In one tranquil, prosperous kingdom, That knew nothing of blizzards and wars, Once appeared a horrendous creature: A wild buffalo or a strange ox. The old king had bad ulcers and asthma, Folks were only afraid of his cough, In the meantime the terrible monster Ate a few, and the rest it dragged off. So the king wrote his first proclamation: "Kill the monster-beast. Cost what it might! And whoever will bring us salvation, Can then call my dear princess his bride!" But in this now despairing sad kingdom, (Once you enter, turn right at the stop) Ever reckless from woe, but in vigor, Lived the kingís former marksman - dead shot. On the floor lay both hides and menís figures, Songs were sang and hard honey was poured, But the heralds soon blew in their bugles And the marksman was brought to the court. So, the king coughed to him: "I wonít lecture you, young man, on whatís right and whatís wrong. But if you on the morrow will slay it, You can marry my girl before long." Said the marksman: "Such pay is not worthy, I would do it for a cask of old port! And your princess I donít want for nothing, But Iíll see that this monster gets shot." "You will have to," the king was remarking, "Take the princess or else youíll be jailed!" "I wonít wed her," replied the best marksman, "Even if it means I will be hanged!" At the time when the king was debating, The strange creature laid waste to the flocks, Ate most women, and circled the palace: A wild bull or maybe an ox. So it goes, the old port heíd disputed, Slayed the creature and then he ran off. That is how the old king and his princess Were disgraced by the former dead shot.
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2022