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Alionushka


T

here lived a king and a queen; they had a son and a daughter, called Ivanushka and Alionushka. When their parents died the children remained alone and went wandering in the wide world.
    They walked and walked and walked till they saw a pond, and near the pond a herd of cows was grazing. "I am thirsty," said Ivanushka. "I want to drink." "Do not drink, little brother, or you will become a calf," said Alionushka. The brother heeded her and they went on farther; they walked and walked and saw a river, and near it a drove of horses. "Ah, little sister," Ivanushka said, "if you only knew how thirsty I am!" "Do not drink, little brother, or you will become a colt." Ivanushka heeded her, and they went on farther; they walked and walked and saw a lake, and near it a flock of sheep.
    "Ah, little sister, I am terribly thirsty," Ivanushka said. "Do not drink, little brother, or you will become a sheep." Ivanushka heeded her and they went on farther; they walked and walked and saw a stream, and near it pigs were feeding. "Ah, little sister, I must drink," Ivanushka said. "I am frightfully thirsty." "Do not drink, little brother, or you will become a piglet." Ivanushka heeded her again and they went on farther; they walked and walked and saw a flock of goats grazing near a well. "Ah, little sister, now I must drink," Ivanushka said. "Do not drink, little brother, or you will become a kid." But he could not restrain himself and did not heed his sister; he drank from the well, and became a kid. He leaped before Alionushka and cried: "Maa-ka-ka! maa-ka-ka!"
    Alionushka tied him with a silken belt and led him on, shedding tears, bitter tears. The kid ran and ran till he ran into the garden of a certain king. The servants saw him and at once reported to the king. "Your Majesty," they said, "in our garden there is a kid; a maiden is leading him on a belt, and she is a great beauty."

V.Grudinin and L.Matakova "Alionushka"

V.Grudinin and L.Matakova "Alionushka"
Box. 1980    Rostov enamel

    "The king ordered them to find out who she was. The servants asked her whence she came and of what parentage she was. "There were a king and a queen and they died," said Alionushka. "We children remained - I, the princess, and my little brother, the prince. He could not restrain himself, drank water from a well, and became a kid." The servants reported all this to the king. He called Alionushka before him and questioned her about everything; she pleased him and he wanted to marry her. Soon they celebrated their wedding and began to live together, and the kid lived with them; he walked in the garden and ate and drank with the king and queen.
    One day the king went hunting. While he was away a sorceress came and cast a spell on the queen; Alionushka fell ill and became thin and pale. Everything became gloomy at the king's palace; the flowers in the garden began to fade, the trees to dry, and the grass to wither. The king returned and asked the queen: "Are you sick?" "Yes, I am sick," answered the queen. Next day the king again went hunting. Alionushka lay ill; the sorceress came to her and said: "Do you want me to heal you? Go to such and such a sea at twilight and drink water there." The queen heeded her and at twilight went to that sea. The sorceress was waiting for her, seized her, tied a stone around her neck, and cast her into the sea. Alionushka sank to the bottom; the kid ran to the shore and wept bitterly. But the sorceress turned herself into the likeness of the queen and went back to the palace.

B.Kiseliov "Russian Fairy tales"

B.Kiseliov "Russian Fairy tales"
Box. 1999.  Kholui

   The king came home and was overjoyed to find that the queen was well again. They set the table and began to dine. "But where is the kid?" asked the king. "We don't want him with us," said the sorceress. "I gave orders that he be shut out; he has a goatlike smell." Next day, as soon as the king went hunting, the sorceress beat and beat the kid and threatened: "When the king returns I will ask him to slaughter you." The king returned and the sorceress begged him over and over again to have the kid slaughtered. "I am annoyed with him, I am tired of him," she said. The king pitied the kid, but there was nothing to be done; the queen insisted and urged him so much that in the end he consented and gave leave to have the kid slaughtered. The kid saw that steel knives were being sharpened for him, and he wept. He ran to the king and implored him: "King, give me leave to go to the sea, to drink water, to rinse my insides." The king let him go. The kid ran to the sea, stood on the shore, and cried plaintively:

Alionushka, my little sister,
Come up, come up to the shore.
Hot fires are burning,
Big kettles are boiling,
Steel knives are being sharpened -
They want to slaughter me!

She answered him:

Ivanushka, my little brother,
The heavy stone is pulling me down,
The cruel serpent has sucked out my heart.

The kid wept and returned home. In the middle of the day he again asked the king: "King, give me leave to go to the sea, to drink water and rinse my insides." The king allowed him to go. The kid ran to the sea and cried plaintively:

Alionushka, my little sister,
Come up, come up to the shore.
Hot fires are burning,
Big kettles are boiling,
Steel knives are being sharpened -
They want to slaughter me!

She answered him:

Ivanushka, my little brother,
The heavy stone is pulling me down,
The cruel serpent has sucked out my heart.

The kid wept and returned home. The king wondered why the kid kept running to the sea. Now the kid asked him for the third time: "King, give me leave to go to the sea, to drink water and rinse my insides." The king let him go and followed him. When he came to the sea he heard the kid calling to his sister:

Alionushka, my little sister,
Come up, come up to the shore.
Hot fires are burning,
Big kettles are boiling,
Steel knives are being sharpened -
They want to slaughter me!

She answered him:

Ivanushka, my little brother,
The heavy stone is pulling me down,
The cruel serpent has sucked out my heart.

The kid again called to his sister. Alionushka swam up and came to the surface. The king snatched her, tore the stone from her neck, pulled her ashore, and asked her how all this had happened. She told him everything. The king was overjoyed and so also was the kid; he capered, and everything in the garden grew green and blossomed again. The king ordered the sorceress to be put to death; a stake of wood was set up in the courtyard and she was burned. After that the king, the queen, and the kid began to live happily and to prosper and to eat and drink together as before.





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   "Ah, my sister, now I must drink,"
"Do not drink, little brother, or you will become a kid."
  








  

The king wondered why the kid kept running to the sea. The king let him go and followed him.