Literature: Tsarevitch Ivan, the Fire Bird and the Gray Wolf
Ivan and Helena the BeautifulTsarevitch Ivan, the Fire Bird and the Gray Wolf
is a Russian Fairy Tale
collected by Alexander Afanasyev
in Narodnye russkie skazki
A tsar hears that his precious fruits are being stolen by a firebird, and tells his sons whomever brings him it will be his heir. Only the youngest, given his turn to wait the night, stays awake and manages to drive off the bird and win a feather from it. The older brothers set out to retrieve it, find a stone warning of the perils ahead, and decide to stay where they are. Ivan follows them and choses a path. On it, a wolf eats his horse and offers him aid. It gives him directions on how to steal the firebird, but he disobeys and is captured, and sent off to steal a horse for the tsar he tried to rob. The wolf gives him directions on how to steal it, but he disobeys and is caught again and sent to kidnap Helena the Beautiful. He succeeds in carrying off her off. With the wolf's help, he brings her and then the horse to the tsar who demanded them, but walks off with them along with the thing he came for.
His brothers found him sleeping on his return. They kill him and walk off with the firebird, the horse, and Helena the Beautiful. The wolf revives Ivan, and he returns to his father, whereupon Helena the Beautiful tells all that happened, and the brothers are thrown into prison and Helena and Ivan marry.
Full text here.
It inspired the ballet "The Firebird
" with music composed by Igor Stravinsky. Compare The Fire-Bird, the Horse of Power, and the Princess Vasilissa