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Main > Ukrainian folktales > Fairy tale "The Story of Ivan and the Daughter of the Sun"

The Story of Ivan and the Daughter of the Sun

” When the man had listened to the angel, he said to him, “Tarry a while! I will go and ask those people who are ploughing yonder.” Now those people who were ploughing there were his own brethren, but he did not know that they were his brethren. So he went up and said to the elder brother, “Tell me, uncle, what shall I ask of God? A tsardom, or great riches, or a good wife? Tell me, which of the three is the best gift to ask for?”––And his eldest brother said to him, “I know not, and who does know? Go and ask some one else.” So he went to the second brother, who was ploughing a little farther on. He asked him the same question, but the man only shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know either. Then he went to the third brother, who was the youngest of the three, and also ploughing there. And he asked him, saying, “Tell me, now, which is the best gift to ask of God: a tsardom, or great riches, or a good wife?”––And the third brother said, “What a question! Thou art too young for a tsardom, and great riches last but for a little while; ask God for a good wife, for if it please God to give thee a good wife, ’tis a gift that will bless thee all thy life long.” So he went back to the angel and asked for a good wife. Then he went on his way till he came to a certain wood, and, looking about him, he perceived that in this wood was a lake. And while he was looking at it, three wild doves came flying along and lit down upon this lake. They threw off their plumage and plunged into the water, and then he saw that they were not wild doves, but three fair ladies. They bathed in the lake, and in the meantime the youth crept up and took the raiment of one of them and hid it behind the bushes. When they came out of the water the third lady missed her clothes. Then the youth said to her, “I know where thy clothes are, but I will not give them to thee unless thou wilt be my wife.”––“Good!” cried she, “thy wife will I be.” Then she dressed herself, and they went together to the nearest village.

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