In old Slavic folk tales the hero Ivan, weary from travel and beset by the tricks of the witch Baba Yaga, is often sheltered for a night by the spell-bound maiden he must rescue. He will soon be tasked with staring down three magical hounds of increasing size, or sitting watch at a ghostly table laden with wine and meat that he must neither drink nor eat, but first he is given this moment of comfort. “Rest now,” she says. “The morning is wiser than the evening.” And the hero sleeps, knowing that he will face the day when it comes and not before.
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