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  Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Folk tales
    Posted: 03-Sep-2004 at 00:48

What kind of ancient and historic folktales does your culture have? What are the more popular ones among people of your culture? Post some of them, we would all like to learn more.

 

A famous Armenian folktale is one about Hayk Nahabed (patriarch). The tale is that a great archer, Hayk, who lived in Babylon during the time of Be'l. Be'l was worshipped as a god and he had numerous statues of himself all over the city. Hayk refused to erect a statue of Be'l in his house, and refused to worship him. Be'l ordered that Hayk be killed, and when Hayk approached Be'l to meet him in battle, he was hiding behind his massive gaurds. Hayk fled north to the region of Ararat, where Be'l followed him in hot pursuit. Hayk finally stopped and said, "Why do you pursue me? Return to your own place so that you do not die today at my hands, for my arrow will not miss its mark." Then Be'l replied: "I pursue you in person so that you do not fall into the hands of my young men and perish. Instead, give yourself up to me and live in my house in peace, looking after the young hunters in my house." Hayk answered him, saying: "You are a dog and from a pack of dogs, you and your people. Therefore, today I will empty my quiver at you." The Titan King Be'l was armored and trusted in the full armoring of his person.

Hayk, descendant of Japheth, advanced closer, holding in his hand a bow which was like a branch of a mighty pine tree, and then he took position against Be'l with his bow at the ready. He picked up the quiver from the ground by him and putting an arrow to the gigantic arc of his bow, drew it back to his shoulder and released the arrow which forcefully penetrated the armor plating, pierced the bronze shield, passed through the pillar of meat and emerged, falling on the ground. The giant, who thought himself to be a god, immediately fell to the ground and his troops fled. Hayk settled in the Ararat region and his descendents were known as Armenians ("Hai"s, in Armenian, named after Hayk, and the country was called Hayastan).

This folktale is obviously not historically accurate.

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  Quote JanusRook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2004 at 10:40

Johnny Appleseed
retold by
S. E. Schlosser

Johnny Appleseed was a hermit and a wanderer who was welcomed wherever he went in the Ohio territory. Everyone loved him, in spite of his unkempt appearance. He always carried a sack full of apple seeds to plant, and walked barefoot all year round. He knew the frontier woods better than anyone. Even the Indians respected Johnny Appleseed for his courage.

When the War of 1812 began, many Indians allied themselves with the British, seeking to revenge injustices done to their people by the settlers. They attacked up and down the Ohio territory, but they left Johnny Appleseed alone. Taking advantage of his position, Johnny Appleseed became the Paul Revere of the Ohio territory, warning settlers of danger.

On one occasion, Johnny Appleseed learned that a band of Indians had laid siege on the town of Mansfield, Ohio. Johnny Appleseed ran twenty-six miles through the forest to Mt. Vernon to obtain help for the settlers. As he ran, he tried to warn other settlers along the path of the danger by blowing on an old powder horn. Aid reached the town within a day, and the settlers were spared, thanks to the bravery of Johnny Appleseed.

The story of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, is intimately tied to the domestication of America. In the early 1800s, he wandered what was then the frontier, planting apple seeds and helping to make the wilderness a home for the advancing pioneers. He planted over a hundred thousand square miles of apple orchards in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.

Some of the orchards are well documented and still exist. The trees in the orchards may well be descended, by seed or by grafting, from the ones he planted.

Johnny Appleseed was, to put it kindly, eccentric. He was a vegetarian and traveled barefoot, and, equally out of character with his times, showed kindness to animals and befriended the Indians. He preached a Christianity that was close to nature-worship. He was known as "Johnny Appleseed" in his lifetime, a folk hero about whom legends and stories were told, then and since. He became a mythic figure, who helped to tame the wilderness by planting apple orchards. He embodied two extremes: the rugged individualist and the gentle humanitarian.

So much for the short answer. The definitive biography was written by Robert Price (see resources at the end of this article), based on writings by people who knew him. We have lots of documentation of the bare bones of his story, such as land leases and promissory notes. But many of the memoirs were written long after the fact and so are of dubious trustworthiness.

Before we get into Johnny Appleseed's life, though, we need to learn something about apples. Much of the following comes from Michael Pollan's wonderful book, The Botany of Desire, also cited below. If you took Pomology 101, you'd learn that apples don't "grow true" from seeds. An apple tree grown from a seed bears little resemblance to its parent, and the fruit normally is almost inedible, very sour or bitter. To get edible apples, you graft trees, producing a clone of a tree that you know bears tasty fruit, rather than plant from seeds.

Apples were brought to the New World by the earliest immigrants. Trees grown from seedlings, called "pippins," prospered in New England, especially after the colonists imported honeybees to improve pollination.

Soil, climate, and sunlight hours in America were different from those in Europe, but the apple was able to adapt to the New World in a remarkably short time. Pollan says, "Every time an apple failed to germinate or thrive in American soil, every time an American winter killed a tree or a freeze in May nipped its buds, an evolutionary vote was cast, and the apples that survived this great winnowing became ever so slightly more American. A somewhat different kind of vote was then cast by the discriminating orchardist. Whenever a tree somehow distinguished itself for the hardiness of its constitution, the redness of its skin, the excellence of its flavor it would promptly be named, grafted, publicized, and multiplied." The adaptation of the apple to America was thus the result of a "simultaneous process of natural and cultural selection."

Here's something else you probably didn't know. In the 1700s and 1800s, most apples were grown not for eating but for making hard cider. Johnny Appleseed didn't just bring fresh fruit to the frontier, he brought the alcoholic drink of choice.

Cider was safer, tastier, and easier to make than corn liquor. You pressed the apples to produce juice, let the juice ferment in a barrel for a few weeks, and presto! you had a mildly alcoholic beverage, about half the strength of wine. For something stronger, the cider could be distilled into brandy or frozen into applejack (about 66 proof). In rural areas, cider took the place not only of wine and beer but also of coffee, juice, even water.

We stopped drinking apples and started eating them in the early 1900s. The Women's Christian Temperance Union publicized the evils of alcohol, the movement towards Prohibition was gaining momentum, and the apple industry saw the need to re-position the apple. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" was an advertising slogan devised by apple growers fearful that prohibition would cut sales. We can thank prohibition for shifting the image of the apple to the healthy, wholesome, American-as-apple-pie fruit that it is today.

