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The Grey Wolf by MiloNeuman The Grey Wolf by MiloNeuman
Part 2! The version of the story I based this on has some slightly different details (the cage is in a garden, and the princess is in the castle) but mostly it's the same. I haven't drawn part 3 yet, so that'll be up after this weekend, most likely.

PART 1: [link]
PART 3: [link]


The young men bowed to their father, saddled good horses, and set out on their travels: the eldest in one direction, the second son in another, and Prince Ivan in a third direction.
He rode near and far, high and low, along by-paths and by-ways - for speedily a tale is spun, but with less speed a deed is done - until he came to a wide, open field, a green meadow. And there in the field stood a pillar, and on the pillar these words were written: "Whosoever goes from this pillar on the road straight before him will be cold and hungry. "Whosoever goes to the right side will be safe and sound, but his horse will be killed. And whosoever goes to the left side will be killed himself, but his horse will be safe and sound." Prince Ivan read this inscription and went to the right, thinking that although his horse might be killed, he himself would remain alive and would in time get another horse.
He rode one day, then a second day, then a third. Suddenly an enormous gray wolf came toward him and said: "Ah, so it's you, young lad, Prince Ivan! You saw the inscription on the pillar that said that your horse would be killed if you came this way. Why then have you come hither?" When he had said these words, he tore Prince Ivan's horse in twain and ran off to one side.
Prince Ivan was sorely grieved for his horse; he shed bitter tears and then continued on foot. He walked a whole day and was utterly exhausted. He was about to sit down and rest for a while when all at once the gray wolf caught up with him and said: "I am sorry for you, Prince Ivan, because you are exhausted from walking; I am also sorry that I ate your good horse. Tell me why you have travelled so far, and where you are going"
"My father has sent me to ride through the world until I find the Firebird."
"Why, you could have ridden even on your good horse for three years and never found the Firebird for only I know where it lives. I ate your horse, so now I will serve you faithfully and well. Get on my back and hold on tight."

Prince Ivan seated himself astride the grey wolf, and it loped away, past the green forests, and the azure lakes. At last they came to a very high fortress. There the grey wolf told Ivan:
"Listen to me, and remember what I say. Climb over the wall and do not be afraid; all the guards are asleep. In the attic you will see a small window; in the window hangs a golden cage, and in that cage is the Firebird. Take the bird and hide it under your coat; but be sure not to touch the cage."
Prince Ivan climbed over the wall and saw the attic. And, just as the wolf had said, in the attic window a golden cage was hanging, and the Firebird was in the cage. He took out the bird and put it under his coat. But as he looked at the golden cage he could not help coveting it. It was made of precious gold; how could he leave it behind? He completely forgot what the wolf had told him. But as soon as he touched the cage the alarm was sounded all through the fortress; drums rolled and trumpets blared, the guards woke up, captured Prince Ivan and took him to Tsar Afron. The tsar was furious at this attempt to steal the Firebird and the cage, and asked the prince:
"Who are you, and where are you from?"
"I am Prince Ivan, the son of Tsar Berendey," Ivan replied.
"How shameful! The son of a tsar coming here to steal!" the tsar exclaimed.
"That is as may be," the prince retorted. "But your bird flew to our orchard and stole the golden apples."
In that case you should have come to me and asked me for the Firebird and I would have given it to you out of respect for your father. But now I shall see to it that all the world knows of your behavior! And in order to earn my forgiveness you will have to enter my service. A certain Tsar Kusman has a horse with a golden mane. Bring that horse to me, and I will give you the Firebird and the cage."
Prince Ivan was downcast at the thought of having to undertake such a task, and he went to tell the grey wolf what had happened. But the wolf said to him:
"I told you not to touch the cage. Why did you disobey me?"
"I know I did wrong; but forgive me, grey wolf."
"It is easy enough to ask forgiveness," the wolf answered. "All right, get on my back again. We will not turn back now."
Once more the grey wolf loped off with Prince Ivan on its back. And at last they came to the fortress where the horse with the golden mane was stabled. Then the wolf told Ivan:
"Climb over the wall; do not be afraid, the guards are asleep. Go to the stable and bring out the horse. But be sure not to touch the bridle you will see hanging there."
The prince climbed over the wall into the fortress, and saw that the guards were asleep. He went straight to the stable and found the horse with the golden mane. But his eyes fell on a bridle hanging up; it was of gold and studded with precious stones: the only bridle fit for a horse with a golden mane. And he put out his hand to take it. But at once the alarm was sounded all through the fortress; drums rolled and trumpets blared, the guards woke up, took the prince a prisoner and led him before Tsar Kusman.
"Who are you, and where are you from ?" the tsar asked Ivan.
"I am Prince Ivan."
"To attempt to steal a horse shows little wisdom! Even a peasant would not try to do that. But I will let you off, Prince Ivan, if you agree to enter my service. A certain tsar named Dalmat has a daughter, the beautiful Helen. Carry her off and bring her to me, and then I will give you the golden-maned horse and the golden bridle."
At this verdict Prince Ivan was even more downcast than before. Again he went to see the grey wolf. But the wolf said:
"I told you not to touch the bridle. You did not obey my orders."
"Nevertheless, forgive me, forgive me, grey wolf," the prince pleaded.
"It is all very well, saying “forgive”. All right, get on my back."
Once more the grey wolf raced off with Prince Ivan on his back, until they came to Tsar Dalmat's fortress. But this time the grey wolf said to the prince:
"I am not going to ser am going myself. You set of back to Tsar Afron; I will soon catch up."
Prince Ivan obediently started to go back, while the grey wolf sprang over the fortress wall and into the garden. In the garden the beautiful Helen was walking with her attendants. The wolf sat behind a bush and watched them, and the moment the princess fell a little way behind her attendants the wolf seized her, flung her over his back, and scampered away. Ivan had gone some distance when the grey wolf caught up with him, bringing the beautiful Helen sitting on its back. The prince was delighted, but the wolf said:
"Quick, get on my back, in case we are followed."
The prince sat on the wolf's back behind the princess, and the wolf rushed away with them, past the green forests and the azure rivers and lakes. At last they arrived at Tsar Kusman's fortress. But the prince seemed very sad, so the wolf asked:
"Why are you silent, Prince Ivan? Are you sad?"
"Have I not good reason to be, grey wolf? How can I part with this beautiful princess? How can I exchange her for a horse?"
"I will see to it that you are not parted from her," the wolf promised. "We will hide her somewhere, then I will turn myself into the beautiful Princess Helen, and you can lead me to the tsar."
So they hid the princess in a forest hut. Then the grey wolf uttered a magic spell and at once became her living image. Prince Ivan took her to Tsar Kusman. The tsar was delighted and said:
"Thank you, Prince Ivan, for getting me such a beautiful woman for my wife. Take the golden-maned horse and the bridle."
The prince bridled the horse, mounted it, and rode off to the hut where the true Helen was hidden. He seated her behind him on the horse, and they rode away.

