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The Baldwin Libra"y
COSSACK FAIRY TALES
c; sa'e ki
SELECTED, EDITED, AND TRANSLATED
R. NISBET BAIN.
ILLUSTRATED BY E. W. MITCHELL.
LAWRENCE AND BULLPEN,
16 HENRIETTA ST., COVENT GARDEN, W.C.
[All rights reserved.]
RICItARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED,
LONDON & BUNGAV.
n ... .....
THE STORY OF THE WIND ... .
THE VOICES AT THE WINDOW
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY,
AND THE FAITHFUL BEASTS
THE VAMPIRE AND ST. MICHAEL
THE STORY OF TREMSIN, THE BIRD ZHAR,
LOVELY MAID OF THE SEA
THE SERPENT-WIFE ... ...
THE STORY OF UNLUCKY DANIEL
THE SPARROW AND THE BUSH
THE OLD DOG ... ...
THE FOX AND THE CAT ...
THE STRAW OX ...
THE GOLDEN SLIPPER ... .
THE IRON WOLF ...
THE THREE BROTHERS ...
THE FALSE SISTER,
AND NASTASIA, THE
... ... ... 92
... ... 103
... ... ... ... 109
...... ... 122
... .. ... 127
... ... ... 130
... ... 134
... ... ... ... 141
... ... ... 153
... ...... ... ... ix
TIHE TSAR AND THE ANGEL ... ..
THE STORY OF IVAN AND THE DAUGHTER OF THE SUN
THE CAT, THE COCK, AND THE FOX ...
THE SERPENT-TSAREVICH AND IIIS TWO W
ORIGIN OF THE MOLE ... ..
TWO PRINCES ... .
UNGRATEFUL CHILDREN AND THE OLD
WENT TO SCHOOL AGAIN ... ...
THE FOOL AND ST. PETER'S FIFE
MAGIC EGG ... ..
STORY OF THE FORTY-FIRST BROTHER ...
STORY OF THE UNLUCKY DAYS ... ...
... ... 185
... ... 201
... ... 203
.. ... 212
.. ... 222
.. ... 232
.. ... 250
... ... 257
THE WONDROUS STORY OF IVAN GOLIK AND THE SERPENTS
THE favourable reception given to my volume of
Russian Fidry Thles has encouraged me to follow
it up with a sister volume of stories selected from
another Slavonic dialect extraordinarily rich in folk-
tales I mean Ruthenian, the language of the
Ruthenian is a language intermediate between
Russian and Polish, but quite independent of both.
Its territory embraces, roughly speaking, that vast
plain which lies between the Carpathians, the water-
shed of the Dnieper, and the Sea of Azov, with
Lemberg and Kiev for its chief intellectual centres:
though rigorously repressed by the Russian Gov-
ernment, it is still spoken by more than twenty
millions of people. It possesses a noble literature,
numerous folk-songs, not inferior even to those of
Servia, and, what chiefly concerns us now, a copious
collection of justly admired folk-tales, many of them
of great antiquity, which are regarded, both in Russia
and Poland, as quite unique of their kind. Mr.
Ralston, I fancy, was the first to call the attention
of the West to these curious stories, though the want
at that time of a good Ruthenian dictionary (a want
since supplied by the excellent lexicon of Zhelekhovsky
and Nidilsky) prevented him from utilizing them.
Another Slavonic scholar, Mr. Morfill, has also fre-
quently alluded to them (most recently in his
interesting history of Poland) in terms of enthusiastic
but by no means extravagant praise.
The three chief collections of Ruthenian Folk-Lore
are those of Kulish, Rudchenko, and Dragomanov,
which represent, at least approximately, the three
dialects into which Ruthenian is generally divided.
It is from these three collections that the present
selection has been made. Kulish, who has the
merit of priority, was little more than a pioneer,
his contribution merely consisting of some dozen
kcazki (marchen) and kazochiki (marchenlein), in-
corporated in the second volume of his' Zapiski o
yuzLhnoi Rusi (Descriptions of South Russia), St.
Petersburg, 1856-7. Twelve years later Rudchenko
published at Kiev what is still,, on the, whole, the
best collection of Ruthenian Folk-Tales, under the
title of Nar)odnuiya Yuzhnorusskiya Skazki (Popular
South Russian Marchen). Like Linnrot among the
Finns, Rudchenko took down the greater part of
these tales direct from the lips of the people. In a
second volume, published in the following year, he
added other stories gleaned from various minor MS.
collections of great rarity. In 1876 the Imperial
Russian Geographical Society published at Kiev,
under the title of cdalorusskiyc N r...!,;. P7.,.,r Pre-
donyia i iRazkaezui (Little-Russian Popular Traditions
and Tales), an edition of as many MS. collections
of Ruthenian Folk-Lore (including poems, proverbs,
riddles, and rites) as it could lay its hands upon.
This collection, though far less rich in variants than
Rudchenko's, contained many original tales which
had escaped him, and was ably edited by Michael
Dragomanov, by whose name indeed it is generally
The present attempt to popularize these Cossack
stories is, I believe, the first translation ever made from
Ruthenian into English. The selection, though natur-
ally restricted, is fairly representative; every variety
of folk-tale has a place in it, and it should never be
forgotten that the Ruthenian KICzkcc (marchen), owing
to favourable circumstances, has managed to preserve
far more of the fresh spontaneity and naive simplicity
of the primitive folk-tale than her more sophisticated
sister, the Russian Skazkcc. It is maintained, more-
over, by Slavonic scholars that there are peculiar
and original elements in these stories not to be found
in the folk-lore of other European peoples; such data,
xii INTROD AUCTION.
for instance, as the magic handkerchiefs (generally
beneficial, but sometimes, as in the story of Ivan Golik,
terribly baleful) ; the demon-expelling, hemp-and-tar
whips, and the magic cattle-teeming i-.g so mis-
chievous a possession to the unwary. It may be so,
but, after all that Mr. Andrew Lang has taught us
on the subject, it would be rash for any mere philolo-
gist to assert positively that there can be anything
really new in folk-lore under the sun. On the other
hand, the comparative isolation and primitiveness of
the Cossacks, and their remoteness from the great
theatres of historical events, would seem to be
favourable conditions both for the safe preservation
of old myths and the easy development of new ones.
It is for professional students of folk-lore to study
the original documents for themselves.
R. NISBET BAIN.
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
HE olden times were not like the
times wce live in. In the olden
Times all manner of Evil Powers l
walked abroad. The world itself
was not then as it is now: now
there are no such Evil Powers
amongst us. I'll tell you a kazka 2 of Oh, the Tsar
of the Forest, that you may know what manner of
being he was.
Once upon a time, long long ago, beyond the times
that we can call to mind, ere yet our great-grand-
fathers or their grandfathers had been born into, the
world, there lived a poor man and his wife, and they
had one only son, who was not as an only son ought
1 Div. This ancient, untranslatable word Compp. Latin Deus)
is probably of Lithuanian origin, and means any malefic power.
2 A folk-tale. Russ., Skazka. Ger., MArchen.
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
to be to his old father and mother. So idle and lazy
was that only son that Heaven help him He would
do nothing, he would not even fetch water from the
well, but lay on the stove all day long and rolled
among the warm cinders. Although he was now
twenty years old, he would sit on the stove with-
out any trousers on, and nothing would make him
come down. If they gave him anything to eat, he
ate it; and if they didn't give him anything to eat, he
did without. His father and mother fretted sorely
because of him, and said: What are we to do with
thee, 0 son ? for thou art good for nothing. Other
people's children are a stay and a support to their
parents, but thou art but a fool and dost consume our
bread for nought." But it was of no use at all. He
would do nothing but sit on the stove and play with
the cinders. So his father and his mother grieved
over him for many a long day, and at last his mother
said to his father: What is to be done with our
son ? Thou dost see that he has grown up and yet is
of no use to us, and he is so foolish that we can do
nothing with him. Look now, if we can send him
away, let us send him away ; if we can hire him out,
let us hire him out; perchance other folks may be
able to do more with him than we can." So his
father and mother laid their heads together, and sent
him to a tailor's to learn tailoring. There he remained
three days, but then he ran away home, climbed up
on the stove, and again began playing with the cinders.
His father then gave him a sound drubbing and sent
him to a cobbler's to learn cobbling, but again he ran
away home. His father gave him another drubbing
and sent him to a blacksmith to learn smith's work.
But there, too, he did not remain long but ran away
home again, so what was that poor father to do ?
" I'll tell thee what I'll do with thee, thou son of a
dog !" said he; "I'll take thee, thou lazy lout, into
another kingdom. There, perchance, they will be
able to teach thee better than they can here, and it
will be too far to run away from." So he took him
and set out on his journey.
They went on and on, they went a short way and
they went a long way, and at last they came to a
forest so dark that they could see neither earth
nor sky. They went through this forest, but in a
short time they grew very tired, and when they came
to a path leading to a clearing full of large tree-
stumps, the father said : "I am so tired out that I
will rest here a little," and with that he sat down
on a tree-stump and cried : Oh, how tired I am "
He had no sooner said these words, than out of the
tree-stump, nobody could say how, sprang such a
little little old man all so wrinkled and puckered, and
his beard was quite green and reached right down to
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
his knee.-" What dost thou want of me, 0 man ? "
he asked.-The man was amazed at the strangeness
of his coming to light, and said to him: I did not
call thee; begone!"-" How canst thou say that
when thou didst call me ?" asked the little old man.-
" Who art thou, then ? asked the father.-" I am Oh,
the Tsar of the Woods," replied the old man ; why
didst thou call me, I say ? "-" Away with thee, I did
not call thee," said the man.-" What! thou didst not
call me when thou saidst Oh' ? "-" I was tired, and
therefore I said 'Oh' !" replied the man.-' Whither
art thou going? asked Oh.-" The wide world lies
before me," sighed the man. I am taking this scurvy
blockhead of mine to hire him out to somebody or
other. Perchance other people may be able to knock
more sense into him than we can at home ; but send
him whither we will, he always comes running home
again "-"Hire him out to me. I'll warrant I'll
teach him," said Oh. Yet I'll only take him on one
condition. Thou shalt come back for him when a
year has run, and if thou dost know him again, thou
mayest take him; but if thou dost not know him
again, he shall serve another year with me."-
" Good !" cried the man. So they shook hands upon
it, had a right-down good drink to clinch the bargain,
and the man went back to his own home, while Oh
took the son away with him.
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
Oh took the son away with him, and they passed
into the other world, the world beneath the earth, and
came to a green hut woven out of rushes, and in this
hut everything was green; the walls were green and
the benches were green, and Oh's wife was green and
his children were green-in fact everything there was
green. And Oh had water-nixies for serving-maids,
and they were all as green as rue. Sit down now !"
said Oh to his new labourer, "and have a bit of
something to eat." The nixies then brought him
some food, and that was also green, and he ate of it.
"And now," said Oh, "take my labourer into the
courtyard that he may chop wood and draw water."
So they took him into the courtyard, but instead of
chopping any wood he lay down and went to sleep.
