'A Tale of Vladimir the Great'

Ana Agnesa September 28, 2018
Action/Adventure
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    In a Tsardom far away, across vast lands of mountains and forests, sits a beautiful seaside town. There lived a poor man and his wife. They had been married only a short time, but they were deeply in love and spent all their days together.
    One day, the husband told his wife that in order for them to get enough money to survive the winters, he would have to go away on long trips in search of work. The wife understood, they were struggling very much, and she would always devotedly wait for his return.
    At first he would only be away for days at a time, and the wife would get so excited to see her husband again. However, with each trip, their time apart grew longer and longer, and their time together became shorter and shorter. Excursions that once took days turned to weeks, and months turned into a year.
    The wife would often get very lonely without his company, and thought about how she longed of having someone to care of in the house, perhaps a little man?
    After her husband returned from a six-month trip, she gleefully welcomed him, and explained to him her wishes.
    ‘Dear husband, thou leave me for so long, I will surely perish from loneliness. I wish for a son. A son as handsome, strong, and intelligent as his father, so that I may gaze upon his face and see thee.’
    ‘My sweet wife, how I also dream of having a family to spend my days with, but winters will be harsh, and I have only enough money to sustain us two.’
    ‘O dear husband, I thank the Lord and thee for the food that nourishes us, and for the clothes that keep us warm. I only ask for this one more thing to comfort my breaking heart. For without thee or a child, I will surely not survive the next winter.’
    And so the husband promised to give his wife a son, for he loved her deeply, and realized her happiness was his true priority.

    The husband set off on another journey, and returned nine months later, just in time to see the birth of his first son. They named the child Oleg. He was the most beautiful and happy baby one had ever seen. Each time he giggled, his mother’s heart became fuller and fuller with love, until you could see that it glow from her chest. However, an especially harsh winter came, and although Oleg was beautiful and lovely, he was not strong enough to withstand the cold, and shortly died.
    His mother was utterly heart broken; her first son gone. She ran into a nearby wood to suffer her grief. She sobbed and bawled tears so big that they flooded together to create a stream that ran along the forest floor. Animals came and investigated, for they knew that the tears of a grieving mother were very powerful. Where the stream ran, flowers and bushes began to shoot from the snow and grow until what was once a small wood turned into a rich green forest. She cried and cried until her glowing heart turned dim and grey, and sorrowfully she returned home, not noticing that her loss gave new life to the wood. When the forest grew larger, wildlife that hadn’t been seen there in many years began to return, such as foxes, rabbits, and elk, and the animals were very grateful.

    Seeing how sad his wife was, the husband promised to give her another son, as her happiness was his true priority.
    He left on another journey and returned twelve months later, just in time to see his second son turn three months old. They named him Viktor. How beautiful and strong this child was, even more so than Oleg, for he had survived the harshness of the Russian winter. Each time he squeezed his mother’s finger tightly, her heart became fuller and fuller with love, until you could see it once again glow brightly from her chest. Months passed and summer came, and all the lakes and sea melted to a crystal blue. Viktor had never seen such a phenomenon before, and although beautiful and strong, he was not perceptive and fell into the water and drowned.
    The mother was completely heart broken; her second son had also gone. She ran back into the forest to suffer her grief. She wailed and wept tears so big that this time, they flooded together to create a grand river that rushed across the forest floor. Animals gathered and watched, for they knew that the tears of a grieving mother were very powerful, especially her who has lost two sons. Where the river ran, trees and vines began to erupt from the ground and grow until what was once a fine forest turned into a great jungle. She cried and cried until her glowing heart turned cold and pale, and sorrowfully she returned home, again not noticing that her loss gave new life to the wood. When the jungle grew larger, more wildlife began to return, such as leopards, tigers, and bears, and the animals were very grateful.

    The husband was very sad to see his wife this way, and promised that he would give her whatever she wanted to make her happy.
    ‘Dear husband, I do not want another child if he is to be so cruelly torn away. All I ask is that thou stay with me. Find local work here in the town and do not go away anymore.’
    The husband agreed, and promised he’d remain with her, as he loved his wife deeply, and her happiness was his true priority.

    Months passed, which turned into years. The husband had found a good job in the town and was able to spend more time with his wife, and although they were happy, their hearts didn’t glow like they once did.
    One day, the wife rushed to the husband with news.
    ‘Dear husband, I have miraculous news, I am pregnant with thy child!’
    “Sweet wife, this is wondrous news indeed! I’m so glad to see how happy this makes thee.’
    And it was true, she was happy, but a terrible sense of unease was not far behind.

