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In A Kingdom Far Away ... A Collection of Russian Folk Tales


In A Kingdom Far Away ... A Collection of Russian Folk Tales

By pupils of School 325 in St Petersburg and Townfield Primary School in Wirral

In A Kingdom Far Away ... A Collection of Russian Folk Tales

ISBN: 1-905547-04-8 ISBN: 978-1-905547-04-3 • Townfield Primary School and School 325, St Petersburg are hereby identified as the authors of this work in accordance with section 77 of the (UK) Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – without prior written permission of the publisher. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors alone, apart from where specified. Design and layout: Angela Hurren, Tynwald Design Proof-reading: Fiona Shaw Printed and bound in China First published in 2006 by Shanachie Publishing, an imprint of cities500 International Publishers 2 The Old Stables, Charles Street, Hoylake, Wirral, CH47 3BP Tel: + 44 (0) 151 632 3280 e.mail:

© cities500 November 2006

Contents The British Council.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Foreword. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


About the Schools.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Introduction by School 325, St Petersburg.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Introduction by Townfield Primary School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Frog Princess.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Coloured Fox.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Speckled Hen.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Enormous Turnip.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Father Frost.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Little House.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Fox and the Crab. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Bun .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Alyonushka and her brother Ivanushka.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Contributors.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The British Council The British Council was very pleased to be able to support Townfield Primary School in their joint curriculum project with School 325 in St Petersburg.  Last year they were successful in their application for a grant on one of our programmes funded by the Department for Education and Skills which helped them take their students to visit School 325. We were delighted that Michael Hughes, from Townfield Primary School was able to speak at our 2006 Conference on Educational Co-operation with Russia and share the details of the project and the logistics of taking Year 6 students to St Petersburg with other primary schools. This book is a wonderful legacy for the project and will be of benefit to school children in both countries for many years to come.

Professor Mary Stiasny, Director, Education, Science and Society


Foreword The publication of In a Kingdom Far Away ... is a highly commendable effort on the part of the pupils of Townfield Primary School in Wirral and School 325 in St Petersburg to bring together the ideas of youngsters living in two of the world’s most important countries. To understand each other’s histories and cultures is a major stepping-stone towards our living together comfortably in harmony and peace. It is most important that young people in each of our countries get to know each other, understand and respect each other’s way of living, and come to respect, also, how much we have in common. This initiative it to be applauded and should serve as a model for similar developments by other schools in Britain and Russia.

Robert N Wareing MP Secretary, All-Party British-Russian Parliamentary Group House of Commons, London, England


About the schools School 325 in St Petersburg, Russia is located in the south of the city, in the Kupchina region. It is both a primary and a secondary school, which serves over 1,000 children aged between 7 and 17 years old.


Townfield Primary School is located in Prenton, Wirral. It currently serves about 400 pupils. Some of these are deaf and are part of the Hearing Support Base within the school.


Предисловие Вот уже несколько лет крепнет дружба между школой №325 Санкт – Петербурга и Townfield Primary School. За это время мы успели обменяться визитами, находимся в интенсивной переписке и приступили к новому этапу наших отношений. Русские дети пересказали на английском языке и проиллюстрировали свои любимые сказки. Все эти сказки сопутствуют нашим детям с младенческого возраста, отражают истинно русские явления быта, обычаи и традиции. Мы будем очень рады, если они найдут своих читателей среди английских школьников. Хочется добавить, что у истоков нашего сотрудничества стоял координатор проекта мистер Майкл Хьюз при поддержке директора школы миссис Кейт Ли, а русским детям помогали в переписке, выборе тем и оформлении сказок учителя петербургской школы Мжень А.С.,МалышеваТ.М., Андреева М.А. при содействии директора школы Рогозиной О.Б. Мы надеемся на дальнейшее сотрудничество наших детей и учащихся обеих школ и постараемся найти новые формы взаимоотношений. The friendship between School 325 in St Petersburg and Townfield Primary School has grown stronger over a number of years. During this time we have taken part in exchanges and our pupils have corresponded with each other regularly. This book marks a new step in our partnership. Our children re-told and illustrated their favourite fairy tales. They have grown up with these stories from a very early age. These stories reflect our way of life, culture and traditions. We hope that British children will learn to appreciate and enjoy them. We would like to thank Michael Hughes for initiating and co-ordinating the project and the school’s Head Teacher Mrs Kate Lee for her continued support. We would also like to extend our thanks to the following teachers of our school: Mzhen A.S., Malisheva T.M., Andreeva M.A., who, with the support of their Head Teacher Rogozhina O.B., helped the children with the translation and illustration of the fairy tales. We have high hopes for future collaborations between the pupils of our two schools and look forward to finding new ways of strengthening our partnership.


