Daughter of the Sea King [poem]
A man lived in ancient times, and he had three sons. Every day they came to their father early in the morning to find out if he was healthy, if he needed something. That’s when they came and saw him in great sorrow.
” What’s wrong with you, Father?” – Sons asked.- Did you have bad news or trouble what happened? Why are you so unhappy?
“There was no bad news, and trouble did not happen to me either,” the father replied. – The dream that I saw that night does not give me peace. I dreamed that the sun rose over the sea, and after it a snow-white horse swam out to the seashore. In an instant he ran three times around the earth and again sank into the sea, and after him my heart fell to the bottom of the sea. From the hour I saw this dream, my house and the whole world were not nice to me. I want to get this horse!
– Calm down, Father! “We will go after this miracle and get it or we will not return.
They jumped on their horses and rode. At noon on the third day, the brothers found themselves at the crossroads of three roads and saw a stone on which the following words were carved: “Whoever goes to the right will be alive. Whoever goes to the left will also be alive. Whoever goes straight – either he will find happiness, or he will disappear himself.” The older brother drove down the right road, the middle one turned left, and the younger brother drove the horse straight ahead.
– Why are you driving on this dangerous road? The brothers shouted. – Come with us!
“No,” he replied, “Whatever happens… If I die, tell my father how they broke up.
And he galloped, without looking back, on a straight path. He was driving, he was going… I drove during the day, drove at night, left behind the turbulent rivers, crossed one of our mountains and two strangers, passed three valleys and five gorges, and lost count of the paths. Finally I reached the dense forest. He wandered in this forest for a day, wandered for a week, wandered a month, wandered a year, but he could not find a trace of man, nor housing, nor a way out of the forest. Hunger and thirst exhausted him, the clothes on him worn out and hung in shreds, his horse fell, and his battle sword was covered with rust.
And so, when the young man was already completely desperate, he saw a trace of a human foot on the ground. Only that leg was amazing: three arshins long, arshin wide. The young man was not afraid, he followed the trail. The forest in front of him parted, and he came to a large clearing, in the middle of which stood a palace, high, all the way to the sky. The young man entered the palace and saw a giantess, the old woman Kart, who was dozing off at the hearth. In an instant, he ran up to her and touched her breasts with his lips, a sign that he wanted to be her son.
– Well, you’re a hitter! “Now, according to our custom, you have become my named son, and I have become your mother. Had you not done this, you would have had a hard time. Where are you from and what do you need?
The young man told her about the snow-white horse. Old Woman Kart pondered:
– There really is such a horse. This is the horse of the Sea Shah that lives at the bottom of the sea. Every day with the sunrise, a horse swims out on land in an instant three times around the world, swims along the way in a milk lake, lies on white sand and again goes under water … There, on the seashore where he frolics, stands a plane tree. It is so high that it reaches the top all the way to the sky, and on top of it hang a golden saddle and a silver bridle. Whoever catches a seahorse and puts this harness on it, he will be his master…
The old woman Kart fed the young man, gave him clothes, weapons, a good horse and showed him the way to the sea. He drove for a long time, he drove hard, he drove during the day, he drove at night. I finally arrived at the seashore, removed the golden saddle and silver bridle from the plane tree, dug a hole in the sand and hid in it.
He didn’t close his eyes before sunrise. When it became light and the sun rose from behind the calm sea, the young man saw a snow-white horse swim out of the depths of the sea following the sun. In an instant, that horse ran three times around the ground, swam in the milk lake and began to lie on the white sand. Then the young man jumped on his horse and wrapped himself around his neck. The seahorse jumped all the way to the clouds, and then hit the shore. The ground trembled under his hooves, but the young man did not spread his arms and only pressed himself more tightly against the horse’s neck. This went on until late at night.
– You’ve Won! Now I am your forever,” the horse finally said in a human voice, “Ride me, put on a bridle, and I will take you wherever you want.
The young man saddled the horse with a golden saddle, put a silver bridle on it and said:
– Take Me to My Father!
Suddenly, in the middle of the night, it became as bright as day. The young man asked:
– What does this glow?
They went into the light and saw a golden feather in a small clearing, sparkling like the sun.
– What a beautiful feather! The young man exclaimed. – To take it or not, do you think?
– You won’t regret it. If you take it, you will repent,” the seahorse replied.
