The Little Sister and Little Brother

Two orphans, little Sister Aliona and little Brother Ivan, were walking across a wide field by a long path, and it was hot and the heat tortured them.

They went and they went and they went. The sun rode high and little Ivan grew thirsty. “Sister Aliona, I want a drink,” he said. “Wait a while, brother, we shall come to a well,” she answered.

The well was a long way off, the heat tortured them, and they reeked with perspiration. As they walked along they saw a pond, and around the pond a herd of cows was feeding.

“I want a drink,” said little Ivan. “Do not drink here, brother! If you do you will turn into a calf,” said Aliona.

He heeded her and they went on. They walked and they walked and they saw a river, and near the river was a drove of horses.

“Oh, sister! If you only knew how thirsty I am!” he cried.

“Do not drink, brother! If you should, you would become a little colt,” she answered.

Illustration for The Little Sister and Little Brother, a russian fairy tale

Do not drink, brother! If you should, you would become a little colt.

Little Ivan obeyed her and they went on. They walked and they walked and they saw a lake, and around it was grazing a flock of sheep.

“Oh, sister! I am terribly thirsty!” he said again.

“Do not drink, brother! If you do you will turn into a lamb,” she replied.

Again little Ivan heeded her and they went on. They walked and they walked and they saw a brook, and on its banks swine were rooting.

“Oh, sister!” he pleaded. “I must have a drink. I am terribly thirsty.”

“Do not drink, brother! If you do you will become a pig.”

Again little Ivan heeded what she said and they went on. They walked and they walked, and they saw a herd of goats grazing near some water.

“Oh, sister! I must have a drink!” he said earnestly.

“Do not drink, brother!” she besought. “If you do you will turn into a kid!”

But he could no longer restrain himself, and he disobeyed his sister. He took a drink and instantly was changed into a Kid, running and gambolling in front of his sister and crying, “Baa! baa!”

Aliona suspected that it was her brother. She sat down in the shade of a hayrick and burst into bitter tears, but the Kid ran about on the grass near her. She tied a silken scarf around him and led him along with her, and she wept, bitterly she wept.

The Kid ran and ran and finally ran into the garden of a certain Tsar. The men perceived it and immediately called the Tsar’s attention to it.

“Your majesty,” they said, “a Kid has just run into our garden, and a girl has him by a girdle, and she is such a beauty!”

From The White Duckling and Other Stories,
New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1913.

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Category:

Fairy tales

Author:

Unknown

Illustrator:

Unknown

Region of origin:

EuropeRussia

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