Geese and Swans
Once upon a time, there lived a man and his wife. They had a daughter and a little son. One day the mother said to her daughter:
- Little daughter, your father and I will go to work. Take care of your brother and don't leave the house. Be a good girl and we will buy you a kerchief.
After the parents left the house, the girl forgot her parents' instructions, and left her little brother in the garden near the house so she could play with her girlfriends.
While the girl was enjoying herself with her friends wicked geese and swans swooped down and stole her little brother out of the garden. The poor girl returned home only to discover that her brother was gone. She wept bitterly calling for her baby brother. While she was crying in the field she saw the wicked birds in the sky. The girl figured out that they were the ones behind the kidnapping of her brother. She suddenly remembered that people always said that geese and swans frequently stole little children.
She ran after them desperately trying to catch up to them when she saw a stove. The girl asked it if it had seen the geese and swans and begged it to show her in what direction they had flown.
The Stove answered: "Eat my rye patty and I will show you the direction."
The girl replied: "I won't eat your rye patties. I don't eat even wheat patties at home." The Stove did not show her the direction.
The girl kept on running and soon she saw an apple-tree and asked it if it had seen in what direction the geese and swans flew.
The apple-tree answered: "Eat my wild forest apple and I will show you."
The girl responded: "I won't eat your wild apple. I don't eat even cultivated apples from my father's garden." The apple-tree didn't show her the direction.
The girl ran and ran and at last she saw a Milk River with kissel [a kind of sweet starchy jelly] banks. The girl asked: " Milk River , kissel banks, could you tell me in what direction geese and swans have flown carrying my poor little brother?"
The Milk River replied: "Eat my milk kissel and I will show you the direction."
"I don't eat even cream at home," the girl responded.
The girl ran in forests and fields and in the evening she saw a little hut that stood on chicken legs and turned itself around. Her little brother sat on the bench and played with silver apples. In the hut old Baba Yaga was spinning yarn.
The girl said: "Baba Yaga let me rest and warm myself."
"Take the distaff and spin," Baba Yaga replied.
After Baba Yaga had left the room the girl saw a little gray mouse.
"Give me some porridge and I will give you a piece of good advice," said the little mouse.
"Baba Yaga has gone to stoke a stove, she is going to wash you, and then she is intending to roast you in the stove and eat you. Take your little brother and run and I will spin instead of you."
The girl was very frightened and naturally followed the mouse's advice. She took her brother and ran away.
Baba Yaga asked if the girl spun yarn and the mouse answered that she did.
Baba Yaga returned and found that the girl and her little brother disappeared. She ordered: "Geese and swans! Fly and catch sister and brother."
The girl and her little brother reached the Milk River and noticed that geese and swans were in pursuit of them.
" Dear Milk River , please hide us," the girl entreated.
"Eat my kissel."
The children ate kissel and the Milk River hid them under its kissel banks. The geese and swans didn't find them and the children went on running but soon they soon noticed the geese and swans spotted them and were in hot pursuit.
They saw the Apple-tree and the girl begged:
"Dear Apple-tree, please, hide us!"
"Eat my wild forest apples."
The children ate the apples and thanked the apple-tree. The apple-tree covered them with its branches and Geese and Swans didn't notice them. The girl and her brother continued running and this time when the geese and swans saw them again the children nearly got caught. Fortunately at the right moment, the children saw the Stove and asked:
"Stove, please, hide us," cried the girl.
"Eat my rye patty," said the stove.
The children ate the patties and concealed themselves in the Stove.
The geese and swans could not catch the sister and brother and they flew away.
The children thanked the Stove and went home.
At the exact moment that the children returned home their parents came home from work. To this day the children vowed not to worry their parents with the events that transpired that day, and everyone lived happily ever after.