No man could travel alone through Sherwood Forest, without being stripped of his money.
So it was with the Tsar Archidei; he was rich and clever, besides being a handsome fellow; but he could not find a bride to his taste, a bride with wit and beauty equal to his own. And this was the cause of the Tsar Archidei's sorrow and distress.
‘Child,’ says the mother, ‘do you know you are as pretty as a princess?’ ‘Am I that?’ says the maid, and goes on with her crying.
Cinder-Maid shook the tree and the first nut that fell she took up and opened, and what do you think she saw?—a beautiful silk dress blue as the heavens, all embroidered with stars.
The unfortunate child had to go twice a day to draw water more than a mile and a half from the house, and bring home a pitcherful of it.
Wherever he came from, Bright Finist the Falcon of Flowery Feathers wheeled before her, sprang in through the window, struck the floor, and became a young man.
‘Your pearls and jewels, and your golden crown are not for me,’ answered the frog; ‘but if you would love me, and have me for your companion, then would I dive below the water and fetch you your golden ball again.’
The Frog, as soon as he had received the King’s daughter's promise, drew his head under the water and dived down, swam up again with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on the grass.
There sat some giants by the fire, and each had a roasted sheep in his hand. The little tailor looked round and thought, ‘There is more elbow-room here than in my workshop.’
The King had an only daughter who was so serious that no one could make her laugh; therefore he had given out that whoever should make her laugh should have her in marriage.
A rich, proud merchant, worth many, many thousands, came along in a gilded carriage. All the fellows at the market place, as soon as they perceived him, rushed away and hid themselves in the corners. Only one remained.
‘Perhaps I can help thee, if thou wilt promise to give me the first thing that rubs itself against thy leg when thou art at home again, and to bring it here in twelve years' time, thou shalt have as much money as thou wilt.’
The Fairy also taught him a magic song, ‘Come, cattle, come, all you cattle come to me,’ the melody of which was so enchanting that all cattle who heard it followed the singer.
‘How I wish I could understand the meaning of the different songs of all the birds! I would give half my wealth to the man who could make plain to me all the different songs of the different birds.’
The Tsar came and immediately the witch began to urge him: ‘Give your command, yes, give your command to kill the little Kid. He is a nuisance to me, he is entirely detestable to me!’
The poor little girl had all the cooking, cleaning, and serving to do for all seven brothers and all their seven wives as well.
One day the sovereign prince said to his sons: ‘My dear boys, take each of you an arrow, draw your strong bow and let your arrow fly; in whatever court it falls, in that court there will be a wife for you.’
Although there were plenty of princesses, there was always something that did not seem quite right about them.
Prince Fire Fade spoke to his elder brother, Prince Fire Flash, and said, ‘Brother, I am aweary of the green hills. Therefore let us now exchange our luck.’