Oh came out to see how he was getting on, and there
he lay a-snoring. Then Oh seized him, and bade
them bring wood and tie his labourer fast to the wood,
and set the wood on fire till the labourer was burnt
to ashes. Then Oh took the ashes and scattered
them to the four winds, but a single piece of burnt
coal fell from out of the ashes, and this coal he sprinkled
with living water, whereupon the labourer immediately
stood there alive again and somewhat handsomer and
stronger than before. Oh again bade him chop wood,
but again he went to sleep. Then Oh again tied him
to the wood and burnt him and scattered the ashes to
the four winds and sprinkled the remnant of the coal
with living water, and instead of the loutish clown
there stood there such a handsome and stalwart
Cossack 1 that the like of him can neither be imagined
nor described but only told of in tales.
There, then, the lad remained for a year, and at the
end of the year the father came for his son. He
came to the self-same charred stumps in the self-same
forest, sat him down, and said: Oh !"-Oh imme-
diately came out of the charred stump and said;
" Hail 1 0 man "-" Hail to thee, Oh I "-" And what
dost thou want, O man ? asked Oh.-" I have come,"
said he, for my son."-" Well, come then If thou
1 Kozak, a Cossack, being the ideal human hero of the Ruthe-
nians, just as a bogatyr is a hero of the demi-god type, as the
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
dost know him again, thou shalt take him away; but,
if thou dost not know him, he shall serve with me yet
another year." So the man went with Oh. They
came to his hut, and Oh took whole handfuls of millet
and scattered it about, and myriads of cocks came
running up and pecking it. Well, dost thou know
thy son again ? said Oh. The man stared and
stared. TI.i.:., was nothing but cocks, and one cock
was just like another. He could not pick out his son.
" Well," said Oh, as thou dost not know him, go
home again ; this year thy son must remain in my
service." So the man went home again.
The second year passed away, and the man again
went to Oh. He came to the charred stumps and
said : "Oh i and Oh popped out of the tree-stump
again. Come said he, and see if thou canst
recognize him now." Then he took him to a sheep-
pen, and there were rows and rows of rams, and one
ram was just like another. The man stared and
stared, but he could not pick out his son. Thou
mayest as well go home then," said Oh, but thy son,
shall live with me yet another year.'' So the man,
went away sad at heart.
The third year also passed away, and the man came;
again to find Oh. He went on and on till there met
him an old man all as white as milk, and the raiment
of this old man was glistening white. Hail to thee,
0 man !" said he.-"' Hail to thee also, my father "
-" Whither doth God lead thee "-" I am going to
free my son from Oh."-" How so ? "-Then the man
told the old white father how he had hired out his
son to Oh and under what conditions.-" Aye, aye "
said the old white father, "'tis a vile pagan thou hast
to deal with; he will lead thee about by the nose for
a long time."-" Yes," said the man, "I perceive that
he is a vile pagan ; but I know not what in the world
to do with him. Canst thou not tell me then,
dear father, how 1 may recover my son ? "-" Yes, I
can," said the old man.-" Then prythee tell me,,
darling father, and I'll pray for thee to God all
my life, for though he has not been much of a son to
me, he is still my own flesh and blood."-" Hearken,
then !" said the old man ; when thou dost go to Oh,
lhe will let loose a multitude of doves before thee, but
choose not one of these doves. The dove thou shalt
choose must be the one that comes not out, but
remains sitting beneath the pear-tree pruning its
feathers; that will be thy son." Then the man
thanked the old white father and went on.
He came to the charred stumps. Oh !" cried he,
and out came Oh and led him to his sylvan realm:
There Oh scattered about handfuls of wheat and
called his doves, and there flew down such a multitude
of them, that, there was no counting them, and one
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
dove was just like another. "Dost thou recognize
thy son ?" asked Oh. "An thou knowest him again,
he is thine ; an thou knowest him not, he is mine."
Now all the doves there were pecking at the wheat,
all but one that sat alone beneath the pear-tree,
sticking out its breast and pruning its feathers.
"That is my son," said the man.-" Since thou hast
guessed him, take him," replied Oh. Then the father
took the dove, and immediately it changed into a
handsome young man, and a handsomer was not to be
found in the wide world. The father rejoiced greatly
and embraced and kissed him. "Let us go home, my
son !" said he. So they went.
As they went along the road together they fell a-
talking, and his father asked him how he had fared
at Oh's. The son told him. Then the father told
the son what he had suffered, and it was the son's
turn to listen. Furthermore the father said: What
shall we do now, my son ? I am poor and thou art
poor: hast thou served these three years and earned
nothing ? "-" Grieve not, dear dad, all will come
right in the end. Look! there are some young
nobles hunting after a fox. I will turn myself into a
greyhound and catch the fox, then the young noble-
men will want to buy me of thee, and thou must
sell me to them for three hundred rubles-only,
mind thou sell me without a chain; then we shall
have lots of money at home, and will live happily
They went on and on, and there, on the borders
of a forest, some hounds were chasing a fox. They
chased it and chased it, but the fox kept on escaping,
and the hounds could not run it down. Then the son
changed himself into a greyhound, and ran down the
fox and killed it. The noblemen thereupon came
galloping out of the forest. "Is that thy grey-
hound ? "-" It is."-" 'Tis a good dog ; wilt sell it to
us ? "-" Bid for it I "-" What dost thou require ? "-
"Three hundred rubles without a chain."-" What
do we want with thy chain, we would give him a
chain of gold. Say a hundred rubles "-" Nay "-
"Then take thy money and give us the dog." They
counted down the money and took the dog and set
off hunting. They sent the dog after another fox.
Away he went after it and chased it right into the
forest, but then he turned into a youth again and
rejoined his father.
They went on and on, and his father said to him:
"What use is this money to us after all? It is
barely enough to begin housekeeping with and repair
our hut."-" Grieve not, dear dad, we shall get
more still. Over yonder are some young noblemen
hunting quails with falcons. I will change myself
into a falcon, and thou must sell me to them; only
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
sell me for three hundred rubles, and without a
They went into the plain, and there were some
young noblemen casting their falcon at a quail. The
falcon pursued but always fell short of the quail, and
the quail always eluded the falcon. The son then
changed himself into a falcon and immediately struck
down its prey. The young noblemen saw it and
were astonished. Is that thy falcon ? "-" 'Tis
mine."-" Sell it to us, then !"-" Bid for it!"-
" What dost thou want for it ? "-" If ye give three
hundred rubles, ye may take it, but it must be
without the hood."-" As if we want thy hood!
We'll make for it a hood worthy of a Tsar." So they
higgled and haggled, but at last they gave him the
three hundred rubles. Then the young nobles sent
the falcon after another quail, and it flew and flew
till it beat down its prey; but then he became a
youth again, and went on with his father.
How shall we manage to live with so little ? said
the father. Wait a while, dad, and we shill have
still more," said the son. When we pass through the
fair I'll change myself into a horse, and thou must
sell me. They will give' thee a thousand rubles for
me, only sell me without a halter." So when they
got to the next little town where they were holding
a fair, the son changed himself into a horse, a horse
as supple as a serpent, and so fiery that it was
dangerous to approach him. The father led the
horse along by the halter, it pranced about and
struck sparks from the ground with its hoofs. Then
the horse-dealers came together and began to bargain
for it. A thousand rubles down," said he, and you
may have it, but without the halter."-" What do we
want with thy halter ? we will make for it a silver-
gilt halter. Come, we'll give thee five hundred !"-
"No i" said he.-Then up there came a gipsy, blind
of one eye. 0 man what dost thou want for that
horse ?" said he.-" A thousand rubles without the
halter."-" Nay but that is dear, little father Wilt
thou not take five hundred with the halter? "-" No,
not a bit of it "-" Take six hundred, then Then
the gipsy began higgling and haggling, but the man
would not give way. "Come, sell it !" said he,
with the halter."-" No, thou gipsy, I have a liking
for that halter."-" But, my good man, when didst
thou ever see them sell a horse without a halter ?
How then can one lead him off "-" Nevertheless,
the halter must remain mine."-"Look now, my
father, I'll give thee five rubles extra, only I must
have the halter."-The old man fell a-thinking. A
halter of this kind is worth but three gri-'ni,1 and
the gipsy offers me five rubles for it; let him have
1 A grivna is the tenth part of a ruble, about '2d.
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
it." So they clinched the bargain with a good drink,
and the old man went home with the money, and the
gipsy walked off with the horse. But it was not
really a gipsy, but Oh, who had taken the shape of a
Then Oh rode off on the horse, and the horse
carried him higher than the trees of the forest, but
lower than the clouds of the sky. At last they sank
down among the woods and came to Oh's hut, and
Oh went into his hut and left his horse outside on
the steppe. "This son of a dog shall not escape
from my hands so quickly a second time," said he
to his wife. And at dawn Oh took the horse by the
bridle and led it away to the river to water it. But
no sooner did the horse get to the river and bend
down its head to drink, than it turned into a perch
and began swimming away. Oh, without more ado,
turned himself into a pike and pursued the perch.
But just as the pike was almost up with it, the
perch gave a sudden twist and stuck out its
spiky fins and turned its tail towards the pike, so
that the pike could not lay hold of it. So when
the pike came up to it, it said: "Perch! perch!
turn thy head towards me, I want to have a chat
with thee !"-" I can hear thee very well as I am,
dear cousin, if thou art inclined to chat," said the
perch. So off they set. again, and again the pike
overtook the perch. "Perch perch! turn thy
head round towards me, I want to have a chat with
thee! "-Then the perch stuck out its bristly fins
again and said : "If thou dost wish to have a chat,
dear cousin, I can hear thee just as well as I am."
So the pike kept on pursuing the perch, but it
was of no use. At last the perch swam ashore, and
there was a Tsarivna whittling an ash twig. The
perch changed itself into a gold ring set with
garnets, and the Tsarivna saw it and fished up the
ring out of the water. Full of joy she took it
home, and said to her father: "Look, dear apapa!
what a nice ring I have found!" The Tsar kissed
her, but the Tsarivna did not know which finger it
would suit best, it was so lovely.
About the same time they told the Tsar that a
certain merchant had come to the palace. It was
Oh, who had changed himself into a merchant. The
Tsar went out to him and said: "What dost thou
want, old man ? "-" I was sailing on the sea in my
ship," said Oh, and carrying to the Tsar of my own
land a precious garnet ring, and this ring I dropped
into the water. IHas any of thy servants perchance
found this precious ring ? "-" No, but my daughter
has," said the Tsar. So they called the damsel, and
Oh began to beg her to give it back to him, "for I
may not live in this world if I bring not the ring,"
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
said he. But it was of no avail, she would not give
it up. Then the Tsar himself spoke to her. Nay,
but, darling daughter, give it up, lest misfortune befall
this man because of us; give it up, I say Then Oh
:,.-.-," and prayed her yet more, and said: "Take
what thou wilt of me, only give me back the ring."-
" Nay, then !" said the Tsarivna, it shall be neither
mine nor thine," and with that she pitched the ring
upon the ground, and the ring turned into a heap of
millet-seed and scattered all about the floor. Then
Oh, without more ado, changed into a cock, and
began pecking up all the millet-seed. He pecked
and pecked till he had pecked it all up. Yet there
was one single little grain of millet which rolled
right beneath the feet of the Tsarivna, and that he
did not see. When he had done pecking he got upon
the window-sill, opened his wings, and flew right
But the one remaining grain of millet-seed turned
into a most beauteous youth, a youth so beauteous
that when the Tsarivna beheld him she fell in love
with him on the spot, and ',,. '_d the Tsar and
Tsaritsa right piteously to let her have him as her
husband. With no other shall I ever be happy,"
said she, my happiness is in him alone!" For a
long time the Tsar wrinkled his brows at the thought
of giving his daughter to a simple youth ; but at last
he gave them his '.-,-I,. and they crowned them
with bridal wreaths, and all the world was bidden to
the wedding-feast. And I too was there, and drank
beer and mead, and what my mouth could not
hold ran down over my beard, and my heart r. j.,:-.:d
THE STORY OF THE WIND.
