ODOP: Old Danilo (5)

Old Danilo after an hour returned.
“I know the three most beautiful maidens
In all of holy Russia, and shall lead
You to one. But mind your dogs don’t eat
Nor foreigners steal them another hour;
I have not found a place to house them.”
“Yes, grandsire. But hurry.” Ivan grew
So unbearably hungry that he could have
Eaten the whole flock of one hundred. He ate half.
Danilo, returning, chastised him.

“I shan’t lead you to the boyar’s daughter.
Guard my sheep another hour; still I’ve found
No place to house them.” “Maybe,” suggested
Ivan, “it will be easier now there’s
That much fewer of ’em.” Danilo left.
The sun moved overhead, but Ivan saw
It not: his eyes were dark with hunger.
Ivan was so big no one else dared to approach,
But when Danilo returned the sheep
Were gone. Ivan had lost the general’s girl.

Copyright 2010 Jobey George. Is this making anyone else hungry? It’s making me hungry.

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