stepmother and stepsisters did not dare
to venture near the forest, for Baba
Yaga devoured people as if they were
chickens. But they sent Vasilisa into
the forest every day on some errand
or other, hoping that she might be eaten,
however, thanks to the little doll's
protection, she always came home safe
came and went and Vasilisa was still
alive and well. She was sent out to
work in the fields, and her stepsisters
were amazed that she never seemed tired
Soon the leaves turned golden on the
trees and the nights became longer.
It was a lonely life living on the edge
of the forest.
'We don't want to spend the winter out
here Mother, Liliya's daughters nagged
her, 'we've got to get rid of her soon.'
worry, my dears, I have thought of a
One evening she gave the three girls
work to do. She told one of her daughters
to do some sewing, the other to knit
a pair of socks and Vasilisa to do some
spinning. Vasilisa was somewhat surprised
at this, as her stepsisters normally
never did any work - and they did not
even protest once about it!
Liliya extinguished all the lamps in
the house, saying 'Waste not, want not!'
leaving only a single candle in the
room where the three girls were working,
and went upstairs to bed.
had been working for some time, when
one of the stepsisters tried to straighten
the wick of the candle with her needle.
'Oh silly me!' she exclaimed as she
put the candle out, pretending it was
'What are we going to do now?' asked
her sister joining in the pretence,
which was of course well planned.
'There is no other light in the house,
and we are not finished our work yet.
Mother will be frightfully angry with
'We need a light,' said the first. '
Our nearest neighbour is Baba Yaga.
We'll have to ask her for a light.'
I'm certainly not going!' said the first
'Nor am I,' said the second.
'Vasilisa,' said the first 'you're the
'And you know your way around the forest!'
said the second.
must go!' they both cried as they pushed
Vasilisa out of the house, saying 'Don't
come back until you get a light!'
Out in the garden, Vasilisa took the
little doll from her pocket and cried:
'Little doll! Listen to my tale of woe.
I've been told to go to Baba-Yaga for
a light but I'm terrified that she'll
eat me. What should I do?'
doll's eyes began to shine like two
candle flames as it became alive. It
'Don't be afraid, Vasilisa. Go to Baba
Yaga's hut as you were told. While I
am with you no harm shall come to you.'
Vasilisa went into the dark forest.
Trembling with fear, she tried to keep
her spirits up by thinking of her little
(twelve pages in all)