NCE upon a time there dwelt two
brethren in one village, and one
brother was very, very rich, and
the other brother was very, very
poor. The rich man had wealth
of all sorts, but all that the poor
man had was a heap of children.
One day, at harvest-time, the poor man left his
wife and went to reap and thresh out his little plot
of wheat, when the Wind came and swept all his corn
away down to the very last grain. The poor man
was exceeding wrath threat, and said: "Come what
will, I'll go seek the Wind, and I'll tell him with
what pains and trouble I had got my corn to grow
and ripen, and then he, forsooth! must needs come
and blow it all away."
So the man went home and made ready to go,
and as he was making ready, his wife said to him:
THE STORY OF THE TVIND.
'a Whither away, husband ?"-" I am going to seek
the Wind," said he ; what dost thou say to that ? "
-" I should say, do no such thing," replied his wife.
"Thou knowest the saying, 'If thou dost want to
find the Wind, seek him on the open steppe. He can
go ten different ways to thy one.' Think of that, dear
husband, and go not at all."-" I mean to go," replied
the man, though I never return home again."
Then he took leave of his wife and children, and went
straight out into the wide world to seek the Wind on
the open steppe.
He went on farther and farther till he saw before
him a forest, and on the borders of that forest stood
a hut on hens' legs. The man went into this hut and
was filled with astonishment, for there lay on the
floor a huge, huge, old man, as grey as milk. He
lay there stretched at full length, his head on the
seat of honour,' with an arm and leg in each of the
four corners, and all his hair standing on end. It
was no other than the Wind himself. The man
stared at this awful Ancient with terror, for never
in his life had he seen anything like it. God help
thee, old father !" cried he.-" Good health to thee,
good man !" said the ancient giant, as he lay on the
floor of the hut. Then he asked him in the most
1 Pokute, the place of honour in a Ruthenian peasant's hut, at
the right-hand side of the entrance.
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
friendly manner: "Whence hath God brought thee
hither, good man ? "-" I am wandering through the
wide world in search of the Wind," said the man.
"If I find him, I will turn back ; if I don't find him,
.I shall go on and on till I do."-" What dost thou
want with the Wind ? asked the old giant lying on
the floor. Or what wrong hath he done thee, that
thou shouldst seek him out so doggedly ? "-" What
wrong hath lie done me?" replied the wayfarer.
" Hearken now, 0 Ancient, and I will tell thee I
went straight from my wife into the field and reaped
my little plot of corn; but when I began to thresh
it out, the Wind came and caught and scattered every
bit of it in a twinkling, so that there was not a single
little grain of it left. So now thou dost see, old man,
what I have to thank him for. Tell me, in God's
name, why such things be ? My little plot of corn
was my all-in-all, and in the sweat of my brow did
I reap and thresh it; but the Wind came and blew
it all away, so that not a trace of it is to be found in
the wide world. Then I thought to myself: 'Why
should he do this ?' And I said to my wife : 'I'll
go seek the Wind, and say to him: "Another time,
visit not the poor man who hath but a little corn,
and blow it not away, for bitterly doth he rue
it "-" Good, my son !" said the giant who lay on
the floor. I shall know better in future ; inl future
22 COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
I will not blow away the poor man's corn. But, good
man, there is no need for thee to seek the Wind in
the open steppe, for I myself am the Wind."-
"Then if thou art the Wind," said the man, "give
me back my corn."-" Nay," said the giant; thou
canst not make the dead come back fLom the grave.
Yet, inasmuch as I have done thee a mischief, I will
now give thee this sack, good man, and do thou take
it home with thee. And whenever thou want'st a
meal say: 'Sack, sack, give me to eat and drink !'
and immediately thou shalt have thy fill both of
meat and drink, so now thou wilt have wherewithal
to comfort thy wife and children."
Then the man was full of gratitude. I thank
thee, 0 Wind !" said he, for thy courtesy in
giving me such a sack as will give me my fill of meat
and drink without the trouble of working for it."-
" For a lazy loon, 'twere a double boon," said the
Wind. Go home, then, but look now, enter no
tavern by the way; I shall know it if thou dost."-
"No," said the man, "I will not." And then he
took leave of the Wind and went his way.
He had not gone very far, when he passed by a
tavern, and he felt a burning desire to find out
whether the Wind had spoken the truth in the matter
of the sack. How can a man pass a tavern without
going into it ?" thought he; I'll go in, come what
THE STORY OF THE WIND. 23
may. The Wind won't know, because he can't see."
So he went into the tavern and hung up his sack
upon a peg. The Jew who kept the tavern immedi-
ately said to him: What dost thou want, good
man ? "-" What is that to thee, thou dog ? said the
man.-" You are all alike," sneered the Jew, take
what you can, and pay for nothing."-" Dost think
I want to buy anything from thee ? shrieked the
man; then, turning angrily to the sack, he cried:
" Sack, sack, give me to eat and drink! Immedi-
ately the table was covered with all sorts of meats
and liquors. Then all the Jews in the tavern
crowded round full of amazement, and asked all
manner of questions. "Why, what is this, good
man ?" said they; "never have we seen anything
like this before!"--"Ask no questions, ye accursed
Jews cried the man, but sit down to eat, for there
is enough for all." So the Jews and the Jewesses set
to and ate until they were full up to the ears ; and
they drank the man's health in pitchers of wine of
every sort, and said: Drink, good man, and spare
not, and when thou hast drunk thy fill, thou shalt
lodge with us this night. We'll make ready a bed
for thee. None shall vex thee. Come now, eat
and drink whatever thy soul desires." So the Jews
flattered him with devilish cunning, and almost forced
the wine-jars to his lips.
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
The simple fellow did not perceive their malice and
cunning, and he got so drunk that he could not move
from the place, but went to sleep where he was.
Then the Jews changed his sack for another, which
they hung up on a peg, and then they woke him.
" Dost hear, fellow cried they; "get up, it is time
to go home. Dost thou not see the morning light? "
The man sat up and scratched the back of his head,
for he was loth to go. But what was he to do ? So
he shouldered the sack that was hanging on the peg,
and went off home.
When he got to his house, he cried: "Open the
door, wife!" Then his wife opened the door, and he
went in and hung his sack on the peg and said : "Sit
down at the table, dear wife, and you children sit
down there too. Now, thank God! we shall have
enough to eat and drink, and to spare." The wife
looked at her husband and smiled. She thought he
was mad, but down she sat, and her children sat down
all round her, and she waited to see what her husband
would do next. Then the man said: Sack, sack,
give to us meat and drink But the sack was silent.
Then he said again: Sack, sack, give my children
something to eat !" And still the sack was silent.
Then the man fell into a violent rage : "Thou didst
give me something at the tavern," cried he; "and
now I may call in vain. Thou givest nothing, and
THE STORY OF THE WIND.
thou hearest nothing "-and, leaping from his seat, he
took up a club and began beating the sack till he had
knocked a hole in the wall, and beaten the sack to
bits. Then he set off to seek the Wind again. But
his wife stayed at home and put everything to rights
again, railing and scolding at her husband as a madman.
But the man went to the Wind and said : Hail to
thee, 0 Wind !"-" Good health to thee, 0 man!"
replied the Wind. Then the Wind asked: "Wherefore
hast thou come hither, O man ? Did I not give thee
a sack ? What more dost thou want ? "-" A pretty
sack indeed replied the man; that sack of thine
has been the cause of much mischief to me and mine."
-" What mischief has it done thee ? "-" Why, look
now, old father, I'll tell thee what it has done. It
wouldn't give me anything to eat and drink, so I
began beating it, and beat the wall in. Now what
shall I do to repair my crazy hut? Give me some-
thing, old father."-But the Wind replied: Nay,
0 man, thou must do without. Fools are neither
sown nor reaped, but grow of their own accord--hast
thou not been into a tavern ? "-" I have not," said
the man.-" Thou hast not ? Why wilt thou lie? "-
Well, and suppose I did lie ? said the man ; if thou
suffer harm through thine own fault, hold thy tongue
about it, that's what I say. Yet it is all the fault of
thy sack that this evil has come upon me. If it had
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
only given me to eat and to drink, I should not have
come to thee again." At this the Wind scratched his
head a bit, but then he said : Well then, thou man !
there's a little ram for thee, and whenever thou dost
want money say to it: Little ram, little ram, scatter
money !' and it will scatter money as much as thou
wilt. Only bear this in mind : go not into a tavern,
for if thou dost, I shall know all about it; and
if thou comest to me a third time, thou shalt have
cause to remember it for ever."-" Good," said the
man, I won't go."-Then he took the little ram,
thanked the Wind, and went on his way.
So the man went along leading the little ram by a
string, and they came to a tavern, that very same
tavern where he had been before, and again a strong
desire came upon the man to go in. So he stood by
the door and began thinking whether he should go in
or not, and whether he had any need to find out the
truth about the little ram. Well, well," said he at
last, I'll go in, only this time I won't get drunk.
I'll drink just a glass or so, and then I'll go home."
So into the tavern he went, dragging the little ram
after him, for he was afraid to let it go.
Now, when the Jews who were inside there saw
the little ram, they began shrieking and said : What
art thou thinking of, 0 man that thou bringest that
little ram into the room ? Are there no barns outside
THE STORY OF TIE WINVD.
where thou mayest put it up ? "-" Hold your tongues,
ye accursed wretches !" replied the man; what has
it got to do with you ? It is not the sort of ram
that muck-worms like you deal in. And if you don't
believe me, spread a cloth on the floor and you shall
s3e something, I warrant you."-Then he said:
"Little ram, little ram, scatter money !" and the
little ram scattered so much money that it seemed to
grow, and the Jews screeched like demons.-" 0
man, man !" cried they, such a ram as that we
have never seen in all our days. Sell it to us We
will give thee such a lot of money for it."-" You
may pick up all that money, ye accursed ones," cried
the man, but I don't mean to sell my ram."
Then the Jews picked up the money, but they laid
before him a table covered with all the dishes that a
man's heart may desire, and they I-.._- l d him to sit
down and make merry, and said with true Jewish
cunning: Though thou mayest get a little lively,
don't get drunk, for thou knowest how drink plays
the fool with a man's wits."-The man marvelled at
the straightforwardness of the Jews in warning him
against the drink, and, forgetting everything else, sat
down at table and began drinking pot after pot of
mead, and talking with the Jews, and his little ram
went clean out of his head. But the Jews made him
drunk, and laid him in the bed, and changed rams
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
with him; his they took away, and put in its place
one of their own exactly like it.
