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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Seven Simeons"

Seven Simeons

And you six Simeons follow me. You have my grace and reward. To-morrow every one of you will begin to work for me according to his gifts and capacities."

The six Simeons followed the Tsar Archidei, and the seventh brother, the youngest, the beloved one, was fallen upon by the servants, taken away to the dark prison and heavily chained.

The Tsar Archidei ordered carpenters to be sent to the first Simeon, as well as masons and blacksmiths and all sorts of workingmen. He also ordered a supply of bricks, stones, iron, clay, and cement. Without any delay, Simeon, the first brother, began to build a column, and according to his simple peasant's habits his work progressed rapidly, and not a moment was wasted in clever combinations. In a short time the white column was ready, and lo, how high it went! as high as the great planets. The smaller stars were beneath it, and from above the people seemed to be like bugs.

The second Simeon climbed the column, looked around, listened to all sounds, and came down. The Tsar Archidei, anxious to know about everything under the sun, ordered him to report, and Simeon did so. He told the Tsar Archidei all the wonderful doings all over the world. He told how one king was fighting another, where there was war and where there was peace, and with other things the second Simeon even mentioned deep secrets, quite surprising secrets, which made the Tsar Archidei smile; and the courtiers, encouraged by the royal smile, roared with laughter.

Meantime the third Simeon was accomplishing something in his line. After crossing himself three times the fellow rolled up his sleeves to the elbow, took a hatchet and—one, two—without any haste built a vessel. What a curious vessel it was! The Tsar Archidei watched the wonderful structure from the shore and as soon as the orders were given for sailing, the new vessel sailed away like a white-winged hawk. The cannon were shooting and upon the masts, instead of rigging, were drawn strings upon which musicians were playing the national tunes.

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