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.
Said the Eagle: "It is hard for thee to find her. Leave with us thy silver fork; we will look at it and remember thee".
He left the fork and went his way. He travelled a day, he travelled a second; and on the dawn of the third day he saw a castle better than the other two.
At the side of the castle was an oak, and on the oak a raven was perched. The raven flew down, struck the earth, turned into a gallant youth, and cried: "Anna Tsarevna, hurry out; our brother is coming".
Anna Tsarevna ran out, met him joyously, began to kiss and embrace her brother, to ask about his health, and to tell about her own life and household.
Ivan Tsarevich stayed with them three short days, and said: "Farewell, I am going to look for my wife, Marya Morevna, the fair Korolyevna".
The Raven said: "It is hard for thee to find her; but leave thy gold ring with us, we will look at it and remember thee. If the ring is bright, it means that thou art alive and well; if dim, then we shall know that evil has come on thee".
Ivan Tsarevich left his gold ring and went his way. He travelled a day, he travelled a second; and on the third he came to Marya Morevna. She saw her dear one, rushed on his neck, covered herself with tears, and said: "Ivan Tsarevich, why didst thou not obey me; why didst thou look in the closet and let out Koshchei Without-Death?"
"Forgive me, Marya Morevna; remember not the past. Better go with me while Koshchei is not here; mayhap he will not overtake us".
They made ready and went. Koshchei was out hunting; toward evening he was coming home, his good steed stumbled under him. "Why stumble, hungry crowbait; or dost feel some misfortune?"
The horse answered: "Ivan Tsarevich came and took Marya Morevna away".
"Can we overtake them?"
"Thou mightest sow wheat, wait till it should ripen, reap it, thresh it, make flour, bake five ovens of bread, eat that bread, go in pursuit, and overtake them".
Koshchei galloped on, overtook Ivan Tsarevich. "Well," said he, "I forgive thee the first time for thy kindness, because thou didst give me water to drink; and a second time I'll forgive thee: but for the third have a care; I will hew thee to pieces".
He took Marya Morevna and led her away. Ivan Tsarevich sat on a stone and wept; he cried and cried, went back for Marya Morevna. Koshchei Without-Death did not happen to be at home.
"Let us go, Marya Morevna".
"Ah, Ivan Tsarevich, he will overtake us!"
"Let him overtake us; anyhow, we shall pass a couple of hours together." They made ready and started away.
Koshchei Without-Death was coming home; his good steed stumbled under him. "Why dost thou stumble, hungry crowbait; or feelest thou evil?"
"Ivan Tsarevich came and carried Marya Morevna away".
"Can they be overtaken?"
"Barley might be sown, waited for till ripe, harvested, threshed, and beer made of it; we might drink the beer, sleep after drinking, then pursue and catch them".
Koshchei galloped on, rode up, overtook Ivan Tsarevich. "But I have said that thou canst no more see Marya Morevna than look at thy own ears." He took her away and led her home.
Ivan Tsarevich remained alone; he cried and cried, and went back for Marya Morevna. That time Koshchei was not at home.
"Let us go, Marya Morevna".
"Ah! Ivan Tsarevich, he will come up with us, will hew thee to pieces".
"Let him hew me; I cannot live without thee." They made ready and started.
Koshchei Without-Death was coming home; his good steed stumbled under him. "Why dost thou stumble, hungry crowbait; or feelest thou evil?'
"Ivan Tsarevich came, and took Marya Morevna away".
Koshchei galloped on, caught up with Ivan Tsarevich, hewed him into small pieces, put him in a pitched barrel, took that barrel, strengthened it with iron hoops, and cast it into the blue sea. Marya Morevna he took home.
Now the silver grew black at the houses of Ivan Tsarevich's brothers-in-law. "Oh," said they, "it is clear that some evil has happened!"
The Eagle rushed off to the blue sea, caught the barrel, and drew it to shore; the Falcon flew for the living water, and the Raven for the dead water. All flew together to the same place, broke the barrel, took out the pieces of Ivan Tsarevich, washed them, put them together in proper order. The Raven sprinkled them with dead water, the body grew together and united; the Falcon sprinkled the body with living water. Ivan Tsarevich trembled, rose up, and said, "Oh, how long I have been sleeping!"
"Thou wouldst have slept still longer without us," answered the brothers-in-law. "Come now to our houses".
"No, brothers, I shall go to seek Marya Morevna." He came to her and said, "Discover from Koshchei Without-Death where he found such a steed".
Behold, Marya Morevna seized a favorable moment, inquired of Koshchei. Koshchei said: "Beyond the thrice-ninth land, in the thirtieth kingdom, beyond the fiery river, lives Baba-Yaga; and she has a mare on which she flies round the world each day; she has many other glorious mares. I was her herdsman for three days. I let not one mare stray from her, and for that service Baba-Yaga gave me a colt".
"But how didst thou cross the river of fire?'
"I have a kerchief of such sort that when I wave it on the right side three times, a bridge is made, lofty and high; the fire cannot reach it".
Marya Morevna listened, told all to Ivan Tsarevich, carried away the kerchief, and gave it to him.
Ivan Tsarevich crossed the fiery river, and went to Baga-Yaga. Long did he go without eating and drinking; a bird from beyond the sea, with her little children, happened in his way. "I 'll eat one little chick," said Ivan Tsarevich.
"Eat it not, Ivan Tsarevich," begged the bird from beyond the sea; "in time I will serve thee".