Someone was coming to my copper palace!
I laid out a fine dinner and made my guest a comfortable bed.
Later when I came down to the dining room, I saw that the food had been eaten. I went upstairs and found my guest resting in bed.
I said, “Thou who art in my house, name thyself! If thou art an old man, thou shalt be my father; if a middle-aged man, my brother; but if a young man, thou shalt be my husband dear. And if thou art a woman and an old one, thou shalt be my grandmother; if middle-aged, my mother; and if a girl, thou shalt be my own sister.”
The stranger rose and came to me. I knew him instantly as Prince Ivan from the upper world. My husband he would be!
Princess in a Copper Palace in The Norka, Russian Fairy Tales Collected by W.R.S. Ralston. Image by Odilon Redon.