Are you in want of anything?”
“I am sorrowful,” answered the horse, “because I foresee a long and difficult journey.”
“You are right, for we have to go beyond the nine kingdoms, and far beyond the ocean, to find Princess Sudolisu. Can you tell me what to do?”
“I will do my best, and if it is God’s will we shall succeed. Bring your club of four hundred and eighty pounds weight, and let us be off.”
Niezguinek saddled his horse, took his club, and mounting said:
“Marvel of strength and of beauty so white,
Horse of my heart, do not lag on the road;
Rise in the air, through the clouds take thy flight,
Haste to Princess Sudolisu’s abode.”
Then the horse looked up as if there were something he wanted in the clouds, and with a spring flew through the air, swift as an arrow; and so by the second day they had passed over ten kingdoms, and finding themselves beyond the ocean, halted on the shore. Here the horse said to Niezguinek, “Do you see that silver ship with golden masts that rides on the waves yonder? That beautiful vessel is the home of Princess Sudolisu, youngest daughter of old Yaga. For after the witch had lost the guzla and magic sword she feared to lose her daughter too: so she shut her up in that vessel, and having thrown the key thereof into the ocean, sat herself in her oaken trough, where with the help of the iron crutches she rows round and round the silver ship, warding off tempests, and keeping at a distance all other ships that would approach it.
“The first thing to be done is to get the diamond key that opens the ship. In order to procure this you must kill me, and then throw into the water one end of my entrails, by which bait you will trap the King of the Lobsters. Do not set him free until he has promised to get you the key, for it is this key that draws the vessel to you of its own accord.”
“Ah, my beloved steed,” cried Niezguinek, “how can I kill you when I love you as my own brother, and when my fate depends upon you entirely?”
“Do as I tell you; you can bring me to life again, as you did before.