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202 Prince Danila Govorila 114. There lived and dwelt this old princess. She had a grown son and daughter , and so stocky, so fine they were! This wicked witch really disliked them: “How could I destroy them. How could I bring them to a bad end?” She thought and thought about it. So she turned herself into a fox, and went to their mother and said,“My dear little friend, my little dove! Here’s a ring for you. Put it on your son’s finger and it will make him rich and generous. Only he mustn’t take it off and must marry the girl whose hand this ring fits.” The old woman believed her and was overjoyed, and when she was dying, she instructed her son to marry the wife whom the ring fit. Time passed, and the son grew up. When he was old enough, he went seeking a bride. One he would like, another was most attractive—but then they’d try the ring, and it was either too small or too big. It didn’t fit either the one or the other. He rode and rode throughout the villages and towns, he tested all the beautiful girls, but he couldn’t find the one intended for him. He came home and fell into thought.“Why are you so pensive, brother?” his sister asked him. He disclosed his trouble, his ill fortune, to her.“What is that weird ring?” she asked.“Let me try it on.” She put the ring on, and the ring clasped her finger, it shone, it fit her as if it had intentionally been made for her.“Oh, Sister, you are my intended. You will be my wife!” “What do you mean, Brother? Remember God, remember the sin of those marrying sisters!” But her brother wouldn’t hear her; he danced from joy and told her to get ready for the wedding. She burst into bitter tears. She left the room, sat down on the threshold, and sobbed and sobbed a river of tears. Some old ladies were passing by, and she summoned them to offer them food and drink. They asked her the reason for her sadness, for her grief. There was no reason to hide it. She told them everything. “Well, don’t be sad, don’t grieve, but listen to us. Make four dolls and set them in the four corners.Your brother will call you to the wedding, and go, and he’ll call you in your chamber, but don’t hurry. Put your hope in God, and now farewell.” The old women went away. Brother and sister were married, and he went into the chamber and said,“Sister Katerina, come Prince Danila Govorila h 203 to the featherbed!” She answered,“Just a moment, Brother, I’m taking off my earrings.”And the dolls in the four corners called out like cuckoos: Cuckoo, Prince Danila, Cuckoo, Govorila Cuckoo, he’s taking his sister, Cuckoo, open wide, oh earth! Cuckoo, disappear, Sister! The earth began opening and the sister to disappear. Her brother shouted, “Sister Katerina, come to the featherbed!” “Just a moment, Brother, I’m taking off my sash.”And the dolls cuckooed: Cuckoo, Prince Danila, Cuckoo, Govorila Cuckoo, he’s taking his sister, Cuckoo, open wide, oh earth! Cuckoo, disappear, Sister! And then already just her head was visible. Again brother called out, “Sister Katerina, come to the featherbed!”“Just a moment, Brother, I’m taking off my slippers.” The dolls cuckooed, and she disappeared beneath the earth. The brother called again, he called even louder, but she wasn’t there! He got angry, ran in, slammed the door, and the doors flew off. He looked to all sides, but it was as if his sister had never been there. And in the corners just the dolls sat there and went on cuckooing:“Open wide, earth; Disappear, Sister!” He grabbed an axe and cut off their heads and threw them in the stove. So then his sister walked and walked about beneath the earth. She saw this little hut on cock’s legs. It was standing there, but it could turn.“Hut, little hut! Stand as you were, with your rear to the forest and your front to me.” The hut turned and the doors opened. A beautiful girl was sitting in the hut, embroidering a coverlet with silver and gold. She met her guest warmly, sighed, and said,“Oh, my dear sister, my dearest, I’m...


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