Back to Johnny Appleseed. John Chapman was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, on September 26, 1774, the son of Nathaniel Chapman, a farmer and carpenter and later one of the "Minute Men" who fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill and elsewhere. His mother died in 1776. His father remarried and the family moved to Longmeadow, Massachusetts, along the Connecticut River. He had a half-sister, but there is no authenticated account of his childhood.

He went west around November 1797 and wintered in western Pennsylvania. In the spring of 1798, he found a spot along a tributary of the Allegheny River, near what is now Warren, Pennsylvania, and planted his first apple nursery.

It was a business, albeit an unusual one. He tried to predict where the pioneers were likely to settle, in the early days mainly along the tributaries of the Muskingum River in north central Ohio. He would get there first with a canoe loaded with apple seeds. He looked for an attractive piece of land, planted apple seeds, and waited. By the time the settlers arrived, he would have two- to three-year old apple trees ready to sell, at five or six cents apiece.

He developed a routine. In the autumn, he returned to his orchards in Allegheny county to gather apple seeds. In the spring, he would scout for sites, plant nurseries and fence them in. In the summer, he would repair fences in nurseries he'd established earlier and find a local agent to tend the trees. He would then be ready to move on and start the whole process over again.

He wasn't the first to plant orchards in the area, but his scheme of moving with the frontier was unique, as far as we know. Pollan says, "One could describe him as a shrewd real estate developer. It was not a bad little business."

One consequence of his approach was that he was constantly on the move and had no fixed residence for his entire adult life. In the 1820s he did spend some time with his half-sister and her family, which is about as close as he ever came to settling down.

In addition to the apples, he brought the seeds of medicinal plants. He was generous to people in need, and always ready to lend a hand with chores. He soon became a familiar figure in the region, and a welcomed one.

By 1806, John Chapman had been nicknamed "Johnny Appleseed" and legends about him began to spread locally. We have first-hand accounts left by the many settlers who welcomed him into their cabins. They gave him a meal and a place to sleep in exchange for apples, apple trees, and news including stories of his own exploits, real and fantastic. Myth and reality became hopelessly intertwined. For the settlers, there was enormous entertainment value in having a guest who was literally a legend in his own time.

He must have been a sight. He was of medium height, sinewy and large-boned, with dark hair down to his shoulders and bright blue eyes. He wore a coffee sack with holes for his arms and legs. Tradition has it that he had a tin kettle that served as both hat and cooking pot, but Price says that's not authenticated. Contrary to Walt Disney's 1948 cartoon, he carried a woodsman's usual equipment, including rifle, tomahawk, knife, etc.

Pollan describes an engraving by a woman who knew him: "Scraggly and barefoot, he's wearing a sackcloth cinched at the waist like a dress and a tin pot on his head. The man looks completely insane."

Despite his peculiar attire and personal habits, no contemporary described him as repulsive. To the contrary, people were happy to have him as a guest. But the term "eccentric" seems an understatement.

His lifestyle and preferences were completely opposite the norms of frontier life. He was a vegetarian. He preferred to sleep outdoors and avoided towns and settlements. He thought it cruel to ride a horse, chop down a tree, or kill a rattlesnake. The stories go on. The settlers viewed these attitudes as preposterous and outrageous but amusing as hell.

He went barefoot in any weather, even snow and ice. He would entertain boys by pressing hot coals or needles into the soles of his feet, which had grown tough and leathery. He thawed ice using his bare feet.

He was friendly with the Indians, bringing them medicinal plants. In turn, they treated him kindly and helped him on his way. He blamed much frontier violence on mistreatment of the Indians by white settlers.

During the War of 1812, the Indians were allied with the British, partly to avenge themselves for atrocities that the settlers committed against them. Johnny Appleseed raced 30 miles through the forest from Mansfield to Mount Vernon, Ohio, to warn of impending Indian massacres and to obtain reinforcements, saving the lives of many settlers. The earliest account says he went on horseback, which Price says is likely, but running "barefooted and bareheaded" is the more favored tale.

When he stayed with a family, he preached news "right fresh from Heaven," often the Sermon on the Mount, but many times adding his own ideas based on the writings of the Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). Chapman saw himself as planting not only seeds but the word of God.

Swedenborg's doctrine is appreciative of humane values. Everything on earth corresponds directly to something in the afterlife, so the natural world and the spiritual (or mystic) world are intimately interwoven. The key to righteous living is to do good without looking for recompense. To study and love nature promotes one's spiritual growth. An apple tree in bloom is both a natural process and a "living sermon from God." We might call this nature worship in the guise of Christianity. To understand and preach this theology took intellect. Chapman may have been eccentric, but he was no dummy.

Pollan suggests that this theology helps explain Chapman's attitude towards nature. "The same landscape his countrymen treated as hostile and heathen, to be conquered, Chapman saw as beneficent. In his eyes, even the lowliest worm glowed with divine purpose."

In 1817, the Swedenborg Society in Manchester, England, published an account of Chapman's career, our first printed account of him.

The myth of Johnny Appleseed grew partly from the sense that Chapman's relationship with nature transcended the man-vs.-nature ethos prevailing in his time. Going barefoot symbolized that. Shoes were part of civilized life, a protective layer between your feet and the earth, for which Chapman had no need: His feet were in touch with another realm, a spiritual realm. In contrast to the typical pioneer, who saw the wilderness as something to be conquered, he was in harmony with nature.

His kindness to animals was well known, even notorious, and often contrary to frontier custom. He often used his profits to purchase lame horses to save them from slaughter. He once freed a wolf he found snared in a trap, nursing it to health and then keeping it as a pet. There is an endless stream of amusing stories about Johnny Appleseed showing mercy to animals such as rattlesnakes or yellow-jackets.

He enjoyed the company of Indians and children. Pollan says, "He moved easily between the societies of the settlers and the Native Americans, even when the two were at war. His ability to freely cross borders that other people believed to be fixed and unbreachable between the red world and the white, between wilderness and civilization, even between this world and the next was one of the hallmarks of his character and probably the thing that most confounded people about the man, both then and now."

