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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Seven Simeons"

Seven Simeons

Have you already forgotten the seventh Simeon? Why, it will be simple enough for him to steal the princess Helena. Afterwards let the king of Buzan come here to fight us, and we will welcome him as an honored guest. But do not forget that he must take ten years' time to reach us, and in ten years—ah me! I have heard that some wise man somewhere undertook to teach a horse to talk in ten years!"

"Good! Good!" exclaimed the Tsar Archidei, forgetting even his anger. "I thank thee, striped fool. I certainly shall reward thee. Thou must have a new cap with noisy bells, and each one of thy children a ginger pancake. You, faithful servants, run quickly and bring here the seventh Simeon."

According to the Tsar's bidding the heavy iron gates of the dark prison were thrown open, the heavy chains were taken off and the seventh Simeon appeared before the eager eyes of the Tsar Archidei, who thus addressed him:

"Listen to me attentively, thou seventh Simeon, for I had almost decided to grant thee a high honor; to keep thee thy life long in my prison. But if thou shouldst prove useful to me, then will I give thee freedom; and besides, thou shalt have a share out of my treasures. Art thou able to steal the beautiful princess Helena from her father, the mighty king of the island of Buzan?"

"And why not?" cheerfully laughed the seventh Simeon. "There is nothing difficult about it. She is not a pearl, and I presume she is not under too many locks. Only order the ship which my brother had built for thee to be loaded with velvets and brocades, with Persian rugs, beautiful pearls and precious stones, and bid my four brothers come along with me. But the two eldest keep thou as hostages."

Once said, quickly done. The Tsar Archidei gave orders while all were running hither and thither, and everything was finished so promptly that a short-haired girl would scarcely have had time to plait her hair. The ship, laden with velvets, brocades, with Persian rugs and pearls, and costly precious stones, was ready; the five brothers, the brave Simeons, were ready; they bowed to the Tsar, spread sail, and disappeared.

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