Introduction This book is the result of work carried out by pupils in School 325 in St Petersburg, Russia and pupils of Townfield Primary School in Wirral, England. The two schools have been partners since 2001 and this collection of Russian folk tales is our first joint curriculum project. By working together on this book, we hoped that we would manage not only to make our respective curricula more meaningful to our pupils but also to enhance our pupils’ respect for and understanding of each other’s culture. We believe that, as the world becomes more fragmented and torn apart by differences, friendship between our two countries needs to be strong. Both schools would like to thank the British Council for funding this project. Townfield Primary School would also like to thank Linda Evans for her help with the artwork, Guy Woodland for his support with the publication and Vyacheslav and Natalia Yachnikov for helping to establish our partnership with School 325 in St Petersburg. We feel privileged to be linked to School 325, St Petersburg and hope that this partnership continues to grow, bringing benefits to many more of our pupils in years to come. Michael Hughes Project Coordinator


The Frog Princess В некотором царстве, в некотром государстве жил-был царь. Было у царя три сына ... In days gone by there was a king who had three sons. When his sons came to the correct age, the king called to them and said, “My lads, I want you to get married so that I may see your little ones, my grandchildren, before I die.” His sons replied, “Very well then, give us your blessing. Tell us who you want us to marry.” “Each of you must take an arrow, go into the green meadow and shoot it. Wherever the arrow falls, there you will find your destiny.” So the sons bowed to their father, took an arrow and went to the beautiful green meadow. They drew their bows and let their arrows fly. The arrow of the eldest son fell in the yard of a nobleman, where the nobleman’s daughter picked it up. The arrow of the middle son fell in the yard of a merchant and the merchant’s daughter picked it up. But the arrow of the youngest son, Ivan, flew up, up and away. He didn’t know where to begin looking. The youngest son walked for hours on end in search of the arrow. At last he found it in a marsh, where a frog had picked it up. “Frog, give me back my arrow,” he said. But the frog replied, “Marry me!” “How can I? You’re a frog!” Prince Ivan was disappointed, but what could he do? He picked up the frog and took it home. The king celebrated three weddings. The eldest son married the nobleman’s daughter, the middle son married the merchant’s daughter and poor Prince Ivan married the frog.


One day the king called his sons and said, “I want to see which of your wives is the most skilled with a needle. Let them each sew me a shirt by tomorrow morning.” The three sons bowed to their father and went out. Prince Ivan went home and sat in the corner, looking very sad. The frog hopped about on the floor and asked, “Why are you so sad, Prince Ivan? Are you in trouble?” “My father wants you to sew him a shirt by tomorrow morning!” But the frog replied gently, “Don’t be so downhearted, Prince Ivan, go to bed. Remember that night is the mother of change.” So Prince Ivan went to bed, while the frog hopped out on to the doorstep, cast off her frog skin and turned into Vasilisa the Wise, a maiden fair beyond compare. She clapped her hands and cried, “Maids and nurses get ready, work steady! By tomorrow morning sew me a shirt like the ones my father used to wear!” When Prince Ivan awoke the next morning, the frog was hopping about on the floor again. Amazingly, on the table, wrapped up in a linen towel, lay a beautiful shirt. Prince Ivan was delighted, so he picked up the shirt and took it to his father. He found the king receiving gifts from his other two sons. When the eldest son laid out his shirt the king said, “This shirt will do for one of my servants.” When the middle son laid out his shirt the king said, “This shirt is only good for the bath house.” Prince Ivan lay out his shirt, handsomely embroidered in gold and silver. The king took one look at it and exclaimed, “Now this is a shirt, indeed! I shall wear it on the best occasions.” The two elder brothers went home. “It seems as though we laughed at Prince Ivan’s wife for nothing,” they whispered to each other. “It looks like she is not a frog but a witch.” Again, the king called his sons. “Let your wives bake me bread by tomorrow morning,” he commanded. “I want to know which one cooks the best.” Prince Ivan came home looking very sad again. “Why are you so sad, prince?” asked the frog.


“My father wants you to bake him some bread by tomorrow morning,” replied her husband. “Don’t be downhearted, Prince Ivan, go to bed. Night is the mother of change.” Now the other daughters-in-law, who had made fun of the frog at first, this time sent an old hen wife to see how the frog baked her bread. But the frog was cunning and guessed what they were up to, so she kneaded the dough, broke the top off the stove and emptied the mixture into the hole. The old hen wife ran back to the other wives and told them what she had seen and the wives did exactly what the frog had done. Then the frog hopped out onto the doorstep, turned into Vasilisa the Wise, clapped her hands and cried, “Maids and nurses get ready, work steady! By tomorrow morning bake me a soft white loaf like the ones I ate when I lived at home.”


