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164 Little Bitty Khavroshechka 100. You know that on earth there are good people and those who are not so good, and there are those who do not fear God and who know no shame. To the latter belonged Little Bitty Khavroshechka. She had been left an orphan when small. Some people took her in, fed her, and did not let her go out into the open, made her work every day, and simply wore her out. She set things out and cleared away, and answered for all and for everything. Her mistress had three grown daughters. The eldest was called Oneeye , the middle one Two-eyes, and the youngest, Three-eyes. They knew nothing except sitting by the gate and watching the street. And Little Bitty Khavroshechka worked for them, sewed for them, spun for them and wove, and never a kind word did she hear. And that’s what hurt: to have someone push and shove, but no one to greet or take a liking to! Occasionally, Little Bitty Khavroshechka would go out into the field and embrace her spotted cow, lie down on her neck and tell her how difficult it was to live there:“Oh Cow, Little Mother! They beat me, complain about everything, give me no bread, and tell me not to cry. They’ve given me five poods to spin, weave, bleach, and roll up into bundles by tomorrow morning.” And the cow said to her, “Beautiful maiden! Climb into one ear and out the other—all will be done!” And that’s just what happened . She climbed out of the cow’s ear, and all was in readiness: spun, woven, bleached, and rolled. She carried it off to her stepmother. Stepmother looked at it, starched it, and put it into a trunk.And then she gave her even more work. Khavroshechka came to the cow once more, climbed in one ear and out the other, and took what was prepared and carried it to her stepmother. The old woman was amazed, and she called One-eye: “My good daughter, my comely daughter! Go and see who’s helping the orphan out. Who’s spinning, weaving, bleaching, and rolling the stuff into bundles.” So One-eye went with the orphan into the forest. She went with her into the field. She forgot her mother’s instructions, sunbathed, stretched out in the grass, and Khavroshechka chanted,“Sleep, eye; sleep, eye!” The one eye went to sleep. While One-eye was sleeping, the little cow wove Little Bitty Khavroshechka h 165 and bleached. The stepmother found out nothing and sent Two-eyes. She also sunbathed and stretched out in the grass. She forgot her mother’s instructions and closed her eyes, and Khavroshechka whispered,“Sleep, eye; sleep, second eye.” The little cow wove and bleached, and rolled the linen into bundles. Two-eyes slept on. The third day the old woman got angry and sent Three-eyes, and she gave the orphan even more work. And Three-eyes, just like her older sisters , jumped and hopped about, and fell onto the grass. Khavroshechka sang,“Sleep, eye; sleep, second eye!”—and she forgot about the third eye. Two eyes went to sleep, but the third eye watched and saw everything: how the beautiful young girl climbed into one ear and climbed out the other ear, and then collected the linen that had been prepared. That’s all she saw. Three-eyes told her mother. She rejoiced, and on the next day went to her husband:“Kill the spotted cow!” The old man hemmed and hawed:“What, woman, are you out of your mind? That’s a young cow, a fine one!” But butcher it and that’s that! He sharpened a knife . . . . Khavroshechka ran to the little cow:“Little Cow, Little Mother! They want to butcher you!”“Well, you, beautiful maiden, don’t eat my meat. Collect my bones, and tie them in a kerchief. Bury them in the garden, and never forget me. Water the bones every morning.” Khavroshechka did all this as the little cow had commanded her, She went hungry, would take no meat into her mouth, and she watered the bones in the garden every day. And an apple tree grew up from them, and such a tree it was! My God! The ripe apples hung on it, the golden leaves murmured, the silver branches hung down. Whoever passed by would stop; whoever came near would gaze at it. Once the girls were...


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