XXV A DIFFICULT TASK IS PROPOSED TO THE HERO: 

difficult task


**This is one of the tale's favorite elements. 


1. Ordeal by food and drink: to eat a certain number of oxen or wagonloads of bread; to drink a great deal of beer.


2. Ordeal by fire: to bathe in a red-hot iron bathhouse. This form is always connected with the previous ordeal. A separate form: a bath in boiling water.


3. Riddle guessing and similar ordeals: to pose an unsolvable riddle; to recount and interpret a dream; to explain the meaning of the ravens' croaking at the tsar's window, and to drive them away; to find out (to guess) the distinctive marks of a tsar's daughter.


4. Ordeal of choice: to select sought-after persons among twelve identical girls (or boys).


5. Hide and seek: to hide oneself so that discovery is impossible.


6. To kiss the princess in a window.


7. To jump up on top of the gates.


8. Test of strength, adroitness, fortitude: a princess chokes Ivan at night or squeezes his hand; the task of picking up the heads of a decapitated dragon, of breaking in a horse, of milking a herd of wild mares; of defeating an amazon, or a rival, is given to the hero.


9. Test of endurance: to spend seven years in the tin kingdom.


10. Tasks of supply and manufacture: to supply a medicine; to obtain a wedding dress, a ring, shoes; to deliver the hair of the king of the sea; to deliver a flying boat; to deliver life-giving water; to supply a troop of soldiers; to obtain seventy-seven mares; to build a palace during one night, a bridge leading to it; to bring "the mate to my unknown one to make a pair." As tasks of manufacture: to sew shirts; to bake bread; as the third task in this case, the tsar asks who dances better.


11. Other tasks: to pick berries from a certain bush or tree; to cross a pit on a pole; to find someone "whose candle will light by itself".