
entrance lay two large tigers. He satisfied their 
thirst, as he had done that of the lions, and then 
they let him pass. When he came into the tent 
he saw a lovely princess dressed in very tine clothes, 
and very much more beautiful than the former. At 
her feet lay a dragon with six heads, and twice as 
large as the first. With one blow Ivan cut off its 
heads, and the princess rewarded his courage by 



THE GOLDEN MOUNTAIN. 45 

giving him a silver egg, in which was a silver 
kingdom. Then Ivan left her and went on. 

At length he came to a third tent of silk, on 
which was pictured a golden kingdom, and on its 
summit was a ball of pure gold. The tent was 
hung from a laurel-tree by gold cords, and the 
tassels of the cords were composed of diamonds. 
By the entrance lay two large crocodiles which 
breathed out great flames. The Czarewitch gave 
them some water, and thus got them to let him 
enter the tent. Inside he found on a couch a 
princess who even surpassed the two former ones 
in beauty. At her feet lay a dragon with twelve 
heads. Ivan cut off all the heads with one blow 
of his sword, and the princess, thanking him, gave 
him a golden egg, in which was a golden kingdom. 
With it she also gave him her heart. As they 
talked together, Ivan asked the princess if she could 
tell him where he should find his mother, and she, 
showing him where his mother dwelt, wished he 
would have good fortune in his adventure. 

He went on a long way and came to a palace, 
and going in he passed through many rooms, but 
he found no one in them. At last he came to a 
large beautiful hall, and there he saw his mother, 
dressed in royal robes, sitting on a chair. When 
they had tenderly saluted, Ivan told her how he 
and his brothers had travelled very far to seek her 
whom they loved so much. The Czarina informed 



46 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

Ivan that a spirit would soon come, and told him 
to conceal himself under her cloak. 

" When the spirit appears," said she, " seize his 
magic wand with both hands. He will then fly 
upwards with you, but do not be afraid, and be 
quiet. After a time he will fall to the earth and 
be dashed to pieces. You must gather these up, 
burn them, and scatter the ashes on the field." 

His mother had scarcely finished these words, 
and hidden him under her cloak, before the spirit 
appeared. Then Ivan sprang forward as his mother 
had told him, and laid hold of the magic wand. 
The spirit seized the Czarewitch, flew with him far 
up, fell to the ground, and was dashed to pieces. 
The Czarewitch gathered these together, and burnt 
them, but kept the magic stick. Then he took his 
mother and the three princesses whom he had 
rescued, and, coming to an oak-tree, he let each one 
of them slide down the mountain-side by means of 
a linen cloth. When the brothers, who waited at 
the foot of the mountain, saw that he alone remained 
on the top, they tore the linen cloth out of his hand, 
led away their mother and the three princesses to 
their own kingdom, and made them take an oath 
that they would tell their father that they had been 
saved by them. 

Ivan was thus left alone on the mountain, and 
did not know how he could get down. He walked 
about very sorrowfully, and happening to pass the 



THE GOLDEN MOUNTAIN. 47 

magic wand from one hand to the other, a man 
suddenly appeared before him, and said 

" What is your will, Ivan Czarewitch ? " 

Ivan was much astonished to see the man, and 
fiSked him who he was, and how he had come on 
the mountain. 

" I am a spirit," replied the man, " and was the 
servant of him whom you have overcome. As you 
have now his magic stick, and as you have passed 
it from one hand to the other, as you always must 
when you want me, I have come to perform what 
you wish." 

" That is well," said Ivan to the spirit. " Do mo 
your first service, then, and carry me into my own 
country." 

Scarcely had he finished these words before he 
found himself in his father's city. 

He wanted to first know what was going on in the 
palace, so instead of going straight in he went and 
began work in a shoemaker's shop, for he thought no 
one would quickly recognise him there. The next 
morning the shoemaker went into town to buy some 
leather, and came home in the evening very drunk. 
So tipsy was he that he could not see to the shop, 
so he left all to his new man. Ivan knew nothing 
about the work, so he called the spirit to assist him, 
and told him to set to and make some shoes while 
he himself went to sleep. When the master awoke 
early the next morning he went to see what work 



48 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

his man had done, and when he found him still fast 
asleep, he was very angry, and said 

" Ah ! you lazy fellow, do you think I took you 
into my service to sleep 1 " 

" Do not blame me," replied Ivan, stretching him- 
self, " go first into the work-room, and see what you 
find there." 

The shoemaker went off, and how much was he 
astonished to find there a number of shoes all 
finished. He went to them and took up a shoe to 
look at the work, but he was more astonished still, 
and began to disbelieve his eyes, for there was not a 
single stitch in the shoes, but they were all of one 
piece. He took some of the shoes and set off to sell 
them, and every one who saw the wonderful shoes 
bought them eagerly. His fame spread, and in a 
short time the shoemaker became so noted that they 
sent for him to the palace. There he saw the 
princesses, who ordered him to make them some 
dozens of shoes, adding that they must all be ready 
by the next morning. He told them that it was 
impossible for him to do what they asked, but they 
said that if he did not do what they told him he 
should have his head cut off, for they declared they 
well knew he made his shoes by some inagic 
means. 

The poor shoemaker left the castle, thinking he 
was as good as a dead man, went into the city, 
bought some leather, and went a-drinking to drive 



THE GOLDEN MOUNTAIN. 49 

off care. Towards evening he came home, and 
throwing the leather down upon the floor, said to 
his new man 

" Listen, you wretched fellow, to what you have 
done with your magic work." 

So he told him all that had happened with the 
princesses, and how he was to be put to death if he 
did not do what they commanded. 

"Don't be put out," said Ivan ; "lie down and go 
to sleep. The morning will bring us good luck." 

His master thanked him for what he said, laid 
himself down on a bench, and very quickly began to 
snore. Then Ivan called upon his spirit, ordered 
him to make all ready, and went to sleep himself." 

Though the shoemaker had been very drunk, 
when he awoke early in the morning he remembered 
that he was to have his head cut off that day. So 
he went to his man and said 

" Let us have a bottle together, so that I may be 
more courageous when I am under the axe." 

"Do not fear," answered Ivan; "go into your 
workshop. You will find that all is finished, and 
ready to be taken to the palace." 

The shoemaker walked off to the workshop, not 
believing what Ivan said ; but when he saw all the 
shoes ready, he was so delighted that he did not 
know what to do. He embraced Ivan and called 
him his saviour. 

He took the shoes and set off to the palace; and 



50 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

when the princesses saw the shoes, they felt sure 
that Ivan must be in the town, so they said to the 
shoemaker 

" You have well performed what you were ordered, 
but you must do something more for us. This night 
there must be built opposite our palace a golden 
castle. There must be a porcelain bridge from the 
one palace to the other, and this must be covered 
with velvet." 

The shoemaker was confounded at this, and said 

" I am only a poor shoemaker, how can I do such 
a thing 1 " 

" If you do not do what we tell you," said the 
princesses, "your head shall be cut off." 

The shoemaker went at once from the castle, 
weeping bitterly. He turned in at an alehouse to 
drown his care, got drunk, and when he reached 
home told Ivan what he had been commanded. 

" Go to sleep," said Ivan ; " to-morrow will bring 
us good luck." 

The shoemaker laid himself down on a bench and 
went to sleep, and Ivan, calling the spirit to him, 
told him to get everything ready as the shoemaker 
had been commanded. After that he lay down, and 
went to sleep also. 

Early the next morning Ivan woke his master, 
and putting the wing of a goose in his hand, said 

" Go at once to the bridge and dust it." 

Ivan himself went into the golden palace. The 



THE GOLDEN MOUNTAIN. 51 

Czar and his daughters woke very early, and came 
out on the balcony, and from there they saw every- 
thing. The princesses were beside themselves with 
joy, for they were now sure that Ivan was in the 
town, and soon after they saw him standing at a 
window in the golden castle. Then they begged the 
Czar and his wife to go with them into the castle, 
and as they were about to go up the steps of the 
palace, Ivan came out to meet them. His mother 
and the princesses ran forward to embrace him, and 
said 

" This is he who rescued us." 

His brothers were ashamed, and looked down on 
the ground, and the Czar was thunderstruck, so 
astonished was he. His wife, however, soon ex- 
plained everything to him, and then the Czar was 
so angry with his eldest sons that he would have 
put them to death. Ivan threw himself at his feet, 
and said 

" My dear father, if you wish to reward me for 
my labour, grant me the lives of my brothers, and I 
shall be satisfied." 

Then his father raised him up, kissed him, and 
said 

" They are really unworthy of thee." 

So they all went back to the castle. 

The following day three weddings were celebrated. 
The eldest son, Vasili, wedded the princess of the 
copper kingdom. Fedor, the second son, married 



52 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

the princess of the silver kingdom, and Ivan saw 
them settled in their dominions. He himself and 
his princess took possession of the golden kingdom. 
He took the shoemaker with him, and there they all 
lived for many years prosperous and happy. 



THE DUCK THAT LAID GOLDEN EGGS. 

THERE lived once an old man and his wife. The 
man was called Abrosim, and his wife Fetinia. 
They were very poor and miserable, and had a son 
named Little Ivan, who was fifteen years old. One 
day old Abrosim brought a crust of bread home for 
his wife and son. He had scarcely begun to eat, 
however, when Krutschina (Sorrow) sprang up from 
behind the stove, seized the crust out of his hand, 
and ran away behind the stove again. The old man 
made a bow to Krutschina, and begged her to give 
him the crust back again, as he and his wife had 
nothing else to eat. 

" I will not give you the crust again," said Krut- 
schina, " but instead of it I will give you a duck 
which lays a gold egg every day." 

" Very well," said Abrosim. " I shall be supper- 
less to-night. Do not deceive me, but tell me where 
I shall find the duck." 

" Early to-morrow morning," said Krutschina, 
" when you are up, go into the town ; there you will 
see a duck in a pond, catch it, and carry it home." 



54 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

When Abrosim heard this he lay down and went 
to sleep. 

The next morning he rose early, and went to the 
town, and was very much pleased to see the duck 
swimming about on a pond. He called it to him, 
carried it off to his home, and gave it to his wife 
Fetinia. They were both delighted, and put the 
duck in a big basin, placing a sieve over it. In an 
hour's time they went to look at it, and discovered 
that the duck had laid a golden egg. Then they 
took the duck out, and let it walk a little on the floor, 
and the old man, taking the egg, set off to town. 
There he sold the egg for a hundred roubles, took 
the money, and, going to the market, bought different 
kinds of vegetables and set off home. 

The next day the duck laid another egg like the 
first, which Abrosim sold in the same manner. So 
the duck went on laying a golden egg every day, 
and the old man became, in a short time, very rich. 
He bought a large house, a great many shops, all 
kinds of wares, and set up in business. 

His wife Fetinia made a favourite of a young 
clerk in her husband's employ, and used to supply 
him with money. One day when Abrosim was 
away from home, buying some goods, the clerk 
called to have a talk with Fetinia, and it chanced 
that he then saw the duck that laid the golden eggs. 
He was pleased with the bird, and, examining it, 
found written under its wing in gold letters 



THE DUCK THAT LAID GOLDEN EGGS. 55 

" Whoever eats this duck will be a Czar." 

He did not say anything to Fetinia about what 
he had seen, but asked her to roast the duck for 
him. Fetinia said she could not kill the duck, for 
all their fortune depended on it, but the clerk 
begged her so earnestly that she at last consented 
and killed it, and put it in the oven. The clerk 
then went off saying he would return soon, and 
Fetinia also went out in the town. While they 
were gone in came little Ivan. He felt very 
hungry, and, looking about him for something to 
eat, he chanced to see the roast duck in the oven, 
so he took it out and ate all of it but the bones. 
Then he went off again to the shop. 

In a little while the clerk came back, and, having 
called Fetinia, asked her to bring out the duck. 
The woman went to the oven, but when she saw 
that the duck was not there, she was terribly put 
out, and told the clerk that the duck had disappeared. 
At that the clerk flew into a great rage, and said 

"You have eaten the duck yourself, of course," 
and he got up and walked out of the house. 

In the evening Abrosim and his son, Little Ivan, 
came home. When Abrosim did not see the duck, 
he asked his wife where it was, and she told him 
that she did not know. Then Little Ivan said to 
his father 

"My dear father, when I came home, in the 
middle of the day, for dinner, my mother was not 



56 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

in, so I looked in the oven, and there found a roast 
duck. I took it out and ate it all but the bones, 
but I do not know whether it was our duck or a 
strange one." 

Then old Abrosim was in such a rage that he 
thrashed his wife till she was half dead, and he 
turned Little Ivan out of doors. 

Little Ivan began his journey. Where should 
he go? He determined to follow his nose. For 
ten days and nights he went on. Then he came to 
a town, and as he stepped to the gate he saw a 
great many people assembled together. Now these 
folk had been taking council, their Czar being dead, 
as to who should succeed him. In the end they 
agreed that the first person who came in at the 
city gate should be made Czar. Just then in came 
Little Ivan through the gate, so all the people cried 
out together 

"Here is our Czar!" 

The chief folk took Little Ivan by the arms, 
conducted him to the royal apartments, put on him 
the Czar's robes, seated him on the throne, made 
obeisance to him as to their Czar, and waited for 
his commands. Then Little Ivan thought he must 
surely be asleep and dreaming all this ; but at last 
he knew that he must be really Czar. He was 
heartily pleased, began to rule over the people, and to 
appoint his officers. A short time after he called 
one of them, named Luga, to him, and said 



THE DUCK THAT LAID GOLDEN EGGS. 57 

"My true friend and good knight Luga, I want 
you to do me a service. Go to my own country, 
go to the Czar, salute him from me, and ask him 
to deliver to you the shopkeeper Abrosim and his 
wife, so that you may bring them to me. If he 
will not deliver them up to you, tell him that I 
will lay waste his country with fire, and will make 
him himself my prisoner." 

When the servant Luga was come into Little 
Ivan's country he went to the Czar and asked him 
to let Abrosim and Fetinia go away with him. The 
Czar was unwilling to let Abrosim go, for he wanted 
to keep the rich merchant in his own country. He 
knew, however, that Ivan's kingdom was verylargeand 
populous, and being therefore afraid, he let Abrosim 
and Fetinia depart. Luga received them from the 
Czar, and conducted them to his own native country. 

When he brought them to Little Ivan, the Czar 
said to his father 

"Yes, father, you turned me away from your 
house, and I therefore bring you to mine. Come, 
live with me, you and my mother, till the end of 
your days." 

Abrosim and Fetinia rejoiced exceedingly to find 
that their son was become Czar, and they lived 
with him many years, until they died. 

Little Ivan ruled for thirty years in good health, 
and was very happy, and all his people loved him 
sincerely to the last hour of his life. 



EMELYAN THE FOOL. 

IN a certain village there once lived a peasant 
who had three sons, of whom two were sensible, 
but the third was a fool, and his name was Emelyan. 
When the peasant had lived for a long time, and 
was grown very old, he called his three sons to him, 
and said to them 

" My dear children, I feel that I have not very 
long to live, so I give you the house and cattle, 
which you will divide, share and share alike, among 
you. I also leave you, in money, a hundred 
roubles apiece." 

Soon after the old man died, and his sons, after 
they had buried him, lived on happy and contented. 

Some time after Emelyan's brothers took it into 
their heads to remove into the city, and carry on 
trade with the three hundred roubles which their 
father had left them. So they said to Emelyan 

" Hark ye, fool ! we are going to the city, and 
we will take your hundred roubles with us, and if 
we prosper in trade we will buy you a red coat, red 
boots, and a red cap. Do you, however, stay at home 



EMELYAN THE FOOL. 59 

here, and when your sisters-in-law desire you to do 
anything, do as they bid you." 

The fool, who had a great longing for a red coat, 
a red cap, and red boots, answered at once that he 
would do whatever his sisters-in-law told him. So 
his brothers went off to the city, and Emelyan 
stayed at home. 

One day, when the winter was come and the cold 
was great, his sisters-in-law told him to go out and 
fetch in water, but Emelyan remained lying on the 
stove, and said 

" Ay, and who, then, are you ? " 

" How now, fool ! " said his sisters-in-law, " we 
are what you see. You know how cold it is, and 
that it is a man's business to go." 

" I am lazy," replied he. 

How 1 " cried they. " You are lazy ! You will 
want to eat, and how can we cook if we have no 
water ? Very well, then, we will tell our husbands 
not to give him anything when they have bought 
the fine red coat and all for him." 

The fool heard what they said, and, as he was 
very desirous to get the red coat and cap, he saw 
that he must go. So he got down from by the 
stove, and began to put on his shoes and stockings, 
and to dress himself. When he was ready he took 
the buckets and the axe, and went down to the 
river, which ran near their village. When he arrived 
there, he cut an enormous hole in the ice. He then 



60 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

drew water in the buckets, and, setting them on the 
ice, he stood by the hole, looking into the water. 
As he looked he saw a large pike swimming about 
in the open water. Fool as Emelyan was he felt 
a wish to catch this pike. So he stole on softly and 
cautiously to the edge of the hole, and, making a 
sudden grasp at the pike, he caught him, and pulled 
him out of the water. Putting him in his bosom, 
he was hurrying home, when the pike cried out 

" Ho, fool ! why have you caught me 1 " 

" To take you home," answered he, " to get my 
sisters-in-law to cook you." 

" Ho, fool ! " said the pike ; " do not take me 
home, but let me go again into the water, and I 
will make a rich man of you." 

Emelyan, however, would not consent, and was 
going on homewards. When the pike clearly saw 
that the fool was not inclined to let him go, he 
said 

" Hark ye, fool ! let me go, and I will do for you 
everything you do not like to do for yourself. You 
will only have to wish, and it will be done." 

When the fool heard that he rejoiced very much, 
for, as he was uncommonly lazy, he thought to him- 
self 

" If the pike does everything that I have no mind 
to do, all will be done without my having any 
occasion to work." 

So he said to the pike 



EMELYAN THE FOOL. 61 

" I will let you go in the water if you will do all 
you promise." 

" Let me go first," said the pike, " and then I will 
keep my promise." 

The fool, however, said that the pike must first 
perform his promise, and then he would let him go. 
When the pike saw he would not put him into the 
water, he said 

" If you wish, as I told you, that I should do all 
you desire, you must tell me now what your desire is." 

" I wish," said the fool, " that my buckets should 
go of themselves from the river up the hill, and that 
without spilling any of the water." 

Then said the pike 

" Remember the words I now say, and listen to 
what they are : ' At the pike's command, and at my 
request, go, buckets, of yourselves up the hill.' " 

The fool repeated after him 

" At the pike's command, and at my request, go, 
buckets, of yourselves up the hill." 

Instantly, with the speed of thought, the buckets 
ran up the hill. When Emelyan saw that, he was 
amazed beyond expression, and he said to the pike 

" But will it always be so 1 " 

" Everything you desire will be done," said the 
pike ; " but do not forget, I say, the words I have 
taught you." 

Emelyan then put the pike into the water, and 
followed his buckets home. 



62 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

The neighbours were all amazed when they saw 
the buckets, and said to one another 

" This fool makes the buckets come of themselves 
up from the river, and he follows them himself at 
his leisure." 