When asked why he had never married, he said that he would "not marry in this world, but have a pure wife in Heaven." In one account, Chapman went west because a woman stood him up at the altar back in Massachusetts. Another story has Chapman claiming that he would only marry a girl 8 or 10 years old, so that she was a pure and beautiful virgin. In another version, Chapman made an arrangement with a frontier family in 1833 to raise their ten-year-old daughter to be his bride. He paid several visits to the girl, and contributed to her upkeep, until he chanced to witness her flirting with some boys her own age. He abruptly broke off the relationship. We'll probably never know the truth, but the notion of a child-bride definitely implies a seedy side to his character. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

By the 1830s he was operating a chain of nurseries that reached from western Pennsylvania through central Ohio and into Indiana. He died in Fort Wayne, Indiana in March 1845 at age 70. He showed up on the doorstep of a friend, William Worth, ate his evening meal of bread and milk, read aloud from the Bible, stretched out on the floor to sleep, and didn't wake up. He left an estate that included some 1,200 acres of prime real estate. Says Pollan, "The barefoot crank died a wealthy man."

His legend grew after his death. In April 1846, a brief essay about Johnny Appleseed and his peculiar career as a pioneer horticulturalist was published. The author didn't know that Chapman had died a year earlier and didn't even know his real name. Other literary publications picked up the tale. In November 1871 a story in Harper's New Monthly Magazine elevated him to national prominence, and the literary Johnny Appleseed was born. His image evolved from that of a pioneer planter of apple seeds into a "patron saint of horticulture," a folk hero to this day.

What are we to make of this strange mixture of a man? As I say, he was a paradox, both a frontiersman and a humanitarian. He was deeply religious sometimes insufferably so but he drank and took snuff and told jokes. He brought both religion and hard drink to people living in harsh frontier conditions "two very different kinds of consolation," says Pollan.

He was an agent of civilization, working to domesticate the wilderness with his apple trees and herbs and religion. At the same time, he shunned civilization and was at home in the wild. He was friendly with the Indians, but he was part of the movement that would destroy their lives and take their lands. Quoting Pollan again:

Imagine how riveting such a figure must have appeared on the American frontier, this gentle wild man who arrived at your door as if straight from the bosom of nature bearing ecstatic news from other worlds and, with his apple trees and cider, promising a measure of sweetness in this one. To a pioneer laboring under the brute facts of frontier life, confronting daily the indifferent face of nature, Johnny Appleseed's words and seeds offered release from the long sentence of ordinariness, held out a hope of transcendence.

I imagine that pioneers struggling to get by in the wilderness regarded Appleseed as a welcome contrast. However straitened your frontier existence might be, you couldn't gaze on John Chapman without counting your blessings: at least you had leather shoes and a warm hearth, a sociable table and a roof over your head. Your guest's tales of subsisting one winter on butternuts alone, or sharing a bed of leaves with a wolf, would have warmed the draftiest cabin, deepened the savor of the most meager meal. Sometimes the cause of civilization is best served by a hard stare into the soul of its opposite.

 

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  Quote Umbrella Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2004 at 10:44
What tha hell ? I'll probably have died of old age before I finish !
lol, admin you idiotic ethnonym-hijacker, Zagros is the land of REAL Persians and REAL Medians you filth , HISTORY tells us that you fars cheuvenist, you'll very SOOOORRYY scumm, now go and f**k yours
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  Quote JanusRook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2004 at 10:46
Just read the top one, if you're interested in more read the bottom one.
Economic Communist, Political Progressive, Social Conservative.

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  Quote Umbrella Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2004 at 11:00
Originally posted by JanusRook

Just read the top one, if you're interested in more read the bottom one.


".. and if you want to pass away all too early then read'em all."

Edited by Umbrella
lol, admin you idiotic ethnonym-hijacker, Zagros is the land of REAL Persians and REAL Medians you filth , HISTORY tells us that you fars cheuvenist, you'll very SOOOORRYY scumm, now go and f**k yours
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  Quote Mast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2004 at 10:20
Well we've got the whole Shahname. 
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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2004 at 11:51

We've got quite a lot of folktales (saga/folksaga, we call them here). They're mostly used as good night stories for the kids but there are those targeted at grownups too. Here's a couple of centuries old one I found on the net, translated by me (actually it's a Norwegian folktale, but what the...). I might add it's a kind of.. dirty folk tale.




A long time agothere was a priest telling that the one who, with a good heart, gave something away would be rewarded tenfold.


To this his parish folk listened. After the sermon, a farmer approached the priest and wondered, if this really could betrue.


"But of course", was the priest's answer.


"Well, then", said the farmer, "then I want to giveyou my cow, father". He only had one cow.


The priest thanked the farmer, and put a bold face on it. "You will surely get it back", he said.


The farmer's cow happened to be a very good cow, so the priest made her bell-cow ('herd leader', wearing a little bell) for all his cattle. A few days passed, and the cow got homesick. When she ventured home, all the other cows followed her.


"I'll be damned, wasn't it the truth!", the farmer said and herded in all the cows.


Later that night, the priest's cowherd came to get the cattle back.


The farmer refused, saying that the priest had said himself that he who gives will be rewarded. "He got my cow, and now I was rewarded."


The cowherd went back emptyhanded, and the priest had to go there himself. However, he wasn't very succesful either.


"You won't get the cows unless you go up in the preacher's pulpit and say you are a liar", the farmer said.


The priest did not find that a very good idea. After some negotiating, they agreed that the one who first greeted the other with 'Good morning' the following day would get the cows.


That night, the farmer went to the priest's parsonage and climbed up in a big tree just outside the maid's window. The priest was a widower.


A while later, the priest entered the maid's little chamber.


"So, you are coming here, father?", she asked.


"I suppose so", the priest replied.


"Well, you better make yourself comfortable", she said.


At that he laid himself by the maid. Stroking her holier part, he asked, "What do you call this?"


"I call it Jerusalem", the maid replied and toyed a bit with his manliness. "But what do you call this then?"


"Pilate" the priest replied.


Early in the morning, at first light, the priest went up. He had to get to the farmer's place to surprise him. But just when he came out in the yard the farmer jumped down from the tree.


"Good morning, father", he said.


Surprised, the father asked, "How long have you been up there?"


"Since Pilate entered Jerusalem", the farmer replied.


After that, the farmer got to keep the cows...






Edited by Styrbiorn
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2004 at 12:55
Loads.
We even have one explaining how the sea got to be foamy on the shore - a big beer mill under the sea
Arrrgh!!"
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2004 at 05:56

Folk tale from Singapore: Singapore Attacked by Swordfish!

