Fairy tales from Russia. Sergei Aksakov: The little scarlet flower.


 

A collection Fairy tales from Russia. 
Sergei Aksakov: The little scarlet flower.

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The Beast of the Forest, Denizen of the Deep, showed himself to her in his awesome form, hideous and misshapen; but he did not venture near, however much she called him. They walked together till dark and talked as before with love and wisdom; and the merchant's lovely young daughter feit no fear. Next day, she saw the Beast of the Forest, Denizen of the Deep, in the bright light of day and although, at first, she took fright on beholding him, she gave no sign of it, and soon her fear was gone. Now they conversed to-gether more than before: the whole day long they were together; at dinner and supper they ate their fill of sweetmeats and refreshed themselves with meads; then they wandered through the verdant gardens and drove through the dark forests in horseless carriages.
And not a little time passed by: the tale is sooner told than the deed is done. But one night, in her sleep, the merchant's lovely young daughter dreamed that her father was lying sick; and an unconsolable grief fell upon her. When the Beast of the Forest, Denizen of the Deep, saw her in grief and tears, he, too, was sorely grieved and asked the reason for her grief and tears. So she related to him her unhappy dream and begged his leave to visit her dear father and
beloved sisters. And the Beast of the Forest, Denizen of the Deep, pronounced these words,
"What need hast thou of my leave? Thou hast my gold ring: put it on the little finger of thy right hand and thou wilt at once find thyself in thy dear father's house. Remain with him as long as thou wilst, but this I say to thee: if thou dost not return at the end of three days and nights, thou wilt not find me on ibis earth; I shall die that very instant because I love thee more than myself and cannot live without thee."
She began to reassure him with solemn words and vows that she would return to his lofty palace exactly one hour before the three days and nights expired. Taking leave of her master, kind and gracious, she put the gold ring on the little finger of her right hand and found herself in the spacious courtyard of the merchant, her own dear father. She went up to the high porch of his stone mansion, and all the servants and attendants came running to meet her with a great clamour and shouting; and her beloved sisters ran to greet her and, when they saw her, were filled with wonder at her maidenly beauty and her' royal apparel. Taking her by her lily-white hands, they led her to her dear father; her father was lying sick, sick and woeful, for he had pined for her day and night, shedding bitter tears. And he could hardly credit his good fortune when he saw his be-loved youngest daughter, so good and sweet and fair, and he mar-velled at her maidenly beauty and her royal apparel.

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