But Emelyan took no notice of them, and went on 
home. The buckets were by this time in the house, 
and standing in their place on the foot-bench, and 
Emelyan himself lay down on the stove. 

After some time his sisters-in-law said to him 
again 

"Emelyan, what are you loitering there for? 
Get up and cut wood." 

But the fool said 

" Ay ! and you ! who are you, then 1 " 

"You see," cried they, "it is now winter, and if 
you do not go and cut wood you will be frozen." 

" I am lazy," said the fool. 

"What! you are lazy!" said the sisters-in-law. 
" If you do not get up and cleave wood, we will tell 
our husbands not to give you the red coat, or the 
red cap, or the fine red boots." The fool, who longed 
for the red cap, coat, and boots, saw that he must 
cleave the wood ; but as it was bitter cold, and he 
did not like to leave the stove, he repeated, under 
his breath, as he lay there : " At the pike's command, 
and at my request, up, axe, and hew wood ; and do 
you, logs, come of yourselves into the house and lay 
yourselves in the stove." 



EMELYAN THE FOOL. 63 

The axe instantly jumped up, ran into the yard, 
and began to cut up the wood, and the logs came of 
themselves into the house, and went and laid them- 
selves in the stove. When the sisters-in-law saw 
this they wondered exceedingly, and as the axe did 
the work of itself whenever Emelyan was wanted 
to cut up wood, he lived with them for some time 
in great tranquillity. At length the wood was cut, 
and they said to him 

" Emelyan, we have no more wood, so you must 
go to the forest to cut some." 

" Ay," said the fool, " and you ! who are you, 
then ? " 

" The wood," said the sisters-in-law, " is far off, 
and it is winter, and too cold for us to go." 

" I am lazy," said the fool. 

" How ! you are lazy ! " said they, " you will be 
frozen, then, and besides, when our husbands come 
home we will tell them not to give you the red coat, 
cap, and boots." 

As the fool longed for the red clothes, he found 
that he must go and cut the wood. So he got off 
the stove, and began to put on his shoes and stock- 
ings, and to dress himself. When he was dressed, 
he went out into the yard, pulled the sledge out of 
the shed, took a rope and the axe with him, mounted 
the sledge, and called out to his sisters-in-law 
" Open the gate ! " 

When the sisters-in-law saw that he was going 



64 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

off in the sledge without any horses, for the fool 
had not put the horses to it, they cried out 

" Why, Emelyan, you have got on the sledge 
without yoking the horses ! " 

He answered that he did not want any horses, .but 
asked them to open the gate. The sisters-in-law 
threw open the gate, and the fool, as he sat in the 
sledge, said 

" At the pike's command, and at my request, away, 
sledge, go to the wood." 

At these words the sledge galloped out of the 
yard at such a rate that the people of the village, 
when they saw it, were filled with amazement. 
The sledge went on so very fast, that if a pair of 
horses had been yoked to it they could not have 
drawn it at anything like the same rate. 

As it was necessary for the fool to go through the 
town on his way to the wood, he came to it at full 
speed. Not knowing that he should cry out 
" Make way ! " in order that he might not run over 
any one, he gave no notice, but rode on. So he 
ran over a great many people ; and though they ran 
after him, no one was able to overtake him and 
bring him back. Emelyan, having got clear of the 
town, came to the wood, and stopped his sledge. 
He then got down, and said 

" At the pike's command, and at my request, up, 
axe, hew wood ; and you, logs, lay yourselves on the 
sledge, and tie yourselves together." 



EMELYAN THE FOOL. 65 

The fool had scarcely uttered these words, when 
the axe began to cut wood, the logs to lay themselves 
in the sledge, and the rope to tie them down. 
When the axe had cut wood enough, he desired it 
to cut him a good cudgel, and when the axe had 
done this he mounted the sledge, and said 

" Up and away ! At the pike's command, and at 
my request, go home, sledge." 

Away went the sledge at the top of its speed. 
When Emelyan came to the town where he had 
hurt so many people, he found a crowd waiting to 
catch him, and as soon as he got into the town 
they laid hold of him, and began to drag him off his 
sledge and to beat him. When the fool saw how 
they were treating him, he said under his breath 

" At the pike's command, and at my request, up, 
cudgel, and thrash them." 

Instantly the cudgel began to lay about it in all 
directions, and when the people were all driven 
away he made his escape, and came to his own 
village. The cudgel, having thrashed them all 
soundly, rolled to the house after him, and Emelyan, 
as usual when he got home, lay down on the stove. 

After he had left the town the people began every- 
where to talk, not about the number of persons 
whom he had injured, but about the amazing fact of 
his riding in the sledge without horses ; and from 
one to another the news spread till it reached the 
court, and came even to the ears of the king. When 



66 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

the king heard the story he felt an extreme desire 
to see Emelyan, so he despatched an officer with a 
party of soldiers in search of him. The officer 
whom the king sent lost no time in leaving the 
town, and he took the road that the fool had taken. 
When he came to the village where Emelyan lived, 
he summoned before him the Starosta (Head-man) 
of the village, and said to him 

" I am sent by the king to take a certain fool, and 
bring him before his majesty." 

The Starosta at once showed him the house where 
Emelyan lived, and the officer, entering it, asked 
where the fool was. Emelyan, who was lying on 
the stove, made answer and said 

" What is it you want with me ? " 

"How!" said the officer. "What do I want 
with you ? Get up and dress yourself. I must take 
you to the king." 

" What to do ? " asked Emelyan. 

The officer was so enraged at the rudeness of his 
replies, that he gave him a slap on the cheek. 

" At the pike's command, and at my request," said 
the fool, under his breath, " up, cudgel, and thrash 
them." 

At the word, up sprang the cudgel, and began to 
lay about it on all sides, on officer and on men alike. 
The officer was forced to go back to town as fast as 
he could ; and when he came before the king, and 
told him how the fool had cudgelled them all round, 



EMELYAN THE FOOL. 67 

the king marvelled greatly, and would not believe 
that he had been able to cudgel them at all. 

The king then selected a wise man, command- 
ing him to bring him the fool by craft, if nothing 
else would do. The envoy left the king, and went 
to the village where Emelyan lived. He called the 
Starosta before him, and said 

" I am sent by the king to take your fool. So do 
you send for those with whom he lives." 

The Starosta then ran and fetched the sisters-in- 
law. The king's messenger asked them what it was 
the fool liked, and they answered 

" Noble sir, if any one entreats our fool earnestly 
to do anything, he flatly refuses the first and the 
second time. The third time, however, he does not 
refuse, but does what one wants, for he does not like 
to be roughly handled." 

The king's messenger then dismissed them, charging 
them not to tell Emelyan that he had summoned them 
before him. He then bought raisins, baked plums, 
and grapes, and went to the fool. When he came 
into the room, he went up to the stove, and said 

" Emelyan, why are you lying there ? " and with 
that he gave him the raisins, baked plums, and 
grapes, and said 

" Emelyan, we will go together to the king. I 
will take you with me." 

" I am very warm here," said the fool, for there 
was nothing he was so fond of as warmth. 



68 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

The messenger then began to entreat him. 

"Be so good, Emelyan," said he; "let us go. 
You will like the court vastly." 

" Ay," said the fool ; " I am lazy." 

The messenger began once more to entreat him. 

" Be so good," said he ; " come with me, and the 
king will get you made a fine red coat, a red cap, 
and a pair of red boots." 

When the fool heard the red coat mentioned, he 
said 

" Go on before, I will follow." 

The messenger then pressed him no further, but 
went out and asked the sisters-in-law if there was 
any danger of the fool's deceiving him. They assured 
him that there was not, and he went his way. The 
fool, who was still lying on the stove, then said to 
himself 

" How I hate this going to the king ! " 

Then after a few minutes' thought 

" At the pike's command, and at my request," said 
he, " up stove, and away to the town." 

Instantly the wall of the room opened, and the 
stove moved out. When it had got clear of the 
yard, it went at such a rate that there was no over- 
taking it, and it came up with the king's messenger, 
and went after him, and entered the palace with 
him. When the king knew the fool had come, he 
went forth with all his ministers to see him, and 
when he saw that Emelyan was come riding on the 



EMELYAN THE FOOL. 69 

stove, he was greatly amazed. Emelyan still lay 
where he was, and said nothing. Then the king 
asked him why he had hurt so many people when 
he went to the wood. 

"It was their own fault," said the fool; "why 
did they not get out of the way ? " 

Just at that moment the king's daughter came to 
the window and looked at the fool, and Emelyan, 
happening suddenly to look up at the window where 
she stood observing him, and seeing that she was 
very handsome, said, quite softly to himself 

" At the pike's command, and at my request, let 
this lovely maiden fall in love with me." 

Scarcely had he spoken the words, when the 
king's daughter was desperately in love with him. 
He then said 

" At the pike's command, and at my request, up 
and away, stove, go home." 

Immediately the stove left the palace, went 
through the town, got home, and set itself in its old 
place. There Emelyan lived for some time, com- 
fortable and happy. 

Other people in the town, however, were far other- 
wise. At the word of Emelyan the king's daughter 
had fallen in love with him, and she began to implore 
her father to give her the fool for a husband. The 
king was in a great rage, both with her and the 
fool, but he knew not how he could lay hold of him. 
His minister, however, suggested that he should 



70 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

again send the officer whom he had before sent to 
take him. This advice pleased the king well, and 
he had the officer called to him. When he came the 
king said 

" Hark ye, friend ! I sent you before for the fool, 
and you came without him. To punish you I now 
send you for him a second time. If you bring him 
you shall be rewarded, but if you do not bring him 
you shall be punished." 

When the officer heard that, he left the king, and 
lost no time in going in quest of the fool. When 
he came to the village, he called for the Starosta, 
and said to him 

" Here is money for you. Buy everything for a 
good dinner to-morrow. Invite Emelyan, and when 
he comes make him drink till he falls asleep." 

The Starosta, knowing that the officer came from 
the king, felt obliged to obey him, so he bought 
everything that was required, and invited the fool. 
When Emelyan said he would come, the officer was 
greatly pleased. So next day the fool came to 
dinner, and the Starosta plied him so well with 
drink that he fell fast asleep. As soon as the officer 
saw he was asleep, he laid hold of him, and ordered 
a carriage to be brought. When it came, they put 
the fool in it, and the officer, getting in himself, 
drove off to the town, and so to the palace. The 
minister informed the king that the officer had come, 
and as soon as he heard it, he ordered a large cask 



EMELYAN THE FOOL. 71 

to be provided without delay, and to be hooped with 
strong iron hoops. When the cask was brought to 
the king, and he saw that everything had been done 
as he desired, he ordered his daughter and the fool 
to be put into it and the cask to be well pitched. 
When all this had been done, the king ordered the 
cask to be thrown into the sea, and left to the mercy 
of the waves. The king then returned to his palace, 
and the cask floated along for some time on the sea. 
All this time the fool was fast asleep. When he 
awoke, and found it was quite dark, he said to 
himself 

" Where am I ? " for he thought he was all alone ; 
but the princess said 

" You are in a cask, Emelyan, and I am shut up 
with you in it." 

" But who are you ? " asked he. 

" I am the king's daughter," answered the princess ; 
and then she told him why she had been shut up 
there with him. She then besought him to deliver 
himself and her out of the cask, but the fool 
said 

" I am very warm here." 

" Grant me the favour," said the princess ; " have 
pity on my tears, and deliver me out of this cask." 

" Why," said Emelyan; " I am lazy." 

The princess began once more to entreat him. 

" Grant me the favour, Emelyan," said she ; 
" deliver me out of this cask, and let me not die." 



72 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

The fool was moved by her tears and entreaties, 
and said 

"Well, I will do this for you." 

He then said softly 

" At the pike's command, and at my request, cast 
us, sea, on the shore, where we may dwell on a 
dry place, only let us be near our own country, and 
do thou, cask, fall to pieces on the dry land." 

Scarcely had the fool spoken the words, when the 
waves began to roll, and the cask was thrown up 
on a dry place and fell to pieces of itself. Emelyan 
got up and went with the princess about the place 
where they were cast. The fool saw that they were 
in a very fine island, where there was an abundance 
of trees, with all kinds of fruit on them. When 
the princess saw that, she rejoiced greatly at their 
being on such an island, and she said 

" But, Emelyan, where shall we live 1 there is not 
even a nook here." 

" You want too much," said the fool. 

"Grant me the favour," said the princess; "let 
there be, if nothing more, a little cottage in which 
we may shelter us from the rain " for the princess 
knew he could do anything he wished. 

" I am lazy," said the fool. 

The princess began again to urge him, and 
Emelyan, overcome by her entreaties, was obliged 
to do as she desired. 

He went away from her, and said 



EMELYAN THE FOOL. 73 

" At the pike's command, and at my request, let 
me have, in the middle of this island, a finer castle 
than the king's, and let a crystal bridge lead from 
my castle to the royal palace, and let there be 
people of all conditions in the court." 

The words were scarcely spoken than there 
appeared a splendid castle with a crystal bridge. 
The fool went with the princess into the castle, 
and saw that the apartments were all magnificently 
furnished, and that there were many people there, 
such as footmen, and all kinds of officers, who 
waited for the fool's commands. When he saw 
that all these men were like men, and that he alone 
was ugly and stupid, he wished to be better, so he 
said 

" At the pike's command, and at my request, let 
me become such a youth that I shall have no equal, 
and let me be extremely wise." 

He had scarcely spoken the words before he 
became so handsome and so wise that all were 
amazed. 

Emelyan then sent one of his servants to the 
king to invite him and all his ministers to the 
castle. The servant went along the bridge which 
the fool had made, and when he came to the court 
the ministers brought him before the king, and 
Emelyan's messenger said 

" Please your majesty, I am sent by my master 
to ask you to dinner." 



74 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

The king asked him who his master was, but he 
answered 

"Please your majesty, I can tell you nothing 
about my master, but if you come to dine with him 
he will inform you himself." 

The king, who was curious to know who it was 
who had sent to invite him, told the messenger that 
he would come without fail. 

The servant went away, and when he got home 
the king and his ministers set out along the crystal 
bridge to visit the fool. When they arrived at the 
castle, Emelyan came forth to meet the king, took 
him by the white hands, kissed him on the mouth, 
led him into his castle, and made him sit behind 
the oak tables, with fine diapered table-cloths, at 
sugar-meats and honey- drinks. The king and his 
ministers ate and drank, and made themselves 
merry. When they got up from table and retired, 
the fool said to the king 

" Does your majesty know who I am 1 " 

As Emelyan was now dressed in fine clothes, and 
was very handsome, it was not possible to recognise 
him ; so the king said that he did not know him. 
Then said the fool 

" Does not your majesty recollect how a fool came 
on a stove to your court, and how you fastened 
him up in a pitched cask with your daughter, and 
cast them into the sea ? Know me then now, for 
I am that Emelyan." 



EMELYAN THE FOOL. 75 

When the king saw him thus before him, he was 
greatly terrified, and knew not what to do. But 
the fool went to the . king's daughter, and brought 
her out to him. When the king saw her he was 
very pleased, and said 

" I have been very unjust towards you, so I give 
you my daughter for your wife." 

Hearing that, Emelyan thanked the king, and 
when he had prepared everything for the wedding, 
it was celebrated with great magnificence, and the 
following day Emelyan gave a feast to the ministers 
and to the common people. There were barrels of 
wine set forth ; and when all these festivities were 
at an end, the king wanted to give up his kingdom 
to him, but Emelyan had no mind to take it. So 
the king went back to his kingdom, and Emelyan 
remained in his castle, and lived happily. 



ILTJA, THE MUROMER. 

IN the celebrated city of Murom, near to Katat- 
scharowa, there lived a countryman named Ivan 
Timofejevitch. He had one son named Ilija, the 
Muromer, and of him he was very fond. He was 
thirty years old when he began to walk. Then, all 
of a sudden, not only did he become strong enough 
to go about, but also made himself a suit of armour 
and a steel spear. Then he saddled his horse, went 
to his father and mother, and asked them for their 
blessing, saying 

"Father and mother of mine, let me go to the 
celebrated town of Kiev, to pray to God and to see 
the prince." 

His father and mother gave him their blessing, 
and said to him 

" Go, then, to the town of Kiev, to the town of 
Tschernigof, and do no wrong on your way, and 
spill no Christian blood wantonly." 

Ilija, the Muromer, received their blessing, and 
prayed to God. Then he bid his parents farewell, 
and went on his way. He travelled so far in a 

76 



ILIJA, THE MUROMER. 77 

dark forest that at length he came to the hold ot 
some robbers. As soon as the robbers saw the 
Muromer, they began to wish for his beautiful 
horse, and they said one to another 

"Let us seize this horse, which is so beautiful 
that its like has never been seen, and let us take it 
from this unknown fellow." 

So they all, five-and-twenty, set upon Ilija, the 
Muromer. Ilija reined in his horse, took an arrow 
out of his quiver, put it on the string of his bow, 
and shot it into the ground with so much force that 
the pieces of earth flew over three acres. When 
the robbers saw that they looked at one another 
with astonishment. Then they threw themselves 
on their knees, and said 

" Master and father, we have wronged you. If 
you want to punish us take our treasure, our fine 
clothes, and as many of our horses as you like." 

"What should I do with your treasure?" said 
Ilija. " If you want to keep your lives, see that you 
do not do the like in future." So he went on to 
famous Kiev. He came at length to the town of 
Tschernigof, and found it beset by an army of 
pagans, so great that no one could tell their number. 
They wanted to destroy the town, tear down the 
churches, and carry off the princes and nobles as 
slaves. When Ilija, the Muromer, saw the army he 
was afraid, but he placed confidence in the Highest, 
and braced himself up to die for the Christian 



78 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

religion. So he attacked the pagan army, put them 
to flight, took the chiefs prisoners, and carried them 
to Tschernigof. When he came to the city the 
folk ran out to meet him, the prince and the nobles 
coming first. They gave him thanks, and then went 
with him to offer up praise to God, who had pre- 
served the town safe, and not allowed it to be 
overthrown by so large an army. 

Then they conducted Ilija to the palace, and en- 
tertained him at a great feast. After that Ilija, the 
Muromer, went straight on to Kiev, along a road 
which the Robber Nightingale had kept for thirty 
years, and on which he suffered no horseman or 
traveller on foot to pass, putting them to death, not 
by the sword, but by the sound of his robber whistle. 
When Ilija came into the open fields he rode on to 
the Bianski forest, and went far on, passing over 
marshes, by means of bridges made of water-elder, to 
the river Smarodienka. When the Robber Night- 
ingale saw him about twenty versts away, he guessed 
his errand, and sounded his robber whistle. But the 
hero did not quail, and came on till he was only ten 
versts off, when the robber blew his whistle so loudly 
that Ilija's horse fell down on its knees. Then Ilija 
went up to the robber's nest, which was built upon 
twelve oaks. When the robber saw the hero he 
blew with all his might and tried to kill him, but 
Ilija took his bow, put a new arrow on the string, 
shot it straight iuto the robber's nest, and hit the 



ILIJA, THE MUROMER. 79 

robber in the right eye. Bobber Nightingale fell 
down from the tree like a sheaf of oats. 

