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Fairy Tale: The Little Scarlet Flower


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Description of the Tale:

Tale's Author: Sergej Aksakov, translated by James Riordan.
Name of the Tale: The Little Scarlet Flower
Fairy-Tale's Genre: Love and romance
The People of Country: literary working of russian national tale's.

The Little Scarlet Flower

Part One  | Part Two  | Part Three  | Part Four  | Part Five  | Part Six  | Part Seven  | Part Eight  | Part Nine  | Part Ten  | Part Eleven  | Part Twelve  | Part Thirteen

She began to reassure him with solemn words and vows that she would return to his lofty palace exactly one hour before the three days and nights expired. Taking leave of her master, kind and gracious, she put the gold ring on the little finger of her right hand and found herself in the spacious courtyard of the merchant, her own dear father. She went up to the high porch of his stone mansion, and all the servants and attendants came running to meet her with a great clamour and shouting; and her beloved sisters ran to greet her and, when they saw her, they marvelled at her beauty and her royal apparel. Taking her by her lily-white hands, they led her to her dear father; her father was lying sick, sick and woeful, for he had pined for her day and night, shedding bitter tears. And he could hardly credit his good fortune when he saw his beloved youngest daughter, so good and sweet and fair; and he marvelled at her maidenly beauty and her royal apparel.

For long they kissed and embraced, and comforted one another with tender words. Then she told her dear father and beloved elder sisters of her manner of life with the Beast of the Forest, Denizen of the Deep, all there was to tell, not withholding a single thing. And the merchant rejoiced at her rich and royal life and marvelled that she had grown accustomed to the sight of her terrible master and that she was unafraid of the Beast of the Forest, Denizen of the Deep; he himself trembled and shook at the mere memory of him. But the elder sisters were envious of her, hearing of their younger sister's countless riches and the royal power she had over her master, as if he were her slave.

That day passed like a single hour, and the second day went by like a minute; and on the third day the elder sisters set to persuading their younger sister not to return to the Beast of the Forest, Denizen of the Deep. "Let him perish..." they said. But their dear guest, the youngest sister, grew angry with her elder sisters and spoke these words to them, "If I repay my good and gracious master by a cruel death for all his kindness and his ardent, boundless love, then I shall not be worthy of living in this world, and I should be given to wild beasts to tear ma apart."

Her father, the honest merchant, praised her for these noble words, and it was decided that his beloved, youngest daughter, good and kind, would return exactly one hour before the appointed time to the Beast of the Forest, Denizen of the Deep. But the sisters were resentful and devised a plan cunning and unkind: they put back by a full hour all me ciocks in me house, without the merchant or all his loyal servants and attendants knowing of it.
And when the real hour arrived, the merchant's lovely young daughter felt pain and heartache, as if something was chafing her; and she looked constantly at her father's clocks, the English and the Germanbut they showed it was too early to set off on her distant journey. All the while, her sisters were telling and asking her about this and that, so as to detain her. At last, her heart could bear it no longer; the merchant's lovely young daughter, her father's favourite, bade farewell to the honest merchant, her dear father, received his blessing, and bade farewell to her elder sisters, to the faithful servants and the attendants. A minute before the appointed hour, she put the gold ring on the little finger of her right hand and found herself in the white stone palace, in the lofty chambers of the Beast of the Forest, Denizen of the Deep. She wondered why he did not meet her, so she cried in a loud voice,

"Where art thou, my gracious lord, my faithful friend? Why dost thou not meet me? I have returned earlier than the appointed time by a full hour and a minute." No answer came, no greeting hailed her; there was a deathly silence. In the verdant gardens, the birds were not singing their heavenly songs, the fountains of water were not cascading, the clear springs were no longer babbling and no sweet music played in the lofty chambers. The merchant's lovely daughter was full of foreboding and felt a shudder pass through her heart; she ran through the lofty chambers and the verdant gardens, called her gracious master in a voice of despair-but no answer or greeting or responding call was anywhere to be heard. Then she ran to the grassy mound where grew in beauty her beloved Little Scarlet Flower; and she beheld the Beast of the Forest, Denizen of the Deep, lying on the mound, clasping the Little Scarlet Flower in his misshapen paws. She thought at first he had fallen asleep while awaiting her and was now in a deep slumber.

Gently, the merchant's lovely daughter began to wake him, but he did not hear her; and she began to shake him by his shaggy paw. Then it was she saw that the Beast of the Forest, Denizen of the Deep, was not breathing, was lying as one dead...

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