They offered him a thousand for the pig, and two and three and more; but the simpleton would not consent. "I will not take a hundred thousand," said he.

"Oh, let us have him, please; take what seems good to thee!"

"Well, ye need him so greatly, I will give him, and will not take much, - the middle toe of each man's foot".

They thought and thought, took off their boots, and each man cut off the middle toe of his foot. The simpleton took the toes, hid them, and gave the pig with gold bristles. The brothers-in-law went home, taking the pig with them.

The Tsar was so glad that he knew not what to call them, where to seat them, or what to give them to eat.

"Have ye seen the fool?" asked the Tsar.

"With seeing we have not seen him, with hearing we have not heard".

The simpleton crept into one ear of his horse, out of the other, and became just such a fool as before. He killed his horse, took off his skin, and put it on; then he caught magpies, crows, jackdaws, and sparrows, tied them around himself, and went home. He came into the palace and let all his birds loose; they flew around on every side, and broke nearly all the windows of the palace.

The Tsarevna, Priceless Beauty, covered herself with tears, and her sisters were screaming with laughter. "Our husbands," said they,"brought home the pig with gold bristles, and thy fool - look, if it please thee, how he has dressed himself as a monster!"

The Tsar shouted: "What a clown! I'll fix him".

Again the Tsar called his sons-in-law. "My dear sons-in-law, I have heard that in such a kingdom, in such a land, there is a wonder, - a deer with golden horns and a golden tail. Can ye not get him in any way?"

"We can, your Majesty".

Now the two crafty sons-in-law saddled the very best horses and set out.

"Well," said the Tsar to the simpleton, "go thou with the others".

The simpleton took from the stable the very last miserable horse and followed his brothers. He went out in the open field and cried with a shrill voice: "Oh, blue-brown, cunning bay, stand before me as leaf before stem." Wherever he came from, the wonderful horse was there, snorting and tearing the ground with his hoofs. The simpleton crept in one of his ears and out of the other. Wherever they came from, two young men stood before him and asked: "What dost thou want?"

"I want a tent here, in the tent a bed, and at the side of the tent a deer with golden horns and a golden tail".

That moment the tent was there, in the tent a bed, on the bed the simpleton stretched himself, - such a beauty that no man could know him; at the side of the tent walked a deer with golden horns and a golden tail.

The crafty brothers travelled and travelled. Nowhere did they see such a deer, and they turned to come home. They came near the tent and saw the wonder. "Oh, this is where the deer with golden horns and a golden tail is! Let us go," said they; "whatever must be given we'll give, buy that deer, and please our father-in-law".

They came up and saluted, The simpleton asked: "Why are ye travelling; what are ye seeking?"

"Wilt thou sell us the deer with golden horns and a golden tail?"

"No, it is not for sale; I want it myself".

"Ask what will please thee, but sell." They offered one, two, three thousand, and more. The simpleton would n't listen to the offers, would not take money.

"But if my deer has pleased you, I'll sell him, if ye like, at a cheap price, - the middle finger of each man's hand".

They thought and thought, and agreed. They took off their gloves and cut off the middle finger. The simpleton put the fingers away and gave the deer.

The sons-in-law came home, and brought the deer with golden horns and a golden tail. The Tsar from joy knew not what to call them, where to seat them, or with what to entertain them.

"Have ye seen the fool anywhere?' asked the Tsar.

"With seeing we have not seen him, with hearing we have not heard".

The simpleton crept into one ear of the horse and out of the other, and became just such a simpleton as he had been before. He killed his wretched horse, skinned him, and put on the skin; then caught a lot of jackdaws, crows, magpies, and sparrows, tied them around himself, and went home. He came again to the palace, and let out the birds in different directions; his wife was sobbing, and her sisters were laughing. "Our husbands," said they, "brought home the deer with golden horns and a golden tail, and thy fool - look at him!"

The Tsar shouted at the fool: "What an ignorant lout!" and he gave half the kingdom to his crafty sons-in-law.

The third time the Tsar called his crafty sons-in-law, and said: "My dear sons-in-law, I will give you the whole kingdom if ye will get for me the golden-maned steed with golden tail; I have heard that he is in such a kingdom and such a land".