Ilija, the Muromer, took him, bound him fast to 
his saddle, and rode away to Kiev. At the side of 
the road stood the palace of Robber Nightingale, 
and as he rode by the robber's daughters were 
sitting at the open window. 

"There comes our father," said the youngest, 
"riding, and bringing with him a peasant, tied to 
his saddle." 

The eldest looked at him carefully, and began to 
weep bitterly. 

" It is not our father," said she, " that rides 
there, but a strange man who has made him 
prisoner." 

Then they called out to their husbands 

"Dear husbands, ride out against this stranger, 
and deliver our father from him. Let not such 
shame come on us ! " 

Their husbands were mighty riders, and they 
came out to attack the Eussian horseman ; and they 
had good horses and sharp lances, and thought it 
would be an easy matter to kill him. When Robber 
Nightingale saw them, he called out and said 

" My dear sons, let no shame come on you, and do 
not attack so brave a knight, for if you do he will 
but slay you. Ask him, rather, to enter the house 
and drink with us." 

When Ilija heard the invitation he turned to 



80 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

enter the palace, suspecting no treachery ; but the 
eldest daughter had hung a beam, by means of a 
chain, over the entrance, so that she might kill him 
as he rode through. When Ilija saw that he gave 
her a stroke with his lance and killed her. Then 
he rode on to Kiev and came to the prince's palace. 
He entered the palace, prayed to God, and saluted 
the nobles. 

" Tell me, my good young man," said the prince, 
"what is your name, and to what place you 
belong ? " 

" I am called Little Ilija, sir," said he ; " my father 
is Ivan, and I was born in the town of Murom, 
near to Katatscharowa." 

The prince next asked him by what road he had 
come. 

" From Murom I rode to Tschernigof, and there I 
slew a great host of pagans and saved the city. 
From that place I came here. I have taken prisoner 
the famous Robber Nightingale, and I have brought 
him here bound to my stirrup." 

Then the prince grew angry, and said 

" Why do you try to deceive me ? " 

However, he sent two knights, Alescha Popo- 
witsch and Dobrinja Nikititsch, to see if it was as 
Ilija said ; and when they told the prince that it was 
true, he was pleased, gave the young man some 
drink, and desired to hear the robber's whistle. 
Ilija, the Muromer, therefore wrapped up the prince 



ILIJA, THE MUROMER. 81 

and the princess under his cloak, lined with sable, 
put them under his arm, and then told the Eobber 
Nightingale to blow his whistle gently. He blew, 
however, so loud that he deafened all the knights 
and they fell on the floor, and Ilija, the Muromer, 
was so enraged that he killed him there and 
then. 

Ilija became very friendly with Dobrinja Nikit- 
itsch, and, saddling their good horses, they rode 
away together, and travelled for three months with- 
out meeting with any adversary. Then they came 
up with a cripple. His beggar's cloak weighed fifty 
pounds, his hat nine pounds, and his crutch was six 
feet long. Ilija, the Muromer, rode up to him 
and began to try his courage, but the cripple 
addressing him said 

" Ah ! Ilija, the Muromer, do you not know me ? 
Do you not remember how we learnt lessons in the 
same school 1 Will you fall on me, a poor cripple ? 
Do you know that there is great distress in the 
famous town of Kiev ? A powerful infidel knight, 
a godless idolater, has come there. His head is as 
big as a beer-barrel, his eyebrows are a span apart, 
and his shoulders are six feet across. He eats an 
ox at a meal, and drinks a cask of beer at a time. 
The Prince is sore troubled at your absence." 

Then Ilija, the Muromer, put on the cripple's 
cloak and rode off to Kiev. He went to the palace, 
and cried with all his might 



82 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

" Ho>there ! Prince of Kiev, give the cripple an 
alms." 

When the Prince heard him, he said 

" Come into my palace. T will give you something 
to eat and drink, and some money for your journey." 

Then Ilija went into the palace and sat down 
near the stove, and there also sat the pagan knight 
calling for food to be brought. The servants brought 
him an ox, roasted whole, and he ate it up, bones 
and all. Then he called for something to drink, 
and twenty-seven men brought him a barrel of beer. 
The knight took it in his hands and lifted it up. 
Then Ilija, the Muromer, said 

"My father once had a gluttonous mare, which 
ate so much that it burst." 

The infidel was angry, and said 

" What do you mean, you wretched cripple ? You 
are no equal for me. I could set you on the palm 
of my right hand and squeeze you dry with my left. 
You once had a real hero in your country, Ilija, the 
Muromer ; I should like to have a fight with him." 

" Here he is," cried Ilija, taking off his hat, and 
striking the pagan a blow on the head, not very 
hard, but so strong as to send the head through the 
wall of the palace. Ilija then took up the body and 
cast it into the yard. So the prince gave Ilija a 
royal reward, and kept him at his court as the first 
and the bravest of his knights, 



THE BAD-TEMPEEED WIFE. 

THERE was once upon a time a poor fellow who 
was troubled with a wife, with whom he lived on the 
worst terms imaginable. She paid not the slightest 
attention to what he told her, but was always 
contrary. If he told her to get up early, she was 
sure to lie in bed later than ever, or perhaps even 
for three days at a time. If he asked her to make 
some cakes, she would say 

" Cakes, you villain ! What do you want with 
cakes 1 Do you think you deserve them ? " 

" All right," the man would say ; " don't make 
them, then." 

Then off would go his wife, make three times as 
many cakes as could be eaten, and plumping them 
down before her husband 

" Eat," she would cry "eat, you gluttonous fellow! 
They must be finished up." 

The man spent most of his time disputing with 
her ; but his wife used to wear him out and get the 
better in the end. 

One day, wearied by his wife's jangle, and utterly 
dispirited, he went off to the wood to look for some 



84 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

berries. As he went on he came at last to a wild 
currant-bush, and looking at it he saw beside it a 
deep hole. He looked down, but could discover no 
bottom to it. 

" Dear me ! " said he, " I wish my wife were 
down there ! What is the use of living as I do in 
continual misery ? I will see if I can get her down 
the hole." 

Off he went home. There he found his wife. 

" Wife," said he, " I want you to keep out of the 
wood. Don't go looking about there for berries." 

" You want me ! " said she. " Indeed, I shall go 
where I please." 

" Well," said the man, " I have found a currant- 
bush there, and I want to keep the currants. Don't 
eat them." 

" Won't I ? " said his wife. " I will eat them all. 
You shall not have a single one." 

The man went out, and his wife came after him 
to find the currant-bush. On they went till the 
man came to the place where the bush was, when 
his wife, hurrying past him, got to it first. 

" Now don't you come near," said she. " I warn 
you to stand off." 

On she went; all at once her husband heard a 
crack and a crash. He looked about, but could not 
see his wife. Sure enough, she had fallen down the 
hole. 

The man returned home rejoicing at the success 



THE BAD-TEMPERED WIFE. 85 

of his plan. For some days he lived in peace. 
Then he became curious to know where his wife 
had really gone to. So he got a very long cord, and 
set off with it to the forest. He came to the currant- 
bush and found the hole, and, letting down one end 
of his cord, tried to touch the bottom. The cord 
went down and down the hole seemed to have no 
bottom at all. Then the man drew the cord up. 
As he pulled out the last piece of it, he fell back 
astounded, for there, clinging to it, was a little devil. 
After the first surprise, the man was about to lay 
his hands on the imp in order to throw him down 
the hole again; but it addressed him in a pitiful 
tone, saying 

" My good man, I beseech you do not throw me 
down the hole again. No tongue can tell what I 
have suffered there. A few days since there came a 
woman amongst us, and she has led us such a time 
of it that our lives are not worth living. Let me 
stay aboveground, and I will reward you for it." 

The peasant, when he heard the imp's tale, felt 
sorry for him, and had not the heart to send him 
back again. So he let him go where he would. 

No sooner was the imp at liberty than he began 
to torment the wives and daughters of the wealthy 
folk, entering into them, and making them so 
whimsical and sick that they seemed beside them- 
selves. While they were in this condition the peasant 
would present himself as a physician and undertake 



86 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

to cure the afflicted persons. As soon as he was 
called in, before he had almost stepped across the 
threshold of the house in which the sick person lay, 
the imp would scuttle away as fast as he could, the 
patient recovered, and the whole place rang with the 
marvellous cure effected by the doctor. So they 
went on for some time. The peasant was now rich. 
Money and all good things were heaped upon him 
by the relations of those whom he restored to 
health. 

One day the imp said to him 

" My man, I have had enough of this kind of 
thing. I am now going to take possession of a rich 
man's daughter. Don't you come to heal her, for I 
warn you that if you do so I will tear you to pieces." 

Away he went. The daughter was possessed, 
and was so beside herself that no one dare venture 
near her. Away sent her relations for the wonder- 
ful doctor. The peasant, however, was unwilling to 
take the case in hand. He would not come. At last 
the folk sent their servants to bring him to the 
house by force, declaring that if he refused to come 
they would kill him. 

The man did not know what to do ; at last he 
thought he saw his way out of the difficulty. 

In the road running beside the house he collected 
a number of coachmen, grooms, and others, and 
ordered them to run up and down, smacking their 
whips and crying as loudly as they could 



THE BAD-TEMPERED WIFE. 87 

" That wretched woman has come again ! that 
wretched woman has come again ! " 

When the hubbub was at its full height the 
peasant went into the house. 

" What ! " cried the imp. " You have come, have 
you ? Well then, now, I will make you repent it." 

" My dear friend," said the man, " it is true I 
have come, but I came to do you a service. I came 
to tell you that that miserable woman has come 
back again." 

" What ! " cried the imp. 

He leaped to the window, looked out, and listened. 
When he saw the confusion, and heard the cries 
" That wretched woman has come again ! that 
wretched woman has come again ! " he turned to the 
peasant, and said to him, in a tone full of anxiety 
and mournfulness 

" What shall I do ? Where can I hide from her ? " 

" I don't know," said the man, " but I should say 
the hole would be the safest place. She will hardly 
search there a second time for you." 

Away went the imp at full speed, and, coming to 
the hole, down he went headlong. He was never 
seen again. The girl was completely cured when he 
left her, and was as happy as ever, and her parents 
heaped rewards on the wonderful physician. 

The bad-tempered woman, too, never made her 
appearance again, so it seems as if she would 
remain down the pit for ever. 



IVASHKA WITH THE BEAR'S EAR 

ONCE upon a time there lived in a certain 
kingdom a moujik. He was married, and his wife 
bore him a child a boy who had the ear of a bear, 
so he was named Ivashka with the Bear's Ear. 
Ivashka used to go and play with the children of 
his neighbours, but his manner was rather rough, 
for if he took hold of a child by the hand he would 
give it such a wrench that the hand would come off, 
and if he took hold of a child by the head, the 
head would come off too. Such play was not 
agreeable to the parents of the children, and they 
came to Ivashka's father and told him that he must 
see that his son did not come out to play with their 
children, or that he did them no hurt. The man 
promised to do what he could. He found, however, 
that Ivashka paid no heed to him, so in the end he 
turned him out of doors, saying 

" Be off where you will, for I want you no longer ; 
you shall come no more into my house, for if you 
do you will get me into trouble." 

So Ivashka with the Bear's Ear set off on his 



IVASHKA WITH THE BEAR'S EAR. 89 

travels. He went on for a long time, and at last 
came to a great forest. There he found a man 
hewing wood. 

" Friend," said Ivashka to him, " what are you 
called ? " 

"I am called Dubunia," said the man. 

" Well," said Ivashka, " let us be friends." 

After some talk they became very friendly, and 
the man went on with Ivashka. They travelled for 
some time, and at length they came to a high rock, 
where they found a man hewing stone. 

" Heaven bless you, good fellow ! " said Ivashka ; 
" what are you called ? " 

" Gorunia," replied the man. 

" Well," said Ivashka, " let us be friends." 

After some talk the man became very friendly 
with Ivashka and his companion, and agreed to go 
on with them in their travels. On they went. At 
last they came to a river, on the bank of which they 
found a man with very long moustaches, with which 
he was fishing in the water. 

" Heaven bless you ! " said Ivashka and his com- 
panions. " May you have good luck." 

" Thanks, my brothers," said the man. 

" What are you called 1 " asked Ivashka. 

" Usunia," said he. 

" Well," said Ivashka, " let us be friends." 

So, after some talk, the man agreed to join 
Ivashka and his companions. 



90 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

The four went on, and at length they came to a 
forest, near to which they found a hut. Now the hut 
stood on a fowl's legs, and kept turning round and 
round. 

" Hut, hut," cried Ivashka, " stand still with your 
back to the forest and your front towards us ! " 

The hut at once did what they told it, and the 
four travellers going in commenced to plan how 
they should live. They were very hungry, so they 
went into the forest, caught some game, and ate it. 

The next day Dubunia stayed at home while the 
others went into the forest to look for game. He 
cooked the dinner, and waited for his companions 
to come back. They did not come, so Dubunia 
washed his head and sat combing his hair, and who 
should come into the hut but Baba Yaja. She came 
riding in an iron mortar, which she drove on with a 
pestle, and with her tongue she wiped out the marks 
the mortar made as it passed over the ground. As 
she came into the cabin 

" Ho, ho ! " cried she, " I smell Russian flesh." 

Then she turned to Dubunia and said 

" What do you do here ? " 

Without waiting for his reply, Baba Yaja laid on 
him with her pestle, and beat him until he hardly 
had any life left in him. Then she ate the dinner 
he had got ready for his companions, got into her 
mortar, and rode off. Dubunia lay for some time 
on the ground. Then he got up, tied up his head 



IVASHKA WITH THE BEAR'S EAR. 91 

with a handkerchief, and sat down, groaning, till his 
companions came home. 

" Where is the dinner ? " said they. 

" I have been ill," answered Dubunia, and have 
been too unwell to get it ready." 

The next day Gorunia was left to keep the hut 
and get the dinner ready. He cooked the food, and 
waited for his friends to come back, when, all of a 
sudden, who should come in but Baba Yaja. 

"Ho, ho!" said she, "I smell Russian flesh. 
What are you doing here ? " she asked, turning to 
Gorunia. 

Without giving him time to reply she com- 
menced to beat him with the pestle. Then she 
ate up all the food he had ready, got into the 
mortar, and rode away. When his friends came 
home Gorunia told them what had happened. 

On the third day Usunia stayed at home, and Baba 
Yaja made her appearance again, and treated him as 
she had his companions. 

At length it was Ivashka's turn to keep house. 
His comrades went out to hunt in the wood, and 
Ivashka got the dinner ready. Looking about the 
hut he found in it a jar of honey. Then Ivashka 
took an axe and split open one of the posts of the 
hut, and putting a piece of wood in at the top he 
kept the crack open. Then he took the honey and 
poured it all over the post and in the chink. After 
that he got three iron rods, and then he sat down 



92 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

to await Baba Yaja's coming. He did not wait 
long, for she came riding to the hut in her mortar. 

" Ho, ho ! " cried she, as she entered, " I smell 
Russian flesh. What do you here ? " said she, 
turning to Ivashka. 

Just then, however, she smelt the honey, and, 
going to the post, she commenced to lick it with her 
long tongue. She licked all the honey off the 
outside, and then put her tongue in the crack, to get 
the honey out that was there. Then Ivashka 
suddenly pulled out the piece of wood that held 
the post asunder, and Baba Yaja's tongue being held 
fast, she could not get away. She screamed and 
struggled, but could not free herself, and Ivashka, 
taking his three iron rods, commenced to beat her 
with all his strength. He beat her till he was tired ; 
and then, as she begged him to have mercy on her, 
and promised that if he would let her go she would 
never trouble him more, he set her free. 

" Stop there," said he, putting her in a corner of 
the cabin. So he sat down and waited for his 
companions to come home. Towards evening they 
came, and how much were they surprised to find 
that Ivashka had the food cooked and ready for 
them ! When they had eaten he told them how he 
had served Baba Yaja, and how he had beaten her and 
put her in the corner of the hut. When they went 
to look for her, however, she was nowhere to be 
seen. While they examined the place to find how 



IVASHKA WITH THE BEAR'S EAR. 93 

she could have escaped, they discovered a large stone 
in the ground. Lifting it up they found there was 
a deep pit below. They wished very much to know 
what was in this place, but none durst go down, till 
Ivashka said he would go. So they made a rope 
and let him down. 

"Wait for me," said Ivashka; "but if I do not 
come back at the end of a week, know then that 
you will see me no more. When I want to come 
up I will pull the rope." So he took leave of his 
companions, and they let him down. When he 
arrived at the bottom of the pit he found himself 
in a strange country. He went on for some time 
until he came to a hut, and, going in, he found three 
girls who sat sewing with gold thread. 

" What do you want ? " said they, when they saw 
Ivashka with the Bear's Ear. " What has brought 
you here ? Baba Yaja, our mother, lives here, and 
if she sees you she will certainly kill you. We will, 
however, tell you how you may save your life if you 
will take us to the upper world." 

Ivashka promised to do what they asked. 

"When our mother comes in," said they, " she will 
run at you and attack you. When you have fought for 
a time she will leave you and go to the cellar. There 
are two jars full of water: the one is white and 
the other is blue. The white jar contains the water 
of weakness, and the blue jar the water of strength. 
If you drink the water in the blue jar you are saved." 



94 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

The girls had scarcely finished speaking when 
Baba Yaja was heard coming to the hut. She 
came riding in the iron mortar, which she drove 
along with the pestle, while, with her tongue, she 
swept out the mark made by the mortar as it passed 
over the ground. 

" Ho, ho ! " said she, " I smell Russian flesh. Why 
do you come here ? " she went on, turning to Ivashka 
with the Bear's Ear. " What do you want ? " 

With that she rushed upon him, and they fought 
together until they were so tired that they fell to 
the ground. Then Baba Yaja, getting up, ran to the 
cellar for the water, and Ivashka went after her. 
Baba Yaja, in her hurry, took up the white jar and 
drank the water, and Ivashka drank that in the 
blue jar. Then they began to fight again. At 
length Ivashka got the better of her, and taking 
her pestle he beat her with it till she begged him to 
have mercy on her. Still Ivashka would not stop 
till she promised him she would never do him any 
injury, and would leave that place as soon as he 
released her. So he let her go. 

Ivashka went to the three daughters and told 
them to get ready and go with him to the world 
above. Then he went to the rope, and, calling to 
his companions, got them to let down a large basket. 
He told the eldest daughter to get into it, and then, 
on Ivashka's pulling the rope, his companions drew 
the basket up. They were very much astonished 



IVASHKA WITH THE BEAR'S EAR. 95 

when they found a beautiful girl in the basket in- 
stead of Ivashka, but she told them all that had 
occurred, and they let the basket down again. So 
the second and the third daughters were drawn up. 
Then they let down the basket again, and Ivashka 
filled it with gold and silver and fine clothes, which 
he had found in Baba Yaja's hut. When the men 
commenced to draw the basket up they wondered 
why it was so heavy, and they thought that Baba 
Yaja herself must be in it. So they cut the rope 
and let the basket and all the things fall down to 
the bottom, and left Ivashka down below. 

