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.
At the second castle a still more beautiful princess ran toward him, greeted him with still greater gladness, led him into a chamber, seated him at a table, and brought the most savory food and drink, talking continually. She moved toward him, wishing to kiss him; but he thrust her aside very rudely, so that she fell to the floor. Before she could rise he had taken what was left of the food, and was gone.
He had barely reached the third castle when a princess ran out to meet him. She was far more beautiful than the other two, and wished to fall on his neck straightway. He was amazed at her beauty; but keeping in mind the words of the horse, he thrust her away. But still she led him into the castle, seated him at a table in the loftiest chamber, and entertained him with the best food and drink. Boyislav ate and drank heartily, but when the princess wished to eat, he pushed her aside so rudely that, after staggering a few steps, she fell to the floor. Then, quickly gathering the remnants of food, he ran off, though the princess called him with heart-rending voice.
When he came to the horse he spread on the rock the remnants of food, which the horse devoured eagerly. "What now?" asked Boyislav.
"Go for the three princesses, and bring them to thy brothers in the boat; they are free, for they are the horses which thou hast seen running around thee. A wicked sorceress enchanted them, so that twelve hours they were horses and twelve hours princesses. Then come for me, or thou wilt suffer".
Boyislav did as the horse desired, and brought to his brothers the three princesses, who, with tearful eyes, thanked him for their liberation. Then he returned to the horse, which said, with sad voice: "Too bad! too bad!"
"What has happened?" asked Boyislav.
"Thou art unfortunate," answered the horse; "thy departure from home was unfortunate, for know that thy brothers have gone".
"Then I must perish here!" cried Boyislav.
"Now thou wilt not perish; but hadst thou gone on the boat thy death would be sure, for thy brothers had conspired to kill thee".
"Oh, the thankless wretches!" cried Boyislav. "What shall I do now?"
"If thou wilt obey me," said the horse, "thou wilt gain thy object in time. Go now to the garden of the first castle, and pluck four golden apples, but only four".
Boyislav went, and for the first time noticed the beauty of the whole garden; he went back and forth, and would have soon forgotten the apples had he not heard the neighing of the horse. Now he saw the tree with golden apples, and plucked four. Since they were so beautiful, he wanted more, but the horse neighed so fiercely that the whole castle trembled; his arm, which was stretched to the apples, dropped of itself, and he returned to the horse, which said, "Now sit on me".
Boyislav did so, and the horse bore him soon to the shore of the sea, and said, "Throw an apple in the sea".
"But it is a pity to lose it!" said Boyislav.
"Throw it in!' repeated the horse, with stern voice; and Boyislav obeyed. That moment a road five hundred miles long rose out of the sea. The horse stepped on the road, and hurried along night and day. When the domes of a great city were seen in the distance, he said to Boyislav: "Now we are going to Red Island, to a king who has a very ugly daughter; but have no fear in the world of her. When she casts eyes on thee, say that thou art seeking a bride, but before choosing thou must consult thy father. Then the king will offer thee a present; take nothing but a piece of rope for my bridle".
Boyislav promised obedience. When they came to Red Island, the road sank in the sea, and the horse hurried on. Boyislav left him on the meadow outside the city, and went straight to the king's castle, where he was courteously received. "Where art thou going, noble prince?" asked the king.
"In search of a bride," answered Boyislav; and the king led him to his daughter. She was so ugly that Boyislav was frightened.
"Does she not please thee?' asked the king.
"Oh, she pleases me," said Boyislav, - "pleases me greatly; but first I must talk with my father." The king smiled, and led his guest to the supper-chamber, where he was entertained in king's fashion. Boyislav wished to go very soon, but the king took him first to his treasury, and offered him much gold and silver.
"Thanks to thy Grace!" answered Boyislav. "My father has great treasures also; but if thou wilt make me some present, give me a piece of rope to repair my horse's bridle".
"Oh, I will give thee a splendid bridle and saddle!" said the king.
But Boyislav answered: "I wish no rich outfit on the road; it is an enticement to robbers".
The king tried to persuade him, but could not; then he had a rope brought which was very slender, but very long, so that Boyislav was hardly able to bear it away. After a kindly farewell to the king and the princess, he hastened outside the town, where the horse called from a distance: "Thou hast done well; now wind that rope round my body".
Boyislav opened the bundle, and a whole hour passed before he could wind the rope around the horse. When he had finished, they hurried to the sea, where the horse said, "Throw a second apple in the sea".
"But it would be an eternal pity!" said Boyislav.
"I tell thee to throw the second apple in the sea!" repeated the horse, with stern voice. Boyislav obeyed. That moment five hundred miles of road rose from the waves of the sea, along which the horse rushed like the wind, night and day. When the domes of a great city were visible in the distance, he said to Boyislav: "Now we are coming to Green Island, ruled by a king who has a daughter, not beautiful and not ugly; thou wilt say that thou art looking for a bride, but before choosing thou must consult thy father. When thou art taking leave, the king will offer all kinds of jewels as a gift; accept nothing, but ask for the cloth of the table from which thou hast eaten".