“It is better to take and repent than not to take and pity,” the young man said.
I picked up the pen, stuck it in my hat, and they moved on. Soon they saw a large city ruled by Crooked Shah. Strong walls surrounded the city and all gates were closed for the night. The horse got drunk from a spring near the city wall and asked:
– Let Me Out on the Grass. And when you need it, click only – and even though I will be seven mountains away, I will instantly appear to you.
The young man let go of the horse, hid the feather in his pocket, covered himself with a burqa and fell asleep like a man who had not slept for six nights. And the inhabitants of that city, seeing that the night suddenly became as bright as day, and then darkened again, rushed to the Crooked Shah and told him about this miracle. Crooked Shah was even more frightened than his subjects, and ordered to put a hundred sentinels on the city wall. He didn’t close his eyes all night in fear.
As soon as it got light, Crooked Shah sent a detachment of horsemen, armed as for battle, to reconnoiter. They saw the young man, woke him up and took him to the palace.
– You were found sleeping at the city wall -. Did you know that it shone tonight like the sun and then suddenly went out?
“I know,” the young man said and took a golden feather out of his pocket.
The Shah’s hands shook with greed. He grabbed a feather and told him to hide it in his treasury.
– Now bring me the bird that dropped the golden feather! Shah shouted, “I want to own this bird!
– Send your servants, O Shah! The young man replied, “I’m in a hurry to go home. My father can’t wait for me…
– You’re Just a Coward! – And the Shah stomped his feet in a rage.- You are a coward, and my heralds will shout about it all over the world!
The young man was offended. “Wait,” he thought, “I’ll show you what a coward I am!” A young man came into the field, began to call for a seahorse. Out of nowhere, a snow-white horse grew up in front of him.
– Why are you so sad? The horse asked the owner. – I promised Crooked Shah to catch the bird that dropped the golden feather, but I don’t know where to look for it.
“Don’t be sad,” the seahorse said, “Everything would be just as easy for us in the future. Do you remember the lake where I swam?
“I remember,” the young man replied. “The Sea Shah has three daughters,” the horse continued, “Every day they turn into pigeons and come to swim in this lake. The feather that you and I found was dropped from her wing by the youngest daughter. You’re lurking in the bushes on the shore. When the sea princesses come to swim and drop their plumage on the sand, take the plumage of the younger one, hide it by the sinus.
The girl will cry, but you do not give her plumage, and then she will follow you everywhere …
The young man was happy, sat on his horse, and the horse carried him to the lake with one jump. The young man hid in the bushes and waited. It was noon and three pigeons arrived. So they threw golden plumage on the sand and turned into beautiful girls. And when they entered the water, a young man jumped out of the bushes and grabbed the plumage of the youngest daughter. The youngest daughter began to cry, but the young man did not take pity on her and hid his feathers by the sinus, as the horse told him. And the two older sisters turned into birds and began to circle over the younger one.
“Sisters,” the younger one shouted with tears, “it’s time for us to part ways!.. Bring my clothes chest!
No sooner had the young man looked back than the pigeons flew in with a chest, threw it on the shore of the lake and soared into the blue sky. The girl got dressed. The young man jumped on his horse, put it behind him in the saddle, and they set off.
“Where are we going?” the beauty asked. – We are going to Crooked Shah. He threatened to make me a coward if I didn’t come, the young man replied.
– I don’t want to go to him! The girl screamed.
– And I don’t want to be known as a coward! The young man objected.
And while they were saying so, the good horse had already galloped to the very city where Crooked Shah ruled.
“Here,” the young man said. – Now you, Shah, dare not throw me that I am a coward! The bird dropping its golden feathers is in front of you…
Crooked Shah saw a sea princess and wanted to marry her.
“You are good for me as a grandfather,” said the sea princess.
– If you were young I would still think…
– How do I get young? The Shah shouted, “Teach me!
“They were going to dig a well outside the city sixty arshin deep,” the girl said, “fill it with the milk of red cows, bathe in that milk, and you will turn into a young man …
– What a fabrication! There are not so many red cows in my entire kingdom! Crooked Shah angrily said.
“Take it,” said the beauty and threw him a small red handkerchief. Let him stand there and wave that handkerchief.