For a long time he wandered about seeking his 
way to the upper world. At length he found an 
iron door in the rock, and on opening it and looking 
in he saw a long passage. So he went on and on 
till at last he came out in the upper world. Then 
he went to seek his friends. When he came to 
them he found that they had given him up as dead, 
and had married the three daughters of Baba Yaja. 

" Why did you leave me at the bottom of the 
pit ? " asked Ivashka ; " and who was it that cut the 
rope ? " 

They told him that Usunia had done it, and 
Ivashka was so angry that he killed him on the 
spot. So Ivashka married Usunia's wife, and he 
and his companions lived together for many years 
in great happiness. 



THE PLAGUE. 

A EUSSIAN peasant sat out in the field. The sun 
was shining fiercely. In the distance the man saw 
something coming to him. It came nearer, and 
then he saw it was a woman. She was clad in a 
large cloak, and strode along with great strides. 
The man felt much afraid, and would have run away, 
but the phantom held him with its bare arms. 

" Do you know the Plague 1 " said she. " I am it. 
Take me on your shoulders and carry me through 
all Kussia. Miss no village or town, for I must go 
everywhere. For yourself fear nothing. You shall 
live in the midst of death." 

She wrapt her long arms round the neck of the 
fearful peasant. The man went on, and was asto- 
nished to find that he felt no weight. He turned 
his head, and saw that the Plague was on his back. 

He first took her to a town, and when they 
came there there was joy in all the streets, dancing, 
music, and jollity. The peasant went on and stood 
in the market-place, and the woman shook her 
cloak. Soon the dance, joy, and merriment ceased. 



THE PLAGUE. 97 

Wherever the man looked he saw terror. People 
carried coffins, the bells tolled, the burial-ground 
was full there was at length no room for more to 
be buried in it. 

Then the people brought the dead to the market- 
place and left them there, having no place in which 
to bury them. 

The wretched man went on. Whenever he came 
to a village the houses were left deserted, and the 
peasants fled with white faces, and trembling with 
fear. On the roads, in the woods, and out in the 
fields, could be heard the groans of the dying. 

Upon a high hill stood the man's own village, the 
place in which he was born, and to this place the 
Plague began to direct his steps. There were the 
man's wife, his children, and his old parents. 

The man's heart was bleeding ! When he came 
near his own village, he laid hold of the Plague so 
that she should not escape him, and held her with 
all his might. 

He looked before him and saw the blue Pruth 
flowing past, and beyond it were the green hills, and 
afar off the dark mountains with snow-capped tops. 

He ran quickly to the stream and leaped under 
its waters, wishing to destroy himself and his burden 
together, and so free his land from sorrow and the 
Plague. 

He himself was drowned, but the Plague, being 
as light as a feather, slipped off his shoulders, and 
****. G 



98 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

so escaped. She was, however, so alarmed by this 
brave deed that she fled away and hid herself in the 
mountain forests. 

So the man saved his village, his parents, his wife, 
and his little children, and all that part of fair 
Kussia through which the Plague had not passed. 



THE PEASANT AND THE WIND. 

ONCE upon a time there was a peasant who lived in 
great poverty with his wife. He was as dull as a 
sheep, but she was as wily as a serpent, and she was 
so bad tempered that she used to beat him for any 
little thing that put her out. 

One day the woman begged some corn of a neigh- 
bour so that she might make some bread, and she 
sent her husband off to the mill with it to get it 
ground. The miller knew they were very poor, so he 
ground the corn for nothing, and the man set off to 
go home with the flour. As he was on his way there 
came all of a sudden such a fierce blast of wind that 
all the flour was, in a moment, blown away out of 
the pan which he carried on his head. So the man 
went home and told his wife what had happened. 
When she heard his story she set upon him and gave 
him a hearty beating, and then, having scolded and 
thrashed till she could do no more, she told him to 
be off to the wind and ask it either to give him the 
flour back again or to pay him for it. 

The man went off out of the house, weeping ; and, 



100 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

not knowing in what direction to go, he went to a 
great dark forest. There he wandered about, here 
and there. At last an old woman met him. 

"Good man," said she, "where are you going 1 
How came you in these parts, where no bird ever 
flies, and scarce a wild animal runs 1 " 

"My mother," said he, "I have been forced to 
come here. I carried some corn to the mill to be 
ground, and when it was finished, as I carried the 
flour home, the wind came and scattered it all out of 
the pan. I had no flour when I got home, and I told 
my wife what had happened ; so she beat me, and 
sent me off to the wind to ask it to give me the 
flour again or to pay me for it. So I came here to look 
for the wind, but I do not know where to find it." 

"Come with me," said the woman. "I am the 
mother of the winds, and I have four sons. The 
first is the East- wind, the second the South-wind, the 
third the West-wind, and the fourth the North-wind. 
Tell me, now, which wind was it that took your 
flour?" 

" It was the South- wind," said the man. 

The old woman led the man deep into the forest, 
and bringing him to a little hut, said 

"Here we are, my man. Climb up upon the 
stove and cover yourself up, for my children will 
soon be here." 

" Why should I cover myself ? " asked the man. 

" Because, my son, the North-wind, will be here," 



THE PEASANT AND THE WIND. 101 

said the woman, "and he will otherwise freeze 
you up." 

In a short time the sons began to come in. When 
the South-wind had arrived, the old woman told the 
man to come off the stove, and said to her son 

" South- wind, my dear son, this man has a com- 
plaint against you. Why do you hurt the poor? 
You have taken this man's flour out of his pan. 
Now give him money for it, or make him some 
recompense." 

" Very well, mother," said the South-wind, " I will 
buy the flour of him." 

So saying, he turned to the man, and said 

" Here, my man. Take this basket. It has in it 
all you most want money, bread, food, and drink 
of all kinds. You have only to say to it, ' Basket, 
give me so and so,' and it will give you whatever 
you wish. Take it to your house. I give it you for 
your flour." 

The peasant bowed to the Wind, thanked it for 
the basket, and set off homewards. 

He gave the basket to his wife, and said 

"Wife, here is a basket which contains every- 
thing, whatever you most want. You only have to 
ask for it." 

The woman took the basket, and said to it 

" Basket, give me some good flour, so that I may 
make bread." 

The basket gave her as much as she wished. 



102 KUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

She continued asking for very many things, and 
everything she named the basket gave her. 

Now it chanced that one day a nobleman was 
passing by the peasant's hut. When the woman 
saw him she said to her husband 

" Go and ask the nobleman to dine with us. If 
you do not bring him in I will beat you till you are 
half dead." 

The man was afraid of his wife carrying out her 
threat, so he set off and asked the stranger in to 
dinner. 

His wife meanwhile watched him from the window, 
having taken out of the basket all that was required 
for the dinner. There she sat, with her hands in 
her lap, awaiting her husband's return with the guest. 

The nobleman was astonished, and laughed at the 
invitation. He would not accept it himself, but 
told his attendants they might go if they wished, 
and he should like to know how they dined. 

So the attendants went, thinking they should fare 
very badly, for the appearance of the hut would not 
have led any one to suppose that there was much 
feasting to be had within it. When they entered 
they were vastly astonished. The dinner was such 
as would have done credit had it been provided by 
a host of some rank The men sat down, and ate 
and drank and made merry ; and, keeping their eyes 
open the while, they observed that when the woman 
wanted anything for the table she went to the basket 



THE PEASANT AND THE WIND. 103 

and got it given to her by it. The men began to 
think how they could get the prize for themselves. 
As they feasted they sent off one of their number to 
look for a basket just like the one in the room. Off 
went the man as quickly as he could, found what 
he wanted, and brought it with him to the cottage. 
Then while the peasant and his wife were busy, 
the men slipped the new basket in the place of the 
other. When they left they carried away the trea- 
sure-basket with them, and coming to their master 
they told him how they had been entertained. 

After the feast was over and the guests had gone, 
the peasant's wife cast away the food that was left, 
for what was the use of keeping it when fresh could 
be so easily got 1 The next morning she went to 
the basket and asked it for various things, but a 
great change seemed to have come over it, for it 
paid no heed to her. 

" Old Greyhead," cried she to her husband, 
" this is a nice basket you have got us ! What is 
the good of it if it does not do what we tell it? 
Be off to the wind again, and tell it to give you 
back your flour, or I will thrash you till you are 
half dead." 

There was nothing for it but he must go. He 
came to the old woman's hut, and there he began to 
tell her what a terrible wife he had got, and the old 
woman told him to wait a while till her son, the 
South-wind, came home. 



104 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

Not long after in came the South-wind, and the 
peasant told him all about his trouble. 

"Well," said the wind, when he had heard him 
to an end, " I am sorry, old man, that you have such 
a bad wife, but I will help you, and your wife shall 
thrash you no more. Here now is a cask. Take 
it home with you, and when your wife threatens to 
beat you, stand behind the cask and say, 'Five, 
come out of the cask and beat my wife ! ' When 
you think they have punished her sufficiently, say, 
' Five, go back to your cask ! '" 

The peasant was very grateful to the Wind, made 
him his best bow, and went home. When he got 
there, he said 

" There, wife, now you have a cask instead of the 
basket." 

His wife flew into a rage, and said 

" What do I want with your cask ? Why didn't 
you bring the flour with you ? " 

She grasped a weapon as she said this, and got 
ready to lay on her husband, but he slipped behind 
the cask, and when he saw how matters were, he 
said 

" Five, come out of the cask and beat my wife ! " 

In an instant out sprang five big fellows, who 
set to to thrash the wife. The husband looked on 
till he thought she had had enough. Then he lis- 
tened to her cries for mercy, and said 

"Five, go back to your cask ! " 



THE PEASANT AND THE WIND. 105 

In the twinkling of an eye the men ceased their 
labour, and disappeared into the cask again. From 
that hour the woman was much improved, and the 
peasant, seeing that he should not want the cask 
in order to preserve quiet at home, began to think 
whether he could not somehow obtain his basket 
by means of it. He concluded that the nobleman's 
servants must have taken the basket away, and he 
and his wife set their heads together to think how 
they could get it from them. 

"Since you have such a marvellous cask," said 
she, "you need not be afraid even of a thousand 
men. Why not then go to the nobleman and make 
him give you the basket." Her husband thought 
the idea was a good one, so he went off to the 
nobleman's house and asked him to come outside 
and fight him. He laughed at the peasant, but 
thought he would have a joke with him, so he told 
him to await him outside. Off went the peasant, 
took his cask under his arm, and came to the spot 
where the nobleman was to meet him. In a short 
time he came, bringing with him several of his 
servants. As soon as he had come up he ordered 
his attendants to set on the peasant and give him 
a good thrashing ; but he, when he saw the gentle- 
man's trickery, fell in a rage, and shouted out 

" Look you, sir, will you give me back my basket, 
or will you not ? It shall be better for you all if 
you do ! " 



106 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

When, however, he saw that no one paid any 
attention to what he said, and that the attendants 
were about to thrash him, he cried out 

"Five to each man come out of the cask, and 
beat them thoroughly ! " 

In an instant there sprang forth five stout fellows 
for each of them, and they laid upon them most 
unmercifully. The nobleman was afraid he should 
be beaten till there was no life in him, and so he 
called out 

" Good fellow, for Heaven's sake, do not beat us 
any more ! " 

When the peasant heard that, he said 

" Go back to the cask, you fellows." 

In a moment the cudgels ceased to play, and the 
men disappeared into the cask. The gentleman had 
had enough. He ordered that the basket should be 
given up to the peasant as quickly as possible, and 
the man taking it home with him, he and his wife 
lived very happily ever after. 



THE WONDERFUL CLOTH. 

THERE was once a shepherd who looked after the 
king's flocks. He had three sons, two of whom were 
considered very clever, but the third was looked upon 
as a fool. The elder brothers helped their father to 
herd the flocks, but the youngest, who was thought 
to be good for nothing, played about or went to 
sleep. 

He passed his days and nights sleeping on the 
top of the stove, and never left that place unless he 
was driven from it. If he bestirred himself, it was 
rather because he was too hot, or wanted something 
to eat or drink. His father did not care for him, 
and called him a lazy fellow, while his brothers 
often tormented him, pulling him off the stove or 
refusing to let him eat. If his mother had not 
looked after him he would have been nearly starved. 
She, however, would caress him and give him food. 
Was it his fault that he was a fool 1 Who could 
tell what Heaven had in store for him ? It some- 
times happens that the wisest folk do not get on 
well, and that fools, especially such as are harmless 
and inoffensive, succeed in a wonderful fashion. 



108 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

One day when the two brothers returned from 
the fields, finding the simpleton on the top of the 
stove, they made him dress and put on his hat, and 
having dragged him into the yard, they gave him a 
good beating, and turning him out, said to him 

" Go, simpleton, and lose no time, for you shall 
have neither lodging nor supper until you have 
gone to the wood and brought us a basket of 
mushrooms." 

The poor fellow, full of astonishment, did not 
even understand what his brothers wished of him. 
After having stood for a time scratching his head, 
he set off to a little forest of oak-trees which was 
near at hand. All seemed wonderful and strange 
to him. Right in his way he came across the dry 
trunk of a tree. He went up to it, took off his hat, 
and said 

"I see that other trees in the forest stand up 
and wear hats of green leaves, but you alone, my 
poor friend, are bare. The cold will kill you. You 
are amongst just such brothers as I have. No doubt 
you are a fool like myself. Will you have my hat, 
then?" 

Folding his arms, he wept tenderly. All of a 
sudden one of the trees which grew near moved as 
if it were alive. The idiot was alarmed, and was 
about to fly, when the tree, addressing him in a 
man's voice, said 

',Do not fly, but stop and listen. That tree, 



THE WONDERFUL CLOTH. 109 

which was cut down so prematurely, was my son. 
No one besides myself has until now wept over his 
so early blighted life. You alone have watered 
him with your tears. As a reward for it, you shall 
henceforth obtain whatever you ask of me, saying 
the following words : 

" Oak with the golden acorns, I beseech you give 
me what I want ! " 

At the moment that the oak ceased, a shower of 
golden acorns fell upon the idiot, who filled his 
pockets with them, saluted the oak, thanked it, 
and returned home. 

" Ah, you simpleton ! " cried his brothers, " where 
are the mushrooms ? " 

"I have in my pocket some oak mushrooms," 
said the idiot. 

"Eat them yourself, then, for your supper," said 
they, " for you will have nothing else, you sluggard. 
Where is your hat ? " 

" I covered a poor tree I came across on the road 
with it ; it had nothing on it, and I was afraid it 
would be frozen," answered he. 

The idiot climbed upon the stove as he said this, 
and lay down. All of a sudden the golden acorns 
fell out of his pocket. The brothers rushed forward, 
and paying no heed to the lad's remonstrances, 
gathered up the acorns and took them to their 
father. He told them to carry them to the king, 
and tell him that one of his sons, an idiot, had 



110 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

found them in the wood. When the king saw 
them, he at once sent some soldiers to look through 
the wood for golden acorns, but all their search 
was fruitless. They came back and told him that 
there was not a single golden acorn to be found in 
the forest. The king fell in a great rage when he 
heard that. When he was calm again, he ordered 
the shepherd to come to him, and said 

" Tell your son, the idiot, that he must bring 
to the court this evening a cask full to the brim 
of gold acorns. If he does so he shall receive my 
royal favour, and you may be assured that you shall 
not be forgotten." 

The shepherd went off to his son, and told him 
what the king had said. 

"The king," said the idiot, "I see, likes good 
things. He does not ask, but commands me to do 
what he wishes, and makes mere promises, and for 
them he wants a fool to bring him golden acorns. 
I shall not do it." 

Neither the prayers nor the threats of his father 
could make him change his mind. At last his 
brothers pulled him off the stove, made him dress 
and put on a hat, took him into the yard and beat 
him, and then put him out, saying 

"Lose no time, you simpleton, but be off, for 
you shall have neither lodging nor supper till you 
return from the wood with the golden acorns." 

The fool did not know what to do, so he set off 



THE WONDERFUL CLOTH. Ill 

again to the forest. In a short time he came to the 
stump on which was his hat, just by the old oak. 
He raised his cap, bowed, and said 

" Oak with the golden acorns, help me in my 
distress, I beseech you. Give me what I want." 

The oak shook itself, rattled its branches, and 
instead of golden acorns a cloth fell into the lad's 
hands. 

" Take care of the cloth," said the oak, " and keep 
it. In case of need, say to it 

" ' Wonderful cloth, let one who is hungry and 
thirsty find here everything he wants.' " 

The oak ceased, and the lad, saluting and thank- 
ing it, commenced to go home. As he went he 
wondered what his brothers would say to him, and 
he thought how pleased his mother would be when 
he told her that he had got the wonderful cloth. 
When he was half-way home he met a beggar, who 
said to him 

" See, I am old, ill, and ragged, for the love of 
God give me something, either money or a piece of 
bread." 

The idiot laid his cloth on the grass, and said 
. " Wonderful cloth, let those who are hungry and 
thirsty find here all they want." 

Immediately there was a whistling in the air; 
something shone over them, and they found before 
them a table set as if for a king's feast. There 
were numberless dishes, goblets full of hydromel, 



112 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

and glasses full of the best wines. The things on 
the table were all of gold or of silver. 

The idiot and his guest admired the table and 
commenced to eat and drink. When they had 
finished eating and drinking the table vanished, 
and the idiot wrapped up his cloth and began to go 
homewards, when the old man said to him 

" Give me your cloth, and take this stick in its 
stead. When you speak to it such-and-such words 
it belabours people so that they will give all the 
world to escape from it." 

The idiot, thinking of his brothers, took the 
cudgel and gave the man the cloth. So they parted. 

Now afterwards he considered that the oak had 
told him to keep the cloth himself, and that, having 
given it away, he would not be able to surprise his 
mother as he had intended. So he said to the 
stick 

" Stick which beats by itself, go quickly and look 
for my cloth. Go, I want it back." 

The stick went off at once in pursuit of the man 
and soon overtook him. It set upon him, and 
commenced to beat him, crying 

"So you seek the wealth of others, do you? 
Take that, you knave, and that." 

The man tried to escape, but it was no use, for 
the stick followed him, thrashing on, and repeating 
the same words. However much he would have 
liked to keep the cloth, he was obliged to throw it 



THE WONDERFUL CLOTH. 113 

aside to save himself. The stick brought the cloth 
to its master, and the idiot continued his journey, 
thinking how he would surprise his mother and 
brothers. A little further on he met a man who 
carried in his hand an empty bag. 

" Stop," cried the man. " For the love of Heaven 
give me some pence or a piece of bread ! My bag 
is empty, and I am hungry and have a long way 
to go." 

The fool spread his cloth once more, and said 

" Wonderful cloth, let him who is hungry and 
thirsty find here everything he wants." 

They heard a whistling noise, saw something 
shine in the air above them, and, immediately, in 
front of them, was a table set as if for a royal 
banquet. There, were numberless dishes, and 
hydromel and wine in plenty. The idiot and his 
guest sat down, and when they had finished eating 
and drinking the table disappeared. The fool 
wrapped up his cloth, and was commencing his 
journey, when the man said to him 

" Will you give me your cloth for my girdle ? 
When you say, ' Girdle, which swims so wonderfully, 
for my safety and not for my pleasure, let me find 
myself in a boat on the water,' the girdle will change 
itself into a deep lake, upon which you can sail at 
your will." 

