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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Story of Lyubim Tsarevich and the Winged Wolf"

Story of Lyubim Tsarevich and the Winged Wolf

And he went his way, and travelled until he came at length to a place where three roads met; in the centre stood a column, with three inscriptions, which ran as follows: “He who turns to the right will have plenty to eat, but his steed will starve; he who goes straight forward will hunger himself, but his steed will have food enough; and whoever takes the left road will be slain by the Winged Wolf.”

When Lyubim Tsarevich read this, he pondered over it, and resolved to go no other road but to choose the left, and either be slain himself, or destroy the Winged Wolf, and free all those who might be travelling that way. So he journeyed on until he came to the open plains, where he pitched his tent to rest, when on a sudden he perceived in the west the Winged Wolf come flying toward him. Instantly upstarted Lyubim Tsarevich, put on his armour, and leaped upon his steed. And Lyubim rode at the Wolf, which beat him so hard with his wings that he nearly fell from his horse; nevertheless, Lyubim kept his seat, flew into a violent rage, and with his battle-sword struck the Winged Wolf a blow that felled him to the ground, and injured his right wing so that he could no longer fly.

Instantly upstarted Lyubim Tsarevich, put on his armour, and leapt upon his steed.

When the Wolf came to himself he said to Lyubim Tsarevich, in a human voice: “Do not kill me! I will be useful to you and serve you as your trusty servant.” Then Lyubim Tsarevich replied: “Know you where my brothers are?” And the Wolf answered: “They have long ago been slain; but we will bring them to life again when we have won the beautiful Princess.” “How shall we do that?” said Lyubim Tsarevich. “Hark ye,” replied the Wolf; “leave your steed here, and——.”

“How! What shall I do without my horse?” cried Lyubim.

“Only hear me out,” said the Wolf; “I will change myself into a horse, and carry you; but this steed of yours is not fit for the task we have to do; in the city where the Princess lives, there are strings from the walls to all the bells in the city; and we must leap over all these without touching the smallest, otherwise we shall be taken.

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