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

Story of Ivan, the Peasant's Son

The Tsar instantly assembled his armies again, and sent them against Polkan; but the knight defeated them forthwith. Then Lotao went to her husband, and everything happened exactly as before; and Ivan again drove Polkan and his army out of the empire. Thereupon the Tsar invited him to his palace; but without heeding him, Ivan turned off his horse in the fields, went back to the palace, and lay down to sleep. So the Tsar gave another feast, in honour of the victory over Polkan; but he marvelled what hero it could be who had so bravely defended his realm.

After a while, Polkan a third time invaded the empire, and all fell out as before: Ivan jumped out of the window, ran into the fields, mounted his steed, and rode forth against the enemy. Then the horse said in a human voice: “Listen, Ivan Peasantson! we have now a hard task to perform; defend yourself as stoutly as possible, and stand firm against Polkan—otherwise you and the whole Chinese army will be destroyed.” Then Ivan spurred his steed, rode against Polkan’s host, and began to slay them right and left. When Polkan saw that his army was defeated, he flew into a rage, and fell upon Ivan the peasant’s son like a furious lion, and a fight began between the two horses, at the sight of which the whole army stood aghast. They fought for a long time, and Polkan wounded Ivan in the left hand. Thereupon Ivan the peasant’s son, in a fierce rage, aimed his javelin at Polkan, and pierced him through the heart: then he struck off his head, and drove the whole army out of China.

Ivan now went to the Chinese Tsar, who bowed to the ground, and invited him to his palace. The Princess Lotao, seeing blood upon Ivan’s left hand, bound it up with her handkerchief, and invited him to remain in the palace; but, without heeding her, Ivan mounted his steed and trotted off. Then he turned his horse into the fields, and went himself to sleep.

The Tsar again ordered a great banquet to be prepared; and the Princess Lotao went to her husband and tried to awaken him, but all in vain.

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