The simpleton thought how much his father 
would like to always have water for his flocks. So 



114 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

he gave the man the cloth for the girdle, which he 
tied around him. Then he took his stick in his 
hand, and the two parted. In a short time, when 
the beggar was afar off, the fool began again to 
remember how the oak had told him to keep the 
cloth for himself, and he saw that unless he had it 
he would not be able to give his mother the pleasant 
surprise he had intended. So he said to his 
stick 

"Stick, which beats of itself, go quickly and 
look for my cloth. Go, I want it back." 

The stick set off again, and coming up to the 
beggar commenced to beat him, saying 

"So you seek the wealth of others, do you? 
Take that, knave, and that." 

The beggar tried to fly, but the stick pursued 
him, and however much he would have liked to 
keep the cloth, he preferred rather to save himself 
from the stick. The cudgel brought the cloth to 
its master, and he, having hidden it under his coat, 
put on the girdle and, with the stick in his hand, 
again went on his way. As he walked he thought 
with pleasure of how he would be able to exercise 
the stick on his brothers, and how pleased his father 
would be to always have water for the king's flocks, 
even though he should be in the midst of dry fields 
and woods. Then he thought of his mother's surprise 
at finding he had got the wonderful cloth. All of 
,1 sudden he met a soldier clothed in rags, lame, 



THE WONDERFUL CLOTH. 115 

and covered with scars. He had once been a fine 
warrior, and, addressing the young man, he 
said 

"Evil luck follows me, a man who has been a 
good soldier, and who has fought well in his youth. 
What has been the good of it all ] I am lamed for 
life, and upon this lonely road I cannot even get 
anything to eat. Take pity on me, and give me 
at least a piece of bread." 

The fool sat down, spread his cloth, and said 

"Wonderful cloth, let him who is hungry and 
thirsty find here everything he wants." 

Immediately they heard a hissing noise in the 
air, something shone above them, and they found 
a fine table, spread as for a royal feast in front of 
them. They ate and drank, and then the table 
disappeared. As the simpleton was about to con- 
tinue his journey, the soldier said 

"Will you give me your cloth in exchange for 
this hat with six corners. It shoots of itself, and 
hits, in an instant, whatever you wish. You have 
only to turn it round on your head, and say ' Hat 
which fires, to please me, strike what I tell you.' 
Then it shoots with such a sure aim that if your 
enemy were a mile away he would bite the dust." 

The lad thought it would be well to have the hat, 
for how useful would it be in time of danger, and 
when he wished to serve his king and country. 
So he gave the cloth to the soldier, tied the girdle 



116 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

again round his waist, put the hat upon his head, 
took his stick in his hand, and went on once more. 

He had not gone far when he thought of what 
the oak had told him about the cloth, and of how 
he wanted to surprise his mother with it. So he 
said to his stick 

" Stick, that beats of itself, go quickly and look 
for my cloth. Go, I want it back." 

The cudgel went off after the soldier, overtook 
him, and commenced to beat him, crying 

"So you seek the wealth of others, do you? 
Take that, knave, and that." 

The soldier, who was lusty in spite of his wounds, 
set himself on his guard, and would have given blow 
for blow, but the stick laid on so rapidly that he 
at last gave in. Overcome by the pain, he threw 
down the cloth and fled. The stick took the cloth 
to its master, who continued his journey. 

At length he came out of the wood. He crossed 
over the fields, and already saw his father's house 
before him, when he met his brothers, who, running 
to him, said impatiently 

" Well, simpleton, where are the golden acorns ? " 

The lad looked at them, laughed, and said to his 
stick 

"Stick, which beats of itself, punish those who 
have offended me." 

The stick at once left the hands of the lad and 
commenced to lay itself on the brothers, crying 



THE WONDERFUL CLOTH. 117 

"You have done your brother enough wrong. 
Now, then, suffer yourselves in your turn." 

The brothers were as much astounded as if a 
kettle of hot water had fallen about their ears. 
They cried out and ran off, disappearing in a cloud 
of dust. The stick at length came back to its 
master, who entered the house, climbed up on the 
stove, and, calling his mother, told her all that 
had happened. Then he said 

"Wonderful cloth, let him who is hungry and 
thirsty find here all he wants." 

A whistling was heard, something came spark- 
ling in the air, and they found before them a table 
spread as if for a king's banquet. There were 
dishes, glasses, and goblets of hydromel and wine, 
and all the things were of gold or silver. The 
simpleton and his mother for a time admired the 
feast, and then, just as they were sitting down to it, 
the door opened and his father came in. He was 
thunderstruck when he saw the table, but, being 
invited to share the good things with them, quickly 
sat down and fell to. When they had finished the 
whistling noise was again heard, and all the things 
disappeared. 

The shepherd went off to the Court to tell the 
king all about these wonderful things, and the king 
despatched an officer to the fool. When he came 
into the house he found the simpleton lying on the 
stove, and said to him 



1 1 8 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

" If you love your life, listen and obey the orders 
of the king. You are to send him by myself the 
wonderful cloth which provides feasts of itself, and 
for this you shall be honoured by the royal favour. 
If you do not comply, you shall remain in your 
present wretched condition, and shall, moreover, 
receive the punishment of a disobedient fellow. 
Do you understand me ? " 

" Oh yes," said the lad, " I understand you ;" and 
then he quietly said 

"Stick, which beats of itself, give those who 
deserve them some good blows." 

With the speed of lightning the stick left the 
fool's hands. Three times it alighted on the officer's 
body, and then he fled. The stick, however, was 
not content to let him off so easily, and it followed 
him, beating him all the time, and crying 

" Promises befool children. Don't make them too 
rashly. To teach you better, take that, knave, and 
that." 

Beaten and bewildered, the officer returned to the 
king and told him all, and when his majesty heard 
that the lad had a stick which beat of its own 
accord, he longed so much for it that he quite for- 
got the cloth. So he sent off some of his soldiers 
to the lad with orders to bring the stick. The 
soldiers came to the hut and found the fool on the 
stove. 

"Give us the cudgel," said they. "The king 



THE WONDERFUL CLOTH. ,119 

will give you what you ask for it. If you will not 
give it to us we shall take it." 

Instead of making a reply, the lad put on his 
girdle, and said 

"Wonderful girdle, for my safety, and not for my 
pleasure, let me find myself on the water." 

There was a murmuring in the air, and a great 
change took place. A magnificent lake long, wide, 
and deep appeared in the middle of the plain, and 
in it swam fish with golden scales and eyes of 
pearls. In the middle of the lake, in a silver skiff, 
was a man whom the soldiers recognised as the 
fool. For a time they looked on in wonder, and 
then they set off to tell the king all about it. 
When the king heard of such a girdle he longed 
to have it. He took counsel with his officer, and 
then sent off a whole battalion of soldiers to take 
the fool prisoner. 

This time they tried to catch him while he was 
asleep. Just as they were about to lay hands on 
him, however, the fool turned his hat, and said 

" Hat that shoots, to please me, strike those 
who trouble me." 

At that instant a hundred bullets whistled in the 
air. The place rang with the noise of guns, and 
the air was filled with smoke. Some of the soldiers 
fell dead on the ground, others ran off to hide them- 
selves in the woods, and some went to tell the 
king. 



120 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

The king was dreadfully angry to think that he 
could not get the better of the fool. He had 
desired to have the cloth, to have the stick, to have 
the girdle, but what were any of these things to 
the wonderful six-cornered hat which, of its own 
accord, fired and shot down its opponents as well 
as if it had been a battery of cannon ! 

Having considered for some time, he thought it 
would, perhaps, be best to try persuasion. So he 
sent to the lad's mother, and said to her 

"Tell your son, the fool, that I and my lovely 
daughter salute him, and we beg of him to come 
to the palace and show us all the wonderful things 
we are told he possesses. If he is willing to make 
me a present of them I will give him half my 
kingdom, and will name him as my successor in 
the throne. My daughter also will take him for 
her husband." 

The mother ran off to her son, and persuaded 
him to accept the king's invitation, and go to the 
palace with his wonderful treasures. The lad 
fastened on his girdle, put on his hat, hid the cloth 
in his bosom, took his stick in his hand, and set 
off to the Court. When he came there the king 
was engaged, but the lad was received very politely 
by his attendants. Music struck up as he came 
to the palace, the soldiers presented arms, and al- 
together the lad was received very much better than 
he could have expected. At length, when he was 



THE WONDERFUL CLOTH. 121 

introduced into the hall in which was the king, 
the lad took off his hat and bowed. 

"What," said he, "0 king, do you desire] I 
have come to lay at the foot of your throne the 
cloth, the girdle, the stick, and the hat. In return 
for these presents I only ask that your royal favour 
may light on the humblest of your subjects." 

" Tell me then, fool," said the king, " how much 
money do you want for those things]" 

"Money," replied the lad, "a fool like me does 
not want money. The king promised my mother 
to give me half his kingdom, and his daughter in 
marriage. I only ask so much ! " 

The king's officer signed to the soldiers to come 
in. They laid hands on the lad suddenly, dragged 
him out into the courtyard, and there, while the 
drums beat and the trumpets sounded, they killed 
him and buried him. 

As the soldiers pierced him to the heart, some 
drops of blood sprang forth, and fell under the 
windows of the princess, who wept at the sight and 
shed tears on the reddened earth. Wonderful to 
tell ! from these drops of blood there sprang up an 
apple-tree which grew till it reached the windows 
of the princess's apartments. When the princess 
laid her hand on the boughs of the tree, an apple 
fell off into her bosom. The princess took it up 
and played with it. 

The next day, when night came on, all were 



122 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

asleep in the palace save the guards, the king's 
officer, and the princess. The guards were watch- 
ing, as usual, with their arms in their hands. The 
princess was playing with the apple, and could not 
sleep. As for the king's officer, soon after he 
lay down he was roused by a terrible noise. The 
cudgel appeared before him, and though he ran 
round and round his chamber, it pursued and beat 
him, crying 

"You good-for-nothing fellow! Don't be so 
envious and unjust. Don't return evil for good, 
and steal what belongs to others. Take that, and 
that, and that ! " 

The officer called aloud and cried for mercy, but 
the stick still laid on. 

The princess, hearing some one groaning, began 
to weep, and then a wonderful thing happened. 
Some of her tears fell on the apple. It grew, 
changed its form, and, all of a sudden, there stood 
before her a fine young man, the very same as had 
been slain under her window. 

"Fair princess," said he, "I salute you. The 
treachery of the king's officer caused my death, 
and your tears have recalled me to life again. 
Your father promised to give you to me for my 
wife : what do you say 1 " 

" If it is my father's wish," replied the princess, 
" I consent," and she gave him her hand. 

The lad spoke some words and the doors opened 



THE WONDERFUL CLOTH. 123 

of themselves. The six-cornered hat came and 
placed itself on his head, the girdle came and 
wound itself around his waist, the cloth hid itself 
in one of his pockets, and the avenging cudgel 
placed itself in his hands. 

When this had taken place the king came running 
in. How astonished was he to see the fool alive, 
and there ! The lad did not await for the king to 
give vent to his rage, but said 

" Wonderful girdle, for my safety, and not for my 
pleasure, let me find myself on the water." 

There was a murmuring in the air. A wonderful 
change took place. A large, wide, and deep lake 
appeared in the middle of the palace grounds. In 
the crystal waters played fish with golden scales 
and eyes of pearl. Afar off on the water were the 
fool and the princess. The king came to the side 
of the lake and beckoned the lad to him. He came, 
and with the princess knelt at the king's feet, and 
told him how they two were in love with one 
another. The king gave them his blessing. The 
lake disappeared, and the three returned to the 
palace, when the king, calling his counsellors, told 
them all that had occurred. Then he named the 
fool as his successor on the throne, gave him his 
daughter, and threw his officer into prison. 

In return, the lad gave the king the cloth, the 
stick, the girdle, and the hat, telling him how to 
use them, and teaching him the magic words. The 



124 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

next day the marriage took place, and, with his 
daughter, the king gave the lad half of his 
dominions, and in the evening there was a royal 
feast, so grand that the like was never before seen 
or heard of. 



THE EVIL EYE. 



THERE was once upon a time a rich gentleman 
who lived in a fine house on the banks of the 
Vistula. All the windows in the house looked 
towards the river, none looked towards the wide 
sweep of country around. The path under the 
poplars which led up to the house was overgrown 
with grass and weeds, and showed plainly enough 
that none of the neighbours visited there, and that 
very little of the old hospitality was to be ex- 
perienced there. 

The gentleman who owned the house had lived 
there for seven years, and had come from some far- 
off place. The peasants knew little about him, and 
they avoided him with fear and trembling, for there 
were terrible tales about him. 

The gentleman was born on the banks of the 
river Sau, and his parents had been rich. Mis- 
fortune, however, had pursued him from the cradle 
upwards. He had an evil eye, which scattered disease 
and death wherever its glances fell. If he by ill 
chance glanced over his herd, the cattle on which 



126 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

his eye fell died. Whatever he loved would surely 
die. His own parents, to complete the son's sorrow, 
perished, and the man with the evil eye, as he came 
to be called in his birthplace, where the evil eye 
had caused so much mischief, sold everything he 
had, and set off to the banks of the Vistula, where 
he bought the fine house. He kept no folk about 
him save one old manservant, who had nursed him 
in his arms when he was a boy, and on whom the 
evil eye of his master had no effect. 

The unlucky man seldom went out of his house, 
for he knew that his glance brought misfortune, 
disease, and death on what it lighted on. When he 
did go out in his carriage his old servant sat beside 
him, and told him when they were coming to a 
man, a village, or a town. Then the miserable 
man would either cover his eyes with his hands, or 
cast down his glances on the floor of his carriage, 
where he always had a bundle of pea-stalks at his 
feet. 1 

So it was that he had all the windows of his fine 
house made to look over the Vistula. Twice had 
he by ill chance looked upon his farm-buildings, 
and they had been set on fire by his glance. 

In spite of all his care the sailors cursed him, 
and pointed with fear to the wide windows of his 
beautiful house, out of which he scattered destruc- 

1 When the evil eye is directed to a bundle of pea-stalks 
it does no damage, but merely dries up the stalks. 



THE EVIL EYE. 127 

tion amongst them, the stream rushing on fast in 
the channel, and bringing many a ship to ground 
opposite the "White House, as the place was called. 

One boatman determined to see the man. He 
jumped into his boat and set off to the house. 
When he arrived there he asked to see the master. 
The old servant, fearful of the consequences, led 
him into the room. His master was dining, and 
being put out that he should be interrupted at his 
meal, he frowned upon the stranger. Immediately a 
fever took the sailor, and he sank down on the floor 
at the door. 

The old servant, at the command of his master, 
took the man to his boat, gave him some money, 
and rowed him back to the other side of the river. 
The poor sailor was ill for a long time, and when he 
regained his strength he gave such a terrible account 
of the White House, and of its master, as greatly 
increased the fear of his comrades. From that 
time, when they went down the river in their boats 
and came opposite to the White House, they would 
turn their eyes away, and pray heartily that they 
might be protected from the evil glance of the 
terrible man who lived there. 



II. 

Three years had passed, and the White House was 
still the dread of the neighbours and the terror of 



128 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

the sailors. No one came to see the much-feared 
man, and he lived solitary and miserable. 

The next winter was very severe. The wolves, 
coming together, howled with hunger around the 
house, and the master sat by the hearth, on which 
burned a large fire, and sorrowfully turned over the 
leaves of a large book. The old servant had secured 
all the doors, and sat at the other side of the room 
warming himself, and busied in mending a fishing- 
net. 

" Stanislas," said his master, " have you caught 
any fish ? " 

" Not many, master, but as many as we two shall 
want." 

" That is true," said his master. " Although so 
many years have passed, we are but two. un- 
lucky hour in which I was born ! Here am I alone, 
and all men fly from me as if I were a monster," 
and the tears fell in a torrent from his unfortunate 
eyes. 

All of a sudden they heard a voice crying for 
help. The master started. It was a long time 
since he had heard a strange voice. The old servant 
rushed out, and his master followed him with the 
light in his hand. 

Before the door stood a covered sledge, and by it 
was an old man who called for help. 

As soon as the stranger saw the two men coming 
to him, he lifted his wife, who had fainted, out of 



THE EVIL EYE. 129 

the sledge, and the old servant helped the terrified 
daughter, a beautiful girl, to alight. 

They put on more wood, and brought the fainted 
lady round, and the master of the house, pleased to 
be able to show hospitality, went and fetched some 
old wine in order to drink the strangers' healths. 
The old servant laughed to himself as he marked 
his master's joyful face. The strange guest, cheered 
by the wine, told how they had lost their way, how 
they had fallen in with a pack of hungry wolves, 
and how their fleet horse had carried them to the 
White House. 

Towards night the luggage was taken out of the 
sledge, and the wearied travellers retired to rest in 
warm, comfortable chambers. All was still in the 
White House, save that the fire now and then sent 
forth a glimmering flame. 

in. 

It was within an hour of midnight, and the old 
servant was asleep by the fireside, when the door of 
his master's bedchamber opened and the unhappy 
man trod lightly into the hall. The old servant, 
wondering whether he was dreaming, rubbed his 
eyes, and said 

" What, cannot my master sleep 1 " 

" Be quiet, old friend ! " said his master in a 
joyful voice. " I cannot sleep, and do not wish to 
sleep when I am so happy as I now am." 



1 30 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

And he sat down in a big arm-chair by the fire- 
side, smiled, and commenced to weep. 

"Weep, poor master, weep," said Stanislas to 
himself. "Maybe you may weep your evil eyes 
away." 

" Would that God would give me what I now 
wish," said his master, " and I would ask for nothing 
more in the world. Here have I lived thirty years 
like a hermit or a criminal, and yet I have never 
willingly hurt any one, and my soul is free from sin, 
but my eyes, my eyes ! " 

His countenance, which was so happy till now, 
became gloomy as usual ; but soon a smile appeared 
on his face, as hope once more chased away 
sorrow. 

" Dear friend ! " said he, and Stanislas looked at 
him, "maybe I shall marry." 

" Heaven help us ! " cried the old servant. " But 
where then is your future bride ? " 

The master rose from his chair, walked on tip- 
toe to the side-door, which led to the chambers 
where slept the travellers, and, pointing to the door, 
said 

" There." 

Stanislas nodded his head, as if he approved of 
his master's choice, and cheerfully put some wood 
upon the fire. His master went back to his room 
in deep thought, and the old servant mumbled to 
himself 



THE EVIL EYE. 131 

"Heaven grant it! But pears don't grow on 
willow-trees." 

And he was soon asleep. 

IV. 

On the following morning the traveller rose rested 
and refreshed, but he was not able to continue his 
journey in consequence of the illness of his wife. 

The master of the house was pleased when he 
heard that the strangers must pass some more days 
in his house, and old Stanislas began almost to 
think that the pears might grow on the willows 
after all. 

