in the village loved Vasilisa, who was
good and kind, but nobody liked Liliya
or her daughters.
Because of this, her stepmother and
stepsisters began to hate her and did
everything they could to make her life
sent her out to work in the fields so
that her beautiful white skin would
become brown and weather-beaten. They
barely gave her enough to eat and kept
her working hard all day, hoping that
would become thin and scrawny, just
But Vasilisa kept her beautiful pale
complexion and grew strong and healthy,
while they themselves became thinner
and more horrible by the day.
did she manage it? Well, the little
wooden doll helped her.
The doll did all the work, while Vasilisa
sat in the shade or picked flowers.
Whenever the others were watching, she
would of course appear to be working.
doll told her how to prepare ointment
from a special herb that would keep
her skin from becoming sunburnt and
brown. And the doll provided her with
That is how the years passed for Vasilisa,
and they would have been unbearable
had it not been for the doll.
Her father, who had at last begun to
realise that he had perhaps been wrong
about Liliya and her daughters, began
to spend less and less time at home.
When he was around, the three harpies
tried at least to be civil to Vasilisa.
passed, and the three girls were now
growing up. The stepmother wanted to
see her two daughters married as soon
as possible. But it was not an easy
task. Somehow, none of the village boys
were interested in her bad-tempered
daughters. They only came to see Vasilisa.
Whenever they came around, Liliya would
immediately fly into a rage. 'Get out
of here!' she would yell, 'the youngest
will not be married before the eldest!'
One day she decided to get rid of Vasilisa
for good. 'We'll get rid of her somehow,'
she told her daughters, 'but we must
bide our time.'
It happened that Vasilisa's father had
to go away for a long time on business.
Vasilisa was full of dread and begged
him not to go. She tried to tell him
what her stepmother was really like.
'That's just plain silly, Vasilisa,
for she is fond of you - she says so
all the time. But you don't make it
easy for her either. Now I have to go
away for a few months, so please try
to be nice to Liliya and life will become
easier for all of us.'
'Nothing I could do would please her
'My dear, try your best for my sake.'
well, Father, I will try to for your
sake, but come back as soon as you can.'
He kissed Vasilisa, gave her his blessing,
then said goodbye to the others and
(twelve pages in all)