    Months later she gave birth to their third son. They named him Vladimir, a name that means ‘great power’ and ‘ruler of the people’. He was the most beautiful, strong, and intelligent child you have ever seen. Even more so than his brothers, for he had survived the harshness of the Russian winter, and understood the dangers that all the seasons can bring.
    Each time he gazed into his mother’s eyes, her heart became fuller and fuller with love, until slowly, once again, it began to glow brightly from her chest.

    Years passed, and Vladimir was growing up to be a fine boy who loved and respected his parents, but his mother’s fears and worries prevailed. She constantly anticipated misfortune, so she went deep into the forest to find solace. The trees and the breeze gave her much comfort, so she knelt down beside the river and prayed that no harm would come to her young son.
    The animals of the forest heard her prayers and when they came to investigate, immediately recognized the woman.
    ‘This is our mother whose loss gave us life!’
    ‘She has grieved so much, we owe her our guidance.’
    Agreeing that they were in debt to her, three beasts stepped out from behind the trees into to the forest opening where she knelt. The mother, hearing rustling, looked up, and was startled to see a leopard, a tiger, and a bear peering at her.
    ‘Please beasts, have mercy on me! I have suffered so much grief already.’
    ‘Do not be afraid Mother, we have not come to hurt thee, but to serve thee. Thou hast brought this forest life, and we are grateful for that. ’
    ‘I thank thee beasts, but I have everything I’ve ever wanted. All I wish is that my son Vladimir continues to grow up to be a fine and honorable young man.’
    ‘If that is thy wish, we will bestow upon him blessings from the forest, so that he may be more heroic and righteous than any man before. And as he is our brother too, we will strive that no harm will ever come his way.’
    The first beast stepped forward.
    ‘I the leopard, will gift thee son with athleticism and strength, so he may be as swift and powerful as I.’
    The second beast stepped forward.
    ‘And I the tiger, will gift thee son with looks and honor, so he may be as handsome and righteous as I.’
    The third beast stepped forward.
    ‘And I the bear, will gift thee son with wit and perseverance, so he may be as intelligent and determined as I.’
    The mother thanked the beasts for their kind blessings. After they disappeared back into the trees, she quickly returned home to see her son.

    Vladimir grew up healthy and strong. For sixteen years he worked tirelessly in the town alongside the mayor helping to bring down thieves, spies, and crooks. Just as the beasts of the forests promised, he was a righteous young man, strong and athletic too. His determination and intelligence helped him bring many criminals to justice, and as he was so handsome and compelling, he quickly garnered a lot of attention from townsfolk. There had never been a man more fine or honorable before him. News of his great successes in the quaint seaside town quickly spread across the land, and even reached the old wise Tsar himself, who asked to meet with Vladimir personally.

    Vladimir was hesitant to go. He knew it would be a long journey and he’d miss his parents very much, for he loved them dearly. His mother was also worried about him leaving, but remembered what the creatures of the forest had told her – that there has never a more righteous man before him, and that harm would not come his way.
    ‘My dearest son, please go and visit our wise Tsar. Thou hast brought our family so much joy and honor, and transformed this town for good. Perhaps by the Tsar’s side, thy will be able to transform the entire Russia to a become a stronger more powerful land, like how it once was in days past.’
    Seeing the light and passion in his mother’s eyes, and glow from her heart, he swiftly set off on the long journey.

    He travelled for many days, crossing seas, forests, and mountains, till finally he reached the Tsar’s Palace. He was surprised to see such a colourful array of people from all across the Tsardoms were flocked outside, waiting to see the Tsar and seek his wise guidance.
    Vladimir had travelled far, with little food, or water, and only the clothes on his back. He looked ragged, but still handsome and strong, and when the people of the Tsardoms saw him approach, they hurried to make way for his horse.
    ‘Who is this man?’
    ‘So tired and dirty looking. Yet also so powerful and noble.’
    ‘Perhaps a Rytsar, coming from a distant battle?’

    Vladimir swiftly entered the palace gates to where the old Tsar eagerly greeted him with food to eat, wine to drink, and fine robes to wear.
    ‘Vladimir, thy presence here has been greatly anticipated. I have heard many tales of how thou hast served thy town, and I believe thou will be a great asset to me. Thou hast seen outside the palace gates, that people flock from all eight of my Tsardoms to seek my wise guidance. If thou shall prove thyself in my Royal council, I will make thee an advisor to the Tsar, and shower thee with spices and silver.’
    Although he was not interested in the generous gifts, Vladimir agreed, as he was a lawful and fair man, and knew that he should help the people.

