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Russian Fairy Tales

Enjoy Classic Russian Fairy Tales


The Fox and the Wolf

   A fisherman with a large bounty of fish stops to help a half-dead fox. He doesn’t notice his fish falling from his sled and takes what is left of his catch into his house. The ungrateful fox decides to eat his food and steals his fish by putting them in a napkin and tying it around her head. The sly fox encounters a wolf with a broken leg and acts injured, too. The wolf helps the fox and the fox tricks the wolf into thinking she’ll help him catch fish as payment for the wolf’s kindness. The fox tells the wolf to put his tail in the ice water and repeat a magic saying. The fox sneaks away and picks up the fish that were dropped earlier. The wolf’s tail gets frozen in an ice hole and the fox outsmarts everyone again.

The Turnip

   One day a farmer found a giant turnip in his garden. He called upon his wife to help him pull the turnip out of the ground, but they were unsuccessful. He then asked his granddaughter for help. The granddaughter was unable to help and asked the family dog for assistance. The dog had no luck and asked the family cat who in turn asked a mouse to help. They were able to get the turnip with the mouses help at last. The tale shows families who unite and work together can overcome any obstacle no matter how large or small.

Morozko (Old Man Winter)

 …One gentle widower, who had a loving daughter, decided to remarry a woman who had a daughter herself from previous marriage. The jealous stepmother hated her new stepdaughter and ordered her new husband to take his daughter to the forest and leave her there.

The old man knew he’d grieve for his daughter, but felt he had no other choice, so he took his daughter to the winter forest to fend for herself. She sat in the snow alone and cold to the bone. As luck would have it, Morozko (Father Frost) decided to go for a walk and saw the helpless, shivering girl. He asked her if she was warm. She politely replied that she was warm because she did not want to hurt his feelings. He admired her courage and stoicism so much that he decided to show her his mercy. He generously gave her a beautiful warm fur coat and a box with gold and silver jewelry as a present.

Alive and safe, the girl decided to return home to her father. The greedy stepmother overheard the tale of generosity in the woods and ordered her own daughter to the same spot in the forest because she also wanted to get jewelry and a fur coat. This girl was so rude and insincere, Morozko froze her stiff. Later, the man’s daughter met her true love, got married, had children and lived happily ever after.

The Tale of Ivan Tsarevich, The Firebird and the Gray Wolf

 …Long ago, there was a fearless Tsar who ordered his sons to catch a firebird. The gray wolf accidentally killed the son Ivan’s horse and agreed to help him because he felt sorry for him. Not only did Ivan manage to get the firebird with the gray wolfs help, but also a wonderful horse and a beautiful princess named Elena the Fair.

Unfortunately, Ivan was killed and lay dead for thirty long days until the gray wolf revived him with the “water of death and water of life”. Ivan and Elena eventually married, inherited the kingdom, and lived happily ever after…

Snow Maiden

 …Once upon a time, there lived an old man and woman who truly regretted they did not have any children. On one particular winter day, they decided to make a girl out of snow. They were amazed to see the snow maiden come alive and she became the daughter they never had. They named her Snegurochka (Snow maiden). She was a very beautiful and sweet girl. Snegurochka became quite depressed when spring began to warm the land. She became even sadder when summer arrived. Snegurochka had a wonderful time for the first time in a long time since winter began, when she decided to pick flowers from the woods with a group of local village girls. The other girls decided to make a fire when it began to get dark and began playfully jumping over the flames. Snegurochka decided to join in and jumped, but suddenly melted and evaporated into a white cloud…

The Fisherman and the Fish

 …Once upon a time, there lived an old poor fisherman and his wife. They lived in an old mud hut. One day, the man caught a golden fish, but the fish pleaded for its life and asked to be set free. The kind old man granted the fishes wish and set it free. As he let the fish go, the golden fish said she would fulfill any wish he made. The man was startled to hear a fish speak and just let the fish go. When he returned home, he told his wife what happened and she yelled at him saying what a fool he was not to make a wish. She ordered him to go and make a wish, which he did and it was granted. The wife became more and more greedy, asking for more and more, eventually becoming the Empress of the Land. Her last wish for the fish to become her servant. The old man obeyed his wife’s wish, but when he returned home, he found his old mud hut, his poor wife, his broken trough and the fish was never to be seen or heard from again.

