This section is from the book "Myths And Folk-Tales Of The Russians, Western Slavs, And Magyars", by Jeremiah Curtin. Also available from Amazon: Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, Western Slavs, and the Magyars.
"Late, my master; thy cap is now three thousand miles behind".
Towns and villages, rivers and forests, just flashed before the eye; as Fedot was flying over a deep sea Shmat-Razum said: "If thou wishest, I will make a summer-house in the midst of the sea; thou canst rest, and acquire great fortune".
"Well, make it".
They dropped down toward the sea, and behold, where a moment before the waves were rolling, an island rose up, and in the centre a golden pleasure-house.
"Now, my master, sit down in this house, rest, and look at the sea. Presently three merchant-ships will sail by and cast anchor. Invite the merchants, entertain them well, and exchange me for three wonderful things which they have. I 'll come to thee again in my own time".
Fedot looked; three merchant-ships were sailing from the west. The merchants saw the island and wondered.
"What does this mean?" asked they. "How many times have we sailed by here and seen nothing but water, and now an island and a pleasure-house! Let us stand up to the shore, brothers, let us look and admire".
They stopped the ships, cast anchor; the three merchants stepped into a light boat, went to the island, landed, and saluted Fedot, -
"Hail, worthy man!"
"Good health to you, foreign merchants! We crave kindness. Come in, rejoice, have a good time, and rest yourselves. This pleasure-house was made on purpose for passing guests." They went in and sat down.
"Hei, Shmat-Razum, meat and drink!" A table appeared; on the table wines and meats, whatever the soul could desire was at hand in a moment. The merchants opened their mouths in amazement.
"Let us exchange," said they. "Give us thy servant, and take any one of our wonders".
"What wonders have ye?"
"Look, and thou wilt see".
One merchant took a small box from his pocket and opened it: that minute a glorious garden was spread over the whole island with flowers and paths; he closed the box, and the garden was gone. The second merchant took an axe from under his skirts and began to hit, hit strike, a ship came out: hit strike - another ship. He struck a hundred times - a hundred ships. They moved around the island under full canvas, with sailors and cannon. The sailors run and fire guns. The commanders come to the merchant for orders. He amused himself, hid his axe: the ships vanished from the eye, were as if they had never been. The third merchant took a horn, blew into it at one end: that minute an army appeared, cavalry and infantry, with muskets and cannons and flags; from every regiment come reports to the merchant, and he gives them orders. The army marches, with music sounding and banners waving. The merchant took his horn, blew in at the other end: there is nothing. Where has all the power gone to?
"Your wonders are strange," said the sharpshooter; "but these are all playthings for kings, and I am a simple soldier. If ye will exchange, however, I agree to give you my unseen servant for all three of your wonders".
"Is not that rather too much?"
"Well, ye know your own business, I suppose; but I will not exchange on other conditions".
The merchants thought to themselves, "What good are these ships and soldiers and garden to us? Let us exchange, - at least we shall have enough to eat and drink all our lives without trouble".
They gave the sharpshooter their wonders, and asked: "Shmat-Razum, wilt thou come with us?"
"Why not? It's all the same to me where I live".
The merchants returned to their ships and said: "Now, Shmat-Razum, fly about; give us to eat and drink." They invited all the men, and had such a feast that every one got drunk and slept a sound sleep.
The sharpshooter was sitting in the golden summer-house; he fell to thinking, and said: "I am sorry; where art thou now, trusty servant?"
"Here, my master".
Fedot rejoiced. "Is n't it time for us to go home?" The moment he spoke he was borne through the air as if by a whirlwind.
The merchants woke up, and wishing to drink off the effects of their carousal, cried out: "Give us to drink, Shmat-Razum." No one answered, nothing was brought; no matter how much they screamed and commanded, no result. "Well, gentlemen, this scoundrel has swindled us. Now Satan himself could not find him; the island has vanished, the pleasure-house is gone." The merchants grieved and regretted; then hoisted their sails and went to where they had business.
The sharpshooter soon arrived at his own kingdom, came down by the seashore. "Shmat-Razum, canst thou build me a palace here?"
"Why not? - it will be ready directly".
The palace appeared so splendid that it could, not be described, - twice as good as the king's. Now the box was opened, and all around the palace was a glorious garden, with rare trees and flowers.
The sharpshooter sat by the window admiring the garden when all at once a blue dove flew in through the open window, struck the floor, and became his young wife. They embraced and kissed each other; then made inquiries and gave answer. Said his wife to Fedot: "Since the time thou didst leave me I have lived a lone dove in the forests and thickets".
Next morning the king went out on the balcony, and saw by the shore of the blue sea a new palace, and a green garden around it. "What insolent fellow has built on my land without leave?" Couriers hastened, discovered, reported, that the palace was built by Fedot, who was living there then, and with him his wife.
The king's anger increased. He gave orders to collect troops and go to the sea-shore, destroy the garden, break the palace into small pieces, and give the sharpshooter and his wife to a cruel death.
Fedot saw the strong army approaching. He took his axe quickly, and struck; a ship came forth; he struck a hundred times, - a hundred ships were ready; he blew his horn once, infantry was marching; he blew it a second time, cavalry was galloping. The commanders rushed to him from the ships, from the army, for orders. He ordered them to give battle. The music sounded at once, the drums rattled, the regiments advanced. The hundred ships open a cannonade on the king's capital. The army moves on at the sound of music and beat of drum. The infantry rout the king's soldiers, the cavalry take them prisoners. The king sees that his army is fleeing, hurries forward himself to stop it. But what could he do? Half an hour had not passed before he was killed.
When the battle was over, the people came together and begged the sharpshooter to take the government of the kingdom into his hands. He agreed, became king, and his wife queen.