Ledia Runnels' "World of Fantasy Fiction"

Ivan Bilibin 229

Ivan Bilibin 229 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Thou shalt have them,” answered the merchant’s daughter, “for the same price. Let me only sit through this third night by the side of thy promised husband.”

“What a fool is this girl!” thought the Tsar‘s daughter. “Presently I shall have all her possessions and Finist the Falcon for my husband into the bargain!” So she assented gladly and when Finist the Falcon fell asleep that night, for the third time she put into his hair the enchanted pin and brought the girl into his room, bidding her give over the golden plate and the diamond ball, and keep the flies from him till daybreak.

Through that long night also the merchant’s daughter bent over her loved one, weeping and crying: “Finist, my own dear, my bright Falcon with colored feathers, awake and know me! I have worn through the three pairs of iron shoes, I have broken to pieces the three iron staves, I have gnawed away the three stone church-loaves, all the while searching for thee, my love!” But by reason of the enchanted pin, although he heard through his sleep her crying and lamenting, and his heart grieved because of it, Finist the Falcon could not waken. So at length, when day-dawn was near, the girl said to herself: “Though he shall never be mine, yet in the past he loved me, and for that I shall kiss him once before I go away,” and she put her arms about his head to kiss him. As she did so, her hand touched the pin in his hair and she drew it out, lest by chance it harm him. Thus the spell of its enchantment was broken, and one of her tears, falling on his face, woke him.

And instantly, as he awoke, he recognized her, and knew that it was her lamenting he had heard through his sleep. She related to him all that had occurred, how her sisters had plotted, how she had journeyed in search of him, and how she had bought of the Tsar’s deceitful daughter the three nights by his side in exchange for the silver spindle, the golden hammer and nails, and the diamond ball that rolled of itself. Hearing, Finist the Falcon was angered against the Tsar’s daughter whom he had so nearly wed, but the merchant’s daughter he kissed, and turning into the Falcon, set her on his colored wings and flew to his own Tsardom.

Then he summoned all his princes and nobles and his officers of all ranks and told them the story, asking: “Which of these two am I to wed? With which can I spend a long life so happily that it will seem a short one: with her who would deceitfully sell my hours for playthings, or with her who sought me over three times nine lands? Do ye now discuss and decide.”

And all cried with one voice: “Thou shouldst leave the seller of thy rest and wed her (w)ho did follow thee!”

And so did Finist, the bright Falcon with colored wings.


(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

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