In a kingdom where everything was quiet, With no cataclysms, no wars and no shocks, A monstrous animal came as a plight, A kind of buffalo, a bull or an ox. The king had stomach trouble and asthma Frightening everyone to death with his cough. In the meantime the terrible monster Ate up people, or carried them off. The king proclaimed three decrees that ran as follows: "We must now do away with the beast, The one who dares to do it, I promise, Will take my daughter, the princess, to the priest". In that kingdom outraged by the catcher Somewhere right near the border line There lived a one time peerless archer Who enjoyed his disgraced, reckless life. There were people, wrapped in skins, on the ground, Their feast was going on with a swing When the air was rent by a trumpet sound And the archer was carried to the king. "Iíll not lecture you on morals, you youngster", Said the king as he coughed like a beast, "If you manage to kill that big monster You will take our princess to the priest". The archer said: "Your award is quite senseless! I would rather have a barrel of wine! I donít care a thing for the princess, - With the beast I shall work out fine". The king said: "Yes, you shall marry the princess, Or Iíll throw you to prison right off After all, itís the kingís lawful heiress". "No", - the man said, - "neíer in my life!" While the king was arguing with the weird man The big mammal, that monster, - oh my! - Had eaten up almost all hens and women And would hang around now nearby. Nothing doing, they agreed on the wine, and He killed the monster and ran off with the game. That is how the disgraced archer happened To put the king and the princess to shame.
© Alec Vagapov. Translation, 1998