Long after the reign of Sang Nila Utama, the seas of Singapore were invaded by shoals of swordfishes .These large fishes multiplied rapidly and soon became a menace to the Maharaja. He was worried for the safety of the local population. The people of the island no longer dared to venture near the sea as each day there would always be someone killed by the swordfish. Talk spread among the people that this was an evil omen of the sign of things to come. The locals began to believe that the kingdom had somehow incurred the wrath of the gods and they were now being punished for it.

The talk soon reached the ears of the king, Paduka Seri, who was worried that he would somehow be blamed for these events. Fearful of the threat to his rule and the possibility of rebellion by his subjects, the king decided to rid the seas of the swordfishes.

On the appointed day, the King had his soldiers armed and ready on the beaches where the menace of the swordfish was greatest. The soldiers went into the waters and waited for the fish to come in with the tide. However, despite being well-armed, the King's men were no match for the swordfishes, which impaled themselves on the men. One after another, the men fell, seriously injured or killed. Their cries could be heard from far away.

Soon the sea was awash with the blood of the King's army. To avoid further slaughter, the King was forced to withdraw his men. But he also noticed a young boy,Hang Nadim, taking a special interest in the events and laughing at the debacle. When brought before him, the lad said: " Majesty, I was just thinking that it would be better to form a barrier using banana tree trunks instead of your soldiers to fight the swordfish. There' ll be less bloodshed that way." The King was struck by the ingenuity and simplicity of the boy's idea and immediately adopted it.

Every banana tree on the island was felled in the effort. Soon, the people had erected a great wall of banana tree trunks along the beach. When the tide came in again, the imminent swordfish attack came. However, this time, the swordfish had their long, sharp points stuck into the tree trunks and were not able to free themselves. The islanders were thus able to kill the fish without any harm to themselves. The sea was red with the blood of the swordfish but the scourge was finally over.

Everyone on the island celebrated the victory, and the king rewarded the boy for his idea, but his ministers were unhappy and jealous. One of them whispered into the king's ear: "Even as a boy he is already so clever. Imagine what will happen when he grows up. Why, he might even usurp your throne."

Believing the slander, the king immediately ordered the boy to be executed.

One version of the legend has it that the boy was thrown into the sea near one of the islands south of Singapore. It is said that on certain nights his anguished cries could still be heard in the winds.

According to another version, the King's men went to a house on top of a hill where the boy was staying. When they reached the house, they stabbed the sleeping boy. However, the blood just did not stop flowing. The following day, the hill had turned completely red to remind the people of the kingdom's guilty secret. The people hereafter named the hill Bukit Merah, or Red Hill.

 

For more tales: http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/modules.php?op=modload&name =Subjects&file=index&req=viewpage&pageid=51



Edited by AnakAjaib
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Sep-2011 at 19:52

Great topic. As a child my grandmother used to tell me scary stories about Baba Yaga, a witch who loved to eat children. She lived in a house with chicken legs and travelled in a flying mortar and pestle
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Sep-2011 at 19:06

Baba Yaga's house was probably based on memories of Poland's pagan cults. Before Christianity arrived the dead were cremated near special raised shrines containing effigies of a pagan goddess made from rags. These shrines, like Baba Yaga's cabin, had no door or window and were entered through the floor
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  Quote Ollios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Sep-2011 at 13:48
Tülü tabak/Tülükabak





They are examples of psychological warfare methods. They became agaist Greek army during the Asia Minor Campaign in Balıkesir but now they are monsters for children. You can see them on every 6th September, in Balıkesir (If you don't run away from them, they can colour you blackBig smile)



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Benim Kabem İnsandır
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  Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Sep-2011 at 17:40
Native American folk tales are very interesting.

Edited by eaglecap - 27-Sep-2011 at 17:41
Λοιπόν, αδελφοί και οι συμπολίτες και οι στρατιώτες, να θυμάστε αυτό ώστε μνημόσυνο σας, φήμη και ελευθερία σας θα ε
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Sep-2011 at 18:51
Originally posted by Nick1986


Great topic. As a child my grandmother used to tell me scary stories about Baba Yaga, a witch who loved to eat children. She lived in a house with chicken legs and travelled in a flying mortar and pestle

Baba Yaga is a Russian folklore character - was your grandma Slavic perchance?
I like Vasilissa Prekrasnaya - Vasilissa the Beautiful myself
File:Vasilisa.jpg
There is a long story about her and Baba Yaga:

N a certain Tsardom,2 across three times nine kingdoms, beyond high mountain chains, there once lived a merchant.3 He had been married for twelve years, but in that time there had been born to him only one child, a daughter, who from her cradle was called Vasilissa the Beautiful. When the little girl was eight years old the mother fell ill, and before many days it was plain to be seen that she must die.4 So she called her little daughter to her, and taking a tiny wooden doll5 from under the blanket of the bed, put it into her hands and said:

"My little Vasilissa, my dear daughter, listen to what I say, remember well my last words and fail not to carry out my wishes. I am dying, and with my blessing, I leave to thee this little doll. It is very precious for there is no other like it in the whole world. Carry it always about with thee in thy pocket and never show it to anyone. When evil threatens thee or sorrow befalls thee, go into a corner, take it from thy pocket and give it something to eat and drink. It will eat and drink a little, and then thou mayest tell it thy trouble and ask its advice, and it will tell thee how to act in thy time of need."6 So saying, she kissed her little daughter on the forehead, blessed her, and shortly after died.

Little Vasilissa grieved greatly for her mother, and her sorrow was so deep that when the dark night came, she lay in her bed and wept and did not sleep. At length she be thought herself of the tiny doll, so she rose and took it from the pocket of her gown and finding a piece of wheat bread and a cup of kvass,7 she set them before it, and said: "There, my little doll, take it. Eat a little, and drink a little, and listen to my grief. My dear mother is dead and I am lonely for her."

Then the doll's eyes began to shine like fireflies, and suddenly it became alive. It ate a morsel of the bread and took a sip of the kvass, and when it had eaten and drunk, it said:

"Don't weep, little Vasilissa. Grief is worst at night. Lie down, shut thine eyes, comfort thyself and go to sleep. The morning is wiser than the evening." So Vasilissa the Beautiful lay down, comforted herself and went to sleep, and the next day her grieving was not so deep and her tears were less bitter.

Now after the death of his wife, the merchant sorrowed for many days as was right, but at the end of that time he began to desire to marry again and to look about him for a suitable wife. This was not difficult to find, for he had a fine house, with a stable of swift horses, besides being a good man who gave much to the poor. Of all the women he saw, however, the one who, to his mind, suited him best of all, was a widow of about his own age with two daughters of her own, and she, he thought, besides being a good housekeeper, would be a kind foster mother to his little Vasilissa.

