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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Story of the Golden Mountain"

Story of the Golden Mountain

The tent was fastened to a laurel tree with golden cords, from which hung knobs of diamonds. Before the entrance lay two huge crocodiles, which breathed forth flames of fire. The Tsarevich gave them some water to drink, and thus gained an entrance into the tent, in which he beheld a Queen, who in beauty far surpassed the former ones. At her feet lay a dragon with twelve heads, all of which Ivan Tsarevich struck off at two blows. The Queen, in return for this service, gave him a golden egg, which contained a golden kingdom; and with the egg she gave him also her heart. As they were conversing together, Ivan asked the Queen whether she knew where his mother was; then she showed Ivan her dwelling, and wished him success in his enterprise.

After travelling a great distance, Ivan Tsarevich came to a castle; he entered, and went through many apartments, but without finding anyone. At length he came to a spacious hall, where he beheld his mother sitting, arrayed in royal robes. Ivan embraced her tenderly, telling her how he had travelled far and wide with his brothers in search of her. Then the Tsarina told Ivan Tsarevich that a spirit would soon appear, and bade him hide himself in the folds of her cloak. “When the spirit comes and tries to embrace me,” she added, “try all you can to seize his magic wand with both hands: he will then rise up with you from the earth; fear not, but remain quiet, for he will presently fall down again, and be dashed to pieces. These you must collect and burn, and strew the ashes in the field.”

Scarcely had the Tsarina spoken, and wrapped Ivan in her cloak, when the Spirit appeared and offered to embrace her. Then Ivan Tsarevich started up, as his mother had directed, and seized the magic wand. In a furious rage the Spirit flew with him high up into the air, but soon fell to the ground and was dashed in pieces. Then the Tsarevich gathered up the remains and burned them, and kept the magic wand; after which he took with him his mother and the three Queens he had rescued, came to an oak tree, and let them all slide down the mountain in a linen cloth.

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