    They entered the magnificent throne room. The Tsar sat under a canopy of silk and on a seat of gold, while Vladimir sat on a simple, but beautifully engraved wooden stool on his left.
    A young man walked in slowly. He was skinny and for weeks unfed. He removed from his sleeve a small wheat loaf and presented it to the Tsar.
    ‘O Tsar’s majesty, please listen to my plea, as I have travelled all the way from thy third Tsardom. I come from a large family in a small and poor village, three brothers and three sisters, with each three sons and three daughters. This is the last of the food that we have. We are already so hungry and surely won’t see till the end of the winter. I beg for help and guidance.’
    The Tsar thought for a moment. He gazed at the small loaf, and then at the young man.
    ‘This can be solved easily! I have plenty of food in my kitchens. I will make sure my servants will pack thee ten carts full, and horses to carry it. That will certainly keep thy family fed for the year. What dost ye think my dear advisors?’
    Each member of the Tsar’s council nodded and approved, praising the old Tsar’s kindness and generosity, all except Vladimir, who spoke up.
    ‘Give this man enough food to fill a wool sack.’
    The Tsar was appalled.
    ‘How cruel canst thou be? That will be enough to keep his family fed for a week!’
    But Vladimir was not deterred.
    ‘In a week, I will make sure he has enough food to last a lifetime, and even more to sell. His family will survive many winters.’
    The Tsar knew that Vladimir was more intelligent and trustworthy than any other man before him, so gave the frail man just a humble sack of food, and Vladimir his spices and silver. The man left dolefully, expecting ten carts of food carried by ten horses.

    At once Vladimir left the Palace with the treasures the Tsar had given him. The Tsar’s other advisors immediately began calling him a crook and fraud, but Vladimir was determined to succeed. He knew that had the Tsar given the man the food, no matter how much, it would have still run out, and soon the family would be hungry and begging once more.
    Vladimir set off North and used the spices to buy cattle and sheep. He then set off South and used the silver to buy timber and stone. He brought all this to the starving man and his family. He then helped them farm the cattle and sheep, and used the timber and stone to build mills and pens, and in one week, they had built a fine and prosperous farm. Soon they were producing enough food to feed not only themselves but also the whole village. The Tsar was so impressed that he issued for 1000 more farms to be built across all eight Tsardoms, and soon they were producing enough food to sell off to foreign lands.

    Vladimir rejoined the Tsar in his palace; this time as an official advisor, but the Tsar was so pleased with his work that he challenged him again.
    ‘Vladimir thou hast served me well. Our country has no hunger or reliance on foreign lands for food. If thou shall prove thy self in my Royal council once more, I will make thee right hand to the Tsar, and shower thee with jewels and gold.’
    Although he was not interested in the kind treasures, Vladimir agreed, as he was a righteous and sincere man, and knew that he should help the people.

    They entered the magnificent throne room. The Tsar sat under a canopy of silk and on a seat of gold, while Vladimir sat on a delicately carved iron seat on his right. A woman walked in slowly. She had tired eyes and hunched shoulders, and beside her was a young boy whom she presented to the Tsar.
    ‘O Tsar’s majesty, please listen to my wish, as I have travelled far, all the way from thy sixth Tsardom. I come from a large family in a small but poor village, six brothers and six sisters, with each six sons and six daughters. This is one of my children. He is so mischievous and rotten. He scares the pigs and chases the sheep. I worry a pest like him will wind up a criminal, and receive no job. I beg for wise guidance.’
    The Tsar thought for a moment. He gazed at the boy, who at that moment, broke free from his mother’s hold, and bit the Tsar’s foot.
    ‘YOOWW! I have no tolerance for this devilish behaviour in my palace! I will have someone give the child ten lashings. That will certainly keep him from committing more treason. What dost ye think my fair advisors?’
    Each member of the Tsar’s council nodded and approved, praising the old Tsar’s austerity and discipline, except Vladimir, who spoke up.
    ‘Instead of lashings, allow the boy to play in the royal gardens.’
    The Tsar was taken aback.
    ‘Thou wish to pamper the child? He must understand the consequences of his actions!’
    But Vladimir was not deterred.
    ‘In a week I will make sure he does not scare another sow, nor chase another ewe. He will bow down to the Tsar and respect all thy Tsardoms.’
    The Tsar knew that Vladimir was a more honorable and perseverant than any other man before him, so allowed the child to play in the lavish palace gardens, and gave Vladimir his jewels and gold. The mother left woefully, expecting that her child would be better disciplined.