Prince Ivan woke up in the morning, and there on the table he saw a loaf of bread with all kinds of pretty designs on it. On the sides were quaint figures, royal cities with walls and gates. Prince Ivan was ever so pleased. He wrapped the loaf up in a linen towel and took it to his father. Just then the king was receiving the loaves from his elder sons. Their wives had dropped the dough into the fire, just as the old hen wife had told them, and it came out as a lump of charred dough. The king took the loaf from his eldest son, looked at it and sent it to the servants’ hall. But when Prince Ivan handed in his loaf, the king said, “Now that is what I call bread! It is fit to be eaten only on a special occasion.” And the king bade his sons come to his feast the next day and bring their wives with them. Prince Ivan came home grieving again. The frog jumped up and said “Why are you so sad, Prince Ivan? Has your father said anything unkind to you?” “My dear frog, how can I help being sad? Father wants me to bring you to his feast but how can you appear before people as my wife?”


“Don’t be downhearted, Prince Ivan” said the frog. “Go to the feast alone and I will come later. When you hear a knocking and a banging, don’t be afraid. If people ask, just say it’s your dear little frog, riding in her box.” So Prince Ivan went to the feast alone. His elder brothers arrived with their wives, their hair and make-up perfectly done, and dressed in fine clothes. His brothers stood there and teased Prince Ivan. “Why did you not bring your wife? You could have brought her in a handkerchief. Where did you find such a beauty? You must have searched all the swamps for her!” The king, his sons, his daughters-in-law and the guests sat down to feast at the oak table covered in fine cloth. Suddenly there was a knocking and a banging that made the whole palace shake. The guests jumped up in fright, but Prince Ivan said, “Don’t be afraid. It is only my dear little frog, riding in her box.” Just then a beautiful carriage drawn by six white horses dashed up to the palace door. Out of it stepped Vasilisa the Wise, in a dress of sky blue silk strewn with stars and a shining moon upon her head, a maiden as fair as the sky at dawn, the fairest maiden ever born. She took Prince Ivan by the hand and led him to the oak tables with the handsome cloths on them. The guests began to eat, drink and be merry. Vasilisa the Wise drank from her glass and emptied the dregs into her left sleeve. Then she ate some swan meat and emptied the bones into her right sleeve. The wives of the elder princes saw her do this and so they did the same. When the eating and drinking were over, the time came for dancing. Vasilisa the Wise took Prince Ivan and skipped off with him. She whirled round the dance floor. Everybody who watched was gob smacked. She waved her left arm and a lake appeared. She waved her right arm and white swans began to swim on the lake. The king and his guests were struck with wonder.


Then the other daughters-in-law went to dance. They waved one sleeve, but splashed wine over the guests; they waved the other, but only scattered bones. One bone even hit the king right on the forehead. The king flew into a rage and drove both daughters-in-law away. Meanwhile, Prince Ivan slipped out and ran home. There he found the frog skin and threw it into the fire. When Vasilisa the Wise came home, she looked for the frog skin, but she could not find it. She sat down on a bench, sorely grieved, and said to Prince Ivan, “Ah, Prince Ivan, what have you done? Had you waited three more days, I would have been yours forever. But now, farewell. Seek me beyond the Thrice-Nine Lands, in the Thrice-Ten Kingdoms, where Koshchei the Deathless dwells.” Vasilisa the Wise then turned herself into a grey cuckoo and flew out of the window. Prince Ivan wept long and hard, then bowed down in all four directions and went forth, he knew not where, to seek his wife, Vasilisa the Wise. How long he walked is hard to say, but his boots were worn down at the heels, his tunic was worn out at the elbows, and his cap became battered by the rain. By and by he met a little man as old as old can be. “Good day, my lad,” said the little old man. “Where are you going and what are you looking for?” Prince Ivan told him about his troubles. “Ah, but why did you burn the frog skin Prince Ivan?” asked the little man. “It was not yours to keep or throw away. Vasilisa the Wise was born wiser than her father and that made him so angry he changed her into a frog for three years. Ah, well it cannot be helped now. Take this ball of yarn and follow it, without fear, wherever it rolls.” Prince Ivan thanked the little old man and followed the ball of yarn wherever it rolled. In an open field he met a bear. Prince Ivan took aim and was about to kill it, but the bear spoke to him in a human voice. “Do not kill me, Prince Ivan, for you may need me someday.”


