Russian Folk-Tales/The Tale of Alexander of Macedon

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Once upon a time there lived a king on the earth whose name was Alexander of Macedon: this was in the old days very long ago. So long ago that neither our grandfathers, nor great-grandfathers, nor our great-great grandfathers, nor our great-great-great-grandfathers recollect it. This Tsar was one of the greatest knights of all knights that ever were. No champion of earth could ever conquer him. He loved warfare, and all his army consisted entirely of knights. Whomsoever Tsar Alexander of Macedon might go to combat, he would conquer, and he numbered under his sway all the kings of the earth.

He went to the edge of the world, and he discovered such peoples that he, however bold he was himself, felt afraid of them; ferocious folk, fiercer than wild beasts, who ate men; live folks who had but one eye; and that eye was on the forehead; folks who had three eyes, folks who had only a single leg; others who had three, and they ran as fast as an arrow darts from the bow. The names of these peoples were the Gogs and Magogs. Tsar Alexander of Macedon never lost courage at seeing these strange folk, but he set to and waged warfare on them. It may be long, it may be short, the war he waged—we do not know. Only the wild peoples became dispersed and ran away from him. He began to hunt and to chase after them, and he chased them into such thickets, precipices and mountains as no tale can tell and no pen can describe.

So at last they were able to hide themselves from Tsar Alexander of Macedon. What then did Tsar Alexander of Macedon do with them? He rolled one mountain over them, and then another roof-wise on top; on the arch he put trumpets, and he went back to his own land. The winds blew into the trumpets, and a fearsome roar was then raised to the skies, and the Gogs and Magogs sitting there cried out, "Oh, evidently Alexander of Macedon must still be alive!" The Gogs and Magogs are still alive and to this day are afraid of Alexander. But, before the end of the world, they shall escape.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.