    At once Vladimir left the Palace with the treasures the Tsar had given him. The Tsar’s other advisors immediately began calling him a scoundrel and a cheat, but Vladimir was determined to succeed.
    He knew that had the Tsar given the child lashings, no matter how severe, the boy would not learn his lesson, and instead grow to detest the Tsar, leading him to become a traitor and criminal.
    Vladimir set off East and used the jewels to buy books and ink. He then set off West and used the gold to spend on great scholars and mentors. He brought all this to the tired mother and her family. He then helped the children to read and write, and paid the scholars and mentors to teach and give guidance, until they had started a fine and loving school for the village. Soon the children were no longer bored and misbehaving, and instead were becoming knowledgeable and alert citizens of their Tsardom. The Tsar was so impressed that he issued for 1000 more schools to be built across all eight Tsardoms, and soon they were educating the youth so well that they became the most influential and brilliant land.

    Vladimir returned to the palace, this time as the Tsar’s right hand, but the Tsar was nowhere to be seen. When he asked a servant girl where the old wise Tsar was, she led him up a high tower to the royal chamber. When Vladimir entered, he was greeted by the pale and weak Tsar, who laid a bed so grand it dwarfed the old man. He croaked for Vladimir to come and sit beside him.
    ‘Vladimir thou hast served me well. Our country teaches children across each Tsardom, to love and admire the vast land on which they live. They will grow up to become fine and righteous citizens. But I have solemn news. I have fallen gravely ill, and sense that I will not live on to see the next spring. If thou shall prove thy self once more in my Royal council, I will make thee Tsar of eight Tsardoms, ruler of Russia, and thou will be showered with more riches than can ever be imagined.’
    Although he was not interested in the riches, Vladimir agreed, as he was a knowing and fair man, and knew that he should help the people.

    Upon hearing the Tsar’s plans to make Vladimir the next ruler of the eight Tsardoms, the royal council were in uproar. They had never approved of Vladimir’s witty methods of bettering the country, despite how popular it made him with the people.
    ‘We cannot allow for this treacherous man deceive our Tsar! We must make sure that on this third occasion he does not succeed.’

    They entered the magnificent throne room, and while the Tsar lay in his bed in the royal chamber, Vladimir sat under a canopy of silk on the gold throne.
    A young maiden ran in. She was dressed as if of high born, but she was so distressed and teary eyed that Vladimir could barely understand her desperate words. She presented to him an empty potato sack.
    ‘O Vladimir! Please listen to my prayer, as I have travelled far, very far, all the way from the ninth Tsardom! I am a Princess from a noble family in large and distant land, nine brothers and nine sisters, with each nine sons and nine daughters.’
    ‘Hold on young Princess, please do not rush over your tale. How can I believe you are from the ninth Tsardom, if our wise Tsar rules over only eight?’
    ‘Dear Vladimir, I do not deceive thee. It is true that the Tsar only rules over eight Tsardoms, but there are in fact nine that truly make up this great land, and the ninth Tsardom is the most beautiful of them all, more beautiful than can ever be described or imagined.’
    Vladimir could see that the Princess was honest and pure, so trusted her words and listened as she continued her story.

    ‘Many years ago, before the now wise Tsar was even a babe, our Tsardom was seized by the foreign armies of evil leaders. After a heavy and tragic battle, they banished our Tsarevich and occupied it for many years. It was a terrible time, the leaders were cruel and fierce, but at last, one day, an army of red came riding in to the Tsardom. They were lead by an old and powerful wizard who defeated the evil leaders, and we all rejoiced. Finally we would be free, and our Tsarevich would return to rule over us once more. But the Wizard was not pleased with the young Tsarevich who lost the Tsardom to the evil army. He believed that he was too careless and not fit to rule over such a beautiful realm. So one night, using his powerful magic, he lifted the entire Tsardom from the ground and shrunk it so small, that it fit into a small potato sack, which he hid on the back of a vegetable cart. The Wizard, disguised as a poor farmer, drove the cart all night across mountains, forests, and seas, and hid the Tsardom in a distant place. That night we slept in Russia, but awoke in a foreign land.
    The old Wizard believed that we’d be safe far away from the foolish Tsarevich, and promised that he’d return us to our home after ninety years and ninety nights, but alas he never returned. It is known that he perished in a distant battle, leaving us abandoned in strange and unfamiliar lands. We are so unhappy, and wish to return to our rightful home. I beg of thee Vladimir for help and rescue.’

