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169 Baba Yaga 102. There lived and dwelt a man and his wife, and they brought a daughter into the world. Then the wife died. The man married another, and they in turn had a daughter. So then the wife didn’t like her stepdaughter; she gave her no peace. Our peasant thought and thought, and took his daughter off into the woods. They were riding through the woods, and they saw this hut on cock’s legs. So then the peasant said,“Hut, little hut! Stand with your rear to the woods and your front to me.” The little hut turned around. The peasant went into the hut, and Baba Yaga was in it. Her head was out in front, one leg in a corner, and the other in another corner.“It smells of a Russian soul!” said the yaga. The peasant bowed down to her:“Baba Yaga of the bony leg! I’ve brought my daughter to be of service to you.” “Well, that’s good! Serve me, serve me,”Baba Yaga said to the girl,“and I’ll reward you for it.” The father took his leave and rode off home. Baba Yaga gave the girl some yarn from a basket, told her to heat up the stove, and look after everything, and she herself went off. The girl fussed about the stove, but she wept bitterly. Some little mice ran out and said to her,“Miss, oh Miss! Why are you crying? Give us a little porridge.We’ll say some good things to you.” She gave them a little porridge. “Here’s what,” they said. “You weave every spindle of yarn down to the last thread.” Baba Yaga came back: “Well, did you take care of everything?” And all was in readiness. “Now come and wash me in the bathhouse,” she said. The yaga praised the girl and gave her a fine dress. Then the yaga went away and gave her an even more difficult task. Once more the girl cried. The mice came running out: “Why are you crying, beautiful lass? Give us some porridge. We’ll say some good things to you.” She gave them some porridge, and they once more taught her how and what to do. When Baba Yaga came back, she praised her and gave her even more beautiful clothing . . . . But then the stepmother sent her husband to find out whether the daughter was alive or not. The peasant set off. He got there and saw that his daughter had become really, really rich. The yaga wasn’t at home, and so he took his 170 h Baba Yaga daughter with him. They were riding up to their village, when the dog at their home started barking:“Arf-arf-arf! They are bringing in a fine lady. They’re bringing in a fine lady.” The stepmother ran out and hit the dog with a stick.“You’re lying,” she said.“Say: ‘Those are bones in a box rattling !’” But the dog went on and on. They got there. The stepmother kept after her husband to take her daughter there. The man drove her off. So Baba Yaga set her tasks and then went away. The girl howled from vexation and cried. Out ran the little mice.“Miss, oh Miss! Why are you crying?” they said. But she wouldn’t even let them speak, but was after them with a stick, first one and then the other. She chased after them so much that she didn’t get her tasks done. The yaga came and got very angry . The next time the same thing happened: The yaga beat her to pieces and put her bones in a box. So the mother sent her husband after her daughter. The father came there and then set off with just the bones. As he was approaching the village, the dog barked on the porch:“Arf-arf-arf! They’re bringing the bones!” The stepmother ran out with a stick.“You’re lying,” she said.“Say:‘They’re bringing a fine lady!’” But the dog went on the same way:“Arf-arf-arf! The bones are rattling in a box!” The husband came; then did his wife howl! There’s a tale for you, but for me a pot of butter. 103. There lived this old man and old woman. The old man was widowed, and he married another wife, but from the first wife there remained a daughter. The evil stepmother didn’t like...


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