The crafty sons-in-law saddled the very best horses and went on their journey.

The Tsar sent also the fool. "Well, go thou too".

The simpleton took the very last wretched horse from the stable and followed his crafty brothers. He came to the open field and cried with a shrill voice: "Oh, blue-brown, cunning bay, stand before me as leaf before stem!" Wherever he came from, the marvellous steed was snorting, and tearing the earth with his hoof. Behold, the simpleton crept into one ear and out of the other, and became such a beauty that it was not in the power of man to recognize him.

Then, wherever they came from, there stood before him two youths, and they asked, "What dost thou wish; what dost thou want?"

"I want a tent here, in the tent a bed, and at the side of the tent the golden-maned steed with golden tail".

That minute the tent was made, in the tent a bed. The simpleton stretched himself on the bed; at the side of the tent the golden-maned steed with golden tail was walking.

The crafty sons-in-law travelled and travelled; nowhere did they see that kind of steed, and were on their way home. They drew near the tent, and saw the wonder.

"Oh, here is the place where the golden-maned steed with golden tail is walking. Let us go in," said they; "we will give whatever they ask, and buy him to please our father-in-law".

The simpleton asked: "Whither are ye travelling; what are ye seeking?"

"Sell us the golden-maned steed with golden tail".

"He is not for sale; I want him myself".

"Ask what may please thee, only sell him;" and they offered one, two, three thousand and more.

"I would not take a hundred thousand," said the simpleton.

"Sell him to us; take what will please thee".

"Well, if ye need him greatly, I will give him to you; I will not take a high price. Let me cut a strap from the back of each one of you".

They thought and thought, struggled and struggled, wanted the horse very badly, were sorry for themselves, but decided at last, undressed, and took off their shirts. The simpleton cut from the back of each one of them a strap, took the straps, put them away, and delivered the steed.

The sons-in-law came home bringing the golden-maned steed with golden tail. The Tsar from delight knew not what to call them, where to seat them, or how to entertain them, and gave them the remaining half of the kingdom. The simpleton crept into one ear of the steed and out of the other, and became what he had been before. He killed his wretched horse, took off the skin, put it on himself, caught magpies, crows, jackdaws, and sparrows, tied them around himself, came to the palace, and let out the birds; they flew in different directions, and broke nearly all the windows. The Tsarevna, his wife, was crying, and her sisters were laughing at her. "Our husbands have brought the golden-maned steed with golden tail; but look at thy fool going around such a fright!"

The Tsar shouted at the fool: "What an ignorant lout! I'll have thee shot".

And the simpleton asked: "With what wilt thou reward me?"

"What reward shouldst thou have?" asked the Tsar.

"If the truth must be told, I got for thee the pig with gold bristles, the deer with golden horns and a golden tail, and the golden-maned steed with golden tail".

"How canst thou prove that?" asked the Tsar.

"Command thy sons-in-law, Gosudar, to take off their boots".

The sons-in-law began to make excuses; they did n't want to take off their boots.

"Take off your boots," urged the Tsar; "there is no harm in that".

They took off their boots. The Tsar looks: one toe is missing.

"Here are their toes," said the simpleton. "Order them now to take off their gloves".

They removed their gloves, and the Tsar saw there was a finger missing.

"Here are their fingers," said the simpleton. "Order them now to take off their shirts".

The Tsar saw that the affair was coming true, and ordered them to undress. They took off their shirts, and the Tsar saw that each one of them had a strap cut from his back the width of two finders.

"Here are the straps," said the simpleton; and told the whole story as it was.

The Tsar did n't know how to entertain him, nor how to reward him. He gave him the whole kingdom, and the other sons-in-law, because they had deceived him, he had shot.

The simpleton went to the open field and cried with a shrill voice: "Oh, blue-brown, cunning bay, stand before me as leaf before stem!" The horse ran, the ground trembled, the simpleton crept into one ear of the steed and out of the other, and became a hero and a beauty.

He came home, began to live with his Tsarevna and win wealth.