"The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Knights" - a fairy tale by A. S. Pushkin in 1833.
"The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Knights" in brief
On a winter evening, three sisters are sitting in a village room for yarn. The older and the middle speak for their beauty and pretense, while the younger is silent. For their meekness and modesty, the sisters consider her a fool and force her to work for herself. They dreamed about what each would be famous for if the king had married her. The eldest boasts to set an unprecedented feast, the middle one alone to weave canvases on the whole world, and the youngest promised to give birth to a warrior-son for the father-king. All this was heard by King Saltan hiding under the window. He enters the room and announces the decision: all three to live in the palace, the eldest to be a cook, the middle to be a weaver, and the youngest to be a tsar’s wife. The king left with his younger sister, and the other two and Babarikh began to consult how to upset the happiness of a successful fool, and they decided to deceive Saltan.
The king went to war, and in the meantime a son was born to the young Tsarina Militrisa. Peacefully flows life in a wide royal court. Only the queen knows no peace: she is worried that for a long time there is no messenger with a response letter from Saltan. In vain the buffoon tries to lure her with his jokes; neither the tales of the Old Grandfather nor the mock kindness of the sisters bringing her gifts amuse her. But then a cheeky and talkative Messenger appears; deft conspirators, having drunk him, replaced Saltanov’s letter. The clerks embarrassedly read the order: "Throw the queen and the offspring in a barrel into the abyss of waters." The people hesitate in indecision, but retreats before the threats of the triumphant sisters and Babarikha. A barrel with Militris and the Tsarevich is allowed into the sea.
Deserted coast of the island of Buyana. Here, having heeded the queen's prayers, the wave carried out a barrel. Militris pitifully complains about fate, and a noticeably grown up prince frolics playfully, rejoicing in a bright world. Having made a bow, he goes in search of game, but suddenly he sees a huge kite that is chasing a swan, and with a well-aimed arrow kills him. To the amazement of the Tsarina and Tsarevich, the Swan Bird came out of the sea and spoke in human language. She promised to repay good for good and disappeared. Imperceptibly night fell. Mother and son fell asleep. And with the first rays of the morning dawn from the fog, magically, a city arose. To the festive bells and cannon fire from his gates a solemn procession appeared. The residents of the fabulous city of Lollipop joyfully greet Gwidon and ask them to become their ruler.
Guidon became a prince, but his father’s longing tormented him. He looks sadly after the ship, which holds the way to the kingdom of Saltan. At the call of Guidon, a Swan bird appears from the sea. Having learned the cause of his sadness, she turns the prince into a bumblebee so that he can catch up with the ship and see his father.
The ship sailed to the Saltanov kingdom. The king invites shipbuilders to visit, treats them and asks about the miracles that they saw while traveling across the wide world. The shipbuilders talk about the magical appearance of the city of Lollipop on a deserted island, about a squirrel gnawing gold nuts, about thirty-three sea knights and about the glorious mighty prince Guidon, the ruler of this city. Saltan is surprised; he wants to visit a wonderful city; the worried Weaver and the Cook discourage him. Babarikha talks about a miracle that is not in the city of Lollipop - about the overseas princess of indescribable beauty. Overwhelmed by the plots of the conspirators, the bumblebee takes turns stinging them and, causing a general commotion, flies away.
Again the sad Guidon wanders around the sea. The story of Babarikha does not go from his memory. In grief, Gwidon calls the Swan bird and, having told her about his ardent love for an unknown beauty, asks for help. The excitement of Guidon touches the Swan bird, and it turns into the beautiful Princess, whom he so ardently dreamed of. Queen Militris blesses the young couple.
In joyful impatience, Gwidon and Militris await the arrival of Saltan. Finally his fleet appeared in the distance. To the bell ringing and greetings of the people, the king enters the palace with his retinue. The display of the wonders of the city of Candy begins. Before the amazed gaze of the king and guests, a magical squirrel appears in a crystal house, thirty-three naval heroes pass by, the beautiful princess Lebed appears, and finally, beloved Saltanova's wife, Tsarina Militrisa. The tsar embraces her and his son with tears, forgiving forgives envious sisters. A wild feast begins.