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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

” “You are young,” said Ivan, “and it befits me not to fetch your water; bring it to me rather.” “You pluck the bird before you have caught it,” replied the other, “and blame a youth ere you have tried him.” Then said Prince Ivan: “I am the prince of princes, and the knight of knights, and you are a cossack.” “Ay, indeed!” replied Yaroslav, “you are prince in your tent; but let us meet in the open field and we are equals.” Prince Ivan saw that he had no coward to deal with: he took a golden flask, fetched some cold water, and gave it to Yaroslav to drink. Then they mounted their horses and rode into the open country. And when they began to fight, Yaroslav struck Prince Ivan with the butt of his lance and hurled him to the ground: then he whirled round his horse, put the point of his lance to Ivan’s breast, and said: “Prince Ivan, wilt thou live or die?” And Ivan answered: “Yaroslav Lasarevich, be to me my elder brother—spare my life!”

Then Yaroslav dismounted, took Prince Ivan, the Russian knight, by his hand and embraced him, calling him his younger brother; whereupon they mounted their steeds, rode off to the tent, and fell to feasting and making merry. And Yaroslav said: “My lord brother, Prince Ivan, as I was wandering in the open country I came upon two slain armies.” To which Ivan replied: “Brother Yaroslav, the first army, of the Tsar Feodul, I slew when he refused to give me his daughter Kandaula in marriage; and I am resolved to carry her off by force, for I hear there is no such beauty in the world. To-morrow I shall fight the last battle with him, and thou shall be witness of my valour.” The next morning Prince Ivan rose early, saddled his steed, and rode to the kingdom of Feodul, the Dragon Tsar; and Yaroslav went on foot, and concealed himself under an oak tree to witness the fight. Then Prince Ivan called upon the Tsar with a loud voice, and Feodul ordered the trumpets to sound, and an army of a hundred thousand men to assemble. The Tsar Feodul rode against Prince Ivan, and before and behind him rode an innumerable host of squires and knights.

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