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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

” So Yaroslav rode round the army, and saw the tracks of the bounding of the steed; for wherever he had struck his hoofs, large heaps of earth were thrown up. He followed the track until he came to another slain army: here he cried with a loud voice: “Is there not one living man here who has survived the battle?” Then up rose a man and said: “My lord, Yaroslav Lasarevich, one steed is better than another, and one youth surpasses another.” Yaroslav rode on, and he rode for one, two, and three months; when at length he came to an open country, where he descried a white tent and beside it a goodly steed, before which corn was poured out upon a white linen cloth. Yaroslav dismounted and led his horse to feed, and his horse drove the other way. Then Yaroslav entered the tent, where a comely youth lay fast asleep: he drew his sword, and was on the point of slaying him when he bethought himself that it would bring no honour to slay a sleeping man; so he lay down in the tent, on the other side, near Prince Ivan. When Ivan awoke he went out of the tent, and saw that his steed was driven away, and was grazing in the open fields, whilst a strange horse ate the corn. Then he returned to the tent and saw a youth lying fast asleep. Prince Ivan looked fiercely at him; but suddenly reflected that he should have little honour from killing a man asleep. So he cried: “Stand up, man, and save yourself. Why have you put your horse to feed on another’s corn, and lain down to sleep in another’s tent? For this you must answer with your life.” Then Yaroslav awoke, and Prince Ivan asked him his name, whence he came, and who his parents were. “I am from the kingdom of Kartaus,” answered Yaroslav, “the son of Prince Lasar and the Princess Epistimia and my name is Yaroslav. Your steed has not been driven away by me, but by my horse, and good folk are not used to meet strangers with uncivil speech, but rather to treat them with hospitality. If you have a glass of water, give it to me, for I am your guest.

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