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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

Abide here and choose the best city and the fairest villages. My treasures are open to thee—take what thou desirest, and thy place is at my side.” Yaroslav answered: “O Tsar, I am wont to rove about, to seek adventure and to fight.” So, after he had eaten salt and bread with the Tsar and with his parents, he took leave of them all and rode forth.

And Yaroslav rode one, two, and three months, till at length he came to a plain, on which was pitched a white tent, wherein sat the three fair daughters of the Tsar Bogrigor, of whose beauty there was not the like in the wide world; and they were busy at their work. Yaroslav stepped into the tent, and was so amazed at the sight, that he forgot to pray to the ikons of the Saints. Then he took the eldest daughter, Prodora, by the hand, and desiring the others to leave the tent, said: “My gentle and beautiful Princess Prodora Bogrigorovna, is there in the world a fairer maiden than thou, or a braver knight than I?” And Prodora answered: “Sir Yaroslav Lasarevich, how can you call me fair? In the city of Dobri lives the daughter of the Tsar Vorcholomei, the Princess Anastasia, compared to her we are like night to day. On the way to the Indian kingdom of the Tsar Dalmat is a knight named Ivashka Whitemantle Saracen’s-cap, and I have heard from my father that he is very powerful, and has guarded the kingdom of India for three-and-thirty years; no one passes him on foot or horse, no animal runs, no bird flies past. But what a brave knight art thou indeed to drive us maidens from the tent!” At this Yaroslav was angered: he bowed the head of the Princess and struck it off with his sword. Then he took the second Princess, Tivobriga, by the hand and said: “Gentle princess, is there a more beautiful maiden in the world than thou, or a braver knight than I?” And she answered as the eldest had done; so he struck off her head in like manner. Then he took the third sister Legia by the hand and asked her the same question as her sisters. And Legia answered: “Sir Yaroslav, I am neither beautiful nor good.

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