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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

Above the oak tree screamed the eagles, and on the mountains roared the lions, and no one could approach the spot. Yaroslav wondered greatly, and when the horse came to stand opposite him, he leaped out from the oak and struck him with the back of his hand. The horse fell on his knees, and he seized him by his mane and said: “My trusty steed, who shall ride on you if not I your master?” Then he threw the bridle over him, put the Tcherkess saddle on his back, and rode to the marble palace, and Ivashka followed. Then said he to Ivashka: “What name shall I give this horse?” “How, my lord, shall a servant know better than his master to name such a horse?” So Yaroslav named him Uroshtch Veschei; and he said to Ivashka: “Ride to my father, Prince Lasar, and tell him I am well and have found a trusty steed.” Then Yaroslav Lasarevich rode off upon his good horse to Ivan the Russian knight, and behind him followed Ivashka at full gallop till he was lost to sight.

Ivashka returned to the kingdom of Kartaus, to Yaroslav’s father and mother, and carried the tidings that he was well. The parents rejoiced greatly to hear of their son, and dismissed Ivashka with rich presents. But Yaroslav Lasarevich rode on and on, for two and for three months, until at last he came to a field where an immense army lay slain. Then he cried with a loud voice: “Is there here no man still alive?” Immediately a man stood up and said: “My lord, Yaroslav Lasarevich, whom dost thou seek?” “I want a living man,” said Yaroslav; and then he enquired to whom the army belonged, and who had slain it. “The army,” replied the man, “belonged to Feodul the Dragon Tsar, and it has been slain by Prince Ivan the Russian knight, who sued for the hand of Feodul’s daughter, the Princess Kandaula Feodulavna; and, as he would not give her of his free will, Ivan sought to take her by force.” Thereupon Yaroslav asked how far distant this Russian knight was; and the man replied: “Yaroslav Lasarevich, he has gone too far for you to reach him; ride round the army, and you will see the footsteps of Prince Ivan.

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