The Tale of the Silver Saucer and the Transparent Apple
But the little pretty one did not mind them. She sat in the corner watching the spinning apple. And as it spun she talked to it.
"Spin, spin, apple in the silver saucer." This is what she said. "Spin so that I may see the world. Let me have a peep at the little father Tzar on his high throne. Let me see the rivers and the ships and the great towns far away."
And as she looked at the little glass whirlpool in the saucer, there was the Tzar, the little father—God preserve him!—sitting on his high throne. Ships sailed on the seas, their white sails swelling in the wind. There was Moscow with its white stone walls and painted churches. Why, there were the market at Nijni Novgorod, and the Arab merchants with their camels, and the Chinese with their blue trousers and bamboo staves. And then there was the great river Volga, with men on the banks towing ships against the stream. Yes, and she saw a sturgeon asleep in a deep pool.
"Oh! oh! oh!" says the little pretty one, as she saw all these things.
And the bad ones, they saw how her eyes shone, and they came and looked over her shoulder, and saw how all the world was there, in the spinning apple and the silver saucer. And the old father came and looked over her shoulder too, and he saw the market at Nijni Novgorod.
"Why, there is the inn where I put up the horses," says he. "You haven't done so badly after all, Little Stupid."
And the little pretty one, Little Stupid, went on staring into the glass whirlpool in the saucer, spinning the apple, and seeing all the world she had never seen before, floating there before her in the saucer, brighter than leaves in sunlight.
The bad ones, the elder sisters, were sick with envy.
"Little Stupid," says the first, "if you will give me your silver saucer and your transparent apple, I will give you my fine new necklace."
"Little Stupid," says the second, "I will give you my new dress with gold hems if you will give me your transparent apple and your silver saucer."
"Oh, I couldn't do that," says the Little Stupid, and she goes on spinning the apple in the saucer and seeing what was happening all over the world.