Picture by Kandinsky
three daughters came out to welcome
him home and, needless to say, to get
their presents. He gave Malvina the
earrings and Elvira got the silk scarf.
He then turned to Raisa. 'And for you
my dear, I have something I think you
will like.' When he brought out the
casket with the feather of Finist, she
a feather of Finist the Bright Falcon,
isn't it Father?' she exclaimed happily,
opening the casket. When she saw the
beautiful rainbow-coloured feather,
she hugged it to herself, all the time
dancing around the room like a mad thing.
her sisters, who had been watching all
this, exchanged glances. 'Well, it's
all right for a feather, I daresay,
but I can't for the life of me imagine
what it's good for.' Malvina sneered,
out of earshot of her father.
'Well, whatever tickles your fancy,
I suppose!' sniggered Elvira.
no notice of these remarks, Raisa thanked
her father, returned the feather to
its casket and went straight to her
tiny room at the top of the house. As
was her custom, she locked the door
she was alone in her room, she opened
the casket. The feather immediately
flew out and drifted gently to the floor.
It had barely touched the floorboards,
when a handsome young Tsar's son appeared
before her. Startled,she gasped out
'Who are you?'
said nothing at first and just stood
there smiling at her.
'Not - Finist?' she brought out at last.
'Who else?' he replied, at the same
time giving her an exaggerated bow and
a click of his heels.
She laughed and clapped her hands. 'That's
just what you did in my dream!' she
After a while she forgot her nervousness
and soon they were talking together
as if they had known each other all
her sisters had heard the sounds of
whispering and muffled laughter coming
from her room. They knocked upon the
door calling out 'Who are you talking
to in there, Raisa?' 'No one, I'm just
talking to myself as usual,' she replied,
trying to repress a giggle. This, of
course, infuriated the other two, who
demanded to be let into the room at
The Tsar's son immediately changed back
into a feather again. She picked up
the feather, returned it to its casket
and unlocked the door. Her two sisters
made a mad dash into the room, but there
appeared to be no one there but Raisa.
faces they made! Malvina muttered 'She's
really going off her head now!' Elvira
scowled in agreement.'That's what comes
of Father giving in to her silly whims
- I don't know how he could waste money
on such a silly thing!'
sisters had barely left the room when
the feather changed back into the form
of the Tsar's son and Raisa could not
help but laugh. 'I wish I could laugh
like this about my sisters when I'm
alone,' she said.
'From now on,' said Finist, 'you need
never be alone again; whenever you call
for me I will fly to you. If you should
ever want anything, just wave the feather
to the right and everything you wish
for will be yours. When you wave it
to the left, all will be as before.'
the first rays of dawn broke over the
dark forest, they said their farewells.
Raisa took the feather from the casket,
opened the window and called out:
out and away,
out wild and free,
the time is right -
the dark midnight!'
feather changed into a rainbow coloured
falcon and flew out and upwards into
the brightening sky.