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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Story of Ivan, the Peasant's Son"

Story of Ivan, the Peasant's Son

Ivan did not sleep the next night, but went and drew water from the well, and watered the broken trees; and early in the morning they began to rise and grow; and when the sun rose they were all covered with leaves, and were even finer than ever. When the gardener came into the garden he was amazed at the change; but he did not again ask Know-nothing any questions, as he never returned an answer. And when the Tsar’s daughter awoke, she rose from her bed, and looking out into the garden, she saw it in a better state than before; then, sending for the gardener, she asked him how it had all happened in so short a time. But the man answered that he could not himself understand it, and the Tsar’s daughter began to think Know-nothing was in truth wonderfully wise and clever. From that moment she loved him more than herself, and sent him food from her own table.

Now the Chinese Tsar had three daughters, who were all very beautiful: the eldest was named Duasa, the second Skao, and the youngest, who had fallen in love with Ivan the peasant’s son, was named Lotao. One day the Tsar called them to him and said to them: “My dear daughters, fair Princesses, the time is come that I wish to see you married; and I have called you now to bid you choose husbands from the princes of the countries around.” Then the two eldest instantly named two Tsareviches with whom they were in love; but the youngest fell to weeping, and begged her father to give her for wife to Know-nothing. At this request the Tsar was amazed, and said: “Have you lost your senses, daughter, that you wish to marry the fool Know-nothing, who cannot speak even a word?” “Fool as he may be,” she answered, “I entreat you, my lord father, to let me marry him.” “If nothing else will please you,” said the Tsar sorrowfully, “take him—you have my consent.”

Soon after, the Tsar sent for the Princes whom his eldest daughters had chosen for husbands; they obeyed the invitation instantly, and came with all speed to China, and the weddings were celebrated.

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