So the merchant married the widow and brought her home as his wife, but the little girl soon found that her foster mother was very far from being what her father had thought. She was a cold, cruel woman, who had desired the merchant for the sake of his wealth, and had no love for his daughter. Vasilissa was the greatest beauty in the whole village, while her own daughters were as spare and homely as two crows, and because of this all three envied and hated her. They gave her all sorts of errands to run and difficult tasks to perform, in order that the toil might make her thin and worn and that her face might grow brown from sun and wind, and they treated her so cruelly as to leave few joys in life for her. But all this the little Vasilissa endured without complaint, and while the stepmother's two daughters grew always thinner and uglier, in spite of the fact that they had no hard tasks to do, never went out in cold or rain, and sat always with their arms folded like ladies of a Court, she herself had cheeks like blood and milk and grew every day more and more beautiful.

Now the reason for this was the tiny doll, without whose help little Vasilissa could never have managed to do all the work that was laid upon her. Each night, when everyone else was sound asleep, she would get up from her bed, take the doll into a closet, and locking the door, give it something to eat and drink, and say: "There, my little doll, take it. Eat a little, drink a little, and listen to my grief. I live in my father's house, but my spiteful stepmother wishes to drive me out of the white world. Tell me! How shall I act, and what shall I do?"

Then the little doll's eyes would begin to shine like glow- worms, and it would become alive. It would eat a little food, and sip a little drink, and then it would comfort her and tell her how to act. While Vasilissa slept, it would get ready all her work for the next day, so that she had only to rest in the shade and gather flowers, for the doll would have the kitchen garden weeded, and the beds of cabbage watered, and plenty of fresh water brought from the well, and the stoves heated exactly right. And, besides this, the little doll told her how to make, from a certain herb, an ointment which prevented her from ever being sunburnt. So all the joy in life that came to Vasilissa came to her through the tiny doll that she always carried in her pocket.

Years passed, till Vasilissa grew up and became of an age when it is good to marry. All the young men in the village, high and low, rich and poor, asked for her hand, while not one of them stopped even to look at the stepmother's two daughters, so ill-favored were they. This angered their mother still more against Vasilissa; she answered every gallant who came with the same words: "Never shall the younger be wed before the older ones!" and each time, when she had let a suitor out of the door, she would soothe her anger and hatred by beating her stepdaughter. So while Vasilissa grew each day more lovely and graceful, she was often miserable, and but for the little doll in her pocket, would have longed to leave the white world.

Now there came a time when it became necessary for the merchant to leave his home and to travel to a distant Tsardom. He bade farewell to his wife and her two daughters, kissed Vasilissa and gave her his blessing and departed, bidding them say a prayer each day for his safe return. Scarce was he out of sight of the village, however, when his wife sold his house, packed all his goods and moved with them to another dwelling far from the town, in a gloomy neighborhood on the edge of a wild forest. Here every day, while her two daughters were working indoors, the merchant's wife would send Vasilissa on one errand or other into the forest, either to find a branch of a certain rare bush or to bring her flowers or berries.

Now deep in this forest, as the stepmother well knew, there was a green lawn and on the lawn stood a miserable little hut on hens' legs, where lived a certain Baba Yaga, an old witch grandmother. She lived alone and none dared go near the hut, for she ate people as one eats chickens. The merchant's wife sent Vasilissa into the forest each day, hoping she might meet the old witch and be devoured; but always the girl came home safe and sound, because the little doll showed her where the bush, the flowers and the berries grew, and did not let her go near the hut that stood on hens' legs. And each time the stepmother hated her more and more because she came to no harm.

One autumn evening the merchant's wife called the three girls to her and gave them each a task. One of her daughters she bade make a piece of lace, the other to knit a pair of hose, and to Vasilissa she gave a basket of flax to be spun. She bade each finish a certain amount. Then she put out all the fires in the house, leaving only a single candle lighted in the room where the three girls worked, and she herself went to sleep.

They worked an hour, they worked two hours, they worked three hours, when one of the elder daughters took up the tongs to straighten the wick of the candle. She pretended to do this awkwardly (as her mother had bidden her) and put the candle out, as if by accident.

"What are we to do now?" asked her sister. "The fires are all out, there is no other light in all the house, and our tasks are not done."

"We must go and fetch fire," said the first. "The only house near is a hut in the forest, where a Baba Yaga lives. One of us must go and borrow fire from her."

"I have enough light from my steel pins," said the one who was making the lace, "and I will not go."

"And I have plenty of light from my silver needles," said the other, who was knitting the hose, "and I will not go.

"Thou, Vasilissa," they both said, "shalt go and fetch the fire, for thou hast neither steel pins nor silver needles and cannot see to spin thy flax!" They both rose up, pushed Vasilissa out of the house and locked the door, crying:

"Thou shalt not come in till thou hast fetched the fire."

Vasilissa sat down on the doorstep, took the tiny doll from one pocket and from another the supper she had ready for it, put the food before it and said: "There, my little doll, take it. Eat a little and listen to my sorrow. I must go to the hut of the old Baba Yaga in the dark forest to borrow some fire and I fear she will eat me. Tell me! What shall I do?"

Then the doll's eyes began to shine like two stars and it became alive. It ate a little and said: "Do not fear, little Vasilissa. Go where thou hast been sent. While I am with thee no harm shall come to thee from the old witch." So Vasilissa put the doll back into her pocket, crossed herself and started out into the dark, wild forest.

Whether she walked a short way or a long way the telling is easy, but the journey was hard. The wood was very dark, and she could not help trembling from fear. Suddenly she heard the sound of a horse's hoofs and a man on horseback galloped past her. He was dressed all in white, the horse under him was milk-white and the harness was white, and just as he passed her it became twilight.

She went a little further and again she heard the sound of a horse's hoofs and there came another man on horseback galloping past her. He was dressed all in red, and the horse under him was blood-red and its harness was red, and just as he passed her the sun rose.

That whole day Vasilissa walked, for she had lost her way. She could find no path at all in the dark wood and she had no food to set before the little doll to make it alive.

But at evening she came all at once to the green lawn where the wretched little hut stood on its hens' legs. The wall around the hut was made of human bones and on its top were skulls. There was a gate in the wall, whose hinges were the bones of human feet and whose locks were jaw-bones set with sharp teeth. The sight filled Vasilissa with horror and she stopped as still as a post buried in the ground.

