Ledia Runnels' "World of Fantasy Fiction"

Ivan Bilibin 031

Ivan Bilibin 031 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“O Grandmother,” she answered, “grant me a kindness. Be my hostess and shield me from the dark night! I go to find Finist the Falcon, my dearest friend, whom my sisters pierced with cruel needles and knife-blades, and drove away bleeding.”

“He is a relative of mine,” said the old woman, “and his home is not very far from here. But come in and rest this night; the morning is wiser than the evening.”

So the girl entered and ate and drank what the old woman gave her, and slept till daybreak, when the other woke her and said: “Finist the Falcon with colored feathers is now in the next Tsardom from here, beside the blue sea-ocean, where he stays at the Palace, for in three days he is to marry the Tsar‘s daughter. Go now with God and take with thee this golden saucer and this little diamond ball. Set the ball on the plate and it will roll of itself. Mayhap thou wilt wish to give them as a wedding-gift to his bride.”

She thanked the old woman and started again on her way, and in the afternoon she came to the blue sea-ocean spreading wide and free before her, and beside it she saw a Palace with high towers of white stone whose golden tops were glowing like fire. Near the Palace a black serving-wench was washing a piece of cloth in the sea, whose waves it tinged with red, and the girl said: “What is it thou dost cleanse?”

The servant answered: “It is a shirt of Finist the Falcon, who in three days will wed my mistress, but it is so stained with blood that I can by no means make it clean.” The girl thought, “It is a garment my beloved wore after he was so cruelly wounded by the knives in my window!” And taking it from the other’s hands, she began to weep over it, so that the tears washed away every stain and the shirt was as white as snow.

The black serving-woman took the shirt back to the Tsar’s daughter, who asked her how she had so easily cleansed it, and the woman answered that a beautiful maiden, alone on the sea sand, had wept over it till her tears had made it white. “This is, in truth, a remarkable thing,” said the Tsar’s daughter; “I would see this girl whose tears can wash away such stains.” And summoning her maids and nurses and attendants, she went walking along the shore.

Presently she came where the merchant’s daughter sat alone on the soft sand gazing sorrowfully out over the blue sea-ocean, and she accosted her and said: “What grief hast thou that thy tears can wash away blood?”

“I grieve,” answered the girl, “because I so long to see the beautiful Finist the Falcon.”

Then the Tsar’s daughter, being very prideful, tossed her head, saying: “Is that all? Go to the Palace kitchen, and I will let thee serve there; perchance as payment thou mayest catch a glimpse of him as he dines.”

(Continued… )

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


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

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!


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