I asked my father to allow me to go to the port so I could see the ship of Ivan the merchant’s son. To be honest, I was just as interested in Ivan as I was in his ship.

I took my nurses, governesses and maidservants with me, and they lingered on deck while Ivan showed me everything — the rigging, the bow and the stern. We ended up in his cabin. I was exhausted by the thrill of everything I had seen.

I told Ivan that I wished I had the freedom to go on adventures at sea. He said, “Rest for a while,” and so I stretched out on his bed. He went out and I fell asleep. When I woke, the ship was rocking and creaking. I ran up to the deck and saw that Ivan had set sail!

My servants were nowhere in sight. I wept by the railing. Ivan betrayed me!

He found me there. He said he was only trying to make my dreams come true.

I soon dried my tears.

The Princess Who is Taken Aboard in Salt, Russian Fairy Tales Collected by Aleksandr Afanas’ev. Illustration by Ivan Bilibin.