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453 The Firebird and Vasilisa Tsarevna 169. In a certain tsardom beyond the thrice-nine land, in the thrice-ten country , there lived and dwelt a strong and powerful tsar. This tsar had a young man and shooter, and this young man and shooter had a bogatyr’s horse. Once the shooter set off on his bogatyr’s horse to the forest to hunt. He was riding along a road, along a wide road, and he came upon the feather of a firebird. The feather shone like fire! His bogatyr’s horse said to him, “Don’t take that gold feather! If you take it, you’ll know misfortune.” But the young man contemplated: Should he take up that feather or not? If he picked it up and took it to the tsar, he’d be richly rewarded. And is the tsar’s good will not of value to someone? The shooter didn’t listen to his horse. He picked up the firebird feather and brought it to the tsar as a gift.“Thank you,” said the tsar,“but now that you’ve brought me the feather of the firebird, bring me the bird itself . And if you don’t fetch it, then it’s my sword and your head from your shoulders!” The shooter broke down in bitter tears and went to his bogatyr’s horse.“Why are you crying, Master?”“The tsar has ordered me to fetch the firebird.”“I told you: don’t take that gold feather. If you take it, you’ll know misfortune. But don’t fear, don’t be sad; this is not yet the misfortune. That is to come! Go quickly to the tsar and ask him to have a hundred sacks of spring wheat scattered over the whole open steppe.” The tsar ordered them to scatter a hundred sacks of spring wheat over the steppe. The next day at dawn, the shooter and young man rode out into the steppe, let his horse graze at will, and hid himself behind a tree. Suddenly , there was a noise from the forest, the sea rose up, and the firebird came flying. It flew up, descended to the ground, and started pecking the wheat. The bogatyr’s horse went up to the firebird, put its hoof on its wing and pinned it to the ground. The shooter-young man jumped out from behind the tree, ran over, tied the firebird up with cords, got on his horse, and galloped off to the palace. He brought the tsar the firebird. The tsar looked at it, was overjoyed, and thanked the shooter for his service. Then he rewarded him with a rank and right away gave him another task. “Since you managed to get that firebird, now get me a bride from beyond 454 h The Firebird and Vasilisa Tsarevna the thrice-nine land. At the very edge of the world, where the bright sun rises, there’s this Vasilisa Tsarevna—I require her! If you bring her here, I’ll reward you with gold and silver, but if you don’t, then it’s my sword and your head from your shoulders!” The shooter broke down in bitter tears and went to his bogatyr’s horse. “What are you crying about, Master?” asked the horse. “The tsar had ordered me to get Vasilisa Tsarevna for him.”“Don’t cry, don’t be sad; that’s not yet a misfortune. The misfortune is to come! Go to the tsar and ask for a tent with a golden top and various provisions and drinks for the journey.” The tsar gave him the provisions and the drinks and the tent with the golden top. The shooter-young man got on his bogatyr’s horse and rode off for the thrice-nine land. After a long time or a short time, he came to the edge of the earth where the bright sun comes up from the deep blue sea. He looked, and there was Vasilisa Tsarevna sailing about over the sea in a little silver boat, rowing with a gold oar. The shooteryoung man sent his horse into some green meadows to graze, to nibble the fresh grass, and he unfurled his tent with the golden top, put out various foods and drinks, sat down in the tent to enjoy his repast, and waited for Vasilisa Tsarevna. And Vasilisa Tsarevna spied the golden top and rowed to shore. She stepped out of the boat and admired the tent.“Greetings...


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