father also missed his wife. But the
women of the village gave him some advice:
'You must marry again soon, for your
little daughter needs a mother.'
he had to be away on business a lot,
Vasilisa's father thought he had better
do just that, for he did not want to
leave Vasilisa alone.
was no shortage of women in the village
and soon afterwards he decided to marry
a widow with two daughters a little
older than Vasilisa.
But when he broke the news to Vasilisa,
she was horrified.
'But Father, you can't mean that awful
Liliya! Why, you used to say yourself
that she was a shrew! No one in the
village likes her! And her daughters
are just as bad.'
father laughed, 'Don't be silly, Vasilisa!
I didn't know what Liliya was like then.
And you don't know her properly - she's
really nice when you get to know her.
She told me she'll treat you as she
would her own daughters. And she's a
fine housekeeper too - she tells me
so all the time.'
Vasilisa, who could only think of the
way Liliya had of pursing up her lips
as if she was sucking on something extremely
bitter and wrinkling up her pointed
nose, said nothing more.
A few days later, Liliya and her daughters
were invited over to tea. Liliya gushed
all over Vasilisa, with a look of heartrending
sympathy on her face.
Sighing and dabbing at her eyes, she
proclaimed loudly: 'We were so sad to
hear about your poor mother, Vasilisa
darling, how terrible for you - you
must be so lonely without her. Don't
worry my dear, soon you will have a
new Mama to take care of you.'
was even more disgusted when she realised
her father was taken in by this falseness.
night as she was drifting off to sleep,
she again saw the pursed up lips and
wrinkled up nose in front of her. She
could stilll hear Liliya's voice echoing
in her head '...soon you will have a
new Mama to take care of you!'
'No!' Vasilisa heard herself shouting
and awoke with a start, her heart beating
- it was only a dream!' she thought,
but she could not go back to sleep.
Then she thought of her little doll
and gave it a few crumbs and asked for
its advice. 'Do not worry, Vasilisa,
everything will work itself out. Now
go to sleep and forget your troubles.'
Vasilisa at last fell asleep.
same women of the village who had advised
Vasilisa's father to marry, now shook
their heads in dismay and muttered among
themselves: 'Wait until after the wedding,
that's when she'll show her true colours!'
Vasilisa tried her best to dissuade
her father, but he had made up his mind
to marry the widow, as he had often
to go away on business. While Vasilisa's
father was around, Liliya was nice to
Vasilisa, but as soon as he was out
of the house, she would immediately
begin to bully her again.
(twelve pages in all)