Kornilov Bilibin plate #3

Kornilov Brothers Bilibin plate #3 after Illustration for the Russian fairy tale "The Wife Duck"


After Ivan Bilibin’s Illustration for the Russian fairy tale “The Wife Duck”
A king had to leave his newly-wed wife for a journey. He sternly warned her against leaving the women’s quarters and listening to bad advice. But an envious wicked witch lured her into the garden and into a pool, and turned her into a white duck, herself taking the queen’s own form and place.
Meanwhile, the white duck built a nest, laid three eggs, and hatched two fluffy ducklings and one little drake. She warned them against the castle, because an evil witch lived there, but one day the witch saw them and lured them inside. The ducklings slept but the drake stayed awake, and when the witch called if they were asleep, the drake answered. But after two answers, the witch went in to see, and saw the ducklings were asleep, so she killed them.
The white duck found the bodies and lamented over them. The king wondered at it, and although the witch tried to persuade him it was nothing but quacking, he ordered that the duck to be captured. His servants could not catch her, so he tried himself. The duck flew straight into his arms and turned into a woman. She told of a bottle with magic water in the nest in the garden which, sprinkled on the ducklings and drake, turned them into three lovely children. The witch was then put to death.