Once upon a time in a far away land Tsar Saltan sat listening to the future plans of three sisters. One of these sisters said that she wanted to give birth to a great warrior, and employ the other two sisters in her charge. Tsar Saltan decided to marry this sister, making the other two sisters become very jealous. These two women decided to do everything they could to make the married sister's life unhappy.
Tsar Saltan soon went away to war. During his absence his queen gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Gvidon. It looked as if her dream of the future were beginning to be fulfilled, but her evil sisters wrote to the Tsar and convinced him that his son was an evil monster. Believing their ridiculous story, the Tsar then ordered that his wife and son be sealed in a barrel and cast into the sea.
The barrel drifted for many years, finally washing ashore after Prince Gvidon had already grown into a man. On this shore Prince Gvidon performed his first great task, he rescued a swan being attacked by an evil magician. Having been saved, the swan then turned into an enchanting princess who promised to help Gvidon find his father. The Prince then became ruler of the land that he had washed ashore upon, and his kingdom became famous throughout the world.
One day a merchant ship en route to Tsar Saltan's country passed through Prince Gvidon's magnificent land. On arrival to Tsar Saltan's country the merchant told the Tsar about his son's great land. Tsar Saltan made plans to travel there, but the evil sisters talked him out of it. The next time the merchant passed through the kingdom of Prince Gvidon he saw the Magic Squirrel which lived in a crystal cage that Prince Gvidon had built for it. Again the merchant arrived home to tell Tsar Saltan of his son's magical land, but again the evil sisters interfered. They told the Tsar that he should instead go to the land where one can see 33 warriors and Chernomor rise from the ocean.
The Princess Swan explained to Prince Gvidon that these warriors were her brothers, so when the merchant passed through the land a third time this feat was performed for him. Having heard this story the wicked sisters dissuaded the Tsar once more from traveling to his son by telling him that it would be more worth his while to find the Magic Princess with the Sea Star above her head.
Prince Gvidon was sad when he discovered once more that his father would not come to see him. Little did he know that the Swan Princess and the Magic Princess were one in the same! The merchant then returned home a fourth time to inform the Tsar that his son had married the Magic Princess. The Tsar then immediately set sail for Gvidon's kingdom where the family was reunited.
They lived there happily ever after.