The Story of Little Tsar Novishny, the False Sister, and the Faithful Beasts
how we perish.” Now the bullock was already nearing the sea. “Look into my right ear,” said the bullock, “draw out the little handkerchief thou findest there, and throw it in front of me.” He drew it out and flung it, and before them stood a bridge. Over this bridge they galloped, and by the time they had done so, the serpent reached the sea. Then said the bullock to the little Tsar, “Take up the handkerchief again and wave it behind me.” Then he took and waved it till the bridge doubled up behind them, and went and spread out again right in front of them. The serpent came up to the edge of the sea; but there he had to stop, for he had nothing to run upon.
So they crossed over that sea right to the other side, and the serpent remained on his own side. Then the bullock said to them, “I’ll lead you to a hut close to the sea, and in that hut you must live, and you must take and slay me.” But they fell a-weeping sore. “How shall we slay thee!” they cried; “thou art our own little dad, and hast saved us from death!”––“Nay!” said the bullock; “but you must slay me, and one quarter of me you must hang up on the stove, and the second quarter you must place on the ground in a corner, and the third quarter you must put in the corner at the entrance of the hut, and the fourth quarter you must put round the threshold, so that there will be a quarter in all four corners.” So they took and slew him in front of the threshold, and they hung his four quarters in the four corners as he had bidden them, and then they laid them down to sleep. Now the Tsarevko awoke at midnight, and saw in the right-hand corner a horse so gorgeously caparisoned that he could not resist rising at once and mounting it; and in the threshold corner there was a self-slicing sword, and in the third corner stood the dog Protius, and in the stove corner stood the dog Nedviga. The little Tsar longed to be off. “Rise, little sister!” cried he. “God has been good to us! Rise, dear little sister, and let us pray to God!