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.
"Listen, dog's meat!" answered Uncle Katoma. "To-morrow Ivan Tsarevich will ride thee to the marriage: see to it when they lead thee to the broad court, when the Tsarevich approaches and puts his hand on thee, that thou standest quietly, movest not an ear; and when he sits on thy back, sink to thy fetlocks, and walk under him with a heavy tread, as if an immeasurable burden were on thee".
The heroic steed heard the command and came down barely alive to the earth. Katoma took him by the tail and threw him to the side of the stable, saying, "Oh, coachmen and grooms, take this dog's meat to the stable!"
The next day rose, the hour of marriage came. They gave a carriage to the princess, and led out the heroic steed for Ivan Tsarevich. The people ran from every side in thousands. The bridegroom and the bride came forth from the white-walled palace. The princess sat in the carriage and waited for what would happen to Ivan Tsarevich. The magic steed, she thought, would scatter his hair to the wind and drag his bones over the field.
Ivan Tsarevich approached the steed, put his hand on his back, his foot in the stirrup; the horse stood as if fixed to the earth, moved not an ear. Ivan sat on his back; the horse sank in the ground to the fetlocks. They removed the twelve chains from him; the horse began to walk with a slow and heavy tread, the sweat rolled from him like rain.
"Oh, what a champion, what immeasurable strength!" said the people, looking at the Tsarevich.
They crowned the bridegroom with the bride.
They were coming out of the church, took each other by the hand, and the princess thought of testing once more the strength of Ivan Tsarevich. She pressed his hand with such force that he could not endure; the blood rushed to his face, his eyes went up under his forehead.
"So this is the kind of hero thou art!" thought the princess. "Thy uncle has deceived me grandly; but this will not go with thee for nothing".
Anna the Beautiful lived with Ivan Tsarevich as was befitting a wife with a God-given husband, and she in every way flattered him with words, but thought only of one thing, - how to destroy Uncle Katoma of the Oaken Cap. It was not difficult for her to manage the Tsarevich without the uncle. No matter how much calumny she invented, Ivan did not yield to her speeches; he had pity on his uncle. In a year's time he said to his wife: "My dear consort, beautiful princess, I should like to go with thee to my own kingdom".
"Very well, let us go; I have long wished to see thy kingdom".
They got ready and went, making Uncle Katoma coachman. They travelled and travelled. Ivan Tsarevich fell asleep on the way. All at once Anna the Beautiful began to rouse him and complain: 'Now, Tsarevich, thou art sleeping all the time, nearest nothing. But thy uncle will not obey me; he drives the horses on purpose over hillocks and into holes, just as if trying to kill me. I spoke to him kindly, and he laughed at me. I will not live unless thou punish him".
Ivan in his drowsiness grew very angry at his uncle, and gave him over entirely to the princess. "Do with him as thou desirest." The princess gave orders to cut off his feet. Katoma allowed himself to be maltreated by her. "Let me endure," thought he; "and the Tsarevich will know what it is to suffer sorrow." They cut off Katoma's feet. The princess looked around and saw a high stump on one side; she called the servants and ordered them to seat him on that stump. Ivan Tsarevich she tied by a rope to the carriage, turned back, and went to her own kingdom. Uncle Katoma of the Oaken Cap was sitting on the stump, shedding bitter tears. "Farewell, Ivan Tsarevich," said he, "thou wilt remember me;" and Ivan Tsarevich ran jumping behind the carriage. He knew himself that he had made a mistake, but he could not turn back.
Anna the Beautiful came to her own kingdom, and she made Ivan Tsarevich herd cows. Every morning he went with the herd into the open field, and in the evening he drove them back into the princess' yard; and at that time she sat on the balcony and counted the cows, were they all there? She counted them, and ordered the Tsarevich to kiss the last cow on the tail; and the cow was so well trained that when she came to the gate she stopped and raised her tail.
Uncle Katoma was sitting on the stump one day, a second, a third, without food or drink. He could in no way slip down, and it was coming to him to die of hunger. Not far away was a thick wood, and in that wood lived a blind, mighty hero; and he nourished himself only with this, that when he knew by the smell that a beast was running past, - a hare, fox, or bear, - that moment he ran, caught it, and his dinner was ready. The hero was very swift of foot, and no running beast could escape him. Behold, it happened thus: a fox was slipping by; the hero heard it and pursued; the fox ran to the tall stump and turned aside. The blind champion hurried, and in the run struck his forehead against the stump so that he drove it out of the ground with its roots.
Katoma was thrown to the earth, and asked, "Who art thou?"
"The blind hero; I live in this forest thirty years, and I nourish myself only in this way. If I seize a beast, I roast it on the fire; otherwise I should have died of hunger long since".
"Is it possible that thou art blind from birth?"
"No, not from birth; Anna the Beautiful put out my eyes".
"Well, brother," said Uncle Katoma of the Oaken Cap, "and I through her am footless; she cut off my two feet, the cursed woman".
The two heroes talked to each other, and agreed to live together and find food in common. The blind said to the footless: "Sit on me and show the way; I will serve thee with my feet, and thou shalt serve me with thy eyes".
He took the footless and carried him. Katoma sat, looked on both sides, and cried out: "To the right; to the left; straight ahead." They lived in this way some time in the forest and caught food, - hares, foxes, and bears.