When the man had slept off his carouse, he arose
and went away, taking the ram with him, after bid-
ding the Jews farewell. When he got to his hut he
found his wife in the doorway, and the moment she
saw him coming, she went into the hut and cried to
her children : Come, children make haste, make
haste for daddy is coming, and brings a little ranm
along with him ; get up, and look sharp about it An
evil year of waiting has been the lot of wretched me,
but he has come home at last.";
The husband arrived at the door and said: Open
the door, little wife; open, I say !'"-The wife replied:
"Thou art not a great noblenian, so open the door
thyself. Why dost thou get so drunk that thou dost
not know how to open a door ? It's an evil time that
I spend with thee. Here we are with all these little
children, and yet thou dost go away and drink."-
Then the wife opened the door, and the husband
walked into the hut and said : Good health to thee,
dear wife !"-But the wife replied : Why dost thou
bring that ram inside the hut, can't it stay outside
the walls ?"-" Wife, wife!" said the man, "speak,
but don't screech. Now we shall have all manner of
good things, and the children will have a fine time of
it."-- What !" said the wife, what good can. we
THE STORY OF THE WIND.
get from that wretched ram ? Where shall we get
the money to find food for it? Why, we've nothing
to eat ourselves, and thou dost saddle us with a ram
besides. Stuff and nonsense! I say."-" Silence,
wife," replied the husband; "that ram is not like
other rams, I tell thee."-" What sort is it, then ? "
asked his wife.-" Don't ask questions, but spread
a cloth on the floor and keep thine eyes open."-
"Why spread a cloth ? asked the wife.-" Why ?"
shrieked the man in a rage; "do what I tell thee, and
hold thy tongue."-But the wife said: "Alas, alas
I have an evil time of it. Thou dost nothing at all
but go away and drink, and then thou comest home
and dost talk nonsense, and bringest sacks and rams
with thee, and knockest down our little hut."-At
this the husband could control his rage no longer, but
shrieked at the ram: "Little ram, little ram, scatter
money "-But the ram only stood there and stared
at him. Then he cried again: "Little ram, little
ram, scatter money !"-But the ram stood there
stock-still and did nothing. Then the man in his
anger caught up a piece of wood and struck the ram
on the head, but the poor ram only uttered a feeble
baa and fell to the earth dead.
The man was now very much offended and said:
"I'll go to the Wind again, and I'll tell him what a
fool he has made of me." Then he took up his hat
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
and went, leaving everything behind him. And the
poor wife put everything to rights, and reproached
and railed at her husband.
So the man came to the Wind for the third time
and said : "Wilt thou tell me, please, if thou art
really the Wind or no ?"-" What's the matter with
thee ?" asked the Wind.-" I'll tell thee what's the
matter," said the man; why hast thou laughed at
and mocked me and made such a fool of me ? "-" I
laugh at thee!" thundered the old father as he lay
there on the floor and turned round on the other ear;
Swhy didst thou not hold fast what I gave thee?
Why didst thou not listen to me when I told thee
not to go into the tavern, eh ? "-" What tavern dost
thou mean ?" asked the man proudly; "as for the
sack and the ram thou didst give me, they only did
me a mischief; give me something else."-" What's
the use of giving thee anything ?" said the Wind;
"thou wilt only take it to the tavern. Out of the
drum, my twelve henchmen cried the Wind, and
just give this accursed drunkard a good lesson that
he may keep his throat dry and listen a little more
to old people "-Immediately the twelve henchmen
leaped out of the drum and began giving the man
a sound thrashing. Then the man saw that it was
no joke and 1 ..-..l for mercy: "Dear old father
Wind," cried he, "be merciful, and let me get off
THE STORY OF THE WIND.
alive. I'll not come to thee again though I should
have to wait till the Judgment Day, and I'll do all
thy behests."-" Into the drum, my henchmen!"
cried the Wind.-" And now, 0 man said the
Wind, "thou mayest have this drum with the twelve
henchmen, and go to those accursed Jews, and if
they will not give thee back thy sack and thy ram,
thou wilt know what to say."
So the man thanked the Wind for his good advice,
and went on his way. He came to the inn, and when
the Jews saw that he brought nothing with him they
said: "Hearken, 0 man! don't come here, for we
have no brandy."-" What do I want with your
brandy ? cried the man in a rage.-" Then for what
hast thou come hither "- "I have come for my
own."--" Thy own," said the Jews; what dost thou
mean?"-" What do I mean ?" roared the man;
" why, my sack and my ram, which you must give
up to me."--"What ram ? What sack ?" said the
Jews; "why, thou didst take them away from here
thyself."-" Yes, but you changed them," said the
man.-" What dost thou mean by changed ?" whined
the Jews; we will go before the magistrate, and
thou shalt hear from us about this."-" You will have
an evil time of it if you go before the magistrate,"
said the man; "but at any rate, give me back my
own." And he sat down behind the table, Then the
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
Jews caught him by the shoulders to cast him out
and cried : Be off, thou rascal Does any one know
where this man comes from ? No doubt he is an evil-
doer." The man could not stand this, so he cried:
" Out of the drum, my henchmen and give the
accursed Jews a sound drubbing, that they may know
better than to take in honest folk and immediately
the twelve henchmen leaped out of the drum and
began thwacking the Jews finely.-" Oh, oh !" roared
the Jews; oh, dear, darling, good man, we'll give
thee whatever thou dost want, only leave off beating
us Let us live a bit longer in the world, and we
will give thee back everything."-" Good! said the
man, and another time you'll know better than to
deceive people." Then he cried: "Into the drum,
my henchmen !" and the henchmen disappeared,
leaving the Jews more dead than alive. Then they
gave the man his sack and his ram, and he went
home, but it was a long, long time before the Jews
forgot those henchmen.
So the man went home, and his wife and children
saw him coming from afar. "Daddy is coming home
now with a sack and a ram said she; what shall
we do ? We shall have a bad time of it, we shall
have nothing left at all. God defend us poor
wretches! Go and hide everything, children." So
the children hastened away, but the husband came to
THE STORY OF THE WIND.
the door and said: "Open the door !"-" Open the
door thyself," replied the wife.-Again the husband
bade her open the door, but she paid no heed to him.
The man was astonished. This was carrying a joke
too far, so he cried to his henchmen: "Henchmen,
henchmen out of the drum, and teach my wife to
respect her husband !" Then the henchmen leaped
out of the drum, laid the good wife by the heels, and
began to give her a sound drubbing. "Oh, my
dear, darling husband shrieked the wife, "never to
the end of my days will I be sulky with thee again.
I'll do whatever thou tellest me, only leave off beat-
ing me."--"Then I have taught thee sense, el ?"
said the man.-" Oh, yes, yes, good husband i" cried
she. Then the man said: "Henchmen, henchmen!
into the drum!" and the henchmen leaped into it
again, leaving the poor wife more dead than alive.
Then the husband said to her: Wife, spread a
cloth upon the floor." The wife scudded about as
nimbly as a fly, and spread a cloth out on the floor
without a word. Then the husband said: Little
ram, little ram, scatter money And the little ram
scattered money till there were piles and piles of it.
"Pick it up, my children," said the man, "and
thou too, wife, take what thou wilt "-And they
didn't wait to be asked twice. Then the man hung
up his sack on a peg and said: Sack, sack, meat
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
and drink!" Then he caught hold of it and shook
it, and immediately the table was as full as it could
hold with all manner of victuals and drink. Sit
down, my children, and thou too, dear wife, and eat
thy fill. Thank God, we shall now have no lack of
food, and shall not have to work for it either."
So the man and his wife were very happy together,
and were never tired of thanking the Wind. They
had not had the sack and the ram very long when
they grew very rich, and then the husband said to
the wife: "I tell thee what, wife i "-" What ? said
she.-" Let us invite my brother to come and see
us."-" Very good," she replied; "invite him, but
dost thou think he'll come ? "-" Why shouldn't he ? "
asked her husband. "Now, thank God, we have
everything we want. He wouldn't come to us when
we were poor and he was rich, because then he was
ashamed to say that I was his brother, but now even
he hasn't got so much as we have."
So they made ready, and the man went to invite
his brother. The poor man came to his rich brother
and said: "Hail to thee, brother; God help thee!"
-Now the rich brother was threshing wheat on his
threshing-floor, and, raising his head, was surprised to
see his brother there, and said to him haughtily: I
thank thee. Hail to thee also! Sit down, my brother,
and tell us why thou hast come hither."-" Thanks,
THE STORY OF THE WIND.
my brother, I do not want to sit down. I have come
hither to invite thee to us, thee and thy wife."-
"Wherefore? asked the rich brother.-The poor
man said: "My wife prays thee, and I pray thee
also, to come and dine with us of thy courtesy."-
"Good!" replied the rich brother, smiling secretly.
"I will come whatever thy dinner may be."
So the rich man went with his wife to the poor
man, and already from afar they perceived that the
poor man had grown rich. And the poor man
rejoiced greatly when he saw his rich brother in his
house. And his tongue was loosened, and he began
to show him everything whatsoever he possessed.
The rich man was amazed that things were going so
well with his brother, and asked him how he had
managed to get on so. But the poor man answered:
Don't ask me, brother. I have more to show thee
yet." Then he took him to his copper money, and
said : There are my oats, brother !" Then he took
and showed him his silver money, and said : That's
the sort of barley I thresh on my threshing-floor "
And, last of all, he took him to his gold money, and
said: There, my dear brother, is the best wheat
I've got."-Then the rich brother shook his head, not
once nor twice, and marvelled at the sight of so many
good things, and he said : Wherever didst thou pick
up all this, my brother ?"-" Oh! I've more than
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
that to show thee yet. Just be so good as to sit down
on that chair, and I'll show and tell thee everything."
Then they sat them down, and the poor man hung
up his sack upon a peg. Sack, sack, meat and
drink !" he cried, and immediately the table was
covered with all manner of dishes. So they ate and
ate, till they were full up to the ears. When they
had eaten and drunken their fill, the poor man called
to his son to bring the little ram into the hut. So
the lad brought in the ram, and the rich brother
wondered what they were going to do with it. Then
the poor man said: Little ram, scatter money "
And the little ram scattered money, till there were
piles and piles of it on the floor. Pick it up said
the poor man to the rich man and his wife. So they
picked it up, and the rich brother and his wife
marvelled, and the brother said: Thou hast a very
nice piece of goods there, brother. If I had only
something like that I should lack nothing;" then,
after thinking a long time, he said: Sell it to me,
my brother."-" No," said the poor man, I will not
sell it."-After a little time, however, the rich brother
said again: "Come now I'll give thee for it six yoke
of oxen, and a plough, and a harrow, and a hay-fork,
and I'll give thee besides, lots of corn to sow, thus
thou wilt have plenty, but give me the ram and the
sack." So at last they exchanged. The rich man
THE STORY OF THE WIND.
took the sack and the ram, and the poor man took
the oxen and went out to the plough.
Then the poor brother went out ploughing all day,
but he neither watered his oxen nor gave them any-
thing to eat. And next day the poor brother again
went out to his oxen, but found them rolling on their
sides on the ground. He began to pull and tug at
them, but they didn't get up. Then he began to beat
them with a stick, but they uttered not a sound.
The man was surprised to find them fit for nothing,
and off he ran to his brother, not forgetting to take
with him his drum with the henchmen.
When the poor brother came to the rich brother's,
he lost no time in crossing his threshold, and said:
Hail, my brother !"-" Good health to thee also !"
replied the rich man, why hast thou come hither ?
Has thy plough broken, or thy oxen failed thee ?
