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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Seven Simeons"

Seven Simeons

" She hastily walked to the deck of the ship, and behold!—only the wide sea was around her like a mirror! Where was her native island, where the royal vessel? There was nothing visible but the blue sea. The princess screamed, struck her white bosom with both hands, transformed herself into a white swan and flew high into the sky. But the fifth Simeon, watching closely, lost no time, snapped his lucky gun and the white swan was shot. His brother, the sixth Simeon, caught the white swan, but lo! instead of the white swan there was a silvery fish, which slipped away from him. Simeon caught the fish, but the pretty, silvery fish turned into a small mouse running around the ship. Simeon did not let it reach a hole, but swifter than a cat caught the mouse,—and the princess Helena, as beautiful and natural as before, appeared before them, fair-faced, bright-eyed.

On a lovely morning a week later the Tsar Archidei was sitting by the window of his palace lost in thought. His eyes were turned toward the sea, the wide, blue sea. He was sad at heart and could not eat; feasts had no interest for him, the costly dishes had no taste, the honey drink seemed weak. All his thoughts and longings were for the princess Helena, the beautiful one, the only one.

What is that far away upon the waters? Is it a white gull? Or are those white wings not wings, but sails? No, it is not a gull, but the ship of the brothers Simeon, and she approaches as rapidly as the wind which blows her sails. The cannon boom, native melodies are played on the cords of the masts. Soon the ship is anchored, the crystal bridge prepared, and the korolevna Helena, the beautiful princess, appears like a never-setting sun, her eyes like bright stars, and oh! how happy is the Tsar Archidei!

"Run quick, my faithful servants, you brave officers of state, and you, too, my bodyguard, and all you useful and ornamental fellows of my palace, run and prepare, shoot off rockets and ring the bells in order to give a joyful welcome to korolevna Helena, the beautiful.

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