    Vladimir was astounded, a ninth Tsardom more beautiful than any other, magically hidden in a far and distant land.
    The Royal council was equally shocked, and yet secretly thrilled. They agreed that there was no way that any normal man could move an entire Tsardom with strength alone. Vladimir would surely fail to accomplish this task and never become Tsar, but as always, he was not deterred.
    ‘In a week I will return the lost Tsardom to it’s home. Once again it will stand proudly as the most beautiful realm in all the land, and I, as the Tsar, will rule over not eight, but nine vast Tsardoms.’
    The Princess could see that Vladimir was more brilliant and valiant than any other man before him, so ignored the jeers of the royal advisors, and gave Vladimir the empty potato sack. Just by holding the old bag it was evident that it was full of supernatural energy, and still held the remnants of the old Wizard’s powerful magic.

    ‘This is the very sack that we were hidden in. It was stolen from the Wizard shortly before his flight. My family has kept this old bag safe for many years, praying that a hero, nobler than any other man before him, may use it to help rescue us.’

    At once Vladimir left the Palace with the magical gift the Princess had given him. The Tsar’s other advisors immediately began calling him a fool and a ruin, but Vladimir was determined to succeed.
    He knew that if the Wizard had used magic to hide the Tsardom, no matter how strong, the hearts of the people will always cry out for their lost land, and as we know very well, the tears of the grieving are very powerful.
    It would be a long and difficult journey to find the lost Tsardom, but his horse was strong, and Vladimir was steadfast.

    For two days he rode until he came across a steep and rocky mountain with boulders so sharp that could cut through limbs, and cliffs so steep that it has sent many men falling to their doom.
    ‘Oh what hell! The devil wishes to challenge me. It will take a week to go around this mountain, but if I go over it I will surely meet my end.’
    Just at that moment a mountain goat appeared from the rocks.
    ‘Do my tired eyes deceive me? For it is young Vladimir, son of the forest. I have climbed these mountains all day and have not eaten once. I beg of thee, feed me some of thy bread and I will serve thee loyally.’
    ‘Oh dear buck, thou art a brother. I will feed thee as I would family.’
    Vladimir pulled out the entire loaf and plenty of water. The buck gobbled up the bread, quickly drank the water, and thanked Vladimir.
    ‘For thy kindness I will gladly help thee. These boulders are sharp, but follow my step and I will guide thee safely over the rocks.’
    And so Vladimir carefully followed the young goat up the mountain, over one side and down the other, with not a single graze or misstep. Very soon they were over the rocky hills and Vladimir continued on his quest.

    For two days he rode until he came across a dark and dense forest with huge wild vines that were impossible to cut through, even with his fine sword.
    ‘Oh what hell! The devil wishes to test me again. It will take a week to cut through this wood, but if I try and go back, I will surely get lost.’
    Just at that moment he stumbled on a flock of Siberian cranes sitting on the forest floor.
    ‘Do our dazed eyes mislead us? For it is dear Vladimir, son of the forest. We have flown for many weeks to escape the harsh Russian winter, but a strong gust threw us off course and disturbed our navigation. We beg of thee, direct us South and we will serve thee devotedly.’
    ‘Oh sweet cranes, you are sisters. I will guide you as I would my family.’
    Vladimir began climbing the highest tree and broke through the thick canopy. Above him the sky beamed with stars that shone so brilliantly, it was as if they were rare jewels. Though a dazzling sight, he found the brightest star of all, the star of the North. The birds flew up after him, and thanked him for his guidance.
    ‘For thy knowledge we will gladly help thee. There are many of us, we will grip thee in our talons and fly thee and thy steed safely over this wood.’
    And so Vladimir allowed the cranes to lift him and his horse, over the treetops and over the wild forest, with not a single bruise or scrape. Very soon they were out of the forest and back on the ground, and Vladimir continued on his quest.

