Story of the Knight Yaroslav Lasarevich and the Princess Anastasia
” “What is your name, old brother?” said Yaroslav. The man replied: “My name is Ivashka, master, and my horse is called Alotyagilei. I am a great shot and a mighty wrestler in the host of knights.” “But how do you know my name?” replied Yaroslav. Ivashka answered: “My Lord, I am an old servant of your father, and have tended his horses in the fields for three-and-thirty years, and I come to your father once every year to receive my wages. Thus it is that I know you.” Yaroslav answered: “I am going to the chase, and am wandering about in the open fields. He who has not tasted the bitter, does not relish the sweet. While still a young boy I ran about in the courtyard, and played with the children of the princes and boyars. But when I seize anyone by the head, his head falls off, and, when I take him by the hand, his hand falls off. This was not agreeable to the Tsar, and he banished me from his kingdom; but this punishment was nothing in comparison to another greater grief which pains me sorely. I am already fifteen years old, but can find no horse in my father’s stable that might serve me for life.” Then said Ivashka: “My lord, Yaroslav Lasarevich, I have a horse, which is called Podlas: he must be caught, and he will serve you for ever and a day. If you do not catch him now you never will.” “But how can I see the horse, brother Ivashka?” Ivashka answered: “Yaroslav Lasarevich, you can see this steed early in the morning, when I take the horses to the sea to drink, but if, when you see him, you do not seize him on the spot, you never will.” Thereupon Yaroslav Lasarevich went into his marble palace, laid the horse-cloth under him, and the Tcherkess saddle and the bit under his head, and stretched himself out to sleep. The next morning he rose early, went into the field, and took the bridle, the Tcherkess saddle, and the leather whip with him. He concealed himself under an oak tree; and presently saw Ivashka driving the horses to the sea to water, and, as he gazed upon the sea, he observed that where a steed drank, the waves foamed and roared fearfully.