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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Seven Simeons"

Seven Simeons

And now tell me, what trades did your father teach you, and what do you know?"

The first Simeon answered:

"My trade is not a very wise one. If thou wouldst let me have materials and working men, then I could build a post, a white stone column, reaching beyond the clouds, almost to the sky."

"Good enough!" exclaimed the Tsar Archidei. "And thou, the second Simeon, what is thy trade?"

The second Simeon was quick to give answer:

"My trade is a simple one. If my brother will build a white stone column, I can climb upon that column high up in the sky, and I shall see from above all the empires and all the kingdoms under the sun, and everything which is going on in those foreign countries."

"Thy trade is not so bad either," and the Tsar smiled and looked at the third brother. "And thou, third Simeon, what trade is thine?"

The third Simeon also had his answer ready:

"My trade is simple, too; that is to say, a peasant's trade. If thou art in need of ships, thy learned men of foreign birth build them for thee as well as their wisdom teaches them. But if thou wilt order, I will build them simply—one, two! and the ship is ready. My ships will be the result of the quick headwork of a peasant simpleton. But where a foreign ship sails a year, mine will sail an hour, and where others take ten years, mine will take not longer than a week."

"Well, well!" laughed the Tsar. "And thy trade, the fourth Simeon?" he asked.

The fourth brother bowed.

"My trade needs no wisdom either. If my brother will build thee a ship, I then will sail that ship; and if an enemy gives chase or a tempest rises, I'll seize the ship by the black prow and plunge her into the deep waters where there is eternal quiet; and after the storm is over or the enemy far, I'll again guide her to the surface of the wide sea."

"Good!" approved the Tsar. "And thou, fifth Simeon, what dost thou know? Hast thou also a trade?"

"My trade, Tsar Archidei Aggeivitch, is not a fair one, for I am a blacksmith. If thou wouldst order a shop built for me, I at once would forge a self-shooting gun, and no eagle far above in the sky or wild beast in the wood would be safe from that gun.

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