The RED Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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46 THE DEATH OF KOSHCHEI THE DEATHLESS
and hard by the palace stood an oak, and on the oak sat an eagle. Down flew the Eagle from the oak, smote upon the ground, turned into a brave youth, and cried aloud :
' Rise up, Princess Olga ! Hither comes our brother dear ! ' The Princess Olga immediately ran to meet him, and began kissing him and embracing him, asking after his health, and telling him all about herself. With them Prince Ivan stopped three days ; then he said:
' I cannot stay here any longer. I am going to look for my wife, the fair Princess Marya Morevna.'
' Hard will it be for you to find her,' replied the Eagle. ' Leave with us a silver fork. We will look at it and remember you.'
He left a silver fork behind, and went his way. He travelled one day, he travelled two days; at daybreak on the third day he saw a palace grander than the first two, and near the palace stood an oak, and on the oak sat a raven. Down flew the Raven from the oak, smote upon the ground, turned into a brave youth, and cried aloud:
' Princess Anna, come forth quickly ! our brother is coming.' Out ran the Princess Anna, greeted him joyfully, and began kissing and embracing him, asking after his health and telling him all about herself. Prince Ivan stayed with them three days; then he said:
' Farewell! I am going to look for my wife, the fair Princess Marya Morevna.'
' Hard will it be for you to find her,' replied the Raven. ' Any­how, leave your silver snuff-box with us. We will look at it and remember you.'
The Prince handed over his silver snuff-box, took his leave, and went his way. One day he went, another day he went, and on the third day he came to where Marya Morevna was. She caught sight of her love, flung her arms around his neck, burst into tears, and exclaimed:
' Oh, Prince Ivan ! why did you disobey me and go looking into the closet and letting out Koshchei the Deathless ? '
' Forgive me, Marya Morevna ' Remember not the past; much better fly with me while Koshchei the Deathless is out of sight. Perhaps he won't catch us.'
So they got ready and fled. Now Koshchei was out hunting. Towards evening he was returning home, when his good steed stumbled beneath him.
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