Tzarevnas of the Underground Kingdom
wasn't allowed to go and he didn't like
that one bit. He pestered his parents
until they finally gave in. The next
morning they changed their minds again,
but it was too late: Ivan had already
set out on his journey.
On the road he met the dragon, who asked:
'Where are you going?'
'My brothers wanted to marry, but they
couldn't find a wife - now it's my turn.'
With raised eyebrows, (somewhat hairy,
by the way!) the dragon asked: 'Do you
really expect to pass the test?'
not?' answered Ivan.
'You know your brothers failed?'
want to pass the test.' was Ivan's reply.
'Come with me then,' said the dragon.
At last they came to the black stone
and the dragon told Ivan to try to move
'You mean this thing?' said Ivan, kicking
it carelessly aside with the toe of
'Yes, that's just what I did
'But why couldn't my brothers manage
it?,' said Ivan. He noticed that the
stone been covering a deep opening in
'Perhaps they were trying too hard,'
replied the dragon.
'I wonder how deep it is?' Ivan threw
himself onto the ground and peered down
over the edge. The sides of the shaft
went straight down, like the sides of
a well and ended in darkness.
With a shiver Ivan rolled back quickly
away from the edge and asked the dragon:
'What's down there?'
'What? Down that shaft? Why, the
underground realms of course!'