Once upon a time there lived a peasant with his wife and two children. The elder daughter was Masha and the youngest son’s name was Ivan. One morning, Ivan and Masha’s parents were going to a market. But before they left the man and woman instructed Masha to look after her youngest brother and do not leave him alone. They promised the girl a new embroidered scarf as a reward when they come back. However, shortly after the parents left, the girl saw her friends and girlfriends playing down the street. She rushed to join them and left her brother sitting on the grass near their house to wait for her to come back. A moment later, the wild swans-geese appeared from out of nowhere. They seized the boy, tossed him over their heads and carried him away.
When Masha returned and realized that her young brother was gone, the girl started crying and weeping. She ran to look for her brother everywhere, she asked all people who may have seen him and searched in every corner, but all in vain. Ivan vanished without a trace. Finally, she ran onto the edge of her village and saw the swans-geese in a distance carrying some object. The little girl immediately realized that the object was her brother Ivan and rushed in the direction where the mysterious geese flew. The girl ran and ran until she found herself on the meadow with a brick stove standing right in the middle of it. Masha greeted and asked the stove if it saw the swans-geese at all. The stove welcomed the girl and asked her to pull out the baking sheet full of rye cakes out of it since the cakes were fully cooked and could burn. The girl helped the stove and it showed her the direction. As soon as Masha thanked the stove she continued running after the birds. Soon the girl ran onto an apple-tree that was about to brake under the weight of its golden apples. Mashenka asked the apple –tree if it saw in which direction the geese flew.
The apple-tree asked the girl to shake the apples down to the ground first. The maiden helped the tree and it showed her the way. Soon Masha ran onto a stream with a small waterfall that asked her to remove a heavy rock from its way so the stream can flow again without turning into a swamp. The girl helped the stream and followed its directions a minute later. A few more minutes later, Masha ran onto the hut that was turning around on its chicken legs. The brave girl went inside the cabin and saw her brother sitting on a bench and an old witch Baba Yaga right next to him. The girl greeted the old woman who asked the girl to help her by spinning the wool. Baba Yaga gave her a spindle and went outside.
As soon as the old witch was gone Mashenka grabbed her little brother and started running home. Baba Yaga soon discovered them both being gone and ordered her servants, the swans-geese to fly after them and bring the children back in order to cook them for her dinner. Mashenka and Ivan were near the stream when they saw Baba Yaga’s birds flying towards them. The girl had no other choice but to beg the stream for help. The stream was happy to cover both children under its waterfall. It did it so well that the wicked geese did not even suspect that both the girl and the boy was right under their feet and passed by. The children, who came dry out of the river, thanked the stream and a second later they were running toward their village again. Both Masha and her little brother were very close to the apple-tree when they saw the wicked birds catching up with them. Masha had no other choice, but to ask the tree for help. The apple tree was glad to help the girl who saved it from being broken. It covered both sister and brother with its thick branches and the swans-geese passed them by again. The children thanked the apple-tree and were on their way a few seconds later. While they were stopped to greet the stove, Mashenka saw the swan-geese again and asked the stove to hide them. The stove was happy to help, it advised the children to climb in its window and wait.
The wicked birds could not see a thing once again. They circled around but in the end they had no other choice but fly back to their master, Baba Yaga who ate most of them as their punishment for not catching the kids. As soon as the birds flew back, both brother and sister thanked the stove that also offered them to take some of its rye cakes to go. Mashenka and little Ivan took the cakes, bowed to the stove and ran straight to their village. As soon as they had reached their house, the children saw their parent coming back from the market with a beautiful new embroidered scarf for Mashenka and a painted wooden toy for Ivan.