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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Iliya of Murom and the Robber Nightingale"

Iliya of Murom and the Robber Nightingale

At length they fell in with a cripple on the road.

Then Iliya of Murom, at their invitation, turned to go into the palace, little anticipating the danger that awaited him, for the eldest daughter had drawn up by a chain a huge rafter to let fall and slay Iliya as he rode through the gate. But Iliya perceived her design, and slew her with his lance. Thereupon he rode on toward Kiev, and going straight to the palace, prayed to God and saluted the nobles. And the Prince of Kiev said to Iliya, “Tell me, brave youth, what is your name, and whence do you come?” “My lord,” replied Iliya, “my name is Iliyushka, and I was born in the city of Murom.” Then the Prince asked him which way he had come; and Iliya answered: “I rode from Murom to Chernigov, where I slew a countless army of pagans, and delivered the city. Thence I came straight hither, and on my road have captured the mighty Robber Nightingale, and brought him prisoner bound to my stirrup.” But the Prince was wroth, for he thought Iliya was deceiving him. Then two of the knights, Alescha Popovich and Dobrinja Nikitich, rode forth to ascertain the truth of the matter; and when the Prince was convinced, he ordered a glass of vodka to be given to the brave youth, and begged to hear the famous whistle of the Robber Nightingale. So Iliya of Murom took the Prince and Princess under his arm, wrapped in his sable pelisse, and ordered the Robber Nightingale to sound his whistle softly. But the Robber whistled so loud that he stunned all the knights and they fell flat upon the ground, whereat Iliya of Murom was so enraged that he slew him on the spot.

Then Iliya formed a close friendship with Dobrinja Nikitich; and saddling their steeds they rode off, and journeyed on for three months without meeting any enemy. At length they fell in with a cripple on the road; his beggar’s cloak weighed fifty poods, his bonnet nine poods, and his crutch was six feet long. Then Iliya of Murom rode at him to try his courage; but the cripple said: “Ah, Iliya of Murom, do you not remember me, and how we studied together at the same school?

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