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197 Tereshechka 112. This old man and old woman had a miserable life! They’d lived all their lives, but still had no children. In their youth they’d somehow managed, but they’d grown old, and there was no one to give them even a drink, so they grieved and wept. So they made a chunk of wood, wrapped it in swaddling clothes, put it in a cradle, and began rocking it and singing little lullabies to it. And in place of that block, a son, Tereshechka, began growing in those swaddling clothes, and a real little berry he was! The little boy grew and grew up, and began thinking on his own. His father made him a little boat.Tereshechka went off to catch fish, and his mother would bring him milk and potted cheese. She’d come to the shore and call out,“Tereshechka, my son! Come over here, come to the shore. Your mother has brought you some milk.” Tereshechka would hear her voice from far away, come to the shore, and pour out his fish. Then he’d eat and drink his fill and go out fishing again. One time his mother said to him, “My son, my dear one! Be careful , that witch Chuvilikha is watching you. Don’t fall into her clutches!” When she’d said this, she left. Then Chuvilikha came to the shore and called out in a terrifying voice,“Tereshechka, my little son! Come, come over to the shore. Your mother has come and brought you some milk.” But Tereshechka recognized the voice and said, “Sail away, sail further away, my little boat! That’s not my own mother’s voice, but that of the evil witch Chuvilikha.” Chuvilikha heard him, ran and sought out a wizard, and got herself a voice just like Tereshechka’s mother’s. Then his mother came and called her son in a fine little voice,“Tereshechka, my little son, sail, sail over to the shore.” Tereshechka heard her and said,“Closer, little boat, closer! That’s my very own mother’s voice.” His mother fed him, gave him a drink, and sent him out after fish again. Then the witch Chuvilikha came with her newly trained voice, which was exactly like his mother’s. Tereshechka recognized it and came. She grabbed him, popped him into a sack, and dashed off. She dashed into her hut, which was on cock’s legs, and told her daughter to roast him. She lifted her skirts and dashed off for other booty. Now Tereshechka was no fool of a young man, and he didn’t let that girl get the better of him. He 198 h Tereshechka got her into the oven to roast instead of himself, and then made his way up into a high oak. Chuvilikha came running home, leapt into the hut, ate and drank, and went out into the yard to roll and loll about. And she chanted,“I’ll roll about, I’ll loll about, having eaten Tereshechka’s meat!” But he shouted out from the oak,“Roll and loll about, witch, for you’ve eaten your own daughter’s meat!”She heard him, lifted her head, scanned all four sides— but there was no one there! Again she sang out, “I’ll roll about, I’ll loll about, having eaten Tereshechka’s meat!”And he answered,“Roll and loll about, witch, for you’ve eaten your own daughter’s meat!” She got frightened , looked and saw him in the high oak. She jumped up and ran to the smith.“Smith, smith! Forge me a little axe.” The smith forged her a little axe and said to her,“Don’t chop with the blade, chop with the butt.” She heeded him, banged and banged, chopped and chopped, but managed nothing. She fell on the tree, digging into it with her teeth, and the tree shook. Some swan-geese were flying through the sky. Tereshechka saw his ill fate, saw the swan-geese, and implored them. He begged them: Swan-geese, Take me, Set me down on your wings, Carry me to my father and mother; There they’ll feed you and give you drink. And the swan-geese answered, “Honk, honk! Here comes another flock hungrier than we are. They’ll take you and carry you there.”And the witch gnawed and the chips flew, and the oak trembled and shook. Another flock flew by. Again Tereshechka shouted,“Swan-geese! Take me, set...


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