Ledia Runnels' "World of Fantasy Fiction"











{March 31, 2012}   Russian Fairy Tales: “Ilya Muromets” Part Two

(Here is the second half of the Russian fairy tale, Ilya Muromets.”)

On the way, he stopped at the city of Chernigov. It happened that Tatars were besieging the city. Ilya attacked them and won a famous victory. The Tatar troops ran away.

The citizens of Chernigov opened the gates and welcomed the knight with bread and salt. They asked him to be the leader of their army. He thanked the citizens for such an honor, but told them he must continue on to Kiev.

Ilya’s way was through dark, pathless, swampy forests, Chornye Gryazi. There were no animals around, no birds.

In the dark forest there lived an evil highwayman named Solovey (“nightingale”) who lay in wait atop a great tree and robbed travelers by killing them with a terrible loud whistle. When Solovey heard the horse’s hoofbeats he became angry. He let out a whistle more fearful than a wolf’s howl, a bear’s roar, an animal’s bark.

From his horrible whistle the leaves on the trees withered. Ilya Muromets raised his heavy bow and fired an arrow that hit Solovey in the forehead. The highwayman fell from his tree at Ilya’s feet. Ilya put him across his horse and went to Kiev.

The knight arrived at noon, when Prince Vladimir and his knights were eating their midday meal. Vladimir asked the stranger knight where he was from. Ilya answered, “I am Ilya, the son of a peasant. I am from the town of Murom. In the city of Chernigov I went to matins, then I listened to Solovey’s whistle.”

Everybody at the table laughed, and Prince Vladimir said sternly, “What are you talking about, young man? Chernigov is besieged by Tatars. The Chyornye Gryazi is a terrible place. Wolves and bears avoid going there because of the terrible Solovey. Whoever hears his whistle falls dead.”

Ilya took them all into the courtyard and there was Solovey tied to Ilya’s horse. Prince Vladimir saw the highwayman and decided to test him: “Well, whistle! Bark like an animal, hiss like a snake!” Solovey drank a whole pail of wine and started to whistle so loud that the leaves blew from the trees and a great sandstorm began. Only Ilya could stop him.

The evil Solovey was executed by Prince Vladimir’s knights. Prince Vladimir was so impressed he invited Ilya to become one of his knights. Ilya became the greatest defender of Rus (old name for Russia) against its enemies.

(If you like what you read here, you might also enjoy “Creative Musings” http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/, another blog of creative writing.)

Enjoy!

Links:

“Russin Folklore” http://stpetersburg-guide.com/folk/ilya.shtml

“One of Kyives Oldest Tress” http://explorationart.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/one-of-kyives-oldest-trees/

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[…] Russian Fairy Tales: “Ilya Muromets” Part Two (fairytalesbylediar.wordpress.com) […]



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