Snegurochka


Once upon a time there was an elder couple Ivan and Maria, who had no children. One frosty winter morning they were watching neighbor’s kids playing outside. There was plenty of new snow that day and children of their neighborhood had lots of fun by going sledging, making snowmen and throwing snowballs at one another. Suddenly Ivan said to his wife, “What a wonderful day to be outside today. Let’s go and make a snowman in front of our hut too.” “Yes,” answered Maria, “Why not. Let’s make a little snow girl though instead of a snowman. She will be as a daughter to us.” The couple put their warm winter clothes and went outside. The old woman and man started rolling one snowball, then another. When they settle all the snowballs in place, they started shaping the figure of a little child. Later, they have added arms and legs and a head. Ivan sculptured the snow girls’ nose, lips and eye browns and made a couple of hollows for the eyes. The snow girl came out very beautiful.

The ray of sun suddenly fell on the snow girl’s head and the white beauty blinked her eyes. Then the figure started moving her legs and arms, her lips turned pink and smiled. Ivan and Maria could not believe in what they saw. “Our daughter is now alive”, shouted overjoyed Maria. We shell name her Snegurochka (snow maid, the girl of snow). The old man and his wife were could not wait any longer. They grabbed Snegurochka’s hand and brought her inside their hut, The old woman started sewing her some beautiful new outfits, while the old man was working hard in the field to provide the best he could for his family. Snegurochka grew faster than the regular children. By the middle of the summer, she grew into a beautiful maid. The snow beauty was so kind and bright that all girls in the neighborhood wanted to make friends with her. They visited Ivan and Maria’s house to see their friend Snegurochka. They taught her many Russian folk songs.

When Snegurochka was singing them in her pure crystal voice, all people would gather together to listen them even the birds on the trees were sitting still. Snegurochka was very cheerful for all fall, winter and early spring. However, by the time the summer sun started warming up the earth again, Snegurochka became less and less happy. She tried to find some cooler spots in the basement since she was hiding from the sun. Snegurochka was looking forward to a dark and cloudy sky that made her to feel well again. One summer evening, the village girls called Snegurochka to celebrate the Harvest Day with them. They made up a fire in order to dance around it. There is a Russian tradition that all young girls of the neighborhood will dress up nicely and gather around the bonfire. They would hold each other hands and walk around the fire singing the Russian songs. At first, Snegurochka refused to go, but her mother thought that joining her girlfriends may cheer her daughter up. “Go ahead, my dear,” said Maria, “have some joy with your friends, but be careful.” The girls grabbed Snow maid by the arm and ran with her directly to the center of the feast. The celebration was far in progress.

All young girls were walking and singing around the bonfire, gathered wild flowers to make beautiful wreathes for themselves and later threw them into the river by making a wish to meet their suitors soon. When it started getting darker and night fell on the ground, all young people of the village started jumping over the fire. Everyone, but Snegurochka who stood off to the side and watched others. Eventually her girlfriends saw her, ran to her encouraging to join them again. The girls jumped first, then it was Snegurochka’s turn. The white beauty closed her eyes and ran toward the fire. At the moment her body was right above the center of the bonfire, Snegurochka suddenly melted and turned into a small cloud. No one saw what happened to the poor Snegurochka, but everyone soon realized that she is nowhere to be found. Her girlfriends were looking for the snow maid for three days. Ivan and Maria were looking for their beautiful daughter too, but did not have any success. The legend says that her parents never gave up looking, and that they are still looking for Snegurochka who disappeared without a trace a long time ago.

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