The stranger was not exactly a rich man, but he 
had enough, was deemed an honest man, and lived 
honourably. He was much pleased with his friendly 
host, and as he was one day talking to his wife, who 
had much improved in her health, he said 

" Margaret, it strikes me that our host is in love 
with our daughter Mary, and, from what I can see, 
I think she does not dislike him. I cannot but be 
pleased with it." 

" Oh," said his wife, " you only imagine it." But 
she was secretly pleased that her husband had no 
objection to what she had herself very much 
wished. 

" The man is not poor, he has lived here a long 
time, he has proved himself a gentleman," went on 
the husband, walking up and down the room, " and 



132 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

our daughter is old enough to be married and take 
on her the cares of a household." 

In the evening the husband, having partaken of 
the host's good wine, stroked his grey moustache 
with satisfaction, and listened with joy when the 
master of the house asked for his daughter's 
hand. 

" My brother," said he after a short pause, " I am 
pleased with you, and since you ask no dowry with 
my daughter, and you have enough to live upon, 
she shall be your wife." 

Three months later the terrible man took his 
wife home. The grass and weeds were cleared from 
the avenue of poplars, and many horses and carriages 
passed along it to and fro, as relations and friends 
of the beautiful bride came in troops to the wedding 
at the White House. In a few days, however, all 
was still again, and fresh grass and weeds began to 
grow in the avenue under the poplars. 

v. 

The winter was at hand, and the inmates of the 
White House only numbered one more the mistress 
of the house. 

Most of the servants whom the master had 
engaged ran away at once as soon as they heard 
he had an evil eye, and those who stayed a while, 
having been taken ill, soon left the house also. 

The young, beautiful wife lay ill upon her rich bed. 



THE EVIL EYE. 133 

Near her was her husband, who, with averted eyes, 
pressed her cold hand. 

The poor wife knew well how terrible was her 
husband's glance. She knew that through it her 
suffering and sorrow were increased ; but still, in her 
love for the sorrowing man, she asked him to look 
upon her once more. 

" My Mary," said the wretched man, with a deep 
sigh. " I shall never be happy with you so long as 
I have my eyes. Cut them out, then. Here is a 
sharp knife, and at your hand it will cause me no 
pain." 

The poor wife shuddered at this terrible proposal, 
and the wretched man sank from his chair to the 
floor, and commenced to weep bitterly. 

" Of what use is this gift of Heaven to me ? " 
cried he. " Of what use is it to me to possess the 
pleasures men have in sight, when my eyes scatter 
destruction and ruin around ? You are ill, my 
Mary. Why, a tree itself would wither when I cast 
my glance upon it in an evil hour. Take courage, 
though. Upon our child these eyes shall never 
look. Him they shall never harm, and he shall not 
have reason to curse his father." 

A groan was the only answer of the sick wife. 

The master called in a servant and left the room. 
All at once two different cries were heard from the 
two opposite sides of the White House. 

From one side came the cry of a new-born child, 



134 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

from the other side, in the hall where the fire 
burned, came the cry of a man in pain. The one 
was the cry of an infant as it looked upon the light 
for the first time, the other was the cry of a man 
who had bid farewell to sight for ever. 

VI. 

Six years later there were windows in the White 
House from which one could obtain a fine view of the 
village and the surrounding country. The sailors 
had begun to make the House a resting-place on 
their way down the stream. The mistress was well 
and merry, and her great joy was a beautiful little 
daughter who led her blind father about. 

The country-folk, who had fled in terror from 
the miserable man, now came up to him in friend- 
ship, when they saw him blind and taking a walk 
led by his little daughter. The former stillness 
departed. The servants filled the once empty halls 
of the White House. 

Old Stanislas had on that terrible day buried his 
master's eyes in the garden. One day he wondered 
what had become of them, and whether he could 
find them. So he dug for them. All of a sudden 
the eyes glared on him with a bright light. Hardly 
had the glance fallen on his face when he stumbled 
and, falling to the ground, died. 

That was the first time the evil eyes had done 
him hurt, and it was the last time their power was 



THE EVIL EYE. 135 

exerted. They had done him no hurt while his 
master kept them, because, as he loved his servant, 
his heart had destroyed their power. Now they 
were in the earth they had acquired power for fresh 
evil, and killed the honest old man ! 

His blind master sorrowed long for him, and 
over his grave he placed a fine cross, near which the 
sailors often offered up a prayer when they landed 
at the White House. 



THE SEVEN BROTHERS. 

ONCE upon a time there lived an old man and 
an old woman, who had been married many years 
and had no children, and when they were yet old 
they prayed to God to give them a child who might 
help them in their work as they advanced in years. 
Their prayer was heard. When seven years had 
passed the old woman gave birth to seven sons, and 
they were all called Simeon. When the children were 
ten years old the old man and his wife died, and 
the sons began to till his ground. 

It chanced that one day the Czar Ados came past, 
and, seeing them working in the fields, he was 
astonished to see such little fellows doing such work. 
He sent one of his nobles to ask whose children 
they were. So the noble came to them and asked 
who they were who worked so hard. The eldest 
Simeon told him that they were orphans and had no 
one to work for them. As for their names they 
were all called Simeon. 

When the Czar got back to the palace he called 
together all his nobles and asked them their opinion, 
saying 



THE SEVEN BROTHERS. 137 

" My lords, there are seven orphans who have no 
kinsfolk. I will make them such men that they shall 
be grateful to me. Now, I want your advice as to 
what trade or art I shall have them taiight." 

Then all answered 

"Gracious sire, since they are old enough and 
have ability, we think it would be best to ask each 
of them what trade or art he wishes to learn." 

The Czar was pleased with this advice, and asked 
the eldest Simeon 

"Tell me, friend, what trade or art would you 
like to learn? I will see that you are instructed 
in it." 

The lad answered 

" May it please your majesty, I wish to learn no 
art, but if you will order a smithy to be built in 
the middle of your court, I will smithy a column 
which shall reach to heaven." 

The Czar saw that this Simeon required no 
teaching, since he was such a smith, for he showed 
him very costly work, but he did not believe that 
he would be able to smithy a column that should 
reach to heaven. However, he ordered a place to 
be built in the middle of his yard, and the eldest 
Simeon set to work. 

Then the Czar asked the second Simeon 

" And you, my friend, what art will you learn ] " 

" Your majesty," said he, " I do not wish to 
\Jearn any business or trade, but when my brother 



1 38 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

has finished the column, I will stand on the top of 
it, look around into all the countries, and let you 
know what is passing in each of them." 

The Czar perceived that there was no need to 
teach this lad anything, since he was so clever 
already. 

Then he said to the third Simeon 
" What business or what art will you learn 1 " 
" Your majesty," said he, " I do not wish to learn 
either handiwork or art, but if my eldest brother 
will make me an axe, I will build a ship in an 
instant." 

" Such a man do I want," said the Czar. " You, 
too, have nothing to learn." 

" And you," said the Czar to the fourth Simeon, 
" what handiwork or what art do you wish to learn 1 " 
" Your majesty," said he, " I do not wish to learn 
anything, but, when my brother has finished his 
ship, and it is attacked by the enemy, I will seize it 
by the prow, carry it to the underground kingdom, 
and, when the enemy is gone, I will put it again on 
the sea." 

The Czar was very much astonished, and said 
" You, too, have nothing to learn." 
Then he spoke to the fifth brother 
" And you, Simeon, what handiwork or what art 
will you learn ? " 

" I want to learn nothing, your majesty," said he, 
" but if my eldest brother will make me a gun, T 



THE SEVEN BROTHERS. 139 

will shoot with it any bird that flies, however far 
off it be, so that I am able to see it." 

" You will be an excellent sportsman," said the 
Czar. 

Then he asked the sixth brother 

"Well, Simeon, what art do you wish to 
learn 1 " 

" I wish to learn no art, your majesty," said he, 
" but if my fifth brother shoots a bird, I will catch 
it before it comes to the ground and bring it to 
your majesty." 

" That is very clever," said the Czar. " You will 
do instead of a dog in the field." 

Then the Czar asked the last brother 

" And you, Simeon, what handiwork or art will 
you learn ? " 

" I want to learn neither handiwork nor art, your 
majesty," replied he, " for I already know a precious 
art." 

" What is it," asked the Czar, " that is so good ? " 

" I am so skilful at stealing," said he, " that no 
one can beat me at it." 

When the Czar heard that the lad was acquainted 
with such a wicked art, he was angry, and said to 
his nobles 

"My lords, let me have your advice as to how 
this thief, Simeon, should be punished. What death 
should he die 1 " 

"Your majesty," said they all, " why should he 



140. RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

die ? It is not unlikely, since he is such a clever 
thief, that he may prove useful in some case." 

" How so ? " asked the Czar. 

" Your majesty," said they, " has during the last 
ten years sought the hand of the Czarina, the 
beautiful Helena, in vain, and lost many armies and 
much treasure. Now this thief, Simeon, may 
devise some means of stealing the Czarina for your 
Majesty." 

"You say well, my friends," observed the Czar, 
and he went and said to the thief 

" Now, Simeon, can you wander over seven and 
twenty countries into the thirtieth and steal for 
me the beautiful princess, Helena ? I love her very 
much, and if you procure her for me you shall be 
well rewarded." 

" We will see to it," said he, " you have but to 
command." 

" I do not merely command," said the Czar, " but 
I beg of you not to remain longer at my court, but 
to take what armies you wish to effect your purpose." 

" I do not want either your armies or your trea- 
sure," said the thief. " Only send all of us to- 
gether, for I can do nothing without the others." 

The Czar did not wish for all the brothers to go, 
but though he thought it hard, he was obliged to 
consent. 

In the meantime the eldest brother had completed 
the iron column in the smithy in the court of the 



THE SEVEN BROTHERS. 141 

palace. The second brother climbed up to the top, 
and from there he saw the kingdom of the fair 
Helena's father. He called out to the Czar Ados 

"Your majesty, beyond twenty-seven countries 
in the thirtieth there sits, at a window, the Czarina, 
the beautiful Helena. How fair she is ! One can 
see every blue vein in her white skin." 

Then the Czar was more in love with her than 
ever, and cried out to the Simeons 

" My friends, set out as quickly as you can and 
return soon. I can live no longer without the beau- 
tiful Helena." 

The eldest Simeon smithied a gun for the third 
brother, and carried bread for the journey. The 
thief took with him a cat, and so they set out. 
Now the thief had so trained the cat that it ran 
after him everywhere, just like a dog, and when he 
stood still it stood by him, on its hind-legs, rubbing 
against him and purring. So they went on till they 
came to the shore of a sea over which they must 
pass. For a long time they walked about on the 
shore and looked for wood, in order to build a ship, 
and at last they came to a great oak. The third 
brother took his axe and cut away at the root. The 
oak was brought to the ground, and a ship was in a 
moment built from it, filled with all kinds of precious 
things. The brothers entered the ship and sailed 
away. 

After some months they came to the place they 



142 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

sought, and cast anchor in the harbour. The next 
day the thief, taking his cat, went into the town, 
and, coming to the Czar's palace, stood in front of 
the Princess Helena's window. His cat at once 
stood up on its hind-legs and began to rub itself 
against him, and to purr. Now a cat had never be- 
fore been seen in that kingdom, nor, indeed, had the 
people knowledge that there was any such animal. 

The princess sat at the window, and, when she 
saw the cat, she sent out her servants and maids to 
ask Simeon if he would sell it, and if so, what he 
wanted for it. The servants came to Simeon, and 
asked him what kind of animal the cat was, and 
whether he would sell it. 

" Tell her majesty, the beautiful Helena," said the 
thief, " that the animal is called a cat. I cannot sell 
it, but, if her majesty pleases, I desire the honour of 
making her a present of it." 

The attendants took the message to the princess, 
who, when she heard it, was delighted, and coming 
out of her chamber she asked Simeon why he would 
not sell the cat. 

" I cannot sell the cat, your majesty," said he, 
" but, if you please, I will give it to you." 

The princess took the cat in her arms, and going 
back to her apartment, told Simeon to follow. When 
they were in the palace, she went to her father, the 
Czar Say, showed him the cat, and told him that a 
stranger had given it to her. The Czar was very 



THE SEVEN BROTHERS. 143 

much pleased with the strange animal, and ordered 
that the thief Simeon should be brought to him. 
When he came, the Czar wished to give him trea- 
sures in return for the cat, but, as Simeon refused all, 
the Czar said to him : " My friend, stay for a while 
in my palace. The cat will become more familiar 
to my daughter if you are here." 

Simeon, however, did not wish to stay, and 
said 

"It would give me the greatest pleasure, your 
majesty, to stay in your palace if I had not a ship 
in which I came to your country, and which I can 
leave in charge of no one. If, however, your majesty 
wishes it, I will come every day to the palace, and 
get the cat accustomed to your daughter." 

So the Czar ordered him to come. Simeon went 
every day to the beautiful Princess Helena, and one 
day he said to her 

" Gracious lady, I have come a long while to you, 
but I have noticed that you never go out. Would 
you not like to see my vessel ] I could show you 
fine goods, gold-stuff, and diamonds, such as you 
have never seen." 

The princess went away to her father, and begged 
his permission for her to take a walk on the quay. 
The Czar gave it her, but told her to take her 
attendants and maids with her. So the princess 
went with Simeon. When they had come to the 
quay, Simeon invited the princess on board his 



144 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

vessel, and, calling his brothers to show her all the 
various goods, he said, after a time 

" Tell your servants and maids to leave the ship 
so that I can show you some costly things they must 
not see." 

So the princess bade them leave the vessel. 
When she was alone, the thief ordered his brothers 
to cut the cable, set all sail, and put out to sea. In 
the meanwhile he amused the princess, showing her 
the things, and giving presents to her. So they 
spent several hours examining the goods. At last 
the princess told him that it was time for her to go 
home, as the Czar would be expecting her. But 
when she went up out of the cabin, she saw that the 
vessel was already far out at sea, and that she was 
far away from the coast. Then she beat upon her 
breast, changed herself to a swan, and flew upwards ; 
but the fifth Simeon, seizing his gun, shot at her, 
and the sixth caught her as she was falling into the 
water and brought her to the vessel. The princess 
became a young woman once more. 

The attendants and maids, who had gone to the 
quay with the princess, and had seen the ship sail 
away with her, told the Czar of the trick Simeon 
had played them, and he ordered that all his fleet 
should go in pursuit. It had come near to Simeon's 
vessel, when the fourth brother laid hold of the 
vessel by the prow and dragged it off to the under- 
ground kingdom. The sailors of the fleet saw the 



THE SEVEN BROTHERS. 145 

vessel vanish, and they thought that it had sunk 
with the beautiful princess ; so, going back to the 
Czar Say, they told him of the ship's disap- 
pearance. 

The brothers came safely home, and led the fair 
Princess Helena to the Czar Ados, who gave the 
Simeons, in reward for their great service, their 
freedom and much gold, silver, and many precious 
stones. And he lived with the princess for many 
years, prosperous and happy. 



SILA CZAKOVITCH AND IVASCHKA. 

THERE was once upon a time a Czar called Chotei, 
who had three sons. The first was called Aspe, the 
second Adam, and the third, the youngest, Sila. 
The elder brothers came to their father and asked 
him to let them go and travel in other countries, so 
that they might see the world and learn how things 
were. The Czar gave them his permission, and let 
them each have a vessel in which they might sail. 
Then the youngest brother came to the Czar and 
asked him to let. him go with his brothers. 

"My dear son," said the Czar, "you are too 
young to bear the fatigues of a journey. Stop here 
then at home, and do not think of going abroad." 

Sila, however, wished very much to see the 
strange countries, and so wearied his father with his 
prayers, that at last he gave him his permission to 
go, and let him have a vessel also. As soon as the 
three brothers were on board their ships they set 
sail When they came to the open sea, however, 
the eldest brother's vessel went on first, the second 
brother's next, and Sila's came last. 

As they sailed, the third day there came floating 



SILA CZAROV1TCH AND IVASCHKA. 147 

past them a coffin with iron bands. The two eldest 
brothers saw it, but did not pick it up. When 
Sila, however, saw it, he gave orders to his sailors to 
secure it, bring it on board, and bury it when they 
came to a suitable spot. On the folio wing day a 
great storm came on, and Sila's ship, being driven 
out of its proper course, drifted to the steep shores 
of an unknown land. When they arrived there. 
Sila ordered the sailors to carry the coffin on shore, 
and he followed it himself and saw it buried in the 
earth. 

Sila then told the ship's master to stop where the 
vessel was for three years, waiting for him. If he 
did not come back at the end of that time, he told 
the man he was to sail away. Then Sila took 
leave of his captain and his men, and went away 
following his eyes. For a long time he went on and 
met no one. On the third day, however, he heard 
a man running after him, clothed in white. When 
he saw that the man was coming up to him, he drew 
his sword, fearing that the stranger might intend to 
do him some hurt. But when the man came up to 
him, he fell down at his feet, and began to thank him 
for having rescued him. Sila, not understanding 
what he meant, asked him why he thanked him, and 
what good service he had done him. The unknown 
sprang to his feet, and said 

" Sila Czarovitch, how can I ever repay you ] 
There I lay in my coffin, which you took on board 



148 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

and buried on the land, and so was I rescued from 
the sea." 

" How came you in the coffin 1 " asked Sila. 

" I will tell you all," said the man. " I was once a 
great magician, and my mother, fearing that I did 
a great deal of harm to folk by my magic, confined 
me in the coffin, and turned me out upon the sea. I 
have been floating for over a hundred years, and no 
one ever picked me up. You I have to thank for 
my deliverance, and in return for it I will aid you 
in any way I can. Tell me, do you not wish to 
marry? If you do, I know the beautiful Queen 
Truda, who would make you a worthy wife." 

Sila told him that if the queen were beautiful 
he would be content to marry her. Ivaschka, in the 
white grave-clothes, assured him that she was the 
most beautiful woman in all the world, and Sila, 
when he heard that, asked his companion to go with 
him to her country. So they went on together. 

Now Queen Truda's kingdom was surrounded by 
a fence with posts, and on every post, save one, was 
a man's head. When Sila saw that he was alarmed, 
and asked Ivaschka what it meant. 

"Those," said Ivaschka, "are the heads of the 
warriors who came to ask the Queen Truda to marry 
them." 

Sila was afraid when he heard that, and wished 
himself back again in his own kingdom. He did 
not wish to go on and see the father of the 



SILA CZAROVITCH AND IVASCHKA. 149 

queen, but Ivaschka told him he had nothing to 
fear if he went on boldly with him. So Sila and he 
went on together. 

When they had entered the kingdom, Ivaschka 
said to him 

"Listen, Sila Czarovitch, I will live with you as 
your servant. When you come to the royal apart- 
ments, behave humbly to King Salom. He will ask 
you where you come from, what country you belong 
to, who your father is, what is your name, and on 
what errand you have come. Tell him all, and do 
not try to conceal anything. Tell him that you have 
come to ask for his daughter's hand, and he will 
give her to you with the greatest joy." 

Sila went into the palace, and when King Salom 
saw him he came to meet him, took him by the 
white hands, led him into the white marble room, 
and said to him 

" Young man, who are you 1 From what kingdom 
do you come ? Who is your father ? What is your 
name ? and why are you come ? " 

" I have come," replied Sila, " from the kingdom 
of the Czar Chotei; I am known as Sila Czarovitch, 
and I have come here to ask for your daughter, the 
beautiful Queen Truda, for my wife." 

