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Main > Slavic Folktale > Fairy tale "The Enchanted Peafowl - The Story of the Golden Apples, the Wicked Dragon, and the Magic Horse"

The Enchanted Peafowl - The Story of the Golden Apples, the Wicked Dragon, and the Magic Horse

So he hurried out, got a cup of water, and poured it into the open bunghole. Instantly one of the three iron hoops that bound the cask burst asunder and the voice inside the cask said:

"Thank you, brother! Thank you! Now give me another cup! I am dying of thirst!"

So the Prince poured in a second cup and the second iron hoop snapped apart and when the voice still begged for more water he poured in a third cup. The third hoop broke, the staves of the cask fell in, and a horrid dragon sprang out. Before the Prince could move, he had flown through the door of the twelfth cellar into the eleventh cellar, then into the tenth cellar, the ninth cellar, the eight cellar, the seventh cellar, the sixth, the fifth, the fourth, the third, the second, the first, and so out into the garden. The Prince reached the garden just in time to see the monster overpower the Princess.

"Alas, my dear one, what have you done?" cried the poor Princess as the dragon carried her off. "The enchantment would soon have been broken and I could have married you if only you had not gone into the twelfth cellar!"

Heartbroken at what had happened, the Prince mounted his horse and started off in pursuit of the dragon.

"I must do what I can to rescue my loved one," he said, "even if it costs me my life."

He rode many days until he came to the castle of the dragon. The dragon was out and the Princess received him with tears of joy.

"Come," he said to her, "let us escape before the dragon returns."

The Princess sighed and shook her head.

"How, my loved one, can we escape? The dragon rides a magic horse and however fast we go he will be able to overtake us."

But the Prince insisted that they make the attempt. So she mounted with him and off they went.

When the dragon arrived home and found her gone, he laughed a brutal laugh and said to his horse:

"I suppose that foolish young Prince has been here and is trying to carry her off. Shall we start after them now or wait till we've had our supper?"

"We might as well eat," the horse said, "for we'll overtake them anyway.

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