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Main > Ukrainian folktales > Fairy tale "The Golden Slipper"

The Golden Slipper

The Tsarevich was again there, and at the sight of her he stood as if rooted to the ground, and couldn’t take his eyes from her. Then the people began to whisper, “Is there none here who knows her? Is there none who knows who such a handsome lady may be!” And they began to ask each other, “Dost thou know her? Dost thou know her?”––But the Tsarevich said, “Whoever will tell me who this great lady is, to him will I give a sack-load of gold ducats!”––Then they inquired and inquired, and laid all their heads together, but nothing came of it. But the Tsarevich had a jester who was always with him, and used always to jest and cut capers whenever this child of the Tsar was sad. So now, too, he began to laugh at the young Tsarevich and say to him, “I know how to find out who this fine lady is.”––“How?” asked the young Tsarevich.––“I’ll tell thee,” said the jester; “smear with pitch the place in church where she is wont to stand. Then her slippers will stick to it, and she, in her hurry to get away, will never notice that she has left them behind her in church.”––So the Tsarevich ordered his courtiers to smear the spot with pitch straightway. Next time, when the service was over, she got up as usual and hastened away, but left her golden slippers behind her. When she got home she took off her costly raiment and put on her rags, and waited in the window-corner till they came from church.

When they came from church they had all sorts of things to talk about, and how the young Tsarevich had fallen in love with the grand young lady, and how they were unable to tell him whence she came, or who she was, and the stepmother hated the old man’s daughter all the more because she had done her work so nicely.

But the Tsarevich did nothing but pine away. And they proclaimed throughout the kingdom, “Who has lost a pair of golden slippers?” But none could tell. Then the Tsar sent his wise councillors throughout the kingdom to find her. “If ye do not find her,” said he, “it will be the death of my child, and then ye also are dead men.

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