As she stood there a third man on horseback came galloping up. His face was black, he was dressed all in black, and the horse he rode was coal-black. He galloped up to the gate of the hut and disappeared there as if he had sunk through the ground and at that moment the night came and the forest grew dark.

But it was not dark on the green lawn, for instantly the eyes of all the skulls on the wall were lighted up and shone till the place was as bright as day. When she saw this Vasilissa trembled so with fear that she could not run away.

Then suddenly the wood became full of a terrible noise; the trees began to groan, the branches to creak and the dry leaves to rustle, and the Baba Yaga came flying from the forest. She was riding in a great iron mortar and driving it with the pestle, and as she came she swept away her trail behind her with a kitchen broom.

She rode up to the gate and stopping, said:

Little House, little House, Stand the way thy mother placed thee, Turn thy back to the forest and thy face to me!

And the little hut turned facing her and stood still. Then smelling all around her, she cried: "Foo! Foo! I smell a smell that is Russian. Who is here?"

Vasilissa, in great fright, came nearer to the old woman and bowing very low, said: "It is only Vasilissa, grandmother. My stepmother's daughters sent me to thee to borrow some fire."

"Well," said the old witch, "I know them. But if I give thee the fire thou shalt stay with me some time and do some work to pay for it. If not, thou shalt be eaten for my supper." Then she turned to the gate and shouted: "Ho! Ye, my solid locks, unlock! Thou, my stout gate, open!" Instantly the locks unlocked, the gate opened of itself, and the Baba Yaga rode in whistling. Vasilissa entered behind her and immediately the gate shut again and the locks snapped tight.

When they had entered the hut the old witch threw her self down on the stove, stretched out her bony legs and said:

"Come, fetch and put on the table at once everything that is in the oven. I am hungry." So Vasilissa ran and lighted a splinter of wood from one of the skulls on the wall and took the food from the oven and set it before her. There was enough cooked meat for three strong men. She brought also from the cellar kvass, honey, and red wine, and the Baba Yaga ate and drank the whole, leaving the girl only a little cabbage soup, a crust of bread and a morsel of suckling pig.

When her hunger was satisfied, the old witch, growing drowsy, lay down on the stove and said: "Listen to me well, and do what I bid thee. Tomorrow when I drive away, do thou clean the yard, sweep the floors and cook my supper. Then take a quarter of a measure of wheat from my store house and pick out of it all the black grains and the wild peas. Mind thou dost all that I have bade; if not, thou shalt be eaten for my supper."

Presently the Baba Yaga turned toward the wall and began to snore and Vasilissa knew that she was fast asleep. Then she went into the corner, took the tiny doll from her pocket, put before it a bit of bread and a little cabbage soup that she had saved, burst into tears and said: "There, my little doll, take it. Eat a little, drink a little, and listen to my grief. Here I am in the house of the old witch and the gate in the wall is locked and I am afraid. She has given me a difficult task and if I do not do all she has bade, she will eat me tomorrow. Tell me: What shall I do?"

Then the eyes of the little doll began to shine like two candles. It ate a little of the bread and drank a little of the soup and said: "Do not be afraid, Vasilissa the Beautiful. Be comforted. Say thy prayers, and go to sleep. The morning is wiser than the evening." So Vasilissa trusted the little doll and was comforted. She said her prayers, lay down on the floor and went fast asleep.

When she woke next morning, very early, it was still dark. She rose and looked out of the window, and she saw that the eyes of the skulls on the wall were growing dim. As she looked, the man dressed all in white, riding the milk-white horse, galloped swiftly around the corner of the hut, leaped the wall and disappeared, and as he went, it became quite light and the eyes of the skulls flickered and went out. The old witch was in the yard; now she began to whistle and the great iron mortar and pestle and the kitchen broom flew out of the hut to her. As she got into the mortar the man dressed all in red, mounted on the blood-red horse, galloped like the wind around the corner of the hut, leaped the wall and was gone, and at that moment the sun rose. Then the Baba Yaga shouted: "Ho! Ye, my solid locks, unlock! Thou, my stout gate, open!" And the locks unlocked and the gate opened and she rode away in the mortar, driving with the pestle and sweeping away her path behind her with the broom.

When Vasilissa found herself left alone, she examined the hut, wondering to find it filled with such an abundance of everything. Then she stood still, remembering all the work that she had been bidden to do and wondering what to begin first. But as she looked she rubbed her eyes, for the yard was already neatly cleaned and the floors were nicely swept, and the little doll was sitting in the storehouse picking the last black grains and wild peas out of the quarter- measure of wheat.

Vasilissa ran and took the little doll in her arms. "My dearest little doll!" she cried. "Thou hast saved me from my trouble! Now I have only to cook the Baba Yaga's supper, since all the rest of the tasks are done!"

"Cook it, with God's help," said the doll, "and then rest, and may the cooking of it make thee healthy!" And so saying it crept into her pocket and became again only a little wooden doll.

So Vasilissa rested all day and was refreshed; and when it grew toward evening she laid the table for the old witch's supper, and sat looking out of the window, waiting for her coming. After awhile she heard the sound of a horse's hoofs and the man in black, on the coal-black horse, galloped up to the wall gate and disappeared like a great dark shadow, and instantly it became quite dark and the eyes of all the skulls began to glitter and shine.
Then all at once the trees of the forest began to creak and groan and the leaves and the bushes to moan and sigh, and the Baba Yaga came riding out of the dark wood in the huge iron mortar, driving with the pestle and sweeping out the trail behind her with the kitchen broom. Vasilissa let her in; and the witch, smelling all around her, asked:

"Well, hast thou done perfectly all the tasks I gave thee to do, or am I to eat thee for my supper?"

"Be so good as to look for thyself, grandmother," answered Vasilissa.

The Baba Yaga went all about the place, tapping with her iron pestle, and carefully examining everything. But so well had the little doll done its work that, try as hard as she might, she could not find anything to complain of. There was not a weed left in the yard, nor a speck of dust on the floors, nor a single black grain or wild pea in the wheat.

The old witch was greatly angered, but was obliged to pretend to be pleased. "Well," she said, "thou hast done all well." Then, clapping her hands, she shouted: "Ho! my faithful servants! Friends of my heart! Haste and grind my wheat!" Immediately three pairs of hands appeared, seized the measure of wheat and carried it away.

