Firebird by Ivan Bilibin

Old Peter's Russian Tales by Arthur Ransome

Baba Yaga by Ivan Bilibin

Old Peter's Russian Tales by Arthur Ransome


The Hut in the Forest

The Tale of the Silver Saucer and the Transparent Apple



The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship

Baba Yaga

The Cat Who Became Head-Forester

Spring in the Forest

The Little Daughter of the Snow

Prince Ivan, the Witch Baby, and the Little Sister of the Sun

The Stolen Turnips, the Magic Tablecloth, The Sneezing Goat, and the Wooden Whistle

Little Master Misery

A Chapter of Fish

The Golden Fish

Who Lived in the Skull?

Alenoushka and Her Brother

The Fire-Bird, the Horse of Power, and the Princess Vasilissa

The Hunter and His Wife

The Three Men of Power-Evening, Midnight, and Sunrise


The Christening of the Village

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Spring in the Forest

WARMER the sun shone, and warmer yet. The pines were green now. All the snow had melted off them, drip, drip, the falling drops of water making tiny wells in the snow under the trees. And the snow under the trees was melting too. Much had gone, and now there were only patches of snow in the forest-like scraps of a big white blanket, shrinking every day.

"Isn't it lucky our blankets don't shrink like that?" said Maroosia.

Old Peter laughed.

"What do you do when the warm weather comes?" he asked. "Do you still wear sheep skin coats? Do you still roll up at night under the rugs?"

"No," said Maroosia; "I throw the rugs off, and put my fluffy coat away till next winter."

"Well," said old Peter, "and God, the Father of us all, He does for the earth just what you do for yourself; but He does it better. For the blankets He gives the earth in winter get smaller and smaller as the warm weather comes, little by little, day by day."

"And then a hard frost comes, grandfather," said Ivan.

"God knows all about that, little one," said old Peter, "and it's for the best. It's good to have a nip or two in the spring, to make you feel alive. Perhaps it's His way of telling the earth to wake up. For the whole earth is only His little one after all."

That night, when it was story-time, Ivan and Maroosia consulted together; and when old Peter asked what the story was to be, they were ready with an answer.

"The snow is all melting away," said Ivan.

"The summer is coming," said Maroosia.

"We'd like the tale of the little snow girl,' said Ivan.

"'The Little Daughter of the Snow,'" said Maroosia.

Old Peter shook out his pipe, and closed his eyes under his bushy eyebrows, thinking for a minute. Then he began.

The text came from:

Ransome, Arthur. Old Peter's Russian Tales. London and Edinburgh: T. C. & E. C. Jack, Ltd., 1916.

Available from

The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship : A Russian Tale by Arthur Ransome, Uri Shulevitz (Illustrator)

The Firebird and Other Russian Fairy Tales by Arthur Ransome

Russian Fairy Tales by Post Wheeler

Russian Fairy Tales by Afanasyev

Baba Yaga by Andreas Johns

Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, Western Slavs and Magyars by Jeremiah Curtin


©Heidi Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales
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