Stories from Russia

21 stories

Baba Yaga

By

The two orphans looked inside the hut and saw the witch resting there, her head near the threshold, one foot in one corner, the other foot in another corner, and her knees quite close to the ridge pole.

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Dimian the Peasant

By

He was harsh by nature, this Dimian, and wanted everything to go his own way. If any one talked or acted against him, Dimian's fists were soon prepared for answer.

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Father Frost

By

The Frost knew all about the weakness of human beings; he knew very well that few of them are really good and kind.

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How the Wolves teach their Whelps

By

I looked, and saw two wolves running through the field: one was full-grown, and the other a whelp. The whelp was carrying a dead lamb on his shoulders, and holding on to one of its legs with its teeth.

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Ivan Tsarevich, the Fire‑Bird, and the Gray Wolf

By

Tsar Vwislav had one favorite apple-tree, and on that tree grew apples all golden. The Fire-bird used to sit on the favorite apple-tree, pluck from it golden apples, and then fly away.

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Ivanoushka the Simpleton

By

Our old man lived on with his sons until finally his hour came to die. He called his three sons and said to them: ‘Dear children of mine, my dying hour is at hand and ye must fulfill my will.’

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Marya Morevna

Unknown writer

Koschei the Deathless seized Marya Morevna and carried her off, and Prince Ivan sat down on a stone and wept. He wept and wept and started off in search of Marya Morevna.

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Seven Simeons

By

So it was with the Tsar Archidei; he was rich and clever, besides being a handsome fellow; but he could not find a bride to his taste, a bride with wit and beauty equal to his own. And this was the cause of the Tsar Archidei's sorrow and distress.

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The Feather of Bright Finist the Falcon

By

Wherever he came from, Bright Finist the Falcon of Flowery Feathers wheeled before her, sprang in through the window, struck the floor, and became a young man.

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The Fire

By

When Ványa saw the smoke rolling out of the vestibule, he ran to the door, made his way through the smoke into the house, and began to waken his grandmother, but she was dazed from her sleep.

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The Foundling

By

Másha went in the morning to fetch water, and saw at the door something wrapped in rags. When she touched the rags, there came from it the sound of ‘Ooah, ooah, ooah!’

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The Golden Mountain

By

A rich, proud merchant, worth many, many thousands, came along in a gilded carriage. All the fellows at the market place, as soon as they perceived him, rushed away and hid themselves in the corners. Only one remained.

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The Language of the Birds

By

‘How I wish I could understand the meaning of the different songs of all the birds! I would give half my wealth to the man who could make plain to me all the different songs of the different birds.’

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The Little Sister and Little Brother

Unknown writer

The Tsar came and immediately the witch began to urge him: ‘Give your command, yes, give your command to kill the little Kid. He is a nuisance to me, he is entirely detestable to me!’

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The Old Horse

By

My elder brother began to strike Raven with his feet and with the whip, and Raven galloped past us. After him, my second brother mounted the horse. He, too, rode for quite awhile, and he, too, urged Raven on with the whip.

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The Owl and the Hare

By

A large hare leaped out on a clearing. An old owl looked at the hare, and seated himself on a branch; but a young owl said to him: ‘Why do you not catch the hare?’

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The Peasant and the Cucumbers

By

‘I will carry off a bag of cucumbers, which I will sell; with the money I will buy a hen. The hen will lay eggs, hatch them, and raise a lot of chicks.’

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The Princess Frog

By

One day the sovereign prince said to his sons: ‘My dear boys, take each of you an arrow, draw your strong bow and let your arrow fly; in whatever court it falls, in that court there will be a wife for you.’

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The White Duckling

Unknown writer

The red-hot fire is built, the bubbling pot is hung, the steely knives are sharpened.

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Wassilissa the Beautiful

Unknown writer

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 Wassilissa and tell her how to act.

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