Then King Salom was very pleased when he 
heard that the son of so famous a Czar desired 
to wed his daughter, and he at once sent to her, 
to tell her to get ready for the wedding. When 



150 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

the day came, the king commanded all the princes 
and nobles to come to the palace. From there they 
went to the church, and Sila Czarevitch married the 
beautiful Queen Truda. The company went back 
to the palace, seated themselves at table, and ate 
and drank with great joy. 

When evening was come Ivaschka came near to 
Sila, and said to him softly 

" Listen, Sila Czarevitch. When you retire with 
your wife, take care you do not say a word to her, or 
you are a dead man, and your head will find a place 
on the last post. She will do all she can to make 
you speak, but do not you say a word to her." 

Sila asked him why he gave him this warning. 

" She is," said Ivaschka, " acquainted with a 
spirit which flies through the air in the shape of a 
dragon with six heads. Your wife will lay her 
hand upon your breast. When she does so, 
spring up and beat her with a stick till she has no 
strength left in her. I will myself watch at the 
door of the room." 

The queen did, as Ivaschka foretold, do all 
she could to make Sila speak, but he would not 
utter a word. Then Truda put her hand on his 
breast, and pressed him, so that he could hardly 
breathe. Sila jumped up, seized a stick, which 
Ivaschka had put there for the occasion, and com- 
menced to beat her as if he would kill her. Im- 
mediately there came on a terrible storm, and there 



SILA CZAROVITCH AND IVASCHKA. 151 

flew into the room a six-headed dragon who com- 
menced to attack Sila. Then Ivaschka came in 
with a sharp sword in his hand, and he and the 
dragon fought together for three hours, when 
Ivaschka managed to cut off two of the dragon's 
heads, and the monster flew away. Ivaschka then 
told Sila he might go to sleep and fear nothing. 
So Sila laid him down and slept till morning. 

King Salom was anxious respecting his son-in- 
law, and he sent early in the morning to ask if all 
was well with him. When he heard that it was, 
he was delighted, for he remembered the fate of the 
others who had come to marry his daughter. He 
summoned Sila to him, and they spent the whole 
day in merriment. 

The next night Ivaschka warned Sila that he 
must not speak to his wife, and he himself took up 
his station outside the door of the room. Sila's wife 
again tried to make him speak, and again put her 
hand upon his breast, and Sila leaped up and thrashed 
her. The dragon flew in and attacked him, but 
Ivaschka sprang in from the door with the sword 
in his hand, and after he and the dragon had 
fought for three hours Ivaschka cut off two more of 
its heads. Then the dragon flew off and Sila lay 
down to sleep. The king again sent for Sila to 
come to him, and they spent the day together very 
pleasantly. 

The third night Ivaschka warned Sila as before, 



152 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

and Sila did as he was bid. Ivaschka again fought 
with the monster, and, cutting off the two last heads, 
he burnt them and the carcass, and scattered the 
ashes over the fields. 

So Sila Czarevitch stayed with his father-in-law 
for a whole year, and then Ivaschka, coming to him 
one day, told him to ask the king to give him permis- 
sion to return home. Sila went to King Salom and 
obtained his leave to go, and the king sent two 
divisions of his army with him as an escort. So 
Sila parted with his father-in-law, and set off with 
his wife for his own land. 

When they were half-way home Ivaschka told 
Sila to stop and camp there. Sila did as he advised, 
and ordered his tent to be put up. On the next day 
Ivaschka took some pieces of stick and burnt them 
in front of the Czarovitch's tent. Then he came to 
the tent, led Queen Truda outside, and unsheathing 
his sword he cut her in two. Sila was greatly 
terrified, and commenced to weep when he saw that. 

"Do not weep," said Ivaschka, "she will come to 
life again." 

As soon as the Queen was cut in two there came 
out of her all manner of evil spirits, and all of these 
Ivaschka threw into the fire. Then said he to 
Sila 

" Do you see the evil things which possessed your 
wife 1 They are all evil spirits which had entered 
her." 



SILA CZAROVITCH AND IVASCHKA. 153 

When all the evil spirits were destroyed in the 
fire, he placed the two parts of Truda's body to- 
gether, sprinkled them with water from a running 
brook, and the queen became alive again. She was 
now also as good as she had before been evil. 

Then said Ivaschka to Sila 

" Good-bye, Sila Czarevitch, you will see me no 
more ;" and as soon as he had spoken those words he 
disappeared. 

Sila struck his tent and went on homewards, and 
when he came to the spot where he had left his 
ship, he dismissed the troops that accompanied him, 
went on board with his queen, and set sail. He 
soon came to his own land, and his arrival there 
was greeted with the sound of cannon. Czar Chotei 
came to meet him, and taking him and his wife by 
their white hands he led them into the white marble 
room. Then there was a feast prepared, and they 
ate and drank and were merry. Sila lived with his 
father two years, and then he went back to the 
country of his father-in-law, King Salom. He suc- 
ceeded him on the throne, and reigned with his 
beautiful Queen Truda, during many years, with 
much love and happiness. 



THE STOLEN HEART. 

ONCE upon a time there stood, on an island in the 
Vistula, a great castle surrounded by a strong ram- 
part. At each corner was a tower, and from these 
there waved in the wind many a flag, while the 
soldiers stood on guard upon them. A bridge con- 
nected the island with the banks of the river. 

In this castle lived a knight, a brave and famous 
warrior. When the trumpets sounded from the 
battlements of the castle, their notes announced 
that he had returned from victory loaded with 
booty. 

In the deep dungeons of the castle many a prisoner 
was confined, and they were led out daily to work. 
They had to keep the ramparts in repair, and to see 
to the garden. Now among these prisoners was an 
old woman, who was a sorceress. She swore that 
she would be revenged upon the knight for his ill- 
treatment of her, and patiently awaited an oppor- 
tunity to effect her purpose. 

One day the knight came back wearied out with 
liis exertions on one of his warlike excursions. He 



THE STOLEN HEART. 155 

lay down upon the grass, closed his eyes, and was 
soon fast asleep. 

The witch seized the opportunity. Coming gently 
to him, she scattered poppy seed on his eyes so that 
lie should sleep the sounder. Then, with an aspen 
branch, she struck him on the breast over his heart. 

The knight's breast at once opened, so that one 
could look in and see the heart as it lay there and 
beat. The sorceress laughed, stretched out her bony 
arm, and with her long fingers she stole away the 
heart so quietly that the knight never woke. 

Then the woman took a hare's heart which she 
had ready, put it in the sleeping man's breast, and 
closed up the opening. Going away softly, she hid 
herself in a thicket, to see the effect of her wicked 
work. 

Before the knight was even awake he began to 
feel the change that the hare's heart was making in 
him. He, who had till now never known fear, 
quaked and tossed himself uneasily from side to side. 
When he awoke he felt as if he should be crushed 
by his armour. The cry of his hounds, as it fell 
on his ear, filled him with terror. 

Once he had loved to hear their deep baying as 
he followed them in pursuit of the prey in the wild 
forest, but now he was filled with fear, and fled like 
a timid hare. As he ran to his room the clang of 
his armour, the ringing of his silver spurs, the 
clatter of his spear, filled him with such terror 



156 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

that he threw all aside, and sank exhausted on his 
bed. 

Even in his sleep fear pursued him. Once he 
dreamed only of battles, and of the prizes of victory, 
now he trembled as he dreamt. The barking of his 
dogs, the voices of his soldiers as they paced the 
ramparts while they watched, made him quake as 
he lay on his bed, and he buried his head, like a 
frightened child, in his pillow. 

At length there came a body of the knight's 
enemies to besiege him in his castle. The knight's 
soldiers looked upon their leader, who had so often 
delighted in the excitement of the camp, and in the 
victory. In vain they waited for him to lead them 
forth. The once so brave knight, when he heard 
the clash of arms, the cry of the men, and the clang 
of the horses' hoofs, fled to the topmost chamber of 
his castle, and from there looked down upon the 
force which had come against him. 

When he recollected his expeditions in the time 
past, his combats, his victories, he wept bitterly, and 
cried out aloud 

" Heaven ! give me now courage, give me the 
old strength of heart and vigour. My men have 
already gone to the field, and I, who used to lead 
them, now, like a girl, look through the highest loop- 
hole upon my enemies. Give me my old boldness, 
that I may take my arms again ; make me what I 
was once, and bless me with victory." 



THE STOLEN HEART. 157 

These thoughts, as it were, awakened him from a 
dream. He went again into his chamber, put on 
his armour, leaped upon his horse, and rode outside 
the castle gate. The soldiers saw him come with 
joy, and sounded the trumpets. The knight went 
on, but in his secret soul he was afraid, and when 
his men gallantly threw themselves upon the enemy, 
deadly fear came over him, and he turned and fled. 

Even when he was once more in his stronghold, 
when the mighty walls held him safe within them, 
fear did not leave him. He sprang from his horse, 
fled to an innermost chamber, and there, quite un- 
manned, awaited inglorious death. 

His men had triumphed over the foe, and the salu- 
tations of the guards announced their victorious 
return. All wondered at the flight of their leader 
at such a time. They looked for him, and discovered 
him half dead in a deep cellar. 

The unfortunate knight did not live long. 
During the winter he tried to warm his quaking 
limbs by the fireside of his castle. When spring 
came he would open his window that he might 
breathe the fresh air, and one day it chanced a 
swallow, that had built its nest in a hole of the 
roof, struck him on the head with its wing. The 
blow was fatal. As if he had been struck by light- 
ning, the knight fell down upon the ground, and in 
a short while died. 

All his men mourned for their good master. 



158 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

They knew not what had changed him, but about 
a year later, when some sorceresses were being put 
to the ordeal for having kept off the rain, one of 
them confessed that she had taken the knight's 
heart, and put in his breast a hare's heart in its 
place. Then the men knew how it was that a man 
who had formerly been so bold of heart had become 
so fearful. They mourned his misfortune, and, 
taking the witch to his grave, there they burnt her 
alive. 



PRINCE SLUGOBYL. 

THERE was once upon a time a king who had an 
only son named Slugobyl. The young prince was 
very fond of travelling, and when he was twenty 
years of age he begged his father and mother so 
much to let him go to see the world, that they gave 
him their consent, giving him as an attendant an 
old servant on whose fidelity they thought they 
could rely. The prince, well equipped and armed, 
mounted his horse, and, after having taken a tender 
leave, set off to distant countries in the hope of 
acquiring knowledge and returning wiser, and more 
fitted to rule. 

As he rode along he saw a cygnet pursued by an 
eagle, which threatened to overtake it every moment. 
The prince seized his bow, and shot so well that the 
eagle, mortally wounded, fell at his feet. The 
cygnet seeing this stopped in its flight, and said to 
the prince 

"Prince Slugobyl, it is not a poor cygnet that 
thanks you, but the daughter of the Invisible Prince, 
who, changed into this shape, sought refuge from 
the pursuit of the giant Koshchei. My father will 



160 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

reward you for this good action. Remember when 
you have need of him, you have only to speak 
these words thrice ' Invisible Prince, come to 
me.' " 

When it had thus spoken, the cygnet flew away, 
and the prince, having watched it till it was out of 
sight, continued his journey. He went on for a 
long time until he found himself in the midst of a 
plain scorched up by the heat of the sun. Not a 
tree, not a bush, not even a plant, was to be seen. 
No bird flew by, no insect broke the stillness with 
its hum. Everything seemed as if it had been 
stricken with death by the sun's rays. The prince, 
after having travelled some hours on this plain, 
began to feel very thirsty, so he sent his servant 
off to see if he could find some spring or well at 
which he could alight. By good luck the servant 
found a well, very deep, and containing plenty of 
fresh water, but there was nothing by means of 
which they could draw the water up. What should 
they do ? At length the prince said 

" Take the cord with which we secure our horses 
and fasten it around you, and then I will let you 
down into the well, for I am nearly dead with 
thirst." 

" My prince," answered the servant, " I am heavier 
than you, and you are not so strong as I am. If I 
go down you will never be able to draw me up again. 
It would be better for you to go down the well, 



PRINCE SLUGOBYL. 161 

and then I can pull you up when you have drunk 
as much as you wish." 

The prince thought the advice good, and the 
servant tied the cord under his arms, and let him 
down into the well. When he had drunk as much 
as he wished, he got some of the water for his 
servant, and then he pulled the cord as a signal for 
him to draw him up. Instead of doing so, however, 
the servant looked down and said to him 

"Listen to me, prince. Since the day of your 
birth up to the present time you have had every- 
thing you wished for, while I have undergone great 
misery, and have slaved all my life. Now we will 
change places. Take your choice. Will you be my 
servant 1 ? If not, pray Heaven to have mercy on 
you, for I shall leave you to drown." 

" Stop, my good servant," said the prince, " don't 
do that, I beg you. What good would it do you 1 
You would never find so good a position as you 
have with me, and you know that murderers meet 
with a dreadful fate in the next world. Their hands 
are plunged in boiling pitch, their shoulders are 
scourged with red-hot iron, and their necks are 
sawn with wooden saws." 

"I do not care for all that," said the servant, 
"but I know that I shall drown you unless you 
consent." 

And he commenced to loosen the cord. 

" Well then," said the prince, " I agree to what 



162 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

you ask. You shall be my prince and I will be 
your servant. I pledge you my word." 

"I don't believe in words," cried the servant, 
" which the wind blows away. Swear to me that 
you will confirm the promise in writing." 

"I swear it," said the prince. 

The servant let down a paper and pencil, and 
dictated the following words 

" I declare that I renounce my name and all my 
rights in favour of him who carries this paper, and 
that I take him for my prince, and will serve him. 

Signed, in the well 

PRINCE SLUGOBYL." 

The servant, who was unable to read, took the 
paper, drew the prince up out of the well, and then 
changed clothes with him. Thus disguised, the 
two went on for a week, until they entered a large 
town and came to the palace of the king. The 
false prince sent his companion to see to the horses, 
while he presented himself boldly to the king, and 
said to him 

" I am come, sire, to ask the hand of your beauti- 
ful and wise daughter, whose fame has spread even 
to my father's court. If you consent I assure you 
of our friendship, but if you refuse we shall make 
war with you." 

" The request and the threat are alike unseason- 
able," said the king. " Listen, prince ; I am willing 
to show my respect for the king, your father, by 



PRINCE SLUGOBYL. 163 

granting his request, on one condition. Our enemies, 
enraged against us, have assembled a large army, 
and now threaten our town. If you deliver us, my 
daughter is yours." 

"Very well," replied the false prince, "I will 
utterly destroy the hostile army. Let them come 
as near as possible to the town. I promise you 
that I will acquit myself so well, that to-morrow 
morning you shall find no traces of them." 

When it was evening, he called his pretended 
servant to him from his lodging in the stables, and, 
when the prince had respectfully saluted him, said 

" Listen, my friend. Go out at once and destroy 
the hostile army which is encamped outside the 
city, and do it so that folk will think that I am 
the vanquisher. In return for this service, I 
promise to give you back the writing by which 
you agree to let me have your title and to serve me." 

The prince put on his armour, jumped on his 
horse, and, going out of the town, called thrice on 
the Invisible Prince. 

" Here I am," said a voice close to him. " What 
do you wish ? I will do whatever you tell me, for 
it was you who saved my daughter from Koshchei, 
and that is a service I shall never forget." 

Prince Slugobyl showed him the army he wished 
destroyed. The Invisible Prince whistled, and 
said 

" Magical horse with the golden mane, come to 



164 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

me, not on the ground but through the air, quick as 
an arrow, nimble as the lightning's flash." 

That moment, in the midst of a whirlwind of 
smoke, there came a magnificent horse of an iron 
grey colour, and with a golden mane. It flew 
like the wind. Fire came from its nostrils. Its 
eyes sparkled like stars, and its ears smoked. 

The Invisible Prince jumped upon it, and said to 
Prince Slugobyl 

"Take my sword and go and exterminate the 
left wing, while I destroy the right and the centre." 

So the two set off, each to his place, and attacked 
the enemy with fury. To the right and to the 
left the soldiers fell like mown down grass. The 
slaughter was dreadful. The soldiers fled in all 
directions, but the two princes pursued them, and 
only ceased their labour when there remained on 
the field of battle only the dead and the dying. 
Then the two returned to the town. When they 
came near to the palace they shook hands. The 
Invisible Prince disappeared, and Prince Slugobyl 
went back to his stable. 

It chanced that the king's daughter had been in 
such trouble that she had not been able to sleep. 
So she had gone out upon her balcony, and from 
there she had observed all that had occurred. She 
had heard the conversation between the false prince 
and his servant. She had seen Slugobyl call the 
Invisible Prince to assist him, and she had seen 



PRINCE SLUGOBYL. 165 

him give his clothes and armour to the impostor, 
while he told him all that he had done during the 
night. The princess divined all, but she resolved 
to be careful, and not to speak till the right 
time. 

The next day the king ordered that the victory 
gained by his guest over the hostile army should 
be celebrated by great festivities. Calling his 
daughter to him at the banquet, he was about to 
give her to the false prince, when she, leaving the 
table, made her way among the servants, and 
embracing Slugobyl, who stood amongst them, 
brought him forward. 

"My father," said she, "and all you who are 
here present, here is he who gained the victory, and 
whom Heaven has sent me to be my husband. He 
whom you have been honouring is nothing more 
than a vile impostor, who has robbed his master 
alike of his name and of his rights. Last night I 
could not sleep, and, going out upon my balcony, I 
saw things such as eye had never before seen, and 
heard things such as ear had never before been 
acquainted with. I will tell you all, but first of all 
command that traitor to show you the paper by 
which he claims to be what he pretends." 

The false prince then produced the paper signed 
by his master, and it was found to contain these 
words 

" Let the bearer of this paper, the traitorous and 



166 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

wicked servant of Prince Slugobyl, receive the 
punishment he well deserves for his treachery. 

(Signed), PRINCE SLUGOBYL." 

" What ! " cried the traitor, " do you say that that 
is what the writing means 1 " 

" Yes," cried they all. " That is what is here." 

Then he threw himself at the king's feet and 
begged for mercy, but he only received what he 
deserved. He was tied to four wild horses and 
torn to pieces. 

Prince Slugobyl married the princess. I, who 
tell you of these things, was there myself, and I 
there drank wine and hydromel, but, though my 
beard was wetted, none of the drink went into my 
mouth. 



PRINCESS MARVEL. 

UPON an island in the midst of the sea dwelt a 
princess, and with her lived twelve female attend- 
ants. The princess was of extraordinary beauty. 
Her face was calm and lovely as the moon, her lips 
were rosy red, and when she spoke her voice was 
full of music. Her eyes were remarkable. If they 
looked upon one with favour, her glance filled him 
with delight ; but if they were cast upon one in 
anger, he was at once changed into a block of ice. 
All the princess's attendants were very beautiful, 
and devoted to their mistress. In time the fame of 
the princess's extraordinary loveliness was spread 
abroad. Folk came from all parts to see her, and 
the island became full of people. 

