18 July 2024

I. The Humble Beginnings

In a small corner of Russia, nestled among rolling hills and clear streams, lived seven brothers, all named Simon. These fellows weren't rich, nor were they famous, but what they lacked in wealth, they made up for with big hearts and tireless spirits. Every day, from dawn till dusk, they worked their fingers to the bone on a tiny farm. Not just for themselves, mind you, but to care for their old parents too.

II. The Enchanted Forest

Now, just a hop, skip, and a jump from their village lay a forest, but no ordinary forest, mind you. This one was brimming with secrets and magic, a place of wonder and peril. Stories floated around the village of a mysterious creature residing in its heart, guarding a treasure so splendid, it made the stars look dim by comparison.

III. The Brave Decision

One crisp evening, under a sky sprinkled with stars, the Simon brothers made a pact. They'd venture into this mystical forest, find the creature, and bring back the treasure. Hugs were given, promises made to their parents, and with hearts brimming with bravery, they stepped into the unknown, ready for whatever adventures awaited them.

I. The Wise Raven

Not long after stepping foot into the heart of the forest, the seven Simons met a wise raven perched on a gnarled branch. With eyes sparkling like tiny stars, this bird spoke in a voice that seemed to echo the wisdom of ages. "Greetings, brave seekers," it cawed, "heed my words, and you may find what your hearts desire."
The raven then told of paths twisted and traps cunningly laid, of challenges that would test their resolve. "But fear not," it said, "for unity and a clear mind will guide you through." Thankful for the raven's advice, the brothers nodded to each other, their resolve hardened, and ventured deeper into the forest's embrace.

II. The Cunning Fox

As shadows lengthened and the air grew chill, a cunning fox with fur as red as the setting sun crossed their path. "Ah, seekers of fortune, I know a shortcut to the treasure you seek," it said, its voice smooth as silk. But the brothers remembered the raven's warning and saw the glint of deceit in the fox's eyes.
"Thank you, but we'll find our own way," they replied in unison, stepping carefully around the fox. Disappointed, the creature vanished into the underbrush, leaving the brothers to ponder the value of caution and truth. Their journey continued, each step taking them closer to their goal and further from the deceptions that lay behind.

III. The Brave Bear

When the moon hung high, casting silver light through the trees, the brothers encountered a brave bear, its fur thick and dark, eyes glimmering with a noble light. Before them, it guarded a glistening gem that seemed to hold the essence of the forest itself. With respect in their hearts, the Simons approached, explaining their quest and showing their determination.
Impressed by their courage and the honesty shining in their eyes, the bear nodded. "This gem will aid you, but beware; ahead lies a challenge even greater than I," it rumbled in a deep voice that resonated through the silent woods. Grateful, the brothers carefully took the gem, their spirits buoyed by the bear's warning and the trials they had already overcome.

I. The Final Challenge

After many days of wandering, facing cunning creatures and learning valuable lessons, the seven Simons finally arrived at a clearing. Here, towering trees seemed to bow down, creating a natural throne for the creature they sought. At its center, a fearsome dragon breathed fire into the sky, its scales shimmering like a thousand stars under the moonlight. Guarding its treasure, the dragon's eyes sparkled with a challenge.

Despite their fear, the brothers remembered the wise raven's words and the courage the bear had shown them. They understood that bravery wasn't about not feeling fear but about facing it head-on. So, with a deep breath, they stepped forward, ready to confront their final challenge.

II. The Triumph

The battle was not one of swords and shields but of wits and wisdom. The seven Simons worked together, each using his unique skill. One distracted the dragon with a dance, another sang a lullaby learned from the wind itself, while the others found a way to sneak past and reach the treasure. Realizing they meant no harm, the dragon paused, intrigued by these humans who wielded no weapons but their minds.

With a final leap of faith, the youngest Simon approached the dragon, offering a hand in friendship. To the surprise of his brothers, the dragon, moved by their bravery and kindness, bowed its head and nudged the chest toward them.

III. The Reward

With the treasure safely in their hands, the brothers made their way back to the village. News of their triumph had already spread, and they were greeted with cheers and tears of joy. Their hearts swollen with pride, they presented the treasure to their parents, who could hardly believe their eyes.

In the days that followed, the brothers did not keep the treasure for themselves but shared it with every villager, ensuring no one in their beloved home would ever want for anything again. Their story became a legend, passed down through generations as a testament to the power of courage, wisdom, and the unbreakable bond of brotherhood.

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