Why does he even try? Poor foolish Ivan! He keeps coming back for Marya Morevna. It’s easy work for me to get her back.
Just ask my steed. Ask him how fast he can run to catch them! He’ll tell you: “It is possible to sow wheat, to wait till it grows up, to reap it and thresh it, to grind it to flour, to make pies of it, to eat those pies, and then to start in pursuit — and even then to be in time!”
Koschei the Deathless in Pursuit in Marya Morevna, Russian Fairy Tales Collected by W.R.S. Ralston. Illustration by Viktor Mikhaylovich Vasnetsov.