In a certain kingdom, there lived a king who had a daughter who was a sorceress. A priest lived in the king's court, and the priest had a ten-year-old son who went every day to an old lady to learn how to read and write. One day he was walking home from school late at night, and as he passed by the palace, he looked at one little window. At that window the queen was sitting cleaning: she took off her head, soaped it, washed it with clean water, combed her hair, braided it and put it on the old place. The boy marveled:
"You see how cunning she is! A straight witch!" He went home and told everyone how he had seen the queen without her head.
Suddenly the queen's daughter became ill and called her father and began to punish him:
- If I die, make the priest's son read Psalms over me three nights in a row.
When the queen died, they put her in a coffin and took her to church.
The king calls the priest:
- Do you have a son?
- Yes, Your Majesty.
- "Let him," he says, "read a psalter over my daughter three nights in a row.
The priest returned home and told his son to get ready.
In the morning, the priest went to study, and he sat over the book, so bored.
- What are you grieving about? - An old woman asked him.
- How can I not grieve when I'm completely lost?
- What's the matter with you? Speak plainly.
- So and so, grandmother! I must read over the queen, and she's a sorceress!
- I knew it before you!
Don't be afraid, here's a knife; when you come to church, make a circle around you, and read the psalter, and don't look back. No matter what is there, no matter what passions appear - know your own, read and read! If you look back, you'll be lost!
In the evening the boy went to church, drew a circle around himself with a knife, and began to read the psalter. Twelve o'clock struck, the lid lifted from the coffin, the queen stood up, ran out and shouted:
- Oh, now you'll know how to spy under my windows and tell people!
She began to rush at the popovich, but she could not cross the circle in any way; then she began to make different passions; but whatever she did, he kept reading and reading, and did not look anywhere.
And as soon as it began to dawn, the queen threw herself into the coffin and fell into it as hard as she could!
The next night, the same thing happened - Popovich was not afraid of anything, and he was reading non-stop until daybreak, and in the morning he went to the old woman. She asked:
- Have you seen the passion?
- I have, Granny!
- It's going to be even scarier now!
Here is a hammer and four nails - hammer them into the four sides of the coffin, and when you begin to read the psalter, place the hammer against yourself.
In the evening the priest went to church and did everything as the old woman had taught him. It was twelve o'clock, the lid of the tomb fell on the floor, and the queen got up and began to fly to and fro and threaten the priest; she was building up great passions, but now she was building up even more: it seemed to the priest's son that a fire had broken out in the church and the flames were engulfing all the walls; and he was just reading, and he would not look back.
Before daybreak, the queen threw herself into the coffin, and immediately the fire was gone - all the illusion had disappeared!
In the morning, the king comes to the church and looks at the open coffin with the queen lying upside down. - What is it? - asks the boy.
He tells him what happened. The king ordered to drive a stake through his daughter's chest and bury her in the ground, and rewarded the priest with treasury and various estates.