IVAN having succeeded in plowing all but a small portion of his land, he returned the next day to finish it. The pain in his stomach continued, but he felt that he must go on with his work. He tried to start his plow, but it would not move; it seemed to have struck a hard root. It was the small devil in the ground who had wound his feet around the plowshares and held them.
Ivan put his hand in the ground, and, feeling something soft, grasped and pulled it out. It was like a root in appearance, but seemed to possess life. Holding it up he saw that it was a little devil. Disgusted, he exclaimed, See the nasty thing, and he proceeded to strike it a blow, intending to kill it, when the young devil cried out:
The devil bent toward the earth and began searching for roots, and when he found them he gave them to Ivan, saying. If you will swallow some of these you will be immediately cured of whatsoever disease you are afflicted with.
When he reached the house he found his brother Simeon and his wife seated at the supper-table. His estate had been confiscated, and he himself had barely escaped execution by making his way out of prison, and having nothing to live upon had come back to his father for support.
Just as Ivan was about to sit down to the table Simeons wife made a wry face, indicating that she did not like the smell of Ivans sheep-skin coat; and turning to her husband she said, I shall not sit at the table with a moujik [peasant] who smells like that.