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Koschei the Deathless in Pursuit

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 from him. 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...

Prince Who Fights a Beast

My two older brothers think I'm a fool and a simpleton. But our father has become very anxious because some beast has been getting into his deer-park and killing animals every night. Nobody knows who's doing it but my father suspects the Norka. If it is the Norka it...

Water King Who Demands a Princess

My son WILL marry Princess Martha, make no mistake about it. I'm WATER.  I ALWAYS GET MY WAY! Fetch my messenger! You know the one I mean. He's bigger than a nail, and his beard is a foot and a half long. He'll tell her that if she doesn't show up, I'll kill all her...

Goblin Pursuers

The old man ordered us to fly after the fugitives who were escaping the underworld. The young couple were crossing a great plain and we could see them clearly, running hand in hand with a red light flashing around them. Suddenly though, we couldn’t see them. They...

King’s Son Raised by Peasants

My parents were peasants, and though we lived roughly, they were good people. We never went without. When I was old enough to understand where I came from, my parents told me that I was the son of a king. My peasant parents had given their daughter to the king in...

Pursuing Prince

Be careful what you pursue, because what you pursue might be pursuing you! I found that out when the stag I had been chasing, suddenly stopped running and turned into a big, lanky man. "Well," he said, "It's a good thing I've got you now. I wore out six pairs of glass...

Princess Who Dresses as a Man

Would you believe it? He promised his dying father that he would marry somebody else, and he's gone and done just that! His father controlled him right to the very end. I will not have our bond severed. My father is going to help me find eleven girls in the kingdom...

Subbar Khan

I heard that there was a madman in the market, asking if anyone had patience to sell. Patience? How curious! I wanted to see the fellow, so my attendants went and brought him to me. "My master wants patience as a present for his daughter," said the madman. "Well, I...

Old Friend of Sparrow

I am an old man with a hard-hearted wife, and she's only gotten meaner over the years. I try to ignore her. I light my pipe and go sit out on the porch. I listen to birdsong and tune my ears to something else other than her scolding tongue. Now she's done something I...

Stone Witch

Oh, that pair! How furious they made me! I couldn't grab them. They ran from me. They tangled me up in a forest. Then they threw a lake between us. They slowed me down, sure, but they didn't stop me! I reached the castle, climbed up over the garden wall, and got to...

Lion Suitor

I got into the secret chamber of the princess by hiding in a lion made out of gold. The king brought the lion to his daughter, and when she and her friends were sleeping, I whispered to her, "Oh, lovely princess, if you only knew what I have gone through to find you."...

Prince Who Sees Blood

I found my partner at the festival, and I would dance with no other. But she kept escaping the party. Now at least, I have her slipper. It is small, dainty and golden. It can only belong to her, and I have am going to try it on every young woman in the country until I...

Fearless Youth

My older brother was clever. He knew how to manage everything, but I seemed to be stupid. I couldn't understand what people were saying. I didn't seem to be able to learn anything. I heard people say, "He will be a burden on his father!" Whenever something had to be...

Prince in Search of Flowers

I searched the world over for the daughter of the flower queen. After a year, my horse died of exhaustion. I didn't bother to find another horse. I went on looking, on foot. I came to the hut of an old man. He said to go down the road for a year. I did, and I came to...

Bereft Chief

I followed the path that the old ones spoke about, and it led me to the Land of Souls. I came to the hut of an old man clothed in skins. He told me to rest. How could I rest? I had to find the soul of my wife. Why did she die just before our wedding feast? Where did...

The Prince’s Fairy Godmother

The prince came to me with a pendant that bore the tiny portrait of a beautiful maiden. He wanted to know where she had gone, so I consulted my books. I was disheartened to discover that she had been taken by the prince's own father. He is a renowned wizard who likes...

Gardener’s Son

The prince and I are good friends, and we often compete to see whose arrow can fly the highest. When one of our arrows pinned the feather of a golden bird, I claimed the arrow as my own. The prince said it was his, and when we couldn't settle the dispute, we took it...

King Who Tries to Change His Daughter’s Fate

I used to enjoy going off on lonely adventures. I would disguise myself as a peddler, traveling around with my wares. By this means, I would find out what the common people were saying about me, and how my governors and judges were fulfilling their duties. My other...

Cypress Brother

Two cypress trees were planted in front of our house when my twin brother and I were conceived. When he went off to find his fortune, he told me that if one of the cypresses withers, he would be in trouble. Well, it withered, and immediately I went to find him. I...

Scioravante the Gold-Headed Magician

Ha! The little mare has given me the slip, but now I'm back! I'm on the roof of the palace. I can see her in her room, combing her long hair. She thinks that she can hide from me, but even if she barricades herself behind seven iron doors, I'll get to her. I have the...

Lamia

Argggh! I want that child. Oh, I want her so bad. "Letiko, come down from the tree and see what beautiful shoes I'm wearing!" Ah, she's not even curious. "Come down, I'm in a hurry! I have to go and sweep my house." "Go and sweep it then." She makes me so mad! "I'll...

Ring Seeker

I set out in search of King Solomon's ring because it was our only hope of destroying the dragon who was consuming the whole world. I walked toward the sunrise because I knew that all the old wisdom comes from the East. After travelling for a few years, I met a famous...

Prince Ahmed

I shot my arrow farther than my brothers, but since it could not be found, the hand of the princess went to my second eldest brother, Ali. My eldest brother was so upset about losing the contest that he renounced all his rights to succession and went off to become a...