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Friday, 18 February 2011

Fairy-tale Friday: From Russia with Love #7

Each week Irena @ This Miss Loves To Read hosts Friday is for Fairy-Tales.

It is an opportunity to share a love of the fairy-tale genre throughout the blogosphere and discuss your favourite character, your childhood memories, new authors and all time favourites. You can find out more by visiting her POST.

Ever since I read Marcus Sedgwick’s Blood Red Snow White, I have wanted to read Arthur Ransome’s Old Peter’s Russian Tales. If you’ve read Blood Red, you’ll understand why. If you haven’t, then I suggest you add it to your wish list. I never realised how poetic fairy-tales could be until I read it.

So I am going to read one of Old Peter’s Russian Tales by Arthur Ransome each week and then share it with you here.

Post 1: The Hut in the Forest, The Silver Dish and the Transparent Apple

Post 2: Sadko
Post 3: Frost
Post 4: The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship
Post 5: Baba Yaga
Post 6: The Cat who became Head-Forester

The Little Daughter of the Snow

There was once an old man and an old woman who were very sad because they had no children. They often would watch the children of the village playing outside through their window. They had no child to be called in for tea, no child to keep warm and no child to love.

One day they saw the children building Baba Yaga out of snow. It gave the old couple an idea. They went out into the snow and built a sweet young girl from snow. They made her very tenderly. That night the snow girl came alive and so they had a little daughter of the snow. The little daughter promised to stay with the old couple for as long as they truly love her.

All through the winter the little daughter played with the village children and the old couple loved her dearly. Then one day the children went off to play in the forest. They all loved to play with little snow. But they went too far into the forest and little snow got lost. She climbed a tree and sobbed for she was very scared.

Soon a big bear came along and offered to take her home. But she wouldn’t trust the bear not to eat her so she stayed up the tree. Then came along a wolf who also offered to take her home. But again she was afraid she would become his dinner and so stayed high up the tree. Finally a fox came along. He offered to take her home and because she was not afraid of the fox, she took up his offer and came safely back home.

The old couple were so happy to see their little daughter of the snow; they thanked the fox and wanted to reward him. They gave a crust of bread. But then he said that he deserved a greater reward for the safe return of their daughter. He asked for a plump a red hen. At first the couple were willing to give him their hen. But then the woman had an idea. She put the hen in one sack and then one of her dogs in another.

The couple opened the sack and the hen flew out. The fox was about to speed after it when the old woman opened the sack and the dog flew out after the fox.

Poor little daughter said to the old couple that they loved the hen more than her and so she would leave. All that remained in their house was a puddle. They were very sad but the little daughter of the snow laughed and sang about how they loved a hen more than their little girl.

But all was not sad for little daughter because she was welcomed home by her father Frost and her mother Snow.

The end

My thoughts:
I really liked this one. I loved that the little snow girl seemed get one over on the old couple. I also loved that it was so simple and that is felt very traditional within the fairytale genre. Of course, the cold frosty setting is the representation of Russia which I love the most.


Bex said...

I really enjoyed reading this post :-) i'm starting a monthly fairytale feature on muy blog and will have to see if I can get my hands on a copy of this.

Bookworm1858 said...

I was kind of sad that the couple lost their daughter; I mean if they're poor, then that hen was worth a lot.

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

This was a very nice fairy-tale! It has a really Russian vibe to it and the story is very interesting and pulled me in. I think that partly, the little girl was right, but I'm also sad for the couple because I'm sure they loved her the most, they simply knew they needed that hen. I guess this fairy-tale is like life: you can't always please everyone and have everything.

Thank you for this delightful post!