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Princess & the 7 Bogatyrs


 

A tale very similar to the USA version of Snow White, except it features 7 bogatyrs (warriors) instead of 7 dwarves.

A long time ago there lived a princess and her widowed father. One day the tsar married a beautiful but jealous woman, who became the queen. She had a magic mirror and often asked it who was the fairest throughout the land. The mirror always answered that the queen was the most beautiful lady of all. But one day when she asked the question, her mirror said that the tsar's daughter from his first marriage was the most beautiful of them all.

The queen became angry and jealous and ordered her chambermaid to take the princess into the heart of the woods and abandon her. As the princess wandered alone through the deep woods, she came across a cottage where seven bogatyrs (knights) lived and she was invited to stay with them. One of them even asked for her hand in marriage, but she was already engaged to a brave young man named Prince Elisey so she had to turn him down.

Meanwhile, the jealous queen asked her magic mirror again who was the fairest throughout the land and the mirror replied again that the princess was the most beautiful one.

The chambermaid was sent out again. Disguised as an old beggar woman, she gave a poisoned apple to the princess as a present. The princess ate the apple and died. The seven knights carried her in a crystal coffin to a small deserted cave.

Meanwhile, ever since the princess had disappeared her fiancee Prince Elisey had been trying to find her. He went to the four corners of the earth, asking the sun and moon where she was, but they could not tell him. At last he asked the wind, who gave him directions to the cave where the princess lay.

When Elisey saw his beloved princess, he broke into sobs, then hit the crystal coffin with all his might, and the princess magically came to life!

When they returned to her home, the queen died of rage and grief when she saw the princess alive and well. The princess and Elisey married and lived happily ever after.

 

 

This story is also considered to be "The tale of the Dead Princess"