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Story of Ivan, the Peasant's Son

” So his parents gave him their blessing; and Ivan prayed, bowing himself to all four sides, and then took leave of his father and mother. Thereupon he went straight out of the yard, and followed his eyes, and wandered for ten days and ten nights until at length he came to a large kingdom. He had scarcely entered the city when a great noise and outcry arose; whereat the Tsar was so frightened that he ordered a proclamation to be made, that whoever appeased the tumult should have his daughter for wife, and half his kingdom with her.

When Ivanushka heard this he went to the Court and desired the Tsar to be informed that he was ready to appease the tumult. So the doorkeeper went straight and told the Tsar, who ordered Ivan the peasant’s son to be called. And the Tsar said to him: “My friend, is what you have said to the doorkeeper true?”

“Quite true,” replied Ivan; “but I ask for no other reward than that your Majesty gives me whatever is the cause of the noise.” At this the Tsar laughed, and said: “Take it by all means, if it is of any use to you.” So Ivan the peasant’s son made his bow to the Tsar and took his leave.

Then Ivan went to the doorkeeper and demanded of him a hundred workmen, who were instantly given him; and Ivan ordered them to dig a hole in front of the palace. And when the men had thrown up the earth, they saw an iron door, with a copper ring. So Ivan lifted up this door with one hand, and beheld a steed fully caparisoned, and a suit of knightly armour. When the horse perceived Ivan, he fell on his knees before him, and said with a human voice: “Ah, thou brave youth! Ivan the peasant’s son! the famous knight Lukopero placed me here; and for three-and-thirty years have I been impatiently awaiting you. Seat yourself on my back, and ride whithersoever you will: I will serve you faithfully, as I once served the brave Lukopero.”

Ivan saddled his good steed, gave him a bridle of embroidered ribands, put a Tcherkess saddle on his back, and buckled ten rich silken girths around him.

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