So Prince Ivan decided to spare the bear its life and went on further. Suddenly he saw a drake, flying overhead. He took aim with his bow, but the drake said in a human voice, “Do not kill me, Prince Ivan, for you may have need of me someday.” So Prince Ivan spared the drake and moved on. Shortly afterwards a hare came by. Again Prince Ivan snatched his bow to shoot it, but the hare said in a human voice, “Do not kill me, Prince Ivan, for you may have need of me someday.” So he spared the hare and moved on until he came to the blue sea and saw a pike lying on the sandy beach, gasping for breath. “Ah, Prince Ivan,” said the pike, “take pity on me and throw me back into the blue sea.” Prince Ivan threw the pike back into the sea and carried on walking along the shore. By and by the ball of yarn rolled into a forest, and there stood a little hut on hens’ feet, turning round and round. “Little hut, little hut, turn your back to the trees and your face to me please” said Prince Ivan.


The hut turned its face to Prince Ivan and its back to the trees. Prince Ivan walked in and there, sitting in the corner, was Baba Yaga, the witch, with a broom and a wooden bucket; a bony hag with a nose like a snag. When she saw him, Baba Yaga said, “Ugh, ugh! Russian blood, never met by me before, now I smell it at my door... Who comes here? Where from? Where to?” “You might give me meat, drink and a steam bath before asking questions,” retorted Prince Ivan. So Baba Yaga gave him a steam bath, gave him meat and drink, and put him to bed. When he woke up Prince Ivan told her he was seeking his wife, Vasilisa the Wise. “I know, I know,” said Baba Yaga. “Your wife is now in the power of Koshchei the Deathless. It will be hard for you to get her back. Koshchei is more than a match for you. The only way to kill him is by breaking the point of a needle, but the needle you need is in an egg; the egg is in a duck; the duck is in a hare; the hare is in a stone casket; the casket is at the top of a tall oak tree, which Koshchei the Deathless guards as if it were the apple of his eye.”


Prince Ivan spent the night at Baba Yaga’s and in the morning she showed him the way to the tall oak tree. How long he walked it is hard to say, but eventually he came to the tall oak tree with the stone casket at the top of it. But it was too hard to reach. Suddenly, up came the bear whose life he had spared, and pulled the tree out, roots and all. Down fell the casket and it broke open. Out of the casket sprang a hare, which scampered off as fast as it could. The other hare, whose life Prince Ivan had spared, gave chase, caught it and tore it to bits. Out of the dead hare flew a duck, which shot high into the sky. But straight away the drake whose life Prince Ivan had spared was after it. The duck dropped the egg, which fell down into the deep blue sea. But the pike whose life Prince Ivan had spared swam up with the egg in its mouth. Prince Ivan broke the egg, took the needle out and set about breaking the point off. The more he bent it, the more Koshchei the Deathless writhed and screamed, but all in vain. Eventually, Prince Ivan broke off the point of the needle and Koshchei fell down dead. Prince Ivan went to Koshchei’s white stone palace. Vasilisa the Wise came running out to meet him and kissed him deeply. Prince Ivan and Vasilisa the Wise went back to their own home and lived in peace and happiness to a ripe old age.


The Coloured Fox Пошёл Михаило Потапыч в лес черникой лакомиться ... Once upon a time there lived a bear called Mikhailo. One day he went to the forest for bilberries. When he was fed up of bilberries he began to eat blackberries. Suddenly, from out of nowhere a hedgehog appeared. “Mikhailo, are you eating blackberries?” asked the hedgehog. “Yes. And bilberries too,” answered Mikhailo. “Are they tasty?” questioned the hedgehog. “Yes. They’re delicious. They’re my favourite,” replied Mikhailo. “Do you know that a thief has broken into your house?” asked the hedgehog. “A thief? Help!” cried Mikhailo. “Catch the thief, catch him!” “What? Where is he?” said the wolf, who decided to help.


