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243 The Three Tsardoms— Copper, Silver, and Gold 128. There used to be, there once lived—there lived and dwelt an old man and an old woman. They had three sons: Yegorushko the Unexpected, Misha the Pigeon-toed, and the third was Ivashko, who loved to lie behind the stove. So their father and mother decided to marry them off. They sent the biggest one to look for a bride, and he walked and walked, but couldn’t choose anyone. He didn’t like any of them. Then he met on the road a serpent with three heads, and he got frightened. But the serpent said to him,“Where are you off to, young man?” Yegorushko said,“I set out courting, but I can’t find a bride.” The serpent said,“Come with me; I’ll lead you. But can you get a bride?” So they walked and walked, and they came to a huge rock. The serpent said, “Turn this rock over. There, whatever you want, you’ll get.” Yegorushko tried to turn it over, but could do nothing. The serpent said to him,“You won’t have a bride!” So Yegorushko returned home and told his father and mother all about it. The father and mother thought and thought about it, how to live, how to get on, and they sent the middle son, Misha the Pigeon-toed. The same thing happened with him. So the old man and old woman thought and thought. They didn’t know what to do: If they sent Ivashko Behind the Stove, there’d be nothing more to do! But Ivashko himself began asking to go see the serpent. At first, the old man and old woman wouldn’t let him go, but afterward they let him. And Ivashko also walked and walked and met the serpent with the three heads. The serpent asked him, “Where are you off to, young man?” He said,“My brothers wanted to get married, but they couldn’t get a bride, and now my turn has come.”“Perhaps. Come and I’ll show you whether you can get a bride or not.” So the serpent and Ivashko set off, and they came to that same rock, and the serpent told him to turn the rock over. Ivashko grabbed hold of it, and it was as if the rock hadn’t been there! It flew off. There was a hole in the ground, and near it some straps were fixed. So then the serpent said, “Ivashko, get down onto the straps. I’ll let you down, and down there 244 h The Three Tsardoms—Copper, Silver, and Gold you set off and go to the three tsardoms, and in each tsardom you’ll see a maiden.” Ivashko let himself down and set off. He walked and walked and came to the copper tsardom. He entered it and saw a maiden, and a beautiful maiden she was! The maiden said, “Welcome, unexpected guest! Come and sit down, wherever you see an empty place. Now tell me, where have you come from, and where are you going?”“Oh, beautiful maiden!” said Ivashko. “You haven’t fed me, you haven’t given me a drink, but you’ve already started asking the news!” So the maiden set all sorts of food and drinks on the table. Ivashko drank and ate, and then told her that he’d set off to find himself a bride:“If I find favor, then marry me!”“No, good man,” said the maiden.“Go on ahead, and you’ll come to the silver tsardom . There’s a maiden more beautiful than I there.” And she gave him a silver ring. So the young lad thanked the maiden for her bread and salt,1 took his leave, and set off. He walked and walked, and came to the silver tsardom. He entered it and saw a maiden more beautiful than the first. He prayed to God and bowed low:“Greetings, beautiful maiden!”“Welcome, traveling youth,” she replied.“Sit down and boast a bit. Where are you from, and on what business did you come here?”“Oh, beautiful maiden,” said Ivashko. “You haven’t fed me, you haven’t given me a drink, but you’ve already started asking me the news!” So the maiden set the table, she brought all kinds of foods and drinks. Then Ivashko drank and ate, as much as he wanted, and then he told her that he had set off to find...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781626740549
Related ISBN
9781628460933
MARC Record
OCLC
878813021
Pages
560
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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