The Tale of the Priest and his Workman Balda
is a fairy tale in verse by Alexander Pushkin. Pushkin wrote the tale on September 13, 1830 while staying at Boldino.
The poem tells of a lazy priest who is wandering around a market looking for a cheap worker. There he meets Balda (Балда in Russian means stupid or just simple, a not-very-serious person) who agrees to work for a year without pay except that he be allowed to hit the priest three times on his forehead and have cooked spelt for food. The priest, being a cheapskate, agrees. But then, after he gets a chance to observe Balda at work, he sees that he is not only very patient and careful, but also very strong. That worries the priest greatly and he starts giving Balda impossible missions to accomplish.
The Priest asks Balda to collect a fabricated debt from sea devils. Balda troubles the sea with rope and forces the leader of the devils, an “old Bies”, to come out. He agrees to pay the debt if Balda will defeat his grandson at running and weight carrying. Balda tricks the “little Bies”, first by getting a hare, whom he proclaims his “younger brother” to run in his stead, and then by “carrying” a horse between his two legs by riding on it.
The story ends when Balda gives the priest three blows to the forehead which results in the priest losing his mind. The final line is, “You shouldn’t have gone rushing off after cheapness.” – WIKIPEDIA