Perchance thou hast watered them with foul water,
so that their blood is stagnant, and their flesh
inflamed ? "-" The murrain take 'em if I know thy
meaning cried the poor brother. "All that I
know is that I thwacked 'emr till my arms ached, and
they wouldn't stir, and not a single grunt did they
give ; till I was so angry that I spat at them, and came
to tell thee. Give me back my sack and my ram, I
say, and take back thy oxen, for they won't listen to
me "-" What take them back !" roared the rich
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
brother. Dost think I only made the exchange for
a single day ? No, I gave them to thee once and
for all, and now thou wouldst rip the whole thing up
like a goat at the fair. I have no doubt thou hast
neither watered them nor fed them, and that is why
they won't stand up."-"I didn't know," said the
poor man, that oxen needed .water and food."-
" Didn't know screeched the rich man, in a mighty
rage, and taking the poor brother by the hand, he
led him away from the hut. Go away," said he,
" and never come back here again, or I'll have thee
hanged on a gallows! "-"Ah what a big gentleman
we are i" said the poor brother; "just thou give me
back my own, and then I will go away."-" Thou
hadst better not stop here," said the rich brother;
"come, stir thy stumps, thou pagan Go home ere
I beat thee !"-" Don't say that," replied the poor
man, but give me back my ram and my sack, and
then I will go."-At this the rich brother quite lost
his temper, and cried to his wife and children:
" Why do you stand staring like that ? Can't you
come and help me to pitch this insolent rogue out of
the house ? This, however, was something beyond
a joke, so the poor brother called to his henchmen
" Henchmen, henchmen out of the drum, and give
this accursed brother of mine and his wife a sound
drubbing, that they may think twice about it another
THE STORY OF THE WIND.
time before they pitch a poor brother out of their
hut Then the henchmen leaped out of the drum,
and laid hold of the rich brother and his wife, and
trounced them soundly, until the rich brother yelled
with all his might : Oh, oh my own true brother,
take what thou wilt, only let me off alive where-
upon the poor brother cried to his henchmen:
"Henchmen, henchmen into the drum and the
henchmen disappeared immediately.
Then the poor brother took his ram and his sack,
and set off home with them. And they lived happily
ever after, and grew richer and richer. They sowed
neither wheat nor barley, and yet they had lots and
lots to eat. And I was there, and drank mead and
beer. What my mouth couldn't hold ran down my
beard. For you, there's a kazil'a, but there be fat
hearth-cakes for me the asker. And if I have _tl.
to eat, thou shalt share the treat.
THE VOICES AT THE WINDOW.
NOBLEMAN went hunting one
autumn, and with him went a
goodly train of huntsmen. All
day long they hunted and
hunted, and at the end of the
day they had caught nothing.
At last dark night overtook
them. It had now grown bitterly cold, and the
rain began to fall heavily. The nobleman was wet
to the skin, and his teeth chattered. He rubbed his
hands together and cried: Oh, had we but a warm
hut, and a white bed, and soft bread and sour kvas,1
we should have nought to complain of, but would tell
tales and feign fables till dawn of day !" Immedi-
ately there shone a light in the depths of the forest.
They hastened up to it, and lo there was a hut.
They entered, and on the table lay bread and a jug
1 A sourish drink.
THE VOICES AT THE WINDOW.
of kvas; and the hut was warm, and the bed therein
was white-everything just as the nobleman had
desired it. So they all entered after him, and said
grace, and had supper, and laid them down to sleep.
They all slept, all but one, but to him slumber
would not come. About midnight he heard a strange
noise, and something came to the window and said:
"Oh, thou son of a dog! thou didst say: 'If we had
but a warm hut, and a white bed, and soft bread and
sour kvas, we should have nought to complain of, but
would tell tales and feign fables till dawn'; but now
thou hast forgotten thy fine promise Wherefore
this shall befall thee on thy way home. Thou shalt
fall in with an apple-tree full of apples, and thou
shalt desire to taste of them, and when thou hast
tasted thereof thou shalt burst. And if any of these
thy huntsmen hear this thing and tell thee of it, that
man shall become stone to the knee !" All this that
huntsman heard, and he thought, "Woe is me!"
And about the second cockcrow something else
came to the window and said: Oh, thou son of a
dog thou didst say: 'If we had but a warm hut, and
a white bed, and soft bread and sour kvas, we should
have nought to complain of, but would tell tales and
feign fables till dawn '; but now thou hast forgotten
thy fine promises Wherefore this shall befall thee
on thy way home. Thou shalt come upon a spring by
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
the roadside, a spring of pure water, and thou shalt
desire to drink of it, and when thou hast drunk
thereof thou shalt burst. But if any of these thy
huntsmen hear and tell thee of this thing, he shall
become stone to the girdle." All this that huntsman
heard, and he thought to himself: Woe is me "
Again, towards the third cockcrow, he heard some-
thing else coming to the window, and it said : Oh,
thou son of a dog i thou didst say : 'If only we had
a warm hut, and a white bed, and soft bread and
sour kvas, we should have nought to complain of,
but would tell tales and feign fables till dawn'; but
now thou hast forgotten all thy fine promises!
Wherefore this shall befall thee on thy way home.
Thou shalt come upon a feather-bed in the highway;
a longing for rest shall come over thee, and thou wilt
lie down on it, and the moment thou liest down
thereon thou shalt burst. But if any of thy hunts-
men hear this thing and tell it thee, he shall become
stone up to the neck All this that huntsman
heard, and then he awoke his comrades and said:
"It is time to depart "-" Let us go then," said the
So on they went, and they had not gone very far
when they saw an apple-tree growing by the wayside,
and on it were apples so beautiful that words cannot
describe them. The nobleman felt that he must taste
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
of these apples or die; but the wakeful huntsman
rushed up and cut down the apple-tree, whereupon
apples and apple-tree turned to ashes. But the
huntsman galloped on before and hid himself.
They went on a little further till they came to a
spring, and the water of that spring was so pure and
clear that words cannot describe it. Then the noble-
man felt that he must drink of that water or die; but
the huntsman rushed up and splashed in the spring
with his sword, and immediately the water turned to
blood. The nobleman was wrath, and cried: Cut
me down that son of a dog! But the huntsman
rode on in front and hid himself.
They went on still further till they came upon a
golden bed in the highway, full of white feathers so
soft and cosy that words cannot describe it. The
nobleman felt that he must rest in that bed or die.
Then the huntsman rushed up and struck the bed
with his sword, and it turned to coal. But the
nobleman was very wrath, and cried: Shoot me
down that son of a dog But the huntsman rode
on before and hid himself.
When they got home the nobleman commanded
them to bring the huntsman before him. What
hast thou done, thou son of Satan ?" he cried. "I
must needs slay thee! But the huntsman said:
" My master, bid them bring hither into the courtyard
THE VOICES AT THE WINDOW.
an old mare fit for nought but the knacker." They
brought the mare, and he mounted it and said: My
master, last midnight something came beneath the
window and said : Oh, son of a dog thou saidst if
only we had a warm hut, and a white bed, and soft
bread and sour kvas, we should grieve no more, but
tell tales and feign fables till dawn, and now thou
hast gone and forgotten thy promise. Wherefore this
shall befall thee on thy way home : thou shalt come
upon an apple-tree covered with apples by the way-
side, and straightway thou shalt long to eat of them,
and the moment thou tastest thereof thou shalt burst.
And if any of thy huntsmen hears this thing, and
tells thee of it, he shall become stone up to the knee.' "
When the huntsman had spoken so far, the horse on
which he sat became stone up to the knee. Then he
went on: About the second cockcrow something
else came to the window and said the selfsame thing,
and prophesied: He shall come upon a spring by
the roadside, a spring of pure water, and he shall long
to drink thereof, and the moment he tastes of it he
shall burst; and whoever hears and tells him of this
thing shall become stone right up to the girdle.' "
And when the huntsman had spoken so far, the horse
on which he sat became stone right up to the breast.
And he continued, and said : About the third cock-
crow something else came to the window and said the
46 COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
selfsame thing, and added: 'This shall befall thy
lord on his way home. He shall come upon a white
bed on the road, and he shall desire to rest upon it,
and the moment he rests upon it he shall burst ; and
whoever hears and tells him of this thing shall become
stone right up to the neck !'" And with these words
he leaped from the horse, and the horse became stone
right up to its neck. That therefore, my master,
was why I did what I did, and I pray thee pardon
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY, THE
FALSE SISTER, AND THE FAITHFUL BEASTS.
NCE upon a time, in a certain kingdom,
in a certain empire, there dwelt a
certain Tsar who had never had a
child. One day this Tsar went to
the bazaar (such a bazaar as we have
at Kherson) to buy food for his needs.
For though he was a Tsar, he had a mean and churlish
soul, and used always to do his own marketing, and so
now, too, he bought a little salt fish and went home
with it. On his way homeward, a great thirst suddenly
fell upon him, so he turned aside into a lonely mountain
where he knew, as his father had known before him,
there was a spring of crystal clear water. He was so
very thirsty that he flung himself down headlong by
this spring without first crossing himself, wherefore
that Accursed One, Satan, immediately had power over
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
him, and caught him by the beard. The Tsar sprang
back in terror, and cried : "Let me go !" But the
Accursed One held him all the tighter. "Nay, I will
not let thee go !" cried he. Then the Tsar began to
entreat him piteously: Ask what thou wilt of me,"
said he, only let me go."-" Give me, then," said
the Accursed One, "something that thou hast in the
house, and then I'll let thee go!"-" Let me see,
what have I got ?" said the Tsar. Oh, I know.
I've got eight horses at home, the like of which I
have seen nowhere else, and I'll immediately bid my
equerry bring them to thee to this spring-take
them."-" I won't have them!" cried the Accursed
One, and he held him still more tightly by the beard.
" Well, then, hearken now cried the Tsar. I have
eight oxen. They have never yet gone a-ploughing
for me, or done a day's work. I'll have them brought
hither. I'll feast my eyes on them once more, and
then I'll have them driven into thy steppes-take
them."-" No, that won't do either!" said the Ac-
cursed One. The Tsar went over, one by one, all the
most precious things he had at home, but the Accursed
One said "No all along, and pulled him more and
more tightly by the beard. When the Tsar saw that
the Accursed One would take none of all these things,
he said to him at last: "Look now! I have a wife
so lovely that the like of her is not to be found in
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY. 49
the whole world, take her and let me go !"-" No "
replied the Accursed One, "I will not have her."
The Tsar was in great straits. "What am I to do
now ? thought he. "I have offered him my lovely
wife, who is the very choicest of my chattels, and he
won't have her "-Then said the Accursed One:
Promise me what thou shalt find awaiting thee at
home, and I'll let thee go."
The Tsar gladly promised this, for he could think
of nought else that he had, and then the Accursed
One let him go.
But while he had been away from home, there had
been born to him a Tsarevko 1 and a Tsarivna ;2 and
they grew up not by the day, or even by the hour,
but by the minute : never were known such fine
children. And his wife saw him coming from afar,
and went out to meet him, with her two children,
with great joy. But he, the moment he saw them,
burst into tears. "Nay, my dear love," cried she,
"wherefore dost thou burst into tears ? Or art thou
so delighted that such children have been born unto
thee that thou canst not find thy voice for tears of
joy ? "-And he answered her: "My darling wife, on
my way back from the bazaar, I was athirst, and
turned towards a mountain known of old to my
father and me, and it seemed to me as though there
1 A little Tsar. 2 Rus., Tsarevna, i. e. a Tsar's daughter.
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
were a spring of water there, though the water was
very near dried up. But looking closer, I saw that
it was quite full; so I bethought me that I would
drink thereof, and I leaned over, when lo that
Evil-Wanton (I mean the Devil) caught me by the
beard and would not let me go. I '..._ 1l and
prayed, but still he held me tight. 'Give me,' said
he, 'what thou hast at home, or I'll never let thee
go !'-And I said to him : Lo now, I have horses.'
