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Main > Ukrainian folktales > Fairy tale "The Story of Little Tsar Novishny, the False Sister, and the Faithful Beasts"

The Story of Little Tsar Novishny, the False Sister, and the Faithful Beasts

But he, poor thing, kept ladling himself, and cried, “Oh, my dear brother-in-law, pray let me climb up to the top of that whitethorn-tree; let me have a look out from the top of it, for thence one can see afar!”––“Don’t let him, dear!” said the sister to the serpent; “he will stay there too long and lose our precious time.”––But the serpent replied, “It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter; let him climb up if he likes.” So the little Tsar went up to the tree, and began to climb it; he did not miss a single branch, and stopped a little at each one to gain time, and so he climbed up to the very top, and then he took out his flute and began to play upon it. But the starling flew up to him and said, “Not so fast, little Tsar Novishny, for lo! thy dogs are running to thee with all their might.” But his sister ran out and said, “What art thou playing up there for? Thou dost forget perhaps that we are waiting for thee down here!” Then he began to descend the tree, but he stopped at every branch on his way down, while his sister kept on calling to him to come down quicker. At last he came to the last branch, and as he stood upon it and leaped down to the ground, he thought to himself, “Now I perish!” At that same instant his dogs and his beasts, growling loudly, came running up, and stood in a circle around him. Then he crossed himself and said, “Glory to Thee, O Lord! I have still, perchance, a little time to live in Thy fair world!” Then he called aloud to the serpent and said, “And now, dear brother-in-law, come out, for I am ready for thee!” Out came the serpent to eat him, but he said to his dogs and his beasts, “Vovchok! Medvedik! Protius! Nedviga! Seize him!” Then the dogs and the beasts rushed upon him and tore him to bits.

Then the little Tsar collected the pieces and burnt them to ashes, and the little fox rolled his brush in the ashes till it was covered with them, and then went out into the open field and scattered them to the four winds. But while they were tearing the serpent to pieces the wicked sister knocked out his tooth and hid it.

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