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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 he turned and rode till he came to the kingdom of the Tsar Kartaus, where he encountered Prince Daniil the White, at the head of three thousand men, who boasted that he would subdue the kingdom of Kartaus, take prisoners the Tsar himself, Prince Lasar, and the twelve knights, and carry them off to his own country. Yaroslav rode straight to the city, and there beheld Prince Lasar assembling an army for battle. Then dismounting from his horse, he threw himself with his face to the ground and said: “Long life to my lord and father! How fares it with thee? Wherefore so sad, my lord?” And Prince Lasar answered: “My dear son, whence art thou come like a sunbeam to cheer me? How can I help grieving? Prince Daniil has invaded our dominion with an immense army and threatens to seize it and carry off the Tsar and me and the twelve knights prisoners.” Then spoke Yaroslav Lasarevich: “My lord and father, give me the shield, and lance, and I will go out to fight the enemy.” But Prince Lasar answered: “My son, how canst thou combat such a host, who hast never been in battle? The cries of the Tartars will terrify thee, and they will slay thee!” “Teach not the goose to swim, father,” answered Yaroslav, “nor a knight’s son to fight with Tartars! Only give me what I demand, and fear nought.”

Like a falcon darting upon geese and swans, Yaroslav fell upon the armies of Prince Daniil the White; and he hewed down not so many as his horse trampled under his hoofs, and he took Daniil prisoner. Yaroslav made him pledge his word never again to set foot in the kingdom of the Tsar Kartaus—he nor his children, nor his children’s children; adding that if he fell again into his hands he should die a miserable death. Then Yaroslav sent him back to his own country, and rode into the city. Then Tsar Kartaus came out to meet him, and Yaroslav threw himself with his face to the ground and said: “Long years of happiness to thee, my liege Tsar Kartaus!” “Sir Yaroslav Lasarevich,” answered Kartaus, “I have wronged thee in banishing thee from my kingdom.

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