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

So he wandered through the dense, nigh impassable forest; and the farther he went, the easier the going became, for the trees and the thick bushes seemed to part to make way for him. Yet when he looked back, they had closed behind him; he looked to the right, and the undergrowth was so thick that a hare could not have passed through; he looked to the left, and that was even worse. The good merchant was astonished: he could not understand the marvel that was befalling him. He walked on and on along the beaten track that appeared beneath his feet. From dawn to dusk he walked, never hearing a wild beast roar, a snake hiss, an owl hoot or a bird sing. A deathly silence lay all about him. And then dark night descended making it pitch black all around except for a patch of light beneath his feet. On he walked till midnight and he began to see some kind of glow before him, and he thought:

"The forest must be on fire. Why am I heading for a certain death?"

He tried to retrace his steps, but he could not move; all around, the forest closed in on him. The only way was forward, along the beaten track.

"If that be so," he thought, "I'll stay where I am and the glow may go away, pass me by or even go out altogether." So he stood still and waited. But the glow seemed to come straight towards him lighting up the forest all around. He thought and thought and resigned himself to moving forward: "A man can only die once," he thought. So the merchant made the sign of the cross and moved on. The farther he went, the brighter grew the light until it was as clear as day. Yet he heard no noise or crackling of a fire. At last he emerged into a wide clearingand there in the centre a fantastic sight met his gaze: neither house nor mansion, but a magnificent palace, royal or imperial, shining with the light of silver and gold and precious stones. It blazed and glittered, yet there was no fire to be seen. It was like staring into the brilliant sun, it hurt his eyes to look at it. All the windows of the palace were thrown open and from within came sweet music, such as the merchant had never heard before.

Entering the great courtyard through grand open portals, he followed a path of white marble, past fountains, great and small, spouting on either side of the path. He entered the palace by a staircase carpeted with crimson cloth and with gilded banisters. Venturing into first one hall, then a second, and a third, he found no one there, then he entered a fifth hall, and a tenth, and still there was no one. Yet everywhere his gaze met furnishings for a king, such as he had never beheldgold and silver, Eastern crystal, and ivories.

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