The Story of Little Tsar Novishny, the False Sister, and the Faithful Beasts
” Then the little Tsar drew near to the table, and the Tsarivna poured him out a glass of wine and gave it to him, and he took it with his left hand. She marked that he did not take it with the hand on which was the ring, so she drank off that glass herself. Then she filled another glass and gave it him, and he took it with his right hand. Then she immediately recognized her ring, and said to her father, “This man is my husband who delivered me from death, but that fellow”––pointing to the lackey––“that rascally slavish soul killed my husband and made me say that he was my husband.” When the Tsar heard this he boiled over with rage. “So that is what thou art!” said he to the lackey, and immediately he bade them bind him and tie him to the tail of a horse so savage that no man could ride it, and then turn it loose into the endless steppe. But the little Tsar Novishny sat down behind the table and made merry.
So the Tsarevko and the Tsarivna lived a long time together in happiness, but one day she asked him, “What of thy kindred and thy father’s house?” Then he told her all about his sister. She immediately bade him saddle his horse, and taking his beasts with him, go in search of her. They came to the place where he had left her, and saw that the bucket which was put up for the serpent was full of blood, but that the little Tsar’s bucket was all dry and falling to pieces. Then he perceived that she was still lamenting for the serpent, and said to her, “God be with thee, but I will know thee no more. Stay here, and never will I look upon thy face again!” But she began to entreat and caress and implore him that he would take her with him. Then the brother had compassion on his sister and took her away with him.
Now when they got home she took out the serpent’s tooth which she had hidden about her, and put it beneath his pillow on the bed whereon he slept. And at night-time the little Tsar went to lie down and the tooth killed him. His wife thought that he was sulky, and therefore did not speak to her, so she begged him not to be angry; and, getting no answer, took him by the hand, and lo!