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


 

A collection Fairy tales from Russia. 
Sergei Aksakov: The little scarlet flowerall for school..

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Next, his second daughter bowed low and said, "Sire, my dear beloved father, I want no gold or silver brocade, no black Siberian sable, no wondrous pearl necklace, no golden crown with precious stones. Bring me a mirror of Eastern crystal, so pure and perfect I may behold all the beauty under the sun, such that when I look into it I may never grow old, my maidenly beauty shall increase."
The honest merchant became thoughtful; then he said, "So be it, daughter mine, I shall bring you a crystal mirror such as you describe. There is just such a mirror belonging to the daughter of the King of Persia, a young princess whose beauty no tongue can describe, no pen can depict, no mind can imagine. The mirror is hidden in a stone tower, tall and strong, that stands on a moun-tain cliff seven hundred yards high. And the mirror is kept behind seven iron doors with seven German locks. Three thousand steps lead up to the tower and on every step stands a Persian warrior guarding the treasure day and night, each wielding a mighty sword of sharp steel. And the keys to those iron doors hang on a belt around the princess's waist. But I know a man across the sea who can get nie that mirror. This task is harder than your sister's, but nothing is? beyond my fortune."
Then the youngest daughter bowed low to her father and spoke thus,
"Sire, my dear beloved father, I want no gold or silver brocade, no black Siberian sable, no wondrous necklace, no bejewelled crown, no crystal mirror. Bring me, I pray, the Little Scarlet Flower, the most beautiful thing in the whole wide world."
The honest merchant pondered even harder than before. How long it took him, I cannot tell, but finally he made up his mind. He kissed his beloved youngest daughter, and thus he spoke,
"Well, you have set me a task harder than your sisters. When a person knows what to seek, he may surely find it; but how can he find that which he knows not? Red flowers are not hard to find, but how am I to know which is the most beautiful in the whole wide world? I shall do my best, but be not angry if I cannot please you."
Despatching his good and kind daughters to their maidenly bedchambers, he began to prepare for his voyage to a distant realm across the seas. Whether he was long making ready I cannot say-it is quicker to tell the tale than do the deed-but eventually he departed on his voyage.

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