a far off Tzardom, there lived a little
girl who was so lovely that she was
known as Vasilisa the beautiful.
Vasilisa was eight years old her mother
became ill and no doctor could cure
Just before she died, she called Vasilisa
to her bedside and told her:
'My dearest Vasilisa, do not weep for
me, but listen carefully to my words.
I am leaving you this little wooden
doll, which my own mother left me; you
must never show it to anyone.
Always carry it with you wherever you
go. It will help you whenever you are
in trouble and comfort you when you
have no one to turn to.
you need help, go somewhere quiet and
give it something to eat and it will
tell you what to do.'
Blinking back her tears, Vasilisa took
the little wooden doll, received her
mother's blessing and kissed her for
the last time.
was heartbroken when her beloved mother
died. She missed her terribly and spent
many lonely nights crying. When she
woke up and remembered that her mother
was no longer around, she would feel
worse than ever.
was so sad that she did not think of
the little wooden doll for a long time
One evening when she was thinking about
her mother, she put her hand into her
pocket and suddenly felt the little
doll and remembered her mother's words.
took some food to her room and fed the
doll. As soon as the doll began to eat,
its eyes began to shine as if they were
human and it suddenly became alive.
was shocked for a moment, but the doll
smiled up at her and said 'Don't be
frightened, Vasilisa and do not be sad,
for the morning is wiser than the evening.
Lie down and sleep and tomorrow you
will feel much better.' Vasilisa felt
all her sadness slipping away from her
and fell asleep.
that, any time she felt sad Vasilisa
would turn to the little doll for comfort.
With the help of the little doll, her
grief became somewhat easier to bear,
although she still missed her mother
(twelve pages in all)