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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Seven Simeons"

Seven Simeons

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When Helena heard these words she at once let the merchants in. And the merchants appeared, bowed low to the beautiful korolevna, unfolded the showy velvets and golden brocades, strewed around the pearls and precious stones, such stones and pearls as had never been seen before in Buzan. The nurses and the maidens opened their mouths in amazement, and the korolevna herself seemed to be greatly pleased. The seventh Simeon, quick to understand, smiled and said:

"We all know thee to be as wise as beautiful, but now thou art evidently joking about us or mocking us. These simple wares are altogether too plain for thine own use. Accept them for thy nurses and maidens for their everyday attire, and these stones send away to the kitchen boys to play with. But if thou wilt listen to me, let me say that on our ship we have very different velvets and brocades; we have also precious stones, far more precious than any one has ever seen; yet we dared not bring them at once lest we might not suit thy temper and thy hearty wish. If thou shouldst decide to come in person and choose anything from among our possessions, they all are thine and we bow to thee gratefully for the bright glance of thy beautiful eyes."

The royal maid liked well enough these polite words of the handsome Simeon, and to her father she went:

"Father and king, there have come to visit us some foreign merchants and they have brought some goods never before seen in Buzan. Give me thy permission to go on board their wonderful ship to choose what things I like. They also have rich gifts for thee."

The king hesitated before answering her, frowning and scratching behind his ear.

"Well," he said at last, "be it according to thy wish, my daughter, my beautiful korolevna. And you, my counselors, order my royal vessel to be ready, the cannons loaded, and a hundred of my bravest warriors detailed to escort the vessel. Send besides a thousand heavy armed warriors to guard the korolevna on her way to the merchants' vessel.

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