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Russian Fairy Tales


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Table of Contents

The Wondrous Wonder, the Marvelous Marvel 13
The Fox Physician 15
The Death of the Cock 17
Misery 20
The Castle of the Fly 25
The Turnip 25
The Hen 26
Riddles 27
The Enchanted Ring 29
Foma and Erema, the Two Brothers 31
The Just Reward 37
Salt 39
The Golden Slipper 40
Emelya the Simpleton 44
The Three Kingdoms 46
The Pike with the Long Teeth 49
The Bad Wife 54
The Miser 56
The Nobleman and the Peasant 58
The Goat Comes Back 59
Ivanushka the Little Fool 61
The Crane and the Heron 62
Aliosha Popovich 66
The Fox Confessor 67
The Bear 72
The Spider 74
Baba Yaga and the Brave Youth 75
Prince Ivan and Princess Martha 76
The Cat, the Cock, and the Fox 79
Baldak Borisievich 86
Know Not 90
The Magic Shirt 97
The Three Pennies 110
The Princess Who Wanted to Solve Riddles 113
A Soldier's Riddle 115
The Dead Body 117
The Frog Princess 118
The Speedy Messenger 119
Vasilisa, the Priest's Daughter 124
The Wise Maiden and the Seven Robbers 131
The Mayoress 134
Ivan the Simpleton 141
Father Nicholas and the Thief 142
Burenushka, the Little Red Cow 145
The Jester 146
The Precious Hide 151
The Cross Is Pledged as Security 156
The Daydreamer 159
The Taming of the Shrew 161
Quarrelsome Demyan 161
The Magic Box 163
Bukhtan Bukhtanovich 164
The Fox and the Woodcock 168
The Fox and the Crane 171
The Two Rivers 171
Nodey, the Priest's Grandson 172
The Poor Wretch 173
The Fiddler in Hell 177
The Old Woman Who Ran Away 180
Two Anecdotes 182
The Singing Tree and the Talking Bird 184
The Ram Who Lost Half His Skin 184
The Fox as Midwife 188
The Fox, the Hare, and the Cock 191
Baba Yaga 192
The Ram, the Cat, and the Twelve Wolves 194
The Fox and the Woodpecker 196
The Snotty Goat 199
Right and Wrong 200
The Potter 202
The Self-Playing Gusla 208
Marco the Rich and Vasily the Luckless 211
Ivanko the Bear's Son 213
The Secret Ball 221
The Indiscreet Wife 224
The Cheater Cheated 226
The Maiden Tsar 228
Ivan the Cow's Son 229
The Wolf and the Goat 234
The Wise Little Girl 249
Danilo the Luckless 252
Ivan the Peasant's Son and the Thumb-Sized Man 255
Death of a Miser 262
The Footless Champion and the Handless Champion 268
Old Favors Are Soon Forgotten 269
The Sheep, the Fox, and the Wolf 273
The Brave Laborer 275
Daughter and Stepdaughter 276
The Stubborn Wife 278
Six Anecdotes 280
Snow White and the Fox 280
Foma Berennikov 283
The Peasant, the Bear, and the Fox 284
Good Advice 288
Horns 289
The Armless Maiden 292
Frolka Stay-at-Home 294
The Milk of Wild Beasts 299
How a Husband Weaned His Wife from Fairy Tales 304
The Cock and the Hen 308
The Fox and the Lobster 309
Nikita the Tanner 310
The Wolf 310
The Goat Shedding On One Side 312
The Bold Knight, the Apples of Youth, and the Water of Life 312
Two Out of the Sack 314
The Man Who Did Not Know Fear 321
The Merchant's Daughter and the Maidservant 325
The Priest's Laborer 327
The Peasant and the Corpse 332
The Arrant Fool 333
Lutoniushka 334
Barter 336
The Grumbling Old Woman 338
The White Dock 340
If You Don't Like It, Don't Listen 342
The Magic Swan Geese 345
Prince Danila Govorila 349
The Wicked Sisters 351
The Princess Who Never Smiled 356
Baba Yaga 360
Jack Frost 363
Husband and Wife 366
Little Sister Fox and the Wolf 369
The Three Kingdoms, Copper, Silver and Golden 371
The Cock and the Hand Mill 375
Tereshichka 387
King Bear 389
Magic 393
The One-Eyed Evil 399
Sister Alionushka, Brother Ivanushka 404
The Seven Semyons 406
The Merchant's Daughter and the Slanderer 410
The Robbers 415
The Lazy Maiden 419
The Miraculous Pipe 423
The Sea King and Vasilisa the Wise 425
The Fox as Mourner 427
Vasilisa the Beautiful 437
The Bun 439
The Foolish Wolf 447
The Bear, the Dog, and the Cat 450
The Bear and the Cock 453
Dan, Evening, and Midnight 455
Two Ivans, Soldier's Sons 457
Prince Ivan and Byely Polyanin 463
The Crystal Mountain 475
Koshchey the Deathless 482
The Firebird and Princess Vasilisa 485
Beasts in a Pit 494
The Dog and the Woodpecker 498
Two Kinds of Luck 499
Go I Know Not Whither, Bring Back I Know Not What 501
The Wise Wife 504
The Goldfish 521
The Golden-Bristled Pig, the Golden-Feathered Duck, and the Golden-Maned Mare 528
The Duck with Golden Eggs 533
Elena the Wise 541
Treasure-Trove 545
Maria Morevna 550
The Soldier and the King 553
The Sorceress 563
Ilya Muromets and the Dragon 567
The Devil Who Was a Potter 569
Clever Answers 576
Dividing the Goose 578
The Feather of Finist, the Bright Falcon 579
The Sun, the Moon, and the Raven 580
The Bladder, the Straw, and the Shoe 588
The Thief 590
The Vampire 593
The Beggar's Plan 599
Woman's Way 599
The Foolish German 600
The Enchanted Princess 600
The Raven and the Lobster 612
Pronce Ivan, the Firebird, and the Gray Wolf 612
Shemiaka the Judge 625

Commentary 629
Index 657

About the Author

ALEKSANDR AFANAS'EV (1826-1871) published his groundbreaking collection of Russian folktales and fairy tales in eight volumes, from 1855 to 1867. His success in polarizing Russian folklore and culture is reflected in the work of writers and composers from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov to Igor Stravinsky.

NORBERT GUTERMAN (1900-1984) was a Polish-born translator of scholarly and literary works from French, Polish, Latin, and Russian. Immigrating to the United States in 1933, he also translated works by Bella Chagall, Paracelsus, and Henry Lefebvre.

ALEXANDER ALEXEIEFF (1901-1982) was a Russian-born artist, film animator, filmmaker, and illustrator who created the artwork for Pantheon's first edition of Doctor Zhivago.


"Rambunctious, full-blooded, and temperamental, these stories are tense with action, magical, and human. They are gorgeous."
-Eudora Welty

"The oral folk tradition in Russia was truly a magic spring [that] flowed inexhaustibly, reviving, consoling, and enlightening all who partook of it . . . These stories have an ingenuity that marks them as uniquely Russian."

"A beautiful book. I recommend it to all readers, young and old, who are interested in the folktale and its unique qualities."
-Isaac Bashevis Singer, The New York Times Book Review

"Luckily someone garnered these jewels before they were lost [and] bound them into one volume before they disappeared . . . It is filled with action, magic, and humanity."
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat

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