-'I don't want thy horses!' said he.-' I have
oxen,' I said.-' I don't want thine oxen said he.
-' I have,' said I, 'a wife so fair that the like of her
is not to be found in God's fair world; take her, but
let me go.'-' I don't want thy fair wife !' said he.
-Then I promised him what I should find at home
when I got there, for I never thought that God had
blessed me so. Come now, my darling wife and let
us bury them both lest he take them "-" Nay, nay !
my dear husband, we had better hide them some-
where. Let us dig a ditch by our hut-just under
the gables! (For there were no lordly mansions in
those days, and the Tsars dwelt in peasants' huts.)
So they dug a ditch right under the gables, and put
their children inside it, and gave them provision of
bread and water. Then they covered it up and
smoothed it down, and turned into their own little
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY. 51
Presently the serpent (for the Accursed One had
changed himself into a serpent) came flying up in
search of the children. He raged up and down
outside the hut-but there was nothing to be seen.
At last he cried out to the stove : "Stove, stove,
where has the Tsar hidden his children ?"-The
stove replied : "The Tsar has been a good master to
me ; he has put lots of warm fuel inside me ; I hold
to him."-So, finding he could get nothing out of
the stove, he cried to the hearth-broom : Hearth-
broom, hearth-broom, where has the Tsar hidden his
children ? "-But the hearth-broom answered : "The
Tsar has always been a good master to me, for he
always cleans the warm grate with me; I hold to
him." So the Accursed One could get nothing out
of the hearth-broom.-Then he cried to the hatchet:
Hatchet, hatchet, where has the Tsar hidden his
children ? "-The hatchet replied : The Tsar has
always been a good master to me. He chops his
wood with me, and gives me a place to lie down in;
so I'll not have him disturbed."-Then the Devil
cried to the chisel : Chisel, chisel, where has the
Tsar hidden his children ? "-But the chisel replied :
" The Tsar has always been a good master to me.
He drills little holes with me, and then lets me rest;
so I'll let him rest too."-Then the serpent said to
the chisel: "So the Tsar's a good master to thee, eh !
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
Well, I can only say that if he's the good master
thou sayest he is, I am rather surprised that he knocks
thee on the head so much with a hammer."-" Well,
that's true," said the chisel, I never thought of
that. Thou mayest take hold of me if thou wilt, and
draw me out of the top of the hut, near the front
gable; and wherever I fall into the marshy ground,
there set to work and dig with me!"
The Devil did so, and began digging at the spot
where the chisel fell out on the marshy ground till
he had dug out the children. Now, as they had been
growing all along, they were children no more, but
a stately youth and a fair damsel; and the serpent
took them up and carried them off. But they were
big and heavy, so he soon got tired and lay down
to rest, and presently fell asleep. Then the Tsarivna
sat down on his head, and the Tsarevko sat down
beside her till a horse came running up. The horse
ran right up to them and said : "Hail! little Tsar
Novishny; art thou here by thy leave or against
thy leave ? "-And the little Tsar Novishny replied:
"Nay, little nag! we are here against our leave,
not by our leave."-" Then sit on my back! said
the horse, "and I'll carry you off!" So they got
on his back, for the serpent was asleep all the
time. Then the horse galloped off with them;
and he galloped far, far away. Presently the serpent
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
awoke, looked all round him, and could see nothing
till he had got up out of the reeds in which
he lay, when he saw them in the far distance, and
gave chase. He soon caught them up; and little
Tsar Novishny said to the horse: "Oh! little nag,
how hot it is. It is all up with thee and us!"
And, in truth, the horse's tail was already singed
to a coal, for the serpent was hard behind them,
blazing like fire. The horse perceived that he could
do no more, so he gave one last wriggle and died;
but they, poor things, were left alive. Whom
have you been listening to ? said the serpent as
he flew up to them. "Don't you know that I only
am your father and tsar, and have the right to carry
you away ?"-" Oh, dear daddy! we'll never listen
to anybody else again "-" Well, I'll forgive you
this time," said the serpent; but mind you never
do it again."
Again the serpent took them up and carried them
off. Presently he grew tired and again lay down
to rest, and nodded off. Then the Tsarivna sat
down on his head, and the Tsarevko sat down be-
side her, till a humble-bee came flying up. Hail,
little Tsar Novishny !" cried the humble-bee.-
" Hail, little humble-bee said the little Tsar.-
" Say, friends, are you here by your leave or against
your leave ? "-" Alas little humble-bumble-bee, 'tis
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY. 55
not with my leave I have been brought hither, but
against my leave, as thou mayest see for thyself."-
"Then sit on my back," said the bee, "and I'll carry
you away."-" But, dear little humle-bumb ble-bee,
if a horse couldn't save us, how will you ?"-" I
cannot tell till I try," said the humble-bee. "But if
I cannot save you, I'll let you fall."-" Well, then,"
said the little Tsar, "we'll try. For we two must
perish in any case, but thou perhaps mayest get off
scot free." So they embraced each other, sat on the
humble-bee, and off they went. When the serpent
awoke he missed them, and raising his head above
the reeds and rushes, saw them flying far away,
and set off after them at full speed. "Alas! little
humble-bumble-bee," cried little Tsar Novishny,
how burning hot 'tis getting. We shall all three
perish! Then the humble-bee turned his wing and
shook them off. They fell to the earth, and he flew
away. Then the serpent came flying up and tell
upon them with open jaws. "Ah-ha cried he, with
a snort, "you've come to grief again, eh ? Didn't I
tell you to listen to nobody but me!" Then they
fell to weeping and entreating: We'll listen to you
alone and to nobody else!" and they wept and
entreated so much, that at last he forgave them.
So he took them up and carried them off once
more. Again he sat down to rest and fell asleep,
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
and again the Tsarivna sat upon his head and the
Tsarevko sat down by her side, till a bullock came
up, full tilt, and said to them: Hail, little Tsar
Novishnv art thou here with thy leave or art
thou here against thy leave ? "-" Alas dear little
bullock, I came not hither by my leave; but may-
be I was brought here against my leave !"-" Sit
on my back, then," said the bullock, and I'll
carry you away." But they said: "Nay, if a
horse and a bee could not manage it, how wilt
thou ? "-" Nonsense said the bullock. Sit down,
and I'll carry you off! So he persuaded them.-
" Well, we can only perish once !" they cried; and
the bullock carried them off. And every little while
they went a little mile, and jolted so that they very
nearly tumbled off. Presently the serpent awoke
and was very very wroth. He rose high above the
woods and flew after them-oh how fast he did
fly Then cried the little Tsar: "Alas bullock,
how hot it turns. Thou wilt perish, and we shall
perish also !"--Then said the bullock : "Little
Tsar! look into my left ear and thou wilt see
a horse-comb. Pull it out and throw it behind
thee !"-The little Tsar took out the comb and threw
it behind him, and it became a huge wood, as thick
and jagged as the teeth of a horse-comb. But the
bullock went on at his old pace: every little while
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY. 57
they went a little mile, and jolted so that they nearly
tumbled off. The serpent however managed to gnaw
his way through the wood, and then flew after them
again. Then cried the little Tsar: "Alas I bullock,
it begins to burn again. Thou wilt perish, and we
shall perish also "-Then said the bullock: Look
into my right ear, and pull out the brush thou dost
find there, and fling it behind thee !"-So he threw
it behind him, and it became a forest as thick as a
brush. Then the serpent came up to the wood and
began to gnaw at it; and at last he gnawed his way
right through it. But the bullock went on at his
old pace: every little while they went a little mile,
and they jolted so that they nearly tumbled off.
But when the serpent had gnawed his way through
the forest, he again pursued them; and again they
felt a burning. And the little Tsar said: "Alas!
bullock, look! look! how it burns. Look! look!
how we perish." Now the bullock was already near-
ing 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
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
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-
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY. 59
slicing sword, and in the third corner stood the dog
Protius,' and in the stove corner stood the dog
Nedvigca.' 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!"
So they arose and prayed to God, and while they
prayed the day dawned. Then he mounted his horse
and took the dogs with him, that he might live by
what they caught.
So they lived in their hut by the sea, and one day
the sister went down to the sea to wash her bed-
linen and her body-linen in the blue waters. And
the serpent came and said to her: How didst thou
manage to jump over the sea ?"-"Look, nowl"
said she, we crossed over in this way. My brother
has a handkerchief which becomes a bridge when
he waves it behind him."-And the serpent said to
her: "I tell thee what, ask him for this handkerchief;
say thou dost want to wash it, and take and wave it,
and I'll then be able to cross over to thee and live
with thee, and we'll poison thy brother."-Then she
went home and said to her brother: Give me that
handkerchief, dear little brother; it is dirty, so I'll
wash and give it back to thee." And he believed
her and gave it to her, for she was dear to him,
1 The two fabulous hounds of Ruthenian legend.
2 Heavysides ?
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
and he thought her good and true. Then she took
the handkerchief, went down to the sea, and waved
it-and behold there was a bridge. Then the
serpent crossed over to her side, and they walked
to the hut together and consulted as to the best
way of destroying her brother and removing him
from God's fair world. Now it was his custom to
rise at dawn, mount his horse, and go a-hunting,
for hunting he dearly loved. So the serpent said to
her: "Take to thy bed and pretend to be ill, and say
to him: I dreamed a dream, dear brother, and lo,
I saw thee go and fetch me wolf's milk to make
me well. Then he'll go and fetch it, and the wolves
will tear his dogs to pieces, and then we can take
and do to him as we list, for his strength is in his
So when the brother came home from hunting the
serpent hid himself, but the sister said : I have
dreamed a dream, dear brother. Methought thou
didst go and fetch me wolf's milk, and I drank of
it, and my health came back to me, for I am so
weak that God grant I die not."-" I'll fetch it,"
said her brother. 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
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY. 61
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
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! If he hasn't 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
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
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
by his side. So he slept through the night, and
at dawn lie 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. Then the she-bear
said: "Hail to thee, little Tsar Novishny; because
thou hast let me go, I'll give thee a bear-cub."
But to the little bear she said: Obey him as
though he were thine own father." So he set off
home, and the serpent and his sister saw that four
were now trotting behind him. Look!" said the
serpent, "if there are not four running behind him!
Shall we never be able to destroy him ? I tell thee
what. Ask him to get thee hare's milk; perhaps
his beasts will gobble up the hare before he can
milk it." So he turned himself into a needle again,
and she fastened him in the wall, only a little
higher up, so that the dogs should not get at him.
Then, when the little Tsar dismounted from his
horse, he and his dogs came into the hut, and the
1 Little Wolf.
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY. 63
dogs began snuffing at the needle in the wall and
barked at it, but the brother knew not the cause
thereof. But his sister burst into tears and said:
"Why dost thou keep such monstrous dogs ? Such
a kennel of them makes me sweat with anguish !"
Then he shouted to the dogs, and they sat down
quite still. Then she said to him: "I am so ill,
brother, that nothing will make me well but hare's
milk. Go and get it for me."-" I'll get it," said he.
But first he laid him down to sleep. Nedviga
lay at his head, Protius at his feet, and Vovchok
and iMedvedi k' each on one side. He slept through
the night, but at dawn he mounted his steed,
took his pack with him, and departed. Again he
came to a little thicket, and a she-hare popped out.
