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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Story of the Knight Yaroslav Lasarevich and the Princess Anastasia"

Story of the Knight Yaroslav Lasarevich and the Princess Anastasia

When I was with my father and mother I was so, but now I am wasted and no longer handsome.” Then she likewise told him of the Princess Anastasia, the daughter of the Tsar Vorcholomei, and of the knight Ivashka. “Fairest lady,” replied Yaroslav, “thou has comforted me with thy gentle words.”

Then he went out of the tent, took leave of Legia, mounted his steed, and rode off to the kingdom of India, to see the Tsar Dalmat and Ivashka Whitemantle. And he rode on for one, two and three months; and when he came near the city, there upon the plain stood Ivashka, leaning upon a lance, with a Saracen’s cap on his head and a white mantle around him. Yaroslav rode up to him, struck off his cap with his whip, and said: “Lie down and sleep, there is no need to stand!” “Who art thou?” inquired Ivashka; “what is thy name, and whence comest thou?” Yaroslav answered: “I am come from the kingdom of the Tsar Kartaus, and my name is Yaroslav: I am preparing to journey to the kingdom of India to pay my respects to the Tsar Dalmat.” But Ivashka answered: “Never has man or animal passed this way, and thinkest thou to do so? First let us go into the plain and try the prowess of our arms!” The two knights made a furious onset; and after a long fight Yaroslav thrust his lance at Ivashka’s heart, and threw him from the saddle; and Ivashka fell upon the ground like a sheaf of oats, and Yaroslav slew him on the spot.

Then Yaroslav rode on his way to the kingdom of India, and on arriving at the city he went straight to the Tsar Dalmat; and, entering the palace, he made his obeisance and said: “Long years of happiness to thee, O Tsar, to thy family, and all thy princes and boyars! Take me into thy service!” Then said Dalmat: “Man, whence comest thou, and what is thy name, and whose son art thou?” So Yaroslav told him, and the Tsar said: “Which way hast thou come, by land or by water?” Yaroslav replied: “By land,” and the Tsar said: “I have a knight who dwells upon the open plains, and has guarded my kingdom for three-and-thirty years; no man or animal has ever passed him, on horse, foot, or wing; and how hast thou ridden past?

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