Many princes sought the princess in marriage, 
but she rejected them all. Those who took her 
refusal in good part returned to their homes safe 
and sound, but woe to him who endeavoured to 
obtain the hand of Princess Marvel by force ! Having 
landed with an army on the island, he saw his 
soldiers miserably perish, and he himself, pierced by a 
glance from the princess's eyej became a block of ice. 



168 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

One day the great ogre Koshchei, looking around 
the world, took it into his head to see all the 
different kings, queens, princes, and princesses it 
contained. 

All of a sudden his glance fell upon the island 
where dwelt the princess. He looked, and saw the 
twelve beautiful attendants, and in their midst the 
lovely princess, asleep. As she slept the princess 
dreamt of a man who wore gold armour, was 
mounted on a fiery charger, and who was armed 
with an invisible club, and she felt that she loved 
the chevalier more than life itself. 

Meanwhile Koshchei had fallen deep in love with 
the princess. Stamping three times upon the 
ground, he was at once transported to the island, 
but the princess, when he presented himself, rejected 
him with scorn, for she felt that she could be the 
wife of none but him whom she had seen in her 
dream. As Koshchei was determined to carry off 
the princess by force, if need be, she assembled her 
troops, and went out to meet him. Koshchei with 
his poisonous breath laid all the troops prostrate on 
the ground in a deep sleep. The princess, however, 
escaped, for, casting one of her angry glances on 
Koshchei, he was turned into a block of ice, and the 
princess returned to her palace. Koshchei did not 
long remain in that condition. When the princess 
came to her palace she found all the people within 
it asleep, and Koshchei, following her there, and not 



PRINCESS MARVEL. 169 

daring to appear before her for fear of again feeling 
the power of her eyes, built a wall of iron around 
the palace, placed a dragon with twelve heads at 
its gate, and waited, thinking that the princess 
would at length tire of being a solitary prisoner, 
and would agree to become his wife. 

All upon the island were asleep, save the princess 
and Koshchei. Weeks and months passed away 
and Koshchei came to the gate of the palace time 
after time to tell the princess that he loved her, 
that resistance must be vain, and that, as his wife, 
she should be queen of all the underground world. 
Princess Marvel, however, listened to him in 
silence. 

Solitary and sad, she thought of him she had 
seen in her dream. She thought of his shining 
armour, his fiery horse, his invisible club, and the 
glances he had cast upon her, assuring her he loved 
her. She was always thinking of him. One day, 
as she looked out, she saw a cloud passing along the 
sky, and said to it 

" Stop on your way through the blue sky, cloud, 
and tell me where is he whom I love, and whether 
he ever thinks of me." 

"I do not know," said the cloud. "Ask the 
wind." 

The princess, seeing a breath of wind playing 
amongst the flowers, said to it 

"Wind, you travel far and wide and are so 



170 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

happy in your freedom, have pity upon me, who am 
so miserable and helpless. Tell me where is he 
whom I love, and whether he ever thinks of me." 

"Ask the stars," said the wind. "They know 
more than I do." 

Princess Marvel lifted up her eyes to the bright, 
shining stars, and said 

" Stars, that shine so bright, can you see my eyes 
so full of tears without having pity on me ] Tell 
me where is he whom I love, and whether he thinks 
of me." 

" You had better ask the moon," said the stars. 
" She knows more that goes on upon the earth than 
we do." 

Then Princess Marvel said to the moon 

"Beautiful moon, look on me for a moment, and 
tell me where is he whom I love, and whether he 
thinks of rne." 

" Princess," answered the moon, " I know nothing 
about your friend. Wait a few hours, and then you 
will see the sun. Ask him. There is nothing hid 
from him, and he will tell you all." 

The princess waited till morning, and when the 
sun rose she said to him 

" Sun, look on me, and tell me where is my love, 
and if he thinks of me." 

" Princess Marvel," replied the sun, " dry up your 
tears and take courage. The prince is coming to 
you. He has obtained the magic ring from the 



PRINCESS MARVEL. 171 

depths below; he has collected together au in- 
numerable army to come to your rescue, and to 
punish Koshchei. All will, however, be useless 
unless the prince takes another course, for Koshchei 
can overthrow all the prince's forces. I will go to 
the prince and give him some advice. Good-bye. 
I go to him who loves you. Be of good cheer, for he 
will come and rescue you, and you shall be happy." 

Then the sun looked down upon the country 
where Prince Junak, clothed in golden armour and 
mounted on a fiery horse, got ready his army to go 
and attack Koshchei. Three times had the prince 
seen the Princess Marvel in his dreams, and he 
loved her deeply. 

" Leave your army," said the sun to him, " for it 
will be of no service whatever against Koshchei. 
You can only deliver the princess from him by 
killing him, and to learn how you are to do that 
you must go to old Yaga. She can tell you how he 
can be killed. I will tell you how to get a horse 
which will carry you direct to her. Go towards the 
east until you come to a vast plain in the middle 
of which grow three oaks. Near to these you will 
find in the ground an iron door. Open it, and in a 
corner you will find the horse and the invisible 
club, which you must have to effect your wishes. 
You will afterwards learn how to proceed." 

Prince Junak hardly knew what to do, but at 
length he resolved to take the sun's advice, so he 



172 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

took off the magic ring from his finger and threw it 
into the sea. His army at once disappeared, and 
the prince set out to go to the east. For eight 
days he went on, and then he came to a large plain, 
in the middle of which he found the three oaks of 
which the sun had spoken. He saw the iron door, 
opened it, and saw before him some winding steps. 
He went down these till he came to another iron 
door, which he likewise opened. Then he heard 
the neigh of a horse in the distance. Twelve other 
doors opened of themselves, and the prince at last 
came to the horse, which had been confined there 
during a great many ages by a magician. When it 
saw the prince, the horse broke the twelve iron 
chains that held it, and ran to him. 

" Prince Junak," it said, " I have waited for 
ages for such a man as yourself. Now I am ready 
to bear you and serve you faithfully. Leap on my 
back and grasp the invisible club which is attached 
to my saddle. You will not, however, have to 
wield it, for you have only to tell it what you want 
done and it obeys you of itself. Now let us go. 
Where shall I take you ? Name the place you wish 
to be at, and we will be off at once." 

The prince leaped on the horse's back, grasped 
the invisible club, and set out. The horse took its 
course through the air, and towards sunset the 
prince came to the borders of an immense forest in 
which was the residence of the old Yaga. Huge 



PRINCESS MARVEL. 173 

oaks stood all around. Not a bird sang, not an 
insect hummed, all was profound silence. The 
prince went on till he came to a hut which stood 
upon fowl's feet, and which kept turning round and 
round. 

"Hut," said the prince, "turn your front to- 
wards me and your back to the forest." 

The hut turned to him and stood still, and the 
prince, going in, found the old Yaga there. When 
she saw him, she cried out 

" Why are you come here, Prince Junak, where 
no one has ever before been ? " 

" You are a foolish witch to ask questions of me," 
said the prince, " and not to welcome me." Then 
the Yaga rose and got ready everything that the 
prince needed. When he had eaten and drunk and 
rested himself, he told her why he had come. 

"You have undertaken a difficult thing, Prince 
Junak," said the Yaga, " and you will want all your 
courage to succeed. I will show you how to over- 
come Koshchei. In the middle of the ocean is the 
island of eternal life. In the centre of the island 
grows an oak, and under it is an iron coffer. In the 
coffer is a hare, under the hare is a grey duck, and 
under the duck is an egg in which is contained the 
life of Koshchei. If the egg is broken, Koshchei 
dies." 

The Prince at once set off to seek the egg. He 
rode on his wonderful horse until he came to the 



174 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

seashore. There he found a large fish struggling in 
a net. 

"Prince Junak," said the fish, "let me loose, and I 
promise you your kindness shall not be forgotten." 

The prince took the fish out of the net and set it 
free. Then he stood upon the shore, and thought 
how he should reach the island of eternal life, whose 
rocks he saw afar off. As he stood silent and sad, 
his horse said to him 

"Prince, what is it you are thinking of, and why 
do you look so sad ? " 

" How can I be otherwise," answered the prince, 
" when I find my journey here all in vain ? How 
can I reach the far-off island ? " 

"Mount upon my back," said the horse, "and I 
will carry you to it. Only hold on well." 

The prince did as the horse told him, and the 
brave steed, plunging into the sea, carried him over 
to the island. When he had arrived there, the 
prince looked around him, and in the middle of the 
island he saw an immense oak. Going to it, the 
prince seized it, and, pulling with all his force, the 
oak was torn up by the roots. The tree groaned 
as the prince tore it from the earth. In the place 
its roots had occupied was a large hole in which 
was an iron coffer. When the prince opened the 
coffer out sprang the hare, and away flew the duck 
carrying the egg with it. The duck made towards 
the sea, and the prince, fearing he should lose the 



PRINCESS MARVEL. 175 

egg, shot at the bird. It fell, and with it also fell 
the egg into the sea. Then the prince gave a cry 
of despair, and, running down to the shore, he looked 
around to see if he could see anything of the egg, 
but it was not to be seen. All of a sudden a large 
fish made its appearance. " Prince Junak," it said, 
" I have not forgotten the service you did me, for 
which I now make you some return." 

As it said this the fish placed the egg upon the 
shore, turned, and disappeared in the sea. Junak 
was delighted. He went to his horse, leaped into 
the saddle, and set off to the island where the 
Princess Marvel dwelt, carrying the egg with him. 
When he came there he saw the immense iron wall 
Koshchei had raised around the palace, and the 
dragon which lay at the gate. Six of the monster's 
heads were asleep, while the other six watched. 
Then the prince commanded his invisible club to 
slay it. The dragon became furious under the 
blows. It could not see the club, and so could not 
tell to what quarter to turn itself. It rolled about, 
it turned its twelve heads here and there, it darted 
forth its sharp tongues, but all to no purpose. At 
length, in despair, it turned its rage upon itself, and 
with its sharp claws tore itself to pieces. Then the 
prince went in, and, dismounting and taking the 
invisible club in his hand, he sought the princess. 

" Prince," said she, when she saw him approach, 
" I have seen how you have overcome the dragon, 



176 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

but a still more terrible conflict awaits you with my 
cruel jailer, Koshchei. Be careful, I beseech you, 
how you engage with him, for, should you fall, I will 
cast myself down the steep precipice near the palace." 

" Do not fear, Princess Marvel," replied he, " for 
I hold the life of Koshchei in my hand." 

Then said he to the invisible club 

" Go, and lay on to Koshchei." 

The club went and commenced to deal such blows 
upon Koshchei that the king of the underground 
world commenced to grind his teeth, to roll his eyes, 
and toss himself hither and thither. None else than 
Koshchei could have borne the blows for an instant. 
He looked around him but could see nothing, and 
his pain was so great that he howled so that the 
whole island rang again. At length he came to the 
palace, and there he saw Prince Junak. 

" Ah ! " said he, " you have put me to all this 
pain, have you ? " 

He was about to send his poisoned breath against 
him, when the prince suddenly squeezed the egg he 
had in his hand. The shell broke, the yolk sprang 
out and fell to the ground, and at the same moment 
Koshchei fell dead. As he did so all his enchant- 
ments ceased. All the people in the palace awoke, 
and the iron wall disappeared. 

All then was happiness. In a few days the prince 
and the princess were married, and they lived joy- 
fully all their days. 



THE GHOST. 

ONCE upon a time a poor scholar going to town 
chanced to come across the body of a man which 
had been cast by some one under the walls of the 
town near to the gate. The scholar had very little 
money in his pocket, but for all that he willingly 
paid for the body to be buried in a Christian manner, 
so that it might be protected from insult. Having 
seen to this, he said a few prayers over the grave, 
and then continued his journey. 

It chanced that one day, as he passed through an 
oak-wood, he felt tired, and laid himself down to 
sleep under one of the trees. When he awoke, how 
astonished was he to find that his pockets were all 
full of gold ! He called down blessings on the head 
of whoever it was that had done him this good turn, 
and went on. At length he came to the bank of a 
wide river too deep for him to ford. Seeing the 
money he had with him, two boatmen offered to 
row him across. He entered the boat, and the men 
rowed till they came to the middle of the river, 
when they set upon him, robbed him of his gold, 
and then threw him into the water. 

Russian. M 



178 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

Almost insensible he was carried away by the 
stream, but as he was floating along he found a log 
of wood beside him. He clung to it, and, keeping 
himself afloat by means of it, managed to scramble 
to shore. The log, however, was not really what it 
seemed to be. It was the spirit of the dead man 
whom the poor scholar had buried, and now, when 
he was on shore, the spirit spoke to him, and 
said 

" I am the spirit of him whose corpse you honoured 
with burial. I am grateful for what you did, and in 
return I will teach you three things : how to change 
yourself into a crow, a hare, and a roebuck." 

Having acquired these strange powers, the poor 
man went on his way. In time he came to the 
court of a mighty king, in whose service he entered 
as an archer. Now this king was the father of a 
beautiful princess who lived alone in a castle on a 
solitary island. The walls of the castle were of 
copper, and in it was a sword of such an extra- 
ordinary kind that one could, by waving it in the 
air, cut down a whole army at one sweep. It was 
natural that the sword should be coveted by very 
many, but no one durst venture upon the island to 
endeavour to obtain it. 

Now at the time that the poor scholar came to 
the court, the king was sore troubled by his enemies, 
who were invading his dominions. He had great 
need of the sword, but how could he get it 1 He 



THE GHOST. 179 

determined to see whether there was any among his 
subjects who would dare to go to the island, and so 
he caused a proclamation to be published to the 
effect that if any one would bring him the magical 
sword he should receive his daughter in marriage 
and succeed him on the throne. 

For a while no one came forward, but at last the 
scholar determined to make the attempt. Every one 
was astonished at his audacity, but he boldly went 
to the king and begged him to give him a letter that 
he might deliver to the princess asking her to give 
the sword to him. The king wrote the letter and 
gave it to the man, who at once set out, making his 
way through the forest. Unknown to him he was 
followed at a little distance by another of the king's 
archers who had determined to go after him and see 
how he sped. To travel the quicker, the archer 
assumed the shapes of a hare and a roebuck, as was 
suited to the ground over which he had to pass, and 
at last he came to the sea-shore. He then took the 
shape of a crow, and, flying over the waves as 
quickly as his wings would bear him, he at length 
came to the island on which was the castle. 

He landed, and, making his way to the castle, 
entered and delivered the king's letter to the prin- 
cess, begging her at the same time to let him have 
the victorious sword. The beautiful princess, who 
had lived so long without looking upon a stranger, 
scanned the archer closely, and fell in love with him. 



180 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

She inquired of him how it was that he had had the 
courage to undertake a task from which others drew 
back, and to come to the castle which had not been 
visited by man for so many years, and the archer 
told her all about himself and the wonderful powers 
he possessed. The princess, asking him to give her 
proof that what he said was true, and desiring him 
to change himself into the various forms, the 
archer immediately did as she desired, and a hand- 
some roebuck gambolled and played around her. 
As the princess stroked it she plucked a tuft of hair 
out of the animal's coat, but the archer did not 
notice it. Next he changed himself into a crow, and 
flew about the room. The princess laid her hand 
upon the bird, and, while she stroked it, contrived to 
pluck some feathers out of its wing without the 
archer noticing it. He last of all changed himself 
into a hare, and again the princess plucked a tuft of 
hair out of his coat unobserved. 

Then the princess wrote a letter to her father, 
delivered the sword to the archer, and dismissed him. 

Taking the form of a crow, the man flew over 
the sea, and, having reached the shore, he changed 
himself to a roebuck, and ran till he came to the 
forest. Then he changed himself into a hare, and 
began to make his way as fast as possible through 
the forest depths. Now, the archer who had fol- 
lowed him had seen all that he had done till he 
came to the sea-shore to fly over to the castle. There 



THE GHOST. 181 

the man had stopped awaiting the other's return. 
He saw him come back in the shape of a crow, 
change himself into a roebuck, and again into a 
hare. As the hare was making its way through the 
forest the archer bent his bow, and discharged an 
arrow so well aimed that the hare at once fell dead 
to the ground. The archer came up to it, took the 
letter and the sword, and set out to the palace. 
When he arrived there he gave the king the sword, 
and demanded the promised reward. 

The king was delighted to find himself in posses- 
sion of the sword which would destroy all his 
enemies. He confirmed his promise of the reward, 
leaped into the saddle, and set off to the place where 
the hostile army was encamped. Scarcely had he 
come near enough to distinguish the flags of the 
enemy in the distance than he brandished the sword. 
At every stroke fresh foes fell to the ground, and at 
last the few of them that were left fled from the field 
stricken with terror at their comrades' mysterious 
fate. The king collected together the booty he 
found in the enemy's camp, and, returning home, 
sent to his daughter to tell her to come to his court 
so that he might give her to the archer. 

Meanwhile the poor fellow who had been slain 
while he was travelling as a hare lay dead in the 
forest under an oak-tree. All of a sudden, however, 
he came to life again, and, looking around him, he 
saw the spirit of the dead man, whose body he had 



182 RUSSIAN AND POLISH FOLKLORE. 

buried, standing near him. The spirit told him that 
it had witnessed what had befallen him, and had by 
the power it possessed called him back to life. 

" The wedding of the princess," it said to the man, 
"is to be celebrated to-morrow, and if you would 
keep her you must go as fast as you can to the 
palace. She will know you as soon as she sees you, 
and you will also be recognised by the archer who 
so wickedly slew you." 

So the young man lost no time, but went on to 
the palace. When he came to the court he found 
all the guests already assembled. He entered the 
room, and no sooner had the princess cast a glance 
on him than she knew it was he, and was beside 
herself with joy. As for the treacherous archer, he 
turned pale when he saw the man, whom he thought 
he had murdered, alive and well. 

Then the man told all the company everything 
that had happened, and how the archer had slain 
and robbed him. The tale was so wonderful that 
the guests could scarcely credit it, so the man 
changed himself into a roebuck to show them that 
what he had said was true. Then the princess put 
her hand in her pocket and took out of it a tuft of 
hair which was found to exactly fit a bare place on 
the roebuck's coat. The man changed himself into 
a hare, and the princess again produced a piece of a 
hare's coat which exactly fitted a bare spot in the 
animal's skin. Lastly he changed himself into a 



THE GHOST. 183 

crow, and the princess producing the feathers she 
had formerly plucked out of the bird, it was found 
that they were missing in its plumage. 

When the king saw all this he required no further 
proof of the man's story, and he ordered that the 
treacherous archer should be at once led forth and 
put to death by being torn to pieces by four wild 
horses. 

Within the palace all was joy and festivity. The 
archer married the princess, and they wanted no- 
thing, for the wish of their hearts was obtained. 



Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to Her Majesty, 
at the Edinburgh University Press, 






10 



8 BURY STREET, 
LONDON, W.C. 

OCTOBER 1890. 



LIST OF PUBLICATIONS. 



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Edited, with Notes, by PROFESSOR GREEN, with Portrait 
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\Yii.i.i\M W. (iim;iN(;s' 



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the Terrestrial Paradise. The Tomb of Noosheewan, 
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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY 

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