by Victor Vasnetsov
Tsarevnas of the Underground Kingdom
= Russian word for princess)
there was an old man and his wife, who
had three sons.
old couple felt it was time to have
a few grandchildren running around the
house, so they told Gregory, the eldest
son, to go out and find a wife. Now
Gregory was quite happy living at home
and did not really want to marry, but
in those days children usually did as
they were told.
off went Gregory, not looking very hard,
I'm afraid. Being a somewhat shy lad,
Gregory walked quickly through the town
and out again the other side, hoping
that no one had noticed him. As he passed
out through the gates of the old town
some giggling girls passed him by. He
tried his best to appear unconcerned,
but as soon as they were out of sight
he took to his heels.
a lonely stretch of road outside the
town he ran into a fearsome dragon.
Terrified, he turned to run the other
way, but the dragon stood in front of
him and said in a polite voice:
'Don't be frightened, I won't do you
any harm. May I ask where you are going?'
After a few moments of not being able
to say anything, Gregory at last stuttered
out: ' Not at all. I'm going back home.
My parents want me to get married, but
I can't seem to find the right woman.'
dragon answered: 'Come with me, and
I'll put you to the test. If you pass
it, you will find a wife.'
Although the dragon had been extremely
polite, there was something in his tone
that told Gregory it would not be a
good idea to refuse. After a while they
came to a large stone of black marble.
dragon said: 'If you manage to move
this stone, underneath you will find
what you seek.'
to page 2
(eleven pages in all)