The Baba Yaga sat down to supper, and Vasilissa put before her all the food from the oven, with kvass, honey, and red wine. The old witch ate it, bones and all, almost to the last morsel, enough for four strong men, and then, growing drowsy, stretched her bony legs on the stove and said: "Tomorrow do as thou hast done today, and besides these tasks take from my storehouse a half-measure of poppy seeds and clean them one by one. Someone has mixed earth with them to do me a mischief and to anger me, and I will have them made perfectly clean." So saying she turned to the wall and soon began to snore.

When she was fast asleep Vasilissa went into the corner, took the little doll from her pocket, set before it a part of the food that was left and asked its advice. And the doll, when it had become alive, and eaten a little food and sipped a little drink, said: "Don't worry, beautiful Vasilissa! Be comforted. Do as thou didst last night: say thy prayers and go to sleep." So Vasilissa was comforted. She said her prayers and went to sleep and did not wake till next morning when she heard the old witch in the yard whistling. She ran to the window just in time to see her take her place in the big iron mortar, and as she did so the man dressed all in red, riding on the blood red horse, leaped over the wall and was gone, just as the sun rose over the wild forest.

As it had happened on the first morning, so it happened now. When Vasilissa looked she found that the little doll had finished all the tasks excepting the cooking of the supper. The yard was swept and in order, the floors were as clean as new wood, and there was not a grain of earth left in the half-measure of poppy seeds. She rested and refreshed herself till the afternoon, when she cooked the supper, and when evening came she laid the table and sat down to wait for the old witch's coming.

Soon the man in black, on the coal-black horse, galloped up to the gate, and the dark fell and the eyes of the skulls began to shine like day; then the ground began to quake, and the trees of the forest began to creak and the dry leaves to rustle, and the Baba Yaga came riding in her iron mortar, driving with her pestle and sweeping away her path with her broom.

When she came in she smelled around her and went all about the hut, tapping with the pestle; but pry and examine as she might, again she could see no reason to find fault and was angrier than ever. She clapped her hands and shouted:

"Ho! my trusty servants! Friends of my soul! Haste and press the oil out of my poppy seeds!" And instantly the three pairs of hands appeared, seized the measure of poppy seeds and carried it away.

Presently the old witch sat down to supper and Vasilissa brought all she had cooked, enough for five grown men, and set it before her, and brought beer and honey, and then she herself stood silently waiting. The Baba Yaga ate and drank it all, every morsel, leaving not so much as a crumb of bread; then she said snappishly: "Well, why dost thou say nothing, but stand there as if thou wast dumb?"

"I spoke not," Vasilissa answered, "because I dared not. But if thou wilt allow me, grandmother, I wish to ask thee some questions."

"Well," said the old witch, "only remember that every question does not lead to good. If thou knowest overmuch, thou wilt grow old too soon. What wilt thou ask?"

"I would ask thee," said Vasilissa, "of the men on horse back. When I came to thy hut, a rider passed me. He was dressed all in white and he rode a milk-white horse. Who was he?"

"That was my white, bright day," answered the Baba Yaga angrily. "He is a servant of mine, but he cannot hurt thee. Ask me more."

"Afterwards," said Vasilissa, "a second rider overtook me. He was dressed in red and the horse he rode was blood- red. Who was he?"

"That was my servant, the round, red sun," answered the Baba Yaga, "and he, too, cannot injure thee," and she ground her teeth. "Ask me more."

"A third rider," said Vasilissa, "came galloping up to the gate. He was black, his clothes were black and the horse was coal-black. Who was he?"

"That was my servant, the black, dark night," answered the old witch furiously; "but he also cannot harm thee. Ask me more."

But Vasilissa, remembering what the Baba Yaga had said, that not every question led to good, was silent.

"Ask me more!" cried the old witch. "Why dost thou not ask me more? Ask me of the three pairs of hands that serve me!"

But Vasilissa saw how she snarled at her and she answered: "The three questions are enough for me. As thou hast said, grandmother, I would not, through knowing over much, become too soon old."

"It is well for thee," said the Baba Yaga, "that thou didst not ask of them, but only of what thou didst see outside of this hut. Hadst thou asked of them, my servants, the three pairs of hands would have seized thee also, as they did the wheat and poppy seeds, to be my food. Now I would ask a question in my turn: How is it that thou hast been able, in a little time, to do perfectly all the tasks I gave thee? Tell me!"

Vasilissa was so frightened to see how the old witch ground her teeth that she almost told her of the little doll; but she bethought herself just in time, and answered: "The blessing of my dead mother helps me."

Then the Baba Yaga sprang up in a fury. "Get thee out of my house this moment!" she shrieked. "I want no one who bears a blessing to cross my threshold! Get thee gone!"

Vasilissa ran to the yard, and behind her she heard the old witch shouting to the locks and the gate. The locks opened, the gate swung wide, and she ran out on to the lawn. The Baba Yaga seized from the wall one of the skulls with burning eyes and flung it after her. "There," she howled, "is the fire for thy stepmother's daughters. Take it. That is what they sent thee here for, and may they have joy of it!"

Vasilissa put the skull on the end of a stick and darted away through the forest, running as fast as she could, finding her path by the skull's glowing eyes which went out only when morning came.

Whether she ran a long way or a short way, and whether the road was smooth or rough, towards evening of the next day, when the eyes in the skull were beginning to glimmer, she came out of the dark, wild forest to her stepmother's house.

When she came near to the gate, she thought, "Surely, by this time they will have found some fire," and threw the skull into the hedge; but it spoke to her, and said: "Do not throw me away, beautiful Vasilissa; bring me to thy stepmother." So, looking at the house and seeing no spark of light in any of the windows, she took up the skull again and carried it with her.

Now since Vasilissa had gone, the stepmother and her two daughters had had neither fire nor light in all the house. When they struck flint and steel the tinder would not catch and the fire they brought from the neighbors would go out immediately as soon as they carried it over the threshold, so that they had been unable to light or warm themselves or to cook food to eat. Therefore now, for the first time in her life, Vasilissa found herself welcomed. They opened the door to her and the merchant's wife was greatly rejoiced to find that the light in the skull did not go out as soon as it was brought in. "Maybe the witch's fire will stay," she said, and took the skull into the best room, set it on a candlestick and called her two daughters to admire it.

