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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Seven Simeons"

Seven Simeons

They were dining according to the peasant fashion, which means that they were eating rye bread with onions, and drinking clear water. Their blouses were red, with a golden galloon around the neck, and they were so much alike that one could hardly be recognized from another.

The royal messengers approached.

"Whose field is this?" they asked; "this field with golden wheat?"

The seven brave peasants answered cheerfully:

"This is our field; we plowed it, and we also have sown the golden wheat."

"And what kind of people are you?"

"We are the Tsar Archidei Aggeivitch's peasants, farmers, and we are brothers, sons of one father and mother. The name for all of us is Simeon, so you understand we are seven Simeons."

This answer was faithfully delivered to the Tsar Archidei by the envoys, and the Tsar at once desired to see the brave peasants, and ordered them to be called before him. The seven Simeons presently appeared and bowed. The Tsar looked at them with his bright eyes and asked them:

"What kind of people are you whose field is so well cultivated?"

One of the seven brothers, the eldest of them, answered:

"We are all thy peasants, simpletons, without any wisdom, born of peasant parents, all of us children of the same father and the same mother, and all having the same name, Simeon. Our old father taught us to pray to God, to obey thee, to pay taxes faithfully, and besides to work and toil without rest. He also taught to each of us a trade, for the old saying is, 'A trade is no burden, but a profit.' The old father wished us to keep our trades for a cloudy day, but never to forsake our own fields, and always to be contented, and plow and harrow diligently.

"He also used to say, 'If one does not neglect the mother earth, but thoroughly harrows and sows in due season, then she, our mother, will reward generously, and will give plenty of bread, besides preparing a soft place for the everlasting rest when one is old and tired of life.'"

The Tsar Archidei liked the simple answer of the peasant, and said:

"Take my praise, brave good fellows, my peasants, tillers of the soil, sowers of wheat, gatherers of gold.

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