Meanwhile, Tsar Kusman made arrangements for his wedding, feasted all day and half the night, and, when it was time for bed, he led the mock-princess into his bedroom. But when he lay down beside her on the bed he found he was lying not with a beautiful young wife, but with a grey wolf. He was terrified and fled, and the wolf slipped away and out of the fortress. When the wolf caught up with Prince Ivan it noticed that he was looking sad again, so it asked:
"Why are you so thoughtful, prince?"
"I have good reason to be. I am sad to think I have to give up the golden-maned horse in exchange for the Firebird."
"Do not be downhearted; I will help you," said the wolf. When they arrived at Tsar Afron's fortress the wolf said:
"You go and hide the horse and the princess. Then I will turn myself into the golden-maned horse and you can take me to Tsar Afron."
So they hid Helen and the horse in the forest. The grey wolf uttered a magic spell and became a golden-maned horse, and Ivan led the horse to the tsar. Tsar Afron was delighted, and gave him the Firebird and the golden cage as well. The prince carried the cage with the bird into the forest, seated the princess on the golden-maned horse, and rode off on his journey back to his native country.
Meanwhile, Tsar Kusman gave the order for the golden-maned horse to be brought to him. But when he tried to mount it the horse turned into a grey wolf. The tsar was so frightened that he fell to the ground, while the grey wolf made good its escape and soon overtook Prince Ivan.
"Now I must say goodbye; I cannot come any farther," it told the prince.
So Ivan dismounted from his horse and bowed very low three times, thanking the grey wolf respectfully. But the wolf said:
"Do not bid goodbye forever to me. I shall yet be of service to you."
"How can you be of any further service to me?" Ivan thought. "All my wishes have come true."
Add a Comment:
KJanuary Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
All the details packed into a single image! Or so many images combined. And yet it looks elegant rather than busy. Have I told you yet that you are my chosen illustrator for certain tales of mine? Because you are. (I suppose I should ask rather than inform...)
MiloNeuman Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Student General Artist
It would be my pleasure, Miz January. :D
ElwenAldalinde Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
I love this style of illustration. Beautiful work, sir! I look forward to the continuation of the tale!
MiloNeuman Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks so much, Elwen!
Doodlee-a Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Whoa... I have an illustrated book of fairy tales, but they do it with the man that has an eye that weeps and an eye that laughs. And instead of a wolf, it is a fox who the youngest son is kind to. Interesting how the stories change, eh?
MiloNeuman Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Student General Artist
I have this book with about 200 russian fairy tales, and so many of them are so similar with only a few different details.
Doodlee-a Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Oh sweet! I love fairy tale books. I've been meaning to illustrate from my collection for a school project, or just a personal project.
TheBuggiest Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Oooh, this story is beginning to sound a little familiar...
MiloNeuman Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Student General Artist
There are many folktales but very few formulas that they all follow. :P
TheBuggiest Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
XDDD True story! But that's part of what makes them fun.
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Submitted on
November 29, 2012
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