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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

Soon the other princes and inhabitants of the city cried aloud: “O Yaroslav Lasarevich, cease killing and slaying! It is the will of fate—live with us and rule over our land!” But Yaroslav replied: “Choose a Tsar from among yourselves: I am no Tsar for you.” He ceased, however, slaying the people, and taking some of the Tsar’s blood, put it into a phial; then mounting his horse, he rode out of the city and away, until he came to Sir Raslanei, and, taking the headless body, he set the head upon it, and sprinkled it with the blood. Thereupon the Knight stood up, as if awakened from a dream; and Yaroslav embraced him, and they called one another brothers: Raslanei was the elder, and Yaroslav the younger. Then they parted, and each rode his way. Raslanei rode to his Sadonic kingdom, to receive his mother’s blessing, as he wished to marry the daughter of the Tsar of Shtchetin, and rule over that city. But Yaroslav rode on and on for half a year, until he came to the kingdom of Daniil the White. On entering the city he went straight to the prison, before which a strong guard was posted: so he slew them all, broke open the gates, entered the prison, and said: “Hail, O Tsar Kartaus, and thou my father, Prince Lasar, and ye twelve knights! How does Heaven protect you?” But the Tsar Kartaus answered: “Man, whence are thou, and what is thy name?” “O Tsar,” replied Yaroslav, “I was born in thy kingdom, the son of Prince Lasar, and my name is Yaroslav. I have fulfilled thy commands and slain the mighty Tsar, and have taken some of his blood.” Then said Kartaus: “If thy name is indeed Yaroslav Lasarevich, and thou hast slain the Tsar and taken of his blood, anoint our eyes with it; then we shall see the light of heaven and shall believe thee.”

So Yaroslav took the blood from his phial and anointed their eyes, and they saw again; thereat they were overjoyed, and with tears exclaimed: “O Yaroslav Lasarevich, it is indeed he!” and they embraced him. Then the Tsar Kartaus asked him: “Where hast thou been so long?

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