The Tsar’s riddle




A Tsar had taken prisoner a rebel leader. The rebel's daughter went to the Tsar to beg him to spare her beloved father. She was a beautiful g girl, but the Tsar looked on her mixed feelings.
“I will free your father, and what is more I will marry you,” he said to her, “If you are able to solve this riddle. If fail, your father will die and you be forced to marry my stable boy.”
“Agreed,” said the girl, “what is the riddle?”
“You have to come back to me neither dressed nor naked,” said the Tsar “neither on foot nor on horseback, neither with gifts nor withoutgifts.”
The girl went away and thought hard. The next day she came before the Tsar, wearing only a thick fishing net, so that she was neither dressed nor naked; she was riding on the back of a large dog, so that she was neither on foot nor on horseback; In her hands she had a quail, which she released in the Tsar's presence, so that she had come neither with a gift nor without a gift.
The Tsar, who admired clever people as much as he admired brave ones, kept his word. He freed the rebel leader and married his beautiful young daughter.

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