The Golden Cockerel: From the Original Russian Fairy Tale of Alexander Pushkin (Dover Children's Classics, 2013). Elaine Pogany (Author), Willy Pogany (Illustrator). Paperback, 48 pages. Full-page color images, along with striking black-and-white drawings, depict memorable scenes from a timeless tale of magic and adventure. Republished from the original edition by Thomas Nelson and Sons, NY, 1938.
Hungarian-born artist Willy Pogány (1882–1955) served as art director on several Hollywood films, including Fashions of 1934 and Dames. He was also an author and teacher whose instructive manuals include Dover's Drawing Lessons. Stories by Elaine Pogány include Peterkin and Scrambled Eggs.
The Tale of The Golden Cockerel. The story starts in the realm of Tsar Dadon, who once was a fierce warrior. But he eventually grew to desire the quiet life. Unfortunately this was not possible, as marauders continually raided his commonwealth. The Tsar believed within his heart that the country was in danger from the Queen of Shemakha (Ottoman Empire). Imploring an astrologer to help him defend his kingdom, the clever magician placed a golden cockerel atop a weathercock which crowed whenever an enemy approached. The rooster proved to be a splendid defender but the foolish Tsar decided he should strike at Shemakha first. He sent his two inept sons to battle but they only ended up getting killed. The Tsar then decided to lead his army into battle, but upon meeting the beautiful and seductive Queen in her silken tent, became infatuated with her and fell in love. The Queen quickly engineered a marriage proposal from him, but at the wedding, the magician suddenly demanded the Queen's hand in marriage. The tale ends with the death of both the astrologer and the Tsar and the reader is left to ponder the moral of heartless royal ingratitude.