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419 The Crystal Mountain 162. In a certain tsardom, in a certain land, there lived and dwelt a tsar, and this tsar had three sons. So, then the children said to him, “Gracious Sovereign and Father! Bless us, we wish to go out hunting.” Their father blessed them, and they rode off in various directions. The youngest one rode and rode and got lost. He rode out into a glen, and in that glen lay a dead horse. Every sort of beast and bird and serpent was gathered round it. A falcon flew up and to the tsarevich. It perched on his shoulder and said,“Ivan Tsarevich! Divide this horse up for us. It’s been lying here for thirty-three years, and we’re still quarreling, but we can’t think how to divide it up!” The tsarevich got down from his good horse and divided up the carrion. The beasts got the bones, the birds the flesh, the skin the serpents , and the head the ants.“Thank you, Ivan Tsarevich,” said the falcon. “For this service you have done us you can turn into a bright falcon or an ant any time you wish.” Ivan Tsarevich struck the damp earth and became a bright falcon. He soared up and flew to the thrice-ten land. Already more than half that land had been pulled into a crystal mountain. He flew straight to the palace, turned back into a fine lad, and asked the court guard,“Will your sovereign not take me on in service to himself?”“Why should he not take on such a fine lad?” So he entered into service to that tsar and lived there a week, then a second and a third. The tsarevna then asked,“My Sovereign and Father! Let me and Ivan Tsarevich go for a stroll on the crystal mountain.” The tsar permitted it. They got on their good horses and set off. They rode up to the crystal mount, and suddenly out of nowhere there leapt a gold goat! The tsarevich chased after it. He galloped and galloped, but he couldn’t catch the goat. And so he turned back—but the tsarevna wasn’t there! What was he to do? How could he show himself to the tsar? He got himself up as an ancient old man, such that no one could recognize him. He came to the palace and said to the tsar,“Your Highness! Take me on as a herder.” “All right, let you be a cowherd. If a serpent with three heads flies up, give him three cows; if with six heads, then six cows. But if the serpent has twelve heads, then count out twelve cows. 420 h The Crystal Mountain Ivan Tsarevich drove the herd through the mountains and through the valleys. Suddenly, a serpent with three heads flew up from the sea.“Hey, Ivan Tsarevich, what business have you taken upon yourself? A fine lad like you ought to be out fighting, but here he is herding! Well now, cut me out three cows,” the serpent said.“Won’t that be overdoing it?” answered the tsarevich.“I myself eat just one duck a day, and you want three cows! I won’t give you a single one.”The serpent became furious and grabbed six cows instead of three. Ivan Tsarevich straightaway turned himself into a bright falcon, took off the serpent’s three heads, and drove the herd home. “Well, Grandfather,” asked the tsar,“did that three-headed serpent come, and did you give it three cows?” “No, Your Highness, I didn’t give it a single one.” The next day, the tsarevich drove the herd through the mountains and through the valleys. A serpent with six heads flew up from the sea and demanded six cows.“Oh, you Chudo-Yudo, you greedy monster! I myself eat just one duck a day, and just what do you want! I won’t give you a single one.” The serpent became furious and grabbed twelve cows instead of six. But the tsarevich turned himself into a bright falcon, threw himself at the serpent, and took off all six heads. He drove the herd home, and the tsar asked him,“Well, Grandfather, did that six-headed serpent come, and have I lost much of my herd?”“It came all right, but it didn’t take anything!” Late that evening, Ivan Tsarevich turned himself into an ant and crawled through a tiny crack into the crystal mountain. He...


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