Tsarevnas of the Underground Kingdom
continued on his way down the tunnel.
In the distance he saw a faint glow
of white light at the end of the tunnel.
As he came closer the light gradually
became brighter. Soon he was standing
in a gigantic cave, the roof of which
seemed to be miles above his head.
A ray of bright moonlight shone down
upon a forest of silver birch from the
roof of the cave.
palace stood at the edge of a shimmering
silver sea. Soft silvery sand covered
the cave floor. Glittering stalactites
hung down from the ceiling of the cave.
The only sounds were the sighing of
the wind and the breaking of the waves
upon the beach.
The Tsarevna who was riding a white
mare at the water's edge, turned and
cantered towards him. He shivered slightly
as he watched the horse splashing about
in the cold waves. She reined in her
horse in front of him and pushing back
her silver hair from her face said:
to the Silver Kingdom!'
bowed low before her wondering whether
she too was made of silver. She smiled
and asked him where he had come from
and where he was going.
A little tongue-tied, he answered: 'Dear
Lady, I must first eat and drink before
I can answer your questions.'
returned to the palace and she set food
and wine before him. The food was of
pure silver and the wine sparkled brightly
in the beaker. While he was eating he
glanced down at his hands and noticed
that the copper tinge had almost gone
and they were slowly taking on a silver
sheen. As he ran his fingers through
his hair and shivered as it made a curious
clinking sound. 'Oh well, let's hope
it doesn't last too long!' he thought
he had eaten, he told the Tsarevna that
he was looking for a wife and asked
her if she would marry him.
answered: 'Alas, that cannot be, for
you must travel on through the dark
tunnel until you reach the Golden Kingdom,
where the Tsarevna awaits you. Take
this silver ring and wear it always.
It will protect you on your journey.'
thanked the Tsarevna of the Silver Kingdom
and went on his way.