Protius ran her down, Nedviga held her fast, then
he milked her and let her go. Then the hare said:
"Hail to thee, little Tsar Novishny; because thou
hast let me go-I thought thou wouldst have torn
me to pieces with thy dogs-I'll give thee a leveret
for it." But to the leveret she said: Obey him,
as though he were thine own father." Then he
went home, and again they saw him from afar.
" What a wily rogue it is said they. All five
are following him, and he is as well as ever!"
-" Ask him to get thee fox's milk said the
1 Little Bear.
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
serpent; "perhaps when he goes for it his beasts
will leave him in the lurch Then he changed
himself into a needle, and she stuck him still
higher in the wall, so that the dogs could not
get at him. The Tsar again dismounted from his
horse, and his dogs rushed up to the hut and began
snuffing at the needle. But his sister fell a-weeping,
and said : Why dost thou keep such monstrous
dogs ? He shouted to them, and they sat down
quietly on their haunches. Then his sister said
again: "I am ailing, my brother; go and get me
fox's milk, and I shall be well."-" I'll fetch it for
thee," said her brother.
But first he lay down to sleep. Nedviga lay at
his head, Protius at his feet, and Vovchok, Medvedik,
and the leveret by his side. The little Tsar slept
through the night, and at dawn he arose, mounted
his horse, took his pack with him, and went off.
They came to a little thicket, and a vixen popped
out. Protius ran her down, Nedviga held her
fast, and the little Tsar milked her and let her go.
Then said the vixen to him : Thanks to thee,
little Tsar Novishny, that thou hast let me go.
Methought thou wouldst tear me in pieces with
thy dogs. For thy kindness I'll give thee a little
fox." But to the little fox she said: "Obey him
as though he were thine own father." So he went
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY. 65
home, and they saw him coming from afar, and ]o
now he had six guardians, and yet had come by no
harm. "'Tis no good; we shall never do for him,"
said the serpent. Look, now Make thyself worse
than ever, and say to him: I am very ill, my brother,
because in another realm, far, far away, there is a
wild boar who ploughs with his nose, and sows with
his ears, and harrows with his tail-and in that same
empire there is a mill with twelve furnaces that
grinds its own grain and casts forth its own meal,
and if thou wilt bring me of the meal that is beneath
these twelve furnaces, so that I may make me a
cake of it and eat, my soul shall live."-Then her
brother said to her : Methinks thou art not my
sister, but my foe! "-But she replied: How can
I be thy foe when we two live all alone together
in a strange land ? "-" Well, I will get it for thee,"
said he. For again he believed in his sister.
So he mounted his steed, took his pack with
him, and departed, and he came to the land where
were that boar and that mill she had told him of.
He came up to the mill, tied his horse to it, and
entered into it. And there were twelve furnaces
there and twelve doors, and these twelve doors
needed no man to open or shut them, for they
opened and shut themselves. He took meal from
beneath the first furnace and went through the
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
second door, but the dogs were shut in by the doors.
Through all twelve doors he went, and came out
again at the first door, and looked about him, and-
there were no dogs to be seen. He whistled, and
he heard his dogs whining where they could not
get out. Then he wept sore, mounted his horse,
and went home. He got home, and there was his
sister making merry with the serpent. And no
sooner did the brother enter the hut than the serpent
said: Well, we wanted flesh, and now flesh has
come to us!" For they had just slain a bullock,
and on the ground where they had slain it there
sprang up a white-thorn tree, so lovely that it may
be told of in tales, but neither imagined nor divined.
When the little Tsar saw it, he said: Oh, my dear
brother-in-law !" (for without his dogs he must needs
be courteous to the serpent,) pray let me climb up
that white-thorn tree, and have a good look about
me !" But the sister said to the serpent: "Dear
friend, make him get ready boiling water for him-
self, and we will boil him, for it does not become
thee to dirty thy hands."-" Very well," said the
serpent; he shall make the boiling water ready !"
So they ordered the little Tsar to go and chop wood
and get the hot water ready. Then he went and
chopped wood, but as he was doing so, a starling
flew out and said to him: "Not so fast, not so
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY. 67
fast, little Tsar Novishny. Be as slow as thou
canst, for thy dogs have gnawed their way through
Then the little Tsar poured water into the caldron,
and put fire under it. But the wood that he had
cut was rotten and very very dry, so that it burned
most fiercely, and he took and sprinkled it with
water, and sprinkled it again and again, so that it
Might not burn too much. And when he went out
into the courtyard for more water, the starling said
to him: Not so fast, not so fast, little Tsar
Novishny, for thy dogs have gnawed their way
through four doors !" As he was returning to the hut
his sister said to him : That water does not boil up
quick enough! Take the fire-shovel and poke the
fire !" So he did so, and the f.i -'ts blazed up, but
when she had gone away he sprinkled them with
water again, so that they might burn more slowly.
Then he went into the courtyard again, and the
starling met him and said: "Not so fast, not so
fast, little Tsar; be as slow as thou canst, for thy
dogs have gnawed their way through six doors."
Then he returned to the hut, and his sister again
took up the shovel and made him poke up the fire,
and when she went away he again flung water on
the burning coals. So he kept going in and out of
the courtyard. "'Tis weary work!" cried he; but
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
the starling said to him Not so fast, not so fast, little
Tsar Novishny, for thy dogs have already gnawed their
way through ten doors The little Tsar picked up
the rottenest wood he could find and flung it on the fire,
to make believe he was making haste, but sprinkled
it at the same time with water, so that it might not
burn up too quickly, and yet the kettle soon began
to boil. Again he went to the forest for more wood,
and the starling said to him: Not so fast, not so
fast, little Tsar, for thy dogs have already gnawed
their way through all the doors, and are now resting "
But now the water was boiling, and his sister ran up
and said to him: Come, boil thyself, be quick;
how much longer art thou going to keep us waiting "
Then he, poor thing, began ladling the boiling water
over himself, while she got the table ready and spread
the cloth, that the serpent might eat her brother on
that very table.
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 white-thorn 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
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHVY. 69
began to climb it; he did not miss a single branch,
and stopped a little at each one to gain time, and
so lie 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, 0 Lord! I have still, per-
chance, 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: Vovehok!
Medvedik Protius Nedviga Seize him !" Then
the dogs and the beasts rushed upon him and tore
him to bits.
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
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. After it was all over the little
Tsar said to her: "As thou hast been such a false
friend to me, sister, thou must remain here while I
go into another kingdom." Then he made two
buckets and hung them up on the white-thorn tree,
and said to his sister: Look now, sister if thou
weepest for me, these buckets will fill with tears, but
if thou weepest for the serpent they will fill with
blood Then she fell a-weeping and praying, and
said to him: Don't leave me, brother, but take me
with thee."-" I won't," said he, such a false friend
as thou art I'll not have with me. Stay where thou
art." So he mounted his horse, called to him his
dogs and his beasts, and went his way into another
kingdom and into another empire.
He went on and on till he came to a certain city,
and in this city there was only one spring, and in
this spring sat a dragon with twelve heads. And it
was so that when any went to draw water from this
well the dragon rose up and ate them, and there
was no other place from whence that city could draw
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY. 71
its water. So the little Tsar came to that town and
put up at the stranger's inn, and he asked his host:
"What is the meaning of all this running and crying
of the people in the streets ? "-" Why, dost thou not
know ? said lhe; it is the turn of the Tsar to send
his daughter to the dragon "-Then he went out and
listened, and heard the people say: The Tsar pro-
claims that whoever is able to slay the dragon, to him
will he give his daughter and one half of his tsar-
dom Then little Tsar Novishny stepped forth and
said: "I am able to slay this evil dragon!" So
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
all the people immediately sent and told the Tsar:
"A stranger has come hither who says he is ready
to meet and slay the dragon." Then the Tsar bade
them take him to the watch-house and put him among
Then they led out the Tsarivna, and behind her
they led him, and behind him came his beasts and his
horse. And the Tsarivna was so lovely and so richly
attired that all who beheld her burst into tears. But
the moment the dragon appeared and opened his
mouth to devour the Tsarivna, the little Tsar cried
to his self-slicing sword : Fall upon him !" and to
his beasts he cried : Protius Medvedik Vov-
chok! Nedviga Seize him !" Then the self-slicing
sword and the beasts fell upon him, and tore him
into little bits. When they had finished tearing him,
the little Tsar took the remains of the body and
burnt it to ashes, and the little fox took up all the
ashes on her tail, and scattered them to the four
winds. Then he took the Tsarivna by the hand, and
led her to the Tsar, and the people rejoiced because
their water was free again. And the Tsarivna gave
him the nuptial ring.
Then they set off home again. They went on and
on, for it was a long way from the tsardom of that
Tsar, and at last he grew weary and lay down in the
grass, and she sat at his head. Then his lackey
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY. 73
crept up to him, unfastened the self-slicing sword
from his side, went up to the little Tsar, and said:
"Self-slicing sword! slay him!" Then the self-
slicing sword cut him into little bits, and his beasts
knew nothing about it, for they were sleeping after
their labours. After that the lackey said to the
Tsarivna: "Thou must say now to all men that I
saved thee from death, or if not, I will do to thee
what I have done to him. Swear that thou wilt say
this thing Then she said : "I will swear that thou
didst save me from death," for she was sore afraid of the
lackey. Then they returned to the city, and the Tsar
was very glad to see them, and clothed the lackey in
goodly apparel, and they all made merry together.
Now when Nedviga awoke he perceived that his
master was no longer there, and immediately awoke
all the rest, and they all began to think and consider
which of them was the swiftest. And when they
had thought it well over they judged that the hare
was the swiftest, and they resolved that the hare
should run and get living and healing water and the
apple of youth also. So the hare ran to fetch this
water and this apple, and he ran and ran till he came
to a certain land, and in this land the hare saw a
spring, and close to the spring grew an apple-tree
with the apples of youth, and this spring and this
apple-tree were guarded by a Muscovite, oh! so
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
strong, so strong, and he waved his sabre again and
again so that not even a mouse could make its way
up to that well. What was to be done ? Then the
little hare had resort to subtilty, and made herself
crooked, and limped towards the spring as if she
were lame. When the Muscovite saw her he said:
" What sort of a little beast is this ? I never saw
the like of it before !" So the hare passed him by,
and went further and further on till she came right
up to the well. The Muscovite stood there and
opened his eyes wide, but the hare had now got up
to the spring and took a little flask of the water and
nipped off a little apple, and was off in a trice.
She ran back to the little Tsar Novishny, and
Nedviga immediately took the water and sprinkled
therewith the fragments of the little Tsar, and the
fragments came together again. Then he poured
some of the living water into his mouth and he
became alive, and gave him a bite of the apple of
youth, and he instantly grew young again and
stronger than ever. Then the little Tsar rose upon
his feet, stretched himself, and yawned. What a
long time I've been asleep !" cried he.-" 'Tis a good
thing for thee that we got the living and healing
water!" said Protius.-" But what shall we do
next ?" said they all. Then they all took council
together, and agreed that the little Tsar should
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR' NOVISHNY. 75
disguise himself as an old man, and so go to the
So the little Tsar Novishny disguised himself as an
old man, and went to the palace of the Tsar. And
when he got there he ,1-. .: them to let him in that
he might see the young married people. But the
lackeys would not let him in. Then the Tsarivna
herself heard the sound of his b'.. .- in and praying,
and commanded them to admit him. Now when he
entered the room and took off his cap and cloak, the
ring which the Tsarivna had given him when he slew
the serpent sparkled so that she knew him, but, not
believing her own eyes, she said to him Come
hither, thou godly old pilgrim, that I may show thee
hospitality!" 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
76 COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
is what thou art !" said he to the lackey, and im-
mediately he bad 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
THE STORY OF LITTLE TSAR NOVISHNY. 77
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! his hand was cold, as cold as lead, and she
screamed out. But Protius came bounding through
the door and kissed his master. Then the little
Tsar became alive again, but Protius died. Then
Nedviga kissed Protius and Protius became alive, but
Nedviga died. Then the Tsarevko said to Medvedik:
"Kiss Nedviga!" He did so, and Nedviga became
alive again, but Medvedik died. And so they went
on kissing each other from the greatest to the
smallest, till the turn came to puss. Puss kissed
Vovehok and died, but Vovehok remained alive.
