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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

Upon the journey be gentle and courteous, but brave.” So Yaroslav received his parent’s blessing, and set out on his travels.

In five years he had journeyed and paid all these visits, and returned to his father. And on the way a little old man met him and stopped up the road; but he asked him: “Old man, why dost thou place thyself in my way, and wilt not let me pass?” And so saying, he was about to ride over him, but the little old man saw his intention and said to him: “Poor knight, wouldst thou kill a little old man? Thou canst get nothing from the old.” This did not please Yaroslav: he drew his sword to slay the man; but just as he was rushing at him the old man blew on him, and Yaroslav could not withstand even this mere breath of wind, and fell from his horse like a sheaf of corn. Then the old man took him by the arm and said: “Poor knight, wilt thou live or die?” Yaroslav was so terrified that he could not answer a word. Then the old man laid him on the ground and said: “No knight, no hero, above all, no man, can stand against me; but art thou not the son of the Tsar in the kingdom of Vorcholomei?” He answered that he was. Then said the old man: “Ride home, but say nothing of me in that kingdom.” And with that he vanished.

Yaroslav went to seek his father and mother, and they came to meet him, and the princes and boyars threw themselves with their faces to the ground before him. Then his father took him by his white hands, kissed him on his sugared lips, led him into the royal halls, seated him at the oaken tables spread with fine cloths, and gave a great feast. And the elder Yaroslav began to question his son, and said: “Thou hast travelled to thy grandfather Prince Lasar, tell me about him and how he is.”

Then Yaroslav delivered the following letter from the Tsar Kartaus to his father:—“The Tsar Kartaus sends hearty greetings to the great Tsar and powerful knight Yaroslav Lasarevich! Health to thee and thy lady wife, Anastasia Vorcholomeievna, and to thy son, Yaroslav Yaroslavovich, and to thy princes and boyars and all thy subjects!

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