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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Baba Yaga"

Baba Yaga

"In all the years that I have served you, you have given me only water and made me hunt for my dinner. The girl gave me real cheese."

Baba Yaga was enraged. She grabbed the cat and shook her. Turning to the servant girl and gripping her by her collar, she croaked, "Why did you take so long to prepare the bath?"

"Ah!" trembled the servant, "in all the years that I've served you, you have never so much as given me even a rag, but the girl gave me a pretty kerchief."

Baba Yaga cursed her and dashed out into the yard.

Seeing the gates wide open, she shrieked, "Gates! Why didn't you squeak when she opened you?"

"Ah!" said the gates, "in all the years that we've served you, you never so much as sprinkled a drop of oil on us, and we could hardly stand the sound of our own creaking. But the girl oiled us and we can now swing back and forth without a sound."

Baba Yaga slammed the gates closed. Spinning around, she pointed her long finger at the dog. "You!" she hollered, "why didn't you tear her to pieces when she ran out of the house?"

"Ah!" said the dog, "in all the years that I've served you, you never threw me anything but an old bone crusts, but the girl gave me real meat and bread."

Baba Yaga rushed about the yard, cursing and hitting them all, while screaming at the top of her voice.

Then she jumped into her giant mortar. Beating the mortar with a giant pestle to make it go faster, she flew into the air and quickly closed in on the fleeing Natasha.

For there, on the ground far ahead, she soon spied the girl running through the trees, stumbling, and fearfully looking over her shoulder.

"You'll never escape me!" Baba Yaga laughed a terrible laugh and steered her flying mortar straight downward toward the girl.

Natasha was running faster than she had ever run before. Soon she could hear Baba Yaga's mortar bumping on the ground behind her.

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