- 9 -
afterwards she entered a dark forest.
She wandered on and on and it became
darker than ever. The tops of the trees
seemed to touch the sky. The path was
completely overgrown and she had to
keep going around fallen trees.
as she was thinking she would have to
turn back, she came to a clearing in
the forest. In the middle of the clearing
was a hut on chicken's legs, which spun
around and around.
so tired and hungry,'she thought, 'if
only it would stop spinning!'
watched it for a few minutes until she
almost felt dizzy from the spinning
and then she said the first words that
came into her head:
hut! Little hut!
Turn your back on
the forest floor
turn to face me with your door!
want to rest and break some bread
I want to sleep and
rest my head!'
The hut stopped spinning around and
stood with its door side facing towards
her. She went inside und saw the witch
Baba Yaga stretched out on the stove,
her long nose pointing towards the ceiling.
here to see Baba Yaga
'Where are you going to, my pretty one?'
croaked the witch in a voice older than
am searching for Finist the Bright Falcon.'
you come of your own free will or have
you been sent?'
'I come of my own free will.'
'And why are you here?' went on the
the Bright Falcon was my love, but my
sisters hurt him and he flew away. Now
I am looking for him.'
'You have a long journey ahead of you,
my pretty one.
know Finist the Bright Falcon of the
rainbow feathers. He is living on the
blue ocean in the three-times nine kingdom
and is due to be married. But do not
despair - follow your dream and I will
now you must have something to eat.'
the hut looked small from the outside,
when Raisa stepped inside she had the
feeling of being in an enormous hall.
It was packed full of all kinds of paraphernalia,
some of which she couldn't even give
a name to.
first thing she noticed in the hut were
some twisted, strangely shaped tree
roots, many of which looked as if they
had faces.There was a pile of what she
at first thought were rocks and stones,
but when she looked a little closer,
she realised that they were crystals
and semi-precious stones.
Some pieces of amber lay in a heap on
the floor, beside one of the tree roots.
Raisa took up a piece to look at it,
and saw a large beetle perfectly preserved
inside the amber. When she put it back
down again she could have sworn that
the tree root beside it had changed
must have touched it with my foot,'
she thought, although she could not
remember having done so. Afterwards
when she looked over at it again, both
the tree root and the pieces of amber
were no longer there. 'I must have just
imagined it,' she thought to herself.
webs adorned the walls and ceiling.Some
wheat sheaves hung over the door. The
shelves were lined with ancient books
and bottles of potions. Dried herbs
hung down from the walls.
were jars full of the strangest looking
creatures, Raisa could not tell whether
they were alive or dead.
Sometimes she felt as if the things
inside the jars were watching her and
for a moment she thought she saw something
like eyes following her. But whenever
she looked around at them they didn't
seem to be moving at all. If turned
away, out of the corner of her eye she
thought she could see something moving
in the jars: something watching her.
I see you are admiring my jars with
the thousand eyes, my dear, take care
you do not look too long at them, they
may want you to join them,' said Baba
Yaga. Raisa quickly looked away.
There was an old mirror on the wall,
which seemed to have a swirling dark
mist inside it. Although there was no
one standing in front of it, she thought
at odd moments that she could see some
strange reflections moving in it. 'Take
care to keep your eyes off the Mirror
of Reality, my dear, it is the one thing
that you should beware of while you
are under my protection.'
shuddered and quickly looked away, wondering
in which direction it was safe
front of the large oven was a table
and two armchairs with carved bear paws
as arm rests. Raisa sank exhausted into
one of them. The armchair seemed to
mould itself to her body, as if it were
holding her in its bear arms. It was
a strange sensation, but very comfortable.
they at last sat down to eat, a toad
crawled slowly over to them and sat
under the table, where Baba Yaga threw
him scraps of food every now and then.
Baba Yaga set food in front of her.
There was freshly baked bread, mushrooms
and red berries.
Raisa had kefir, a jogurt-like drink,
with honey, while Baba Yaga drank a
large casket of dark red wine. Raisa
was amazed at the quantities of food
and drink that the old woman consumed.
A large black cat came up to the witch
and rubbed itself against her boney
legs. 'Her legs are as thin as a skeleton's!'
thought Raisa to herself.
'I'm not called Baba Yaga Boney Legs
for nothing you know,' the the old crone
'How on earth did she know what I was
thinking? She must have seen me looking
at her legs,' Raisa was thinking to
herself, when seemingly for no reason
at all Baba Yaga went off into another
cackle of laughter.
they had eaten their fill, Baba Yaga
gave her a bed for the night where she
sunrise, Baba Yaga woke her and said:
'This is my present for you: a silver
spindle and golden spinning wheel. When
you spin with it, it will spin you a
thread of pure gold.
When you come to the blue ocean, in
the three times nine kingdom, the bride
of Finist the Bright Falcon will be
out walking on the beach. When you see
her sit down and spin. She will want
to buy the spindle from you, but do
not take any money for it. Instead ask
her to let you see Finist the Bright
Go now to Baba Yaga, my middle sister.
She will teach you well.'
how will I know how to find her?' asked
Yaga took a spool of thread, threw in
on the ground in front of Raisa and
told her: 'Follow this wherever it rolls.
It will be your guide.'