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

Story of Bulat the Brave Companion

Then Ivan wished to try his steed, and struck him on the flank: the horse chafed his bit, and rose from the ground, and away he went over the tall forests and under the flying clouds, left hill and dale beneath his feet, covered small streams with his tail, bounded over wide rivers and marshes; and so at last Ivan came to Bulat the Brave Companion, and said with a loud voice: “Now give me back my arrow, Bulat my brave fellow, and I will let you out of your cage.” So Bulat instantly gave him back his arrow, and Ivan set him free.

“I thank you, Ivan Tsarevich,” said Bulat, “for giving me freedom. I will, in return, render you good service; whenever you are in any difficulty, and want me, only say: ‘Where is my Bulat, the Brave Companion?’ and I will instantly come to you and serve you faithfully in your need.”

So saying, Bulat cried with a loud voice:

“Sivka Burka! he!

Fox of Spring! Appear!

Like a grass blade, here

Stand before me!”

Instantly a steed stood before Bulat the Brave, who crept into his ear, ate and drank his fill, and then crept out at the other ear; and he became such a handsome youth as no one can imagine, no pen can describe, nor story tell. Then Bulat mounted his horse and galloped off, exclaiming: “Farewell, then, for the present, Ivan Tsarevich!”

Ivan now mounted his good steed and rode to his father, and with tears in his eyes, took leave of him; then, taking with him his squire, he rode forth into foreign lands. And after they had ridden for some time they came to a wood; the day was bright and hot, and Ivan Tsarevich grew thirsty. So they wandered all about the wood, seeking water, but could find none. At length they found a deep well, in which there was some water; and Ivan said to his squire: “Go down the well and fetch me up some water; I will hold you by a rope to prevent you being drowned.”

“Nay, Ivan Tsarevich,” said the squire, “I am heavier than you, and you cannot hold me up; you had better descend, for I can support you.”

So Ivan followed his squire’s advice, and let himself down into the well.

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