Russian Folktale

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Russian Folktale Once a long time ago there was a man going to Moscow. On his way he saw two boys arguing over whom would get their fathers trade business, and so the old man stopped and told the boys a story. He began by saying: Once a long long times ago, before you were even born there were two great cities that were great friends. The cities were always trying to figure out a way to help each other out and they grew and prospered and everyone was happy. But one ill day the kings of the cities died and their sons took their (their fathers) thrones. The sons the kings had always been rivals one could hunt better, one could ride better, and so on and so fourth. Well being kings didn't help any they just looked for ways to beat each other on a larger basis. So to make traders come to their city instead of the other city they built great statues that proved they were stronger than the other was. One day the city of Doro decided to build a great statue of a pig, the rival city of Glico having a statue of an orange was horrified, because as eve-ryone knows pigs eat oranges, and if the traders saw that Doro was stronger than they wouldn't trade with Glico. So the king of Glico decided to make a statue of a club, to drive off the pig, well the king of Doro saw this and, for the same reasons decided to build a statue of a fire, to burn the club, and it just got worse from there. The cities continued this for several years and the people of the cities were so busy building bigger and better statues that they didn't have time to do things like hunt, gather food, or plant crops. They grew poor and many died from starvation. So the people cried out that this had to stop, well the people weren't the only ones starving. The food shortage was so severe that even the kings were growing skinny. So as soon as the kings were humbled enough they, as recommended by the people, met and tried to discuss the effect the rivalries were having on the people, and themselves, and what could be done about it. They decided that they couldn't go on like this or they would all die.
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