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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Baba Yaga"

Baba Yaga

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The servant came in for the jug to gather the bathwater. Natasha said, "I beg you, please be not too quick in making the fire, and please carry the water for the bath in a sieve with holes, so that the water will run through." The servant said nothing. But indeed, she took a very long time about getting the bath ready.

Baba Yaga came to the window and said in her sweetest voice, "Are you weaving, little niece? Are you weaving, my pretty?"

"I am weaving, auntie," said Natasha.

When Baba Yaga went away from the window, the little girl spoke to the thin black cat who was watching the mousehole.

"What are you doing?"

"Watching for a mouse," said the thin black cat. "I haven't had any dinner in three days."

"How lucky," said Natasha, "that I have some cheese left!" And she gave her cheese to the thin black cat, who gobbled it up. Said the cat, "Little girl, do you want to get out of here?"

"Oh, Catkin dear," said Natasha, "how I want to get out of here! For I fear that Baba Yaga will try to eat me with her iron teeth."

"That is exactly what she intends to do," said the cat. "But I know how to help you."

Just then Baba Yaga came to the window.

"Are you weaving, little niece?" she asked. "Are you weaving, my pretty?"

"I am weaving, auntie," said Natasha, working away, while the loom went clickety clack, clickety clack.

Baba Yaga went out again.

Whispered the thin black cat to Natasha: "There is a comb on the stool and there is a towel brought for your bath. You must take them both, and run for it while Baba Yaga is still in the bath-house. Baba Yaga will chase after you. When she does, you must throw the towel behind you, and it will turn into a big, wide river. It will take her a little time to get over that. When she gets over the river, you must throw the comb behind you.

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