Story of Prince Malandrach and the Princess Salikalla
In a certain country, in the city of Anderika there lived a Tsar, a clever man, named Abraham Tuksalamovich, with his wife for thirty years in peace and happiness, but they had no child. At last Tsar Abraham Tuksalamovich prayed, with tears, that Heaven would give them a son; their wish was fulfilled, and they had a brave little boy, whom they named Malandrach Abrahamovich. The little fellow grew, not by days but by hours; as buck-wheat dough rises with yeast, so did the Tsarevich grow and grow. The Tsar had his son taught all kinds of arts; and when the boy came to mature years, he went to the Tsar and said: “My lord and father, you have instructed me in various arts, but there is one which I have not yet learnt.”
“My bold and dear son, Malandrach,” said the Tsar, “tell me and let me know what art you desire to learn; I will provide you careful teachers.” And thereupon the Tsarevich answered: “My lord and father, yesterday I was reading a Swedish book, in which I found that there are people able to fly in the air with wings. I have now a great desire to learn this art, and I entreat you to procure me masters who may teach it me.”
The Tsar replied: “My bold child, it is impossible that men should fly in the air; you must have been reading something silly, or a fairy-tale; do not believe such stories. Nevertheless, I will send into all foreign lands to make search for any such people; and if they can be found I will order them to be brought hither, and have you instructed in their art.”
When the Tsar wants them, he does not wait for beer to be brewed nor brandy to be distilled; so the Tsar instantly sent messengers into distant lands, commanding them to seek everywhere for flying men, and, if they found any, to bring them to his Court. So the messengers went forth into various countries, and after three years they found a master of the art in the city of Austripa, and brought him to the Tsar Abraham; and when Malandrach saw him he was overjoyed. Then the Tsar asked this person whether he understood the art of flying, and the man replied: “Gracious sovereign, although it is not for me to praise myself, yet in truth I am the first master in our country.