Tzarevnas of the Underground Kingdom
some time travelling through the dark
tunnel, he saw a golden glow up ahead
of him. Soon the tunnel ended and he
came out into an even larger cavern
than the previous one. Everything in
that Tzardom seemed to be bathed in
a pure golden light. For a moment he
thought he felt the sun, but when he
looked up he realised that, although
that golden light seemed to have a little
of the warmth of the upper world, there
was no sun to be seen.
he thought back on it afterwards, it
reminded him more of a reflection of
sunlight upon water than sunlight itself.
Under that light his own skin and clothes
began to take on a golden glow. Everything
in the Golden Kingdom was made of purest
The Tsarevna stood on the golden sands
in front of the palace. She was pleased
to see him and set in front of him food
of gold and sparkling golden wine.
he told her he had left home to look
for a wife. 'If you would like to marry
me then come with me now.'
To his great surprise and joy, the princess
answered with a smile: 'Of course I
will marry you. But take this golden
ring, which will protect you. You must
wear it always, along with the copper
and the silver rings. And now we must
go and free my sisters.'
On their way back through the dark tunnel,
they passed through the Silver Kingdom.
Here, they were greeted with great joy
by the Silver Tsarevna, who joined them.
Presently they came to the Copper Kingdom,
where the first Tsarevna joined them.
continued on their way, until they reached
the shaft though which Ivan had made
his descent into the underground realms.
The harness was still hanging down and
although Ivan could not see the top
of the shaft, unknown to him, his two
brothers were at that very moment standing
there. Their parents had sent them to
look for Ivan. Guessing that he was
somewhere below, they had already spent
several hours trying to pluck up the
courage to go down. Eventually they
had persuaded each other that Ivan was
had been just about to leave when the
Tsarevna from the Copper Kingdom climbed
into the harness and gave it a little
tug. The brothers saw the ropes moving
and realised that someone was signalling
from below. They began to draw up the
harness with the Copper Tsarevna in
it. When she was safely at the top they
let the harness down again.
This time the Tsarevna from the Silver
Kingdom got into the harness, and was
drawn up. Then the Tsarevna from the
Golden Kingdom was drawn up the shaft.
Finally, Ivan himself got into the harness
and the brothers pulled and pulled.
By this time they were getting tired
of pulling on the ropes.
they realised it was Ivan, they became
jealous at the thought that their younger
brother had succeeded where they had
failed miserably. 'Why should we help
him?' said Gregory.
'We'll be the laughing stock of the
village!' agreed Misha. Just before
he was half way up, Gregory bent down
and before the Tsarevnas could stop
him, he had slashed through the ropes
of the harness. The Tsarevnas wept bitterly
for Ivan, and begged the brothers to
help him, but they would not. The Tsarevnas
could only comfort themselves with the
thought that Ivan was still wearing