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{April 10, 2012}   Russian Fairy Tales: “The Feather of Finist the Falcon” Part Three
Иван Царевич и Серый Волк

Иван Царевич и Серый Волк (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Sorrow not, little father,” said she. “Thou hast done my desire, and if Finist the Falcon will woo me then will I wed him.” And she took out the scarlet flower and caressed it, and held it close to her heart.

When night came the merchant kissed his daughters, made over them the sign of the cross and sent them each to her bed. The youngest locked herself in her room in the attic, took the little flower from its box, and setting it on the window-sill, began to smell it and kiss it and look into the dark blue sky, when suddenly in through the window came flying a swift, beautiful falcon with colored feathers. It lit upon the floor and immediately was transformed into a young Prince, so handsome that it could not be told in speech nor written in a tale.

The Prince soothed her fright and caressed her with sweet and tender words so that she began to love him with such a joyful heart that one knows not how to tell it. They talked
-who can tell of what?-and the whole night passed as swiftly as an hour in the daytime. When the day began to break, Finist the Falcon said to her: “Each evening when thou dost set the scarlet flower in the window I will come flying to thee. Tonight, ere I fly away as a falcon, take one feather from my wing. If thou hast need of anything, go to the steps under the porch and wave it on thy right side and whatsoever things thy soul desireth, they shall be thine. And when thou hast no longer need of them, wave the feather on thy left side.” Then he kissed her and bade her farewell, and turned into a falcon with colored feathers. She plucked a single bright feather from his wing and the bird flew out of the window and was gone.

The next day was Sunday and the elder sisters began to dress in their finery to go to church. “What wilt thou wear, little fool?” they said to the other. “But for thy scarlet flower thou mightst have had a new gown, instead of disgracing us by thy appearance.”

“Never mind,” she said; “I can pray also here at home.” And after they were gone she sat down at her attic window watching the finely dressed people going to Mass. When the street was empty, she went to the steps under the porch and waved the bright feather to the right side, and instantly there appeared a crystal carriage with high-bred horses harnessed to it, coachmen and footmen in gold livery, and a gown embroidered in all kinds of precious stones. She dressed herself in a moment, sat down in the carriage, and away it went, swift as the wind, to the church.

When she entered, so beautiful she was that all the people turned to look at her. “Some high-born Princess has come!” they whispered to each other; and in her splendid gown and head-dress even her two sisters did not recognize her as the one they had left in her little attic room. As soon as the choir began to sing the Magnificat she left the church, entered the crystal carriage and drove off so swiftly that when the people flocked out to stare there was no trace of her to be seen. As soon as she reached home she took off the splendid gown and put on her own, went to the porch, waved the bright feather to the left side and the carriage and horses, the coachmen in livery and the splendid gown disappeared, and she sat down again at her attic window.

(Continued… https://fairytalesbylediar.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/russian-fairy-tales-the-feather-of-finist-the-falcon-part-four/)

(The text came from: Wheeler, Post, Russian Wonder Tales, New York: The Century Company 1912.)

Enjoy!

Image Links:

The Feather of Finist the Falcon by Ivan Bilibin”                                                                                                                                                                               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Bilibin

More Images of Ivan Bilibin’s art:                                                                                                                                                                                                                         https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

Research Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales:Russian Wonder Tales” http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/featherfinistfalcon.html

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