The Tale of the Golden Cockerel
A long, long time ago there was an old widowed Tsar named Dadon. He had two grown up sons but no friend left in his neighborhoods. When the Tsar was younger, he used to attack his neighbors for land, servants, goods and gold. However, when the tsar started getting older and lost his strength and power, his neighbors started attacking him back more notoriously than he did. The old tsar was so much in fear of his neighbors from all sides that he lost his appetite and sleep. Dadon called his sons and all his senior advisors in hope to find a solution, but all suggestions failed to work.
Suddenly, a wise man who was also an astrologist and a wizard appeared out of nowhere. He had a very special present for the tsar. The wizard unveiled his cage and presented his gift to the tsar. It was a bird, a cockerel that was gold from its crest to its tail. The astrologist said to the tsar, “This is not an ordinary bird. It will protect you and your kingdom well. You shell order your guards to put it on the highest point of your kingdom. When there is no thread from anywhere, my bird will stay calm, but when there is a stranger, enemy or thief, it will fly down to warn you.” The Tsar thanked the wise man for his great and precious gift and promised to fulfill any of the astrologist wishes as his payback. The old wizard did not have any specific wishes at the moment, but said when the time will come, he will ask the tsar then. As soon as the old wizard said that, he disappeared just as fast as he showed up. The Tsar immediately ordered to put the magic bird on the very top of his castle’ roof and got some peace. The tsar could enjoy his food again since he had a nice guard now watching after his entire kingdom.
One day, the cockerel came to life, flew down to the tsar and warned him of the upcoming danger. And indeed, the enemy army was moving toward the Tsar Dadon’s kingdom. The Tsar was ready this time. He gathered his army that defeated the enemy within three days. Two years past and the golden bird sat still. Suddenly, the cockerel started singing and warning the tsar again. This time the thread was coming from the east since the cockerel was pointing to the East. Dadon rushed to put his army together that was led by his older son. They heard nothing for a few days, but then the bird was pointing danger from the East again. The Tsar gathered his second army and sent his youngest son to lead it. The second army had the same exact fate as the first one. It went to fight the enemy but never did come back and the rooster was sitting still again for seven days. One day, the bird started singing pointing the same danger coming from the East. The Tsar gathered his third army and went to lead it into the fight. They rode for seven days straight until the tsar’s men got tired and hungry. There was no enemy on their way, no army, not even a single body. Suddenly, Dadon spotted a silk tent down near the forest. When the tsar and his army approached the tent, Dadon saw the tragic scene of both of his sons lying dead on the ground. It was not an enemy army that destroyed them, but instead they killed each other. The tsar was shocked and started crying in grief. Suddenly, the tent opened and a stunning eastern beauty was revealed inside. She was more beautiful than a pan could describe. She was dressed in the eastern clothes with a silver moon shining under her long black like raven locks.
As soon as the Tsar saw her, he went speechless and forgot the tragic death of his two sons on the spot. Next, The Queen of Shamakhan took the tsar’s hand and invited him inside the tent. There she was treating her guest well with finest eastern food and wines. And the tsar got easily trapped by the queen’s irresistible charm. When it was time for him to return back to his kingdom, Dadon proposed to the Queen of Shamakhan and brought her along to his palace. The crowds gathered around to greet their tsar and the lovely young maiden who was about to be their new queen. Suddenly, the wizard appeared in front of the royal carriage in order to let Dadon know that he had a wish now that Dadon promised to fulfill as a payback for his gift. The tsar let the wise man speak, but as soon as he found out his wish, Dadon got very mad and disappointed. The astrologist did not have any other wish, rather than marrying Queen of Shamakhan. He offered the tsar to grant her to the wizard as a payback his favor. The tsar got so angry that he hit the man with a stake and accidentally killed the wise man on the spot. The wicked Queen was just smiling in the back. The same very moment the wizard fell on the ground dead, the golden cockerel landed on the tsar’s bold head. Before anyone noticed or saw the bird pecked Dadon’ head. A few seconds later, the tsar fell dead as well and no one was able to explain why. The mysterious queen suddenly disappeared and no one saw where she went.