Only a man climbed to the top of a high mountain and waved a red handkerchief, as if from the mountains, from green glades, from forests and thousands of different countries began to run to the city red cows. While the sea princess milked them, the shah’s servants dug a well sixty arshin deep and poured all the milk into the well.
– Well, swim! The princess said.
But Crooked Shah was frightened – a well sixty arshin deep…
– Here’s how! Yes, you yourself, it turns out, are a coward! The beauty laughed.
Crooked Shah was offended by these words, jumped into the well and, like lead, went to the bottom. There, they say, he still lies.
And the young man said goodbye to the inhabitants of the city (they were very happy that Crooked Shah drowned), got on a sea horse and went with the sea princess to his father. They drove slowly and then one day they stopped for the night in a small village. They were hungry, and the young man went to buy chureks. Suddenly, the poor man from whom he had bought the chureks rushed to hug him. It turned out to be the older brother who drove to the right. He did not find a horse, and returned home empty-handed and now lived by the fact that he was baking and selling chureks.
The young man bought his older brother clothes, weapons, a horse, and the three of them went on. We drove slowly, counting days, and stopped in a small town to rest. There they met the middle brother, who went along the left road. And he didn’t find a horse and now lived by selling cold water in the bazaar.
The younger brother bought the middle man clothes, weapons, a horse, and the four of them went straight to his father’s house. But the closer they got to their native places, the more envied the lucky younger brother the unsuccessful older brothers and slowly said this among themselves:
– How will we continue to live in the world? How will we appear in front of our father? No, it’s not! We need to get rid of this boy somehow, and then the horse and daughter of the Sea Shah will go to us.
“On our way, I know, there will be a deep chasm,” said the elder brother.- As we approach it, let’s invite this of our lucky ones to jump on the argument: whose horse is faster. His horse will of course pull ahead and fall into the abyss.
That was it.
So they began to drive up to the abyss, and the older brothers said to the younger one:
– Let’s jump on the argument: let’s see whose horse is faster.
– Are you kidding? – The young man was surprised. – My horse can run around the world three times in an instant. How do you compete with me?
-No problem! The elders replied, “But we will see your horse gallop.
And they galloped. The seahorse, ringing horseshoes, rushed to the abyss in a whirlwind and stopped as if dug at its edge. The young man did not sit in the saddle and flew head down into the abyss, and the daughter of the Sea Shah fell to the ground. The brothers rushed to catch the seahorse, but as soon as they reached out their hands to it, it had already disappeared from sight. The older brothers arrived in their hometown, locked the sea princess and went to their father. For one lie they piled ten, for ten they built a hundred, told him about their dexterity and removal.
“And the horse you saw in your dream, Father,” they concluded their story, “is not in the world. There is no place on earth wherever we look for it. – I don’t need a horse! Tell me, where is your little brother? Dad asked. “He drove alone on a dangerous road. He did not obey us, the brothers replied, and died, probably, on the way.
My father’s grief was great. He dressed in black clothes, and all the neighbors mourned with him the death of a brave young man. And the older brothers now and then sent matchmakers to the daughter of the Sea Shah, and each matchmaker praised her fiancé.
– Let these deceivers beware! – the princess answered the matchmakers.- I myself know who I will marry!
And she looked out the window, at which she sat all day, not taking her eyes off the roadway. One early morning, the daughter of the Sea Shah finally saw a sea horse circling in the distance, gnawing on a rod and squinting at it with a fiery eye. She waved at him, and immediately the sea horse stood under her window.
“Where’s your master?” she asked.
“You know, you’ve fallen into the abyss,” the horse replied. – We have to save him! The daughter of the Sea Shah exclaimed.
“Throw a longer rope around my neck,” the horse said, “I’ll pull him out of the abyss.”
The beauty had no rope. She cut off her golden braid, twisted a long rope out of it, and threw it around the horse’s neck. At the same moment, the horse found himself at the abyss and lowered the golden rope to the very bottom. The young man grabbed her, got out into the white light, got on a sea horse and galloped into his hometown.
And the older brothers, as they heard the familiar ringing of horseshoes, went on a rampage: one to the west, the other to the east, and still, perhaps, they are still running. So the brave young man got his father a snow-white sea horse and married the beautiful daughter of the Sea Shah. The wedding was very fun! They blew into a leather zurna, beat a copper drum. Whoever came in left full and drunk. They say, and now they still drink and eat.