The Story of Little Tsar Novishny, the False Sister, and the Faithful Beasts
So he mounted his horse and set off. Presently he came to a little thicket, and immediately a she-wolf came out. Then Protius ran her down and Nedviga held her fast, and the little Tsar milked her and let her go. And the she-wolf looked round and said, “Well for thee, little Tsar Novishny, that thou hast let me go. Methought thou wouldst not let me go alive. For that thou hast let me go, I’ll give thee, little Tsar Novishny, a wolf-whelp.”––Then she said to the little wolf, “Thou shalt serve this dear little Tsar as though he were thine own dear father.” Then the little Tsar went back, and now there were with him two dogs and a little wolf-whelp that trotted behind them.
Now the serpent and the false sister saw him coming from afar, and three dogs trotting behind him. And the serpent said to her, “What a sly, wily one it is! He has added another watch-dog to his train! Lie down, and make thyself out worse than ever, and ask bear’s milk of him, for the bears will tear him to pieces without doubt.” Then the serpent turned himself into a needle, and she took him up and stuck him in the wall. Meanwhile the brother dismounted from his horse and came with his dogs and the wolf to the hut, and the dogs began snuffing at the needle in the wall. And his sister said to him, “Tell me, why dost thou keep these big dogs? They let me have no rest.” Then he called to the dogs, and they sat down. And his sister said to him, “I dreamed a dream, my brother. I saw thee go and search and fetch me from somewhere bear’s milk, and I drank of it, and my health came back to me.”––“I will fetch it,” said her brother.
But first of all he laid him down to sleep. Nedviga lay at his head, and Protius at his feet, and Vovchok (little wolf) by his side. So he slept through the night, and at dawn he arose and mounted his good steed and hied him thence. Again they came to a little thicket, and this time a she-bear came out. Protius ran her down, Nedviga held her fast, and the little Tsar milked her and let her go.