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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

And when he came there he found the doors standing open, and the guard slain; then, entering the doors, he said: “O Tsar Kartaus, tell me who has been with you here? Prince Daniil sends me to inquire.” And Kartaus answered: “My good fellow how can we tell who was here? A man was in the prison who called himself Yaroslav, but we recognized not his voice.”

Then Mursa returned to Prince Daniil, and told him what Kartaus had said; and forthwith Prince Daniil ordered the trumpets to sound and the drums to beat; and a host of Tartars assembled around him to the number of two hundred and fifty thousand men. And he commanded thirty horsemen to pursue and take Yaroslav and to bring him before him. So they went in pursuit, and after riding for some time they descried Yaroslav asleep under an oak tree, and his horse standing beside him. The horse perceived that the Tartars were in pursuit of his master, and neighed loudly. Thereat Yaroslav awoke, and seeing the knights afar, he mounted his steed and rode off, exclaiming: “First catch the wind on the wide plains and then look to catch me!”

So saying he vanished from their sight, and rode beyond the Still Waters and the Warm Seas to the Podolish Horde, to the city of Shtchetin. Then the Tartars took counsel together what they should say to the Prince, and they resolved to pretend that they had not seen Yaroslav.

Yaroslav Lasarevich arrived in half a year at the city of Shtchetin, before which lay the remains of an army slain, and in the midst the head of a knight as big as a large hillock. Then Yaroslav rode round this army, and cried with a loud voice: “Is there not here one living man?” And the Knight’s head said: “Yaroslav Lasarevich, whom seekest thou?” At this Yaroslav marvelled greatly; but the Head spoke again: “Wonder not, but tell me whither thou ridest, and what thou seekest.” Then Yaroslav asked: “But who art thou? In what kingdom dost thou dwell, and who are thy father and mother?” And the Head answered: “I am a knight of the Sadonic kingdom, son of the Tsar Prochos, and my name is Raslanei.

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