What was to be done ? Now that puss had died
there was none to kiss her back into life again.
"Kiss puss," said the little Tsar to the little fox.
But the little fox was artful, and taking puss on his
shoulder, he trotted off to the forest. He carried her
to a place where lay a felled oak, with two branches
one on the top of the other, and put the hare on the
lower branch; then he ran under the branch and kissed
the hare, but took good care that the branch should
be between them. Thereupon the serpent's tooth
flew out of the hare and fastened itself in the upper
branch, and both the fox and puss scampered back out
78 COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
of the forest alive and well. When the others saw
them both alive they rejoiced greatly that no harm
had come to any of them from the tooth. But they
seized the sister and tied her to the tail of a savage
horse and let her loose upon the endless steppe.
So they all lived the merry lives of Tsars who
feast continually. And I was there too, and drank
wine and mead till my mouth ran over and it
trickled all down my beard. So there's the whole
kazcka for you.
THE VAMPIRE AND ST. MICHAEL.
NCE upon a time in a certain village
there lived two neighbours; one
was rich, very rich, and the other
so poor that he had nothing in the
world but a little hut, and that was
tumbling about his ears. At length
things came to such a pass with the poor man
that he had nothing to eat, and could get work
nowhere. Full of grief, he bethought him what he
should do. He thought and thought, and at last he
said: "Look ye, wife I'll go to my rich neighbour.
Perchance he will lend me a silver ruble; that, at
any rate, will be enough to buy bread with." So he
He came to the rich man. "Good health to my
lord !" cried he.-" Good health !"-" I have come
on an errand to thee, dear little master! "-" What
may thine errand be ?" inquired the rich man.-
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
"Alas would to God that I had no need to say it.
It has come to such a pass with us that there's
not a crust of bread nor a farthing of money in the
house. So I have come to thee, dear little master;
lend us but a silver ruble and we will be ever
thankful to thee, and I'll work myself old to pay it
back."-" But who will stand surety for thee ?" asked
the rich man.-" I know not if any man will, I am
so poor. Yet, perchance, God and St. Michael will
be my sureties," and he pointed at the ikon in the
corner. Then the ikon of St. Michael spoke to the
rich man from the niche and said: Come now!
lend it him, and put it down to my account. God
will repay thee!"- Well," said the rich man,
"I'll lend it to thee." So he lent it, and the
poor man thanked him and returned to his home
full of joy.
But the rich man was not content that God should
give him back his loan by blessing him in his flocks
and herds, and in his children, and in his health,
and in the blessed fruits of the earth. He waited
and waited for the poor man to come and pay him
back his ruble, and at last he went to seek him.
"Thou son of a dog," he shouted, before the house,
" why hast thou not brought me back my money ?
Thou knowest how to borrow, but thou forgettest to
repay! Then the wife of the poor man burst into
THE VAMPIRE AND ST. MICHAEL. 81
tears: He would repay thee indeed if he were in
this world," said she, "but lo now! he died but a
little while ago !" The rich man snarled at her and
departed, but when he got home he said to the ikon :
"A pretty surety thou art!" Then he took St.
Michael down from the niche, dug out his eyes, and
began beating him.
He beat St. Michael again and again, and at last
he flung him into a puddle
and trampled on him. I'll
give it thee for standing me ,,
surety so scurvily," said he.
While he was thus abusing -
St. Michael, a young fellow
about twenty years old came
along that way, and said to
him: "What art thou doing,
my father ?"-" I am beating \
him because he stood surety
and has played me false. He
took upon himself the re-
payment of a silver ruble, which I lent to the son
of a swine, who has since gone away and died. That
is why I am beating him now."-" Beat him not, my
father I'll give thee a silver ruble, but thou give
me this holy image "-" Take him if thou wilt, but
see that thou bring me the silver ruble first."
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
Then the young man ran home and said to his
father: "Dad, give me a silver ruble! "-" Where-
fore, my son ? "--" I would buy a holy image," said
he, and he told his father how he had seen that
heathen beating St. Michael.-" Nay, my son, whence
shall we who are poor find a silver ruble to
give to him who is so rich ?"--"Nay, but give it
me, dad and he begged and prayed till he got it.
Then he ran back as quickly as he could, paid
the silver ruble to the rich man, and got the holy
image. He washed it clean and placed it in the
midst of sweet-smelling flowers. And so they lived
on as before.
Now this youth had three uncles, rich merchants,
who sold all manner of merchandise, and went in
ships to foreign lands where they sold their goods
and made their gains. One day, when his uncles
were again making ready to depart into foreign lands,
lie said to them: "Take me with you !"--"Why
shouldst thou go ?" said they: "we have wares to
sell, but what hast thou ?"--"Yet take me," said
he.-" But thou bast Iothiig."-" I will make me
laths and boards and take them with me," said lie.-
His uncles laughed at him for imagining such wares
as these, but he begged and prayed them till they
were wearied. "Well, come," they said, "though
there is nought for thee to do; only take not much
THE VAMPIRE AND ST. MICHAEL.
of these wares of thine with thee, for our ships are
already full."-Then he made him laths and boards,
put them on board the ship, took St. Michael with
him, and they departed.
They went on and on. They sailed a short distance
and they sailed a long distance, till at last they came
to another tsardom and another empire. And the Tsar
of this tsardom had an only daughter, so lovely that
the like of her is neither to be imagined nor divined
in God's fair world, neither may it be told in tales.
Now this Tsarivna one day went down to the river
to bathe, and plunged into the water without first
crossing herself, whereupon the unclean spirit took
possession of her. The Tsarivna got out of the water,
and straightway fell ill of so terrible a disease that it
may not be told of. Do what they would-and the
wise men and the wise women did their utmost-it
was of no avail. In a few days she grew worse and
died. Then the Tsar, her father, made a proclama-
tion that people should come and read the prayers
for the dead over her dead body, and so exorcise the
evil spirit, and whosoever delivered her was to have
half his power and half his tsardom.
And the people came in crowds-but none of them
could read the prayers for the dead over her, it was
impossible. Every evening a man went into the
church, and every morning they swept out his bones,
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
for there was nought else of him remaining. And
the Tsar was very wroth. "All my people will be
devoured," cried he. And he commanded that all
the foreign merchants passing through his realm
should be made to read prayers for the dead over
his daughter's body. And if they will not
read," said he, "they shall not depart from my
So the foreign merchants went one by one. In
the evening a merchant was shut up in the church,
and in the early morning they came and found and
swept away his bones. At last it came to the turn
of the young man's uncles to read the prayers for the
dead in the church. They wept and lamented and
cried : "We are lost! we are lost! Heaven help
us Then the eldest uncle said to the lad : "Listen,
good simpleton! It has now come to my turn to
read prayers over the Tsarivna. Do thou go in my
stead and pass the night in the church, and I'll give
thee all my ship."--" Nay, but," said the simpleton,
what if she tear me to pieces too ? I won't go "
-But then St. Michael said to him: Go and fear
not 1 Stand in the very middle of the church fenced
round about with thy laths and boards, and take with
thee a basket full of pears. When she rushes at thee,
take and scatter the pears, and it will take her till
cockcrow to pick them all up. But do thou go on
THE VAMPIRE AND ST. MICHAEL.
reading thy prayers all the time, and look not up,
whatever she may do."
When night came, he took up his laths and boards
and a basket of pears, and went to the church. He
entrenched himself behind his boards, stood there
and began to read. At dead of night there was a
rustling and a rattling. 0 Lord! what was that?
There was a shaking of the bier-bang bang !-and
the Tsarivna arose from her coffin and came straight
towards him. She leaped upon the boards and made
a grab at him and fell back. Then she leaped at him
again, and again she fell back. Then he took his
basket and scattered the pears. All through the
church they rolled, she after them, and she tried to
pick them up till cockcrow, and at the very first
" Cock-a-doodle-doo! she got into her bier again and
When God's bright day dawned, the people came
to clean out the church and sweep away his bones;
but there he was reading his prayers, and the rumour
of it went through the town and they were all filled
Next night it was the turn of the second uncle,
and he began to beg and pray: Go thou, simpleton,
in my stead Look now, thou hast already passed
a night there, thou mayest very well pass another,
and I'll give thee all my ship."-But he said: "I
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
won't go, I am afraid."-But then St. Michael said
to him again : "Fear not, but go! Fence thee
all about with thy boards, and take with thee a
basket of nuts. When she rushes at thee, scatter
thy nuts, and the nuts will go rolling all about the
church, and it will take her till cockcrow to gather
them all up. But thou go on reading thy prayers,
nor look thou up, whatever may happen."
And he did so. He took his boards and the basket
of nuts, and went to the church at nightfall and read.
A little after midnight there was a rustling and an
uproar, and the whole church shook. Then came a
fumbling round about the coffin-" Bang, bang !" up
she started, and made straight for him. She leaped
and plunged, she very nearly got through the boards.
She hissed, like seething pitch, and her eyes glared
at him like coals of fire, but it was of no use. He
read on and on, and didn't once look at her. Besides,
he scattered his nuts, and she went after them and
tried to pick them all up till cockcrow. And at the
first Cock-a-doodle-doo !" she leaped into her coffin
again and pulled down the lid. In the morning the
people came to sweep away his bones, and lo they
found him alive.
The next night he had to go again in the third
uncle's stead. Then he sat down and cried and
wailed: "Alas, alas! what shall I do ? 'Twere better
COSSACK FAIRY TALES.
I had never been born "-But St. Michael said to
him : Weep not, 'twill all end happily. Fence
thyself about with thy boards, sprinkle thyself all
about with holy water, incense thyself with holy
incense, and take me with thee. She shall not have
thee. And the moment she leaves her coffin, do
thou jump quickly into it. And whatever she may
say to thee, and however she may implore thee, let
her not get into it again until she says to thee: 'My
So he went. There he stood in the middle of the
church, fenced himself about with his boards, strewed
consecrated poppy-seed around him, incensed himself
with holy incense, and read and read. About the
middle of the night a tempest arose outside, and there
was a rustling and a roaring, a hissing and a wailing.
The church shook, the altar candelabra were thrown
down, the holy images fell on their faces. 0 Lord,
how awful! Then came a "Bang, bang !" from the
coffin, and again the Tsarivna started up. She left
her coffin and fluttered about the church. She
rushed at the boards and made a snatch at him, and
fell back; she rushed at him again, and again she fell
back. She foamed at the mouth, and her fury every
instant grew worse and worse. She dashed herself
about, and darted madly from one corner of the
church to the other, seeking him everywhere. But