Tsarevnas of the Underground Kingdom
all the meat was gone and there was
still quite some way to go. The eagle
began to turn its head towards Ivan
again. Ivan knowing that there was no
meat left to give it shouted out:
'Turn around, there's nothing left for
you!' The eagle fixed Ivan with its
Ivan stared back at the eagle but he
was trembling in every limb. After what
seemed like an enternity, the eagle
turned away again and Ivan breathed
a sigh of relief.
with a screech that froze Ivan's blood,
the eagle turned its head right around,
tore a piece of flesh from Ivan's neck
and swallowed it. Suddenly they were
flying upwards through the shaft.
Ivan was in such a state of fear and
shock that he felt no pain. He was sure
that the eagle was about to devour him
piece by piece. He made up his mind
to jump off immediately, should it even
look at him again.
if in a dream he registered that were
flying up and up through the shaft towards
a distant speck of light. When they
reached the top, the eagle alighted
beside the black
marble stone. Ivan tumbled onto the
ground from the eagle's back. He lay
stunned on the damp grass expecting
the eagle to devour him.
instead, the eagle brought back up the
piece of flesh he had swallowed and
told Ivan to hold it against the wound.
Ivan did as the eagle said and his wound
was healed. The eagle flew back down
through the shaft.
by the rays of the sun, Ivan slowly
felt the strength returning to his body.
As he lay on the cool earth the sunlight
sparkled on one of his rings and he
remembered where he was.
knelt and kissed the moist, black earth
of Mother Russia, and then saw that
his skin and clothes had returned to
a normal colour. After saying a prayer
of thanks, he returned to his home.
found the three Tzarevnas awaiting his
return at his parent's house. They too,
had been freed from the enchantment
since they had returned to the upper
parents had been told of what his brothers
had done and they had been sent away
in disgrace. Ivan begged his parents
to forgive his brothers and they were
allowed to come home again.
Ivan married the Tsarevna from the Golden
Kingdom and they had many children.
The other two Tsarevnas also married,
but not Ivan's brothers, who stayed
living happily with their parents.