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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Seven Simeons"

Seven Simeons


"Not bad either," answered the Tsar Archidei, well pleased. "Thy turn now, sixth Simeon."

"My trade is no trade," answered the sixth Simeon, rather humbly. "If my brother shoots a bird or a beast, never mind what or where, I can catch it before it falls down, catch it even better than a hunting dog. If the prey should fall into the blue sea, I'll find it at the sea's bottom; should it fall into the depth of the dark woods, I'll find it there in the midst of night; should it get caught in a cloud, I'll find it even there."

The Tsar Archidei evidently liked the trade of the sixth Simeon very well also. These were all simple trades, you see, without any wisdom whatever, but rather entertaining. The Tsar also liked the peasants' speech, and he said to them:

"Thanks, my peasants, tillers of the soil, my faithful workers. Your father's words are true ones: 'A trade is not a burden, but a profit.' Now come to my capital for a trial; people like you are welcome. And when the season for harvest arrives, the time to reap, to bind in bundles the golden grain, to thresh and carry the wheat to the market, I will let you go home with my royal grace."

Then all the seven Simeons bowed very low. "Thine is the will," said they, "and we are thy obedient subjects."

Here the Tsar Archidei looked at the youngest Simeon and remembered that he had not asked him about his trade. So he said:

"And thou, seventh Simeon, what is thy trade?"

"I have none, Tsar Archidei Aggeivitch. I learned many, but not a single one did me any good, and though I know something very well, I am not sure your majesty would like it."

"Let us know thy secret," ordered the Tsar Archidei.

"No, Tsar Archidei Aggeivitch! Give me, first of all, thy royal word not to kill me for my inborn talent, but to have mercy upon me. Then only will I be willing to disclose my secret."

"Thy wish is granted. I give thee my royal word, true and not to be broken, that whatever thou shalt disclose to me, I will have mercy upon thee.

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