Little Snow Girl – Russian Folk Tale

Little Snow Girl

Russian folk tale retold by Vladimir Dahl

http://russian-crafts.com/tales/lit_snow.html

Once upon a time there was an old man and his wife, who had no children, no grandchildren at all. One feast day they went outside and watched other people’s children making snowmen and throwing snowballs at one another. The old man picked up a snowball and said to his wife:

“If only you and I had a little daughter as white and chubby as this, wife!”

The old woman looked at the snowball, shook her head and said: “Well, we haven’t and there’s no getting one now, so there!” But the old man took the snowball into the cottage, lay it in a pot, covered it with a piece of cloth and placed it on the window-sill. When the sun rose, it warmed the pot and the snow inside began to melt. Suddenly the old couple heard a lisping sound in the pot under the piece of cloth. They ran up to take a look, and there in the pot lay a little girl, as white and chubby as a snowball.

“I am Little Snow Girl, rolled from the snow of spring, warmed and browned by the sun of spring,” she said to them.

The man and his wife were beside themselves with joy. They took her out, and the old woman began sewing her some pretty clothes, while the old man wrapped her in a towel, rocked her and sang this lullaby:

Sleep, Little Snow Girl, sleep,
Our tasty bun so sweet,
Rolled from the snow of spring,
Warmed by the sun of spring.
We’ll give you drink a-plenty,
We’ll give you food galore,
And make you such a pretty dress
And teach you four times four.

. So Little Snow Girl grew up, a joy to the old couple. She was good and clever, as little girls are in fairy tales, but very rarely in real life.

Everything was going well for the old couple and their livestock. The cattle got through the winter safely, and in spring they put the chickens back into the yard. But no sooner had the moved them from the house to the hen-coop, than the trouble started. A fox came up to the old man’s dog Zhuchka, pretending to be ill, and begged her in a whining voice:

“Dear little Zhuchka of the white paws and silky tail, please let me go and warm up in the hen-coop!”

Zhuchka had been with the old man in the forest all day and she didn’t know that the old woman had put the chickens back into the coop. So she took pity on the fox and let her in. The fox killed two chickens and dragged them off home. When the old man found out, he gave Zhuchka a beating and drove her out of the yard.

“Be off with you,” he said. “You’re no good to me as a watchdog!” So Zhuchka left the old couple’s house, whimpering, and only the old woman and Little Snow Girl felt sorry for her.

Summer came, the berries ripened, and Little Snow Girl’s friends asked her to come berry-picking in the forest with them. The old man and his wife would not hear of it. But Little Snow Girl’s friends promised faithfully not to let go of her hand, and Little Snow Girl herself begged the old couple to let her go berry-picking and see what the forest was like. So in the end they gave her a basket and a piece of pie and let her go.

The girls set off holding Little Snow Girl’s hand, but as soon as they got to the forest and saw all the berries, they forgot about everything else and ran off in all directions, picking berries and hallooing to one another.

They filled their baskets with berries, but lost Little Snow Girl in the forest.

Little Snow Girl called out, but no one replied. The poor mite began to cry. She tried to find the path, but got even more lost than before. So she climbed a tree and shouted: “Halloo! Halloo!” Up came Bear, crunching the dry branches and bending the bushes. “What’s the matter, my pretty one?”

“Halloo! I’m Little Snow Girl, rolled from spring snow and browned by the spring sun. My girlfriends asked my grandparents to let me go with them into the forest, but now they’ve left me all alone!” “Come down,” said Bear. “I’ll take you home.” “No, Bear,” Little Snow Girl replied. “I won’t go with you. I’m afraid of you. You’ll eat me!” So Bear went away.

Up ran Grey Wolf.

“Why are you crying, my pretty one?” “Halloo! I’m Little Snow Girl, rolled from spring snow and browned by the spring sun. My girlfriends asked my grandparents to let me go berry-picking with them in the forest, and now they’ve left me all alone!”

“Climb down,” said Wolf. “I’ll take you home!”

“No, Wolf, I won’t go with you. I’m afraid of you. You’ll eat me.” So Wolf went away. Then Fox came up. “Why are you crying, my pretty one?”

“Halloo! I’m Little Snow Girl, rolled from spring snow and browned by the spring sun. My girlfriends asked my grandparents to let me go berry-picking with them in the forest, and now they’ve left me all alone!”

“Never mind, my poor little pretty one! Come down quickly, and I’ll take you home!”

“No, Fox of the honeyed words. I’m afraid of you. You’ll lead me to Wolf or give me to Bear. I’m not going with you!”

Fox began stalking round the tree, looking at Little Snow Girl and trying to lure her down, but the little girl would not go.

“Wuff, wuff, wuff!” barked a dog in the forest.

“Halloo there, Zhuchka!” cried Little Snow Girl. “Halloo, my darling doggy! It’s me, Little Snow Girl, rolled from spring snow and browned by the spring sun. My girlfriends asked my grandparents to let me go berry-picking with them in the forest, and now they’ve left me all alone. Bear wanted to carry me off, but I wouldn’t go. Wolf wanted to take me away, but I refused. And Fox tried to lure me down, but I wouldn’t be tricked by her. But I’ll go with you, Zhuchka!”

At the sound of the dog barking, Fox turned tail and fled for dear life. Little Snow Girl climbed down the tree. Zhuchka rushed up, licked her face all over and set off home with her.

Bear was hiding behind a tree-stump, Wolf was skulking in a glade and Fox was lurking in the bushes.

Zhuchka barked loudly, and they were so frightened that they dared not come close.

They arrived home, and the old couple wept for joy. They fed Little Snow Girl, put her in her nice cosy bed and sang:

Sleep, Little Snow Girl, sleep,
Our tasty bun so sweet,
Rolled from the snow of spring,
Warmed by the sun of spring.
We’ll give you drink a-plenty,
We’ll give you food galore,
And make you such a pretty dress
And teach you four times four.

Zhuchka was forgiven. They gave her a nice saucer of milk and put her back in her old kennel to guard the house again.

 

 

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