But the eyes of the skull suddenly began to glimmer and to glow like red coals, and wherever the three turned or ran the eyes followed them, growing larger and brighter till they flamed like two furnaces, and hotter and hotter till the merchant's wife and her two wicked daughters took fire and were burned to ashes. Only Vasilissa the Beautiful was not touched.

In the morning Vasilissa dug a deep hole in the ground and buried the skull. Then she locked the house and set out to the village, where she went to live with an old woman who was poor and childless, and so she remained for many days, waiting for her father's return from the far-distant Tsardom.

But, sitting lonely, time soon began to hang heavy on her hands. One day she said to the old woman: "It is dull for me, grandmother, to sit idly hour by hour. My hands want work to do. Go, therefore, and buy me some flax, the best and finest to be found anywhere, and at least I can spin."

The old woman hastened and bought some flax of the best sort and Vasilissa sat down to work. So well did she spin that the thread came out as even and fine as a hair, and presently there was enough to begin to weave. But so fine was the thread that no frame could be found to weave it upon, nor would any weaver undertake to make one.

Then Vasilissa went into her closet, took the little doll from her pocket, set food and drink before it and asked its help. And after it had eaten a little and drunk a little, the doll became alive and said: "Bring me an old frame and an old basket and some hairs from a horse's mane, and I will arrange everything for thee." Vasilissa hastened to fetch all the doll had asked for and when evening came, said her prayers, went to sleep, and in the morning she found ready a frame, perfectly made, to weave her fine thread upon.

She wove one month, she wove two months-all the winter Vasilissa sat weaving, weaving her fine thread, till the whole piece of linen was done, of a texture so fine that it could be passed, like thread, through the eye of a needle. When the spring came she bleached it, so white that no snow could be compared with it. Then she said to the old woman: "Take thou the linen to the market, grandmothers and sell it, and the money shall suffice to pay for my food and lodging." When the old woman examined the linen, however, she said:

"Never will I sell such cloth in the market place; no one should wear it except it be the Tsar himself, and tomorrow I shall carry it to the Palace."

Next day, accordingly, the old woman went to the Tsar's splendid Palace and fell to walking up and down before the windows. The servants came to ask her her errand but she answered them nothing, and kept walking up and down. At length the Tsar opened his window, and asked: "What dost thou want, old woman, that thou walkest here?"

"O Tsar's Majesty" the old woman answered, "I have with me a marvelous piece of linen stuff, so wondrously woven that I will show it to none but thee."

The Tsar bade them bring her before him and when he saw the linen he was struck with astonishment at its fineness and beauty. "What wilt thou take for it, old woman?" he asked.

"There is no price that can buy it, Little Father Tsar," she answered; "but I have brought it to thee as a gift." The Tsar could not thank the old woman enough. He took the linen and sent her to her house with many rich presents.

Seamstresses were called to make shirts for him out of the cloth; but when it had been cut up, so fine was it that no one of them was deft and skillful enough to sew it. The best seamstresses in all the Tsardom were summoned but none dared undertake it. So at last the Tsar sent for the old woman and said: "If thou didst know how to spin such thread and weave such linen, thou must also know how to sew me shirts from it."

And the old woman answered: "O Tsar's Majesty, it was not I who wove the linen; it is the work of my adopted daughter."

"Take it, then," the Tsar said, "and bid her do it for me." The old woman brought the linen home and told Vasilissa the Tsar's command: "Well I knew that the work would needs be done by my own hands," said Vasilissa, and, locking herself in her own room, began to make the shirts. So fast and well did she work that soon a dozen were ready. Then the old woman carried them to the Tsar, while Vasilissa washed her face, dressed her hair, put on her best gown and sat down at the window to see what would happen. And presently a servant in the livery of the Palace came to the house and entering, said: "The Tsar, our lord, desires himself to see the clever needlewoman who has made his shirts and to reward her with his own hands."

Vasilissa rose and went at once to the Palace, and as soon as the Tsar saw her, he fell in love with her with all his soul. He took her by her white hand and made her sit beside him. "Beautiful maiden," he said, "never will I part from thee and thou shalt be my wife."

So the Tsar and Vasilissa the Beautiful were married, and her father returned from the far-distant Tsardom, and he and the old woman lived always with her in the splendid Palace, in all joy and contentment. And as for the little wooden doll, she carried it about with her in her pocket all her life long.

Wheeler, Post. Russian Wonder Tales. New York: The Century Company, 1912.




Edited by Don Quixote - 27-Sep-2011 at 18:53
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Sep-2011 at 19:08
That's right. Grandma also told me a story about two children pursued by Baba Yaga. They threw down a towel which transformed into a lake, and a comb which became a forest. These were gifts from the witch's cat to repay their earlier kindness
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Oct-2011 at 20:21
I think you've probably heard a variant of this vampire story. This supposedly occurred in my grandparents' hometown almost 200 years ago:

A mysterious sickness befell the daughters of one family: one by one they weakened and died. The last girl awoke one night to see a pale, thin man scratching at her window. Her parents told the priest who deemed it the work of a vampire. He gave the girl a silver crucifix.
The next night the vampire fled at the sight of the crucifix and was pursued by the girl's brother. He shot the demon in the leg but it escaped into the cemetery. In the morning the people noticed the earth had been disturbed. They opened the grave to discover a bloated corpse with blood on its lips and a bullet in its leg. The creature was beheaded and burned and the mysterious deaths stopped
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2011 at 20:50
Grandma also told me a story about zombies: a spoilt girl cursed her mother and shortly afterwards died of sickness. When the mother visited the grave the girl's hand was exposed. She quickly covered it with earth, but the next day the hand was sticking out again. An old lady (supposedly a witch) told the mother the girl couldn't rest because of her earlier wickedness. She could only move on after she had been punished and had reconciled with the mother. The mother slapped the girl's hand, reburied it and the girl ceased to wander the graveyard at night
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Oct-2011 at 19:38
Someone should post the story of Prince Ivan and Koschei the Deathless. Baba Yaga appears here as a secondary villain
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  Quote Ollios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Oct-2011 at 20:12
Turkish sister of British Nessie





Lake shape is also look like monster and just one kind of fish live in it







Ellerin Kabe'si var,
Benim Kabem İnsandır
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Oct-2011 at 19:28
Koschei was an ancient Russian king with the gift of immortality, but not eternal youth. To kill him, you had to break an egg on his head. This egg (containing his soul) was well-hidden: in a duck, inside a hare buried in a chest on a remote island
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