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.
Click HERE for link to Posts 1 – 10 of this feature.
Week 11 - A Chapter of Fish
Week 12 - The Golden Fish
Alenoushka and Her Brother
Now this story felt like a real fairytale. I can see that Disney could put their spin on this one. See what you think...
Once upon a time Alenoushka and her brother Ivanoushka wandered the world. They both became thirsty and wanted to drink from water that collected in the footprints of animals. But they knew if they did so they would turn into that animal. Eventually, Ivanoushka cannot prevent himself. He drinks from a lamb’s hoofprint and then turns into a lamb. Alenoushka is devastated. She loves her brother so much. She sits upon a haystack and weeps cuddling the lamb.
Soon a fine young gentleman comes along and tries to comfort Alenoushka. He says that he will take her to his home and that the lamb may come too if she wishes.
So Alenoushka goes to live with the gentleman and they are married. She wears fine dresses and she loves the lamb. One day while her husband is out, an old hag appears and makes her ill. Alenoushka unaware of this shares her dinner with the hag. When her husband returns, he finds his wife ill and pale. The next day when he leaves for his hunting, the hag tells Alenoushka she can be cured if she bathes in the river. The hag will cast a spell upon the water to heal her.
When Alenoushka goes to the river, the old hag throws her in and casts a spell to take her place. The lamb is the only one that knows the truth and he refuses to eat his dinner. He goes everyday to stand by the river and hears the cries of his sister. The old hag follows him and eventually the gentleman discovers that his wife is at the bottom of the river. He rescues her and then her brother turns back into a man. He marries the gentleman’s sister and they all live happily ever after. The hag runs off into the woods and is not seen again.
I really enjoyed this one. I can’t help but love fairytales where the girl is rescued by effectively a handsome prince. It may be slightly sexist and undo years of feminism but I still think there is a certain romance about a handsome man riding on a horse to save the day.