Old Peter's Russian Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 252 pages of information about Old Peter's Russian Tales.

“It seems waste to give away a good plump hen.”

“It does,” says he.

“Well, I was thinking,” says the old woman, and then she tells him what she meant to do.  And he went off and got two sacks.

In one sack they put a fine plump hen, and in the other they put the fiercest of the dogs.  They took the bags outside and called to the fox.  The old red fox came up to them, licking his lips, because he was so hungry.

They opened one sack, and out the hen fluttered.  The old red fox was just going to seize her, when they opened the other sack, and out jumped the fierce dog.  The poor fox saw his eyes flashing in the dark, and was so frightened that he ran all the way back into the deep forest, and never had the hen at all.

“That was well done,” said the old man and the old woman.  “We have got our little snow girl, and not had to give away our plump hen.”

Then they heard the little snow girl singing in the hut.  This is what she sang:—­

    “Old ones, old ones, now I know
    Less you love me than a hen,
    I shall go away again. 
    Good-bye, ancient ones, good-bye,
    Back I go across the sky;
    To my motherkin I go—­
    Little daughter of the Snow.”

They ran into the house.  There were a little pool of water in front of the stove, and a fur hat, and a little coat, and little red boots were lying in it.  And yet it seemed to the old man and the old woman that they saw the little snow girl, with her bright eyes and her long hair, dancing in the room.

“Do not go! do not go!” they begged, and already they could hardly see the little dancing girl.

But they heard her laughing, and they heard her song:—­

    “Old ones, old ones, now I know
    Less you love me than a hen,
    I shall melt away again. 
    To my motherkin I go—­
    Little daughter of the Snow.”

And just then the door blew open from the yard, and a cold wind filled the room, and the little daughter of the Snow was gone.

“You always used to say something else, grandfather,” said Maroosia.

Old Peter patted her head, and went on.

“I haven’t forgotten.  The little snow girl leapt into the arms of Frost her father and Snow her mother, and they carried her away over the stars to the far north, and there she plays all through the summer on the frozen seas.  In winter she comes back to Russia, and some day, you know, when you are making a snow woman, you may find the little daughter of the Snow standing there instead.”

“Wouldn’t that be lovely!” said Maroosia.

Vanya thought for a minute, and then he said,—­

“I’d love her much more than a hen.”


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Old Peter's Russian Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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