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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Seven Simeons"

Seven Simeons

The ship floated swiftly over the blue waters; she flew like a hawk in comparison with the slow merchant vessels, and in a week after the five Simeons had left their native land they sighted the island of Buzan.

The island appeared to be surrounded with cannon as thick as peas; the gigantic guards walked up and down the shores tugging fiercely at their big mustaches. As soon as the ship became visible from a tower somebody shouted through a Dutch trumpet:

"Stop! Answer! What kind of people are ye? Why come ye here?"

The seventh Simeon answered from the ship: "We are a peaceful people, not enemies but friends, merchants everywhere welcomed as guests. We bring foreign merchandise. We want to sell, to buy, and to exchange. We also have gifts for your king and for the korolevna."

The five brothers, our brave Simeons, lowered the boat, loaded it with choice Venetian velvets, brocades, pearls, and precious stones, and covered all with Persian rugs. They rowed to the wharf, and landing near the king's palace, at once carried their gifts to the king.

The beautiful korolevna Helena was sitting in her terem. She was a fair maiden with eyes like stars and eyebrows like precious sable. When she looked at one it was like receiving a gift, and when she walked it was like the graceful swimming of a swan. The korolevna was quick to notice the brave, handsome brothers and at once called her nurses and maidens.

"Hasten, my dear nurses, and you, swift maidens, find out what kind of strangers are these coming to our royal palace."

All of the nurses, all of the maidens, ran out with questions ready. The seventh Simeon answered them thus:

"We are merchant guests, peaceful people. Our native land is the country of the Tsar Archidei Aggeivitch, a great Tsar indeed. We came to sell, to buy, to exchange; moreover, we have gifts for the king and his princess. We do hope the king will favor us and will accept these trifles; if not for himself, at least for the adornment of his court's lovely maidens.

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