    For two days he rode until he came to a vast and blue sea, with waves so large and violent that they crashed against the land with momentous force.
    ‘Oh what hell! The devil wishes to defy me. It could be a week before the wild sea calms, but if I try and sail over, I will surely be swallowed by the waves.’
    Just at that moment, from the surface emerged the head of a grey whale.
    ‘Do my watery eyes fool me? For it is noble Vladimir, son of the forest. I have been battling these vicious waves for many hours, but my tail has been caught up in an old fisher’s net and I struggle to swim. I beg of thee, release me from this net and I will serve thee faithfully.’
    ‘Oh great whale, thou art a cousin. I will help thee as I would my family.’
    Vladimir removed from his belt a gleaming sword and with three swift swings the fisher’s net fell from the whale’s tail into the hungry waves.
    The whale, now untangled, thanked him for his help.
    ‘For thy nimbleness I will gladly help thee. These waves are fierce, but climb into my mouth and I will deliver thee safely across the sea.’
    And so Vladimir rode into the mouth of the grey whale, and once comfortably inside, they dove down and swam through the stormy sea, with not a single watery drop touch Vladimir or his horse. Very soon they reached the far shore, and Vladimir continued on his quest.

    Finally Vladimir arrived in the distant land, it seemed cold and barren, but the lost Tsardom shone on the horizon like a star. It truly was a beautiful sight, more beautiful than could be told or written in tale. As he approached, he saw that a deep, but dry, and lifeless moat surrounded it.
    ‘Oh what hell! Dost that demon cease to play cruel tricks? I must find a way to enter this ethereal Tsardom.’
    Just at that moment, a drawbridge of gold and silver came down and covered the dead ditch. He crossed quickly and passed through wide diamond gates. He rode his horse to the top of a tall marble wall, where he was easily heard and seen.

    ‘People of Russia, I beg of you to listen. I am Vladimir, son of the forest, and ruler of the people. I have come from your distant land, riding over mountains, through jungles, and across seas, to find this beautiful Tsardom, and return it to it’s rightful home.’
    The people of the town cheered, finally they would be rescued. They were so happy and relieved that the potato sack, which Vladimir held in his hand, began to shiver, and he could see that the will of the people was strong.
    ‘Dear children, I ask ye to cry tears, for the tears of the lost are very powerful. Think of your beautiful land, it’s golden fields and emerald forests. It is there where one could play and be merry.’
    The children, imagining these things, began to cry tears so big that they flooded to make puddles at their feet, and the potato sack in Vladimir’s hand began to tremble.
    ‘Fair ladies, I ask ye to cry tears, for the tears of the lost are very powerful. Think of your beautiful land, it’s crystal lakes and sapphire seas. It is there where one could look out on and dream of love and dear ones.’
    The women, remembering such times, began to cry tears so large that they flooded the streets and fountains, and the potato sack in Vladimir’s hand began to quiver even more.
    ‘Honorable men, I ask ye to cry tears, for the tears of the lost are very powerful. Think of your beautiful land, it’s marble mountains and white snow. It is there one could conquer the elements and serve thy country, and it waits for your return.’
    The men, thinking of such a day, began to cry tears so large that they flooded the entire city and flowed into the empty moat, restoring it back to life. The potato sack in Vladimir’s hand began to tremor and shake so violently, that it flew from his grip and shot up high into the sky. At that moment the tear filled moat cut under the Tsardom and lifted it up into the air, where it shrunk and fell into the magical potato sack, taking everyone with it, including Vladimir. An eagle flying over saw this, and took the old bag in his talons with everyone inside, and carried it back to Russia, where it grew back to a large size and stood proudly once again.

    Finally the Tsardom had been returned to its homeland, and the people were happier than ever. Everything was as it once was. Upon arrival back to the Palace, the old and weak Tsar congratulated Vladimir, and in his dying breath left all the Tsardoms to him. The Tsardoms grieved for as many days as was right to, and then celebrated the inauguration of their new ruler.
    Vladimir was a hero to Russia, and was adored by all the people across the land, all except for the royal council, who were absolutely infuriated with his accomplishments. After he was crowned, Vladimir swiftly fired them all, and in their place asked for the beasts of the forest to serve as his wise advisors. The animals, presented with such an honor, were very grateful, and served him devotedly. Vladimir was well loved, and ruled for many long and happy years as the righteous Tsar of nine Tsardoms.

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    To view my illustrated paper cut book of ‘Tales of Vladimir the Great’, and the secrets behind the tale, check out my Behance page here: https://www.behance.net/gallery/61044903/Tales-of-Vladimir-the-Great

    – Ana Agnesa

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