The Frog Princess

 …Once upon a time, there was a tsar who had a competition between his three sons. They had to shoot an arrow as far as they could and would marry the woman where the arrow landed. The youngest son, Ivan wasn’t so lucky when his arrow landed in the swamp. He ended up having to marry a frog. When the tsar wanted his son’s wives to sew a shirt, he was discouraged, but the frog told him not to worry. When he awoke the next day, he was excited to see a beautiful shirt. His father liked that shirt the best. Turns out his frog really was a princess, but Ivan made a huge mistake when he threw out the frog princess’ skin and she disappeared. Prince Ivan searched the forest, sparing several animals that would later help him rescue his princess Vasilisa the Wise. Ivan and Vasilisa lived happily ever after.

The Humpbacked Pony

 …Once upon a time, there lived a peasant family that couldn’t figure out who was trampling their wheat field. The two oldest brothers decided to stand guard all night, but had no luck due to storms and cold wind. The third brother, whom everyone thought was a fool, managed to catch the mare. The mare begged the youngest son, Ivan, to let him go and return promised him two golden-maned steeds and a small humpbacked pony. The two brothers became jealous and decided to steal and sell Ivan’s two steeds. While looking for his stolen steeds with help from the mare, he found a glowing feather from a firebird. The tsar decided to buy the two steeds at the fair, but they broke free and went back to Ivan. The tsar in turn offered Ivan a job, seeing how well he handles the steeds. A young, beautiful maiden agreed to marry the tsar only if he could find her ring, which he did with the help of Ivan and the humpbacked pony. The young maiden decided the tsar was far too old for her and convinced the tsar he’d have to dip his head in three different hot cauldrons to gain his youth. He ordered Ivan to test the cauldrons first and Ivan emerged from the last cauldron a handsome man. The tsar decided to go ahead with his challenge, but was boiled alive. Ivan and the young maiden married and lived happily ever after ruling the kingdom.

Ruslan and Ludmila

   Many, many years ago, the was a fantastic feast celebrating the wedding of the knight Ruslan and the princess Ludmila. Unfortunately, Ludmila was kidnapped by the evil sorcerer, Chernomor. Ruslan and three other knights, who also wanted to marry her, set out looking for her. Although Chernomor made her life very comfortable, she still missed her true love Ruslan. Her only solace was the fact she could make herself invisible to the sorcerer by wearing his hat backwards. Chernomor decided to trick her and disguised himself as Ruslan in order to find her, but she passed out unconscious once she realized it wasn’t her Ruslan. Ruslan was able to defeat Chernomor by cutting off his beard, but was left for dead by one of the knights, Farlaf. Fortunately, Ruslan was saved by a good wizard and awakened his Ludmila with a magic ring. Once they were reunited, Ruslan and Ludmila lived happily ever after.

Sister Alionushka and Brother Ivanushka

   A brother and sister ran away from home in order to escape the cruel treatment of their stepmother. The evil stepmother put a spell on the water wells in an effort to turn them into a tiger, wolf or some other animal. The brother was so thirsty that he drank from the third well and became a deer. The beautiful sister decided to stay and live in the woods so she could take care of her brother. The sister would eventually marry a king who came upon during a hunting trip. The stepmother discovered they were still alive and killed the sister, who was now a queen. She substituted her own ugly daughter that she transformed to look like the beautiful queen. The queen’s ghost visited her infant son three nights in a row and the king figured out the stepmother’s plan. The queen came back to life and the evil stepmother was burned at the stake. The ugly daughter was banished to the woods where she was torn to pieces by the animals. The brother became human again at the very moment she died. The brother and sister were reunited and the family lived happily ever after.

The Tale Of Tsar Saltan

   This is the storey of three sisters. The youngest of three was chosen by Tsar Saltan to be his wife, while the other two sister were made the royal cook and royal weaver. They are jealous of course so when the tsarina gives birth to a son, Prince Gvidon, they arrange to have the tsarina and her son shut up in a barrel and thrown into the sea. The sea itself takes pity on them and they are cast up on the shore of a remote island Buyan. The prince, having grown quickly while inside the barrel, goes hunting. While out hunting he ends up saving an enchanted swan from a kite. The enchanted swan is so grateful that he creates a city for Prince Gvidon to rule, but he is homesick so the swan turns him into a mosquito. In this guise he visit’s Tsar Saltan’s court, where he stings his aunt’s eye and escapes. Back in his distant realm, the swan give Gvidon a magical squirrel. But he continues to pine for home so the swan transforms him into a fly. In this guise he quickly returns to Tsar’s court and stings his other aunt in the eye. For his third trip back to the Tsar’s court, the swan transformed him into a wasp and he sting’s the nose of his grandmother. In the end he expresses a desire for a bride instead of his old home, upon which the swan is revealed to be a beautiful princess, whom he marries. He is visited by the Tsar who is overjoyed to find his wife and newly married son.

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