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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

” Yaroslav answered: “I have vanquished this man, O Tsar; but I knew not that he belonged to thee.”

On hearing this the Tsar was terrified, and thought to himself: “If he has slain such a knight he can easily conquer my kingdom, and he only wants to rob me of my throne.” This thought made him sorrowful, and he commanded all honour to be shown to Yaroslav Lasarevich, and gave him drink from his own goblet. Then Yaroslav observed that the Tsar feared him: he went out of the castle, saddled his steed, and rode away out of the kingdom. Tsar Dalmat was rejoiced to be freed from Yaroslav, and ordered the gates to be closed fast behind him.

Yaroslav now resolved to go to the city of Dobri to witness the beauty of the Princess Anastasia, and he rode on for one, two, and three months. Then he bethought himself: “I have come to a strange country, perhaps to marry this Princess, or meet death without having my parents’ blessing.”

And with that, away he rode to the kingdom of the Tsar Kartaus, which he found conquered, and laid waste with fire and sword. There remained one solitary hut standing, in which dwelt a one-eyed old man. Yaroslav stepped into the hut, bowed to the man, and said: “Old brother, what has happened to this kingdom?” The man answered: “Brave knight, whence art thou come, and what is thy name?” But Yaroslav replied: “Knowest thou me not? I was born in this kingdom, the son of Prince Lasar, and my name is Yaroslav.” On hearing this the old man fell to the earth, and said with tears: “Since thou hast been gone, long time has passed. Daniil the White returned, and with him five times a hundred thousand men; he fell upon this kingdom, laid it waste with fire and sword, and slew a hundred thousand brave warriors. Five millions of the common folk, with all the priests and monks, he burnt in the open fields, slew twelve thousand infants, took prisoners the Tsar Kartaus with his twelve knights, and put to death the Tsarina and thy mother, the Princess Epistimia. I am the only one left alive, and have lain nine days here half-dead with fear.

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