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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Story of Bulat the Brave Companion"

Story of Bulat the Brave Companion

There was once upon a time a Tsar named Chodor, who had an only son, Ivan Tsarevich. Chodor gave him in his youth various masters to teach him the different knightly exercises; and when Ivan was grown up, he begged leave of his father to travel in other countries, in order to see the world. Tsar Chodor consented, and bade him show his skill and valour in foreign lands, and bring renown on his father.

Then Ivan Tsarevich went into the royal stables to choose a good steed; and he thought that if he could find one on whose back he could lay his hand, without the horse’s going on his knees, it would be just the one to suit him. So he looked in all the stalls, but found no horse to his mind, and he went his way with a heavy heart. Then he took his crossbow and arrows and roved about in the open fields to drive away his sadness. As he was walking thus along, he saw high in the air a swan, and he drew his bow and shot; but he missed the swan, and his arrow vanished from his sight. Then Ivan was sad at losing a favourite arrow, and with tears in his eyes he sought for it the whole field over. At last he came to a little hill, and heard a man’s voice calling to him: “Come hither, Ivan Tsarevich!” Ivan wondered to himself not a little at hearing a voice and seeing no one. But the voice called again; and Ivan went toward the spot whence it came, and remarked in the hill a little window, with an iron lattice; and at the window he saw a man, who beckoned to him with the hand. Ivan came up, and the man said to him: “Why are you so sad, my good lad, Ivan Tsarevich?”

“How can I help grieving?” replied Ivan; “I have lost my favourite arrow, and can find it nowhere, and my sorrow is the greater because I can not discover a steed to please me.”

“That is no great matter to grieve for,” said the man; “I will get you a good horse, and give you back your arrow since it flew down to me here; but what will you give me for it?”

“Anything you ask,” replied Ivan, “if you will give me what you promise.

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