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347 Nikita the Tanner 148. A serpent appeared around Kiev, and he collected from the people a not insignificant tribute: from each household a beautiful maiden. He’d then take the maiden and eat her. The turn of the tsar’s daughter came to go to that serpent. The serpent grabbed the tsarevna and dragged her off to his lair, but he didn’t eat her. The beautiful maiden remained just the beautiful maiden, and he took her as his wife. The serpent would fly off on his missions, and he’d blockade the girl in with logs so that she couldn’t go away. The tsarevna had a little dog that had come with her from her home. The tsarevna would occasionally write a note to her father and mother and tie it to the dog’s neck. The dog would run off wherever necessary and also bring back an answer. So once the tsar and tsaritsa wrote to the tsarevna:“Find out who’s stronger than the serpent.” The tsarevna became more cordial to her serpent, and she’d ask him who was stronger than he. For a long time he didn’t say, but then once he let slip that there lived in the city of Kiev a tanner, and that tanner was stronger than he. The tsarevna heard this and wrote to her father that he should search in the city of Kiev for Nikita the Tanner and send him to rescue her from her captivity. When he received this news, the tsar himself sought out Nikita the Tanner, and went himself to ask him to free his land from the fierce serpent and rescue the tsarevna.At that very time Nikita was currying hides, and he held in his hands twelve hides. When he saw that the tsar himself had come to him, he shook in fear and his hands trembled—and then he ripped all twelve hides. But then, no matter how much the tsar and tsaritsa pleaded with him, the tanner would not go out to oppose the serpent. So they decided to gather five thousand little children and got them to ask the tanner. Perhaps he’d take pity on their tears! The little ones came to Nikita and with tears asked him to go out against the serpent. Nikita the Tanner was in tears himself, looking at their tears. He took three hundred poods of hemp, tarred it with tar, and wrapped it around himself so that the serpent couldn’t eat him. And he set off against it. Nikita came up to the serpent’s lair, but the serpent had locked itself in and wouldn’t come out to him.“You’d better come out into the open 348 h Nikita the Tanner steppe, or else I’ll take your lair apart,” said the tanner. And he started breaking down the doors. The serpent, seeing his inescapable fate, came out into the open steppe to him. Whether he fought for a long time or a short time with the serpent, Nikita the Tanner overcame him. So then, the serpent begged Nikita,“Don’t kill me, Nikita the Tanner! There’s no one stronger than you on earth. Let’s divide the whole world, everything equally. You will live in one half, and I in the other.” Nikita made a plow weighing three hundred poods, hitched the serpent to it, and began making a boundary marker out from Kiev. Nikita made the marker from Kiev to the Caspian Sea.“Well,” said the serpent,“now we’ll divide up all the land!”“We’ve divided the land,” said Nikita.“Now let’s divide up the sea, or else you’ll say that they’re taking your water.” The serpent went out into the middle of the sea. Nikita the Tanner killed it, and sank it in the sea. And that marker is visible even today; it’s two sazhens high. They plow around it, but their furrows don’t touch it, and whoever doesn’t know what that furrow is for, it’s called a rampart. Nikita the Tanner, having accomplished his holy deed, took nothing for his work, but went back to currying hides. ...

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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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