“Don’t let the thief get away!” shouted the bear. “Don’t worry, Mikhailo. He won’t come back,” said the hedgehog. The frightened fox ran into the first house he saw. He began running from one side of the room to the other, jumping from the floor to a chair, leaping from the chair to a table. The fox crashed into a shelf with paint pots, which came tumbling down on top of him. He was covered in paint. When the fox went outside, the dog ran away. The cat hissed and hid. The fox was surprised. Then he saw his face reflected in a puddle. At first he was scared because he didn’t know who was looking back at him. Then he thought that the animals would fear him in his new disguise. When the bear saw the fox he trembled with fear. “Who are you?” asked the wolf and the bear at the same time. “Me? I am called The Cunning One,” explained the fox. “I have travelled many miles just to be in charge of this little forest and those that live in it,” added the fox, mockingly. “This Cunning One looks a lot like that thief, the fox!” the hedgehog pointed out to the hare. So the fox in his new disguise began to live in Mikhailo’s log cabin. He began to boss the animals about, demanding tasty food from them. All the animals worked for him. The hare brought him her best carrot. But the fox still felt quite hungry and thought of an idea. “Have you got any children?” he asked the hare. “I have three,” the hare said proudly.

“Are they healthy?” asked the fox, licking his lips. “Yes, they are healthy, plump and happy,” answered the hare. “Bring them to me in the morning,” commanded the fox with a smirk. “I am going to eat them!” Suddenly the hare began to cry. The hedgehog saw that the hare was crying, so he whispered something to her, a plan to catch the fox out. They decided to lead the fox to a small bridge, which had a broken plank. In the morning, the fox went across the small bridge. When the fox reached the broken plank he suddenly fell into the river. The fox got washed in the river and everybody knew that The Cunning One was the fox. “Get the thief!” cried Mikhailo. “Catch him!” shouted the wolf and the bear. In the end they caught the fox. The hedgehog hugged the hare and said “never trust an animal if it looks strange.”


The Speckled Hen Жили-были старик со старухой .. Once upon a time there was a wrinkly old man and woman. They had a speckled hen, which was fluffy like a teddy bear. One day she laid an egg for them. It was not an ordinary egg, but a golden one. The old man tried bashing the egg, but no matter how hard he struck it, he could not break the egg. The old woman struck the egg but she could not break it either. Suddenly, a little mouse ran quickly past them and with a swish of its tail knocked the egg over. The egg fell down and smashed. The old man started weeping and the old woman wept too. The hen came slowly up to them and said, “Don’t weep, granny. Don’t weep! I will lay another egg for you. Only this time it won’t be a golden egg but an ordinary one.”


The Enormous Turnip Посадил старик репку ... Once upon a time, an old man planted a turnip. It grew larger and larger. Eventually, the time came for the old man to pull the turnip out. He grabbed hold of it and yanked, but couldn’t pull it out. He shouted for his wife to come out and help. The old man grabbed hold of the turnip and the old woman grabbed hold of the old man. They pulled and pulled, but nothing happened. The old woman then called their granddaughter. The old man grabbed hold of the turnip, the old woman grabbed hold of the old man and the granddaughter grabbed hold of the old woman. They yanked and yanked, but couldn’t pull it out. The granddaughter called Zhuchka, their pet dog. The old man grabbed hold of the turnip, the old woman grabbed hold of the old man, the granddaughter grabbed hold of the old woman and Zhuchka grabbed hold of the granddaughter. Together they pulled and pulled, but still it wouldn’t come out. Zhuchka then called the cat. The old man grabbed hold of the turnip, the old woman grabbed hold of the old man, the granddaughter grabbed hold of the old woman, Zhuchka grabbed hold of the granddaughter and the cat grabbed hold of Zhuchka . Again they yanked and yanked, but couldn’t pull it out. The cat shouted to the mouse. The old man grabbed hold of the turnip, the old woman grabbed hold of the old man, the granddaughter grabbed hold of the old woman, Zhuchka grabbed hold of the granddaughter, the cat grabbed hold of Zhuchka and the mouse grabbed hold of the cat. All of them helped each other to pull and at last the turnip came out.


Father Frost Однажды жила-была семья ... Once upon a time there was an ordinary family, who lived in a small house. The family consisted of four people: a father, a mother and two daughters. The mother’s daughter was called Dussya. The father also had a daughter from another marriage. Her name was Masha. The mother didn’t like her stepdaughter because she was very beautiful, kind and generous. Masha loved to help people. But Dussya was different. She was lazy, unkind and all she cared about was sleeping. The mother was always cross with Masha and one day she decided to get rid of her. She asked her husband to get Masha and take her to the dark, gloomy forest. So he did.


When Masha realised she was alone in the forest she became very scared. It was pitch black and there was a lot of snow because it was winter. Suddenly Father Frost came up to her and said: “Hello, my dear! How are you? Are you cold?” “Hello! No, I’m not cold, grandpa. It is rather warm,” Masha replied. Father Frost began to run and jump around her. Then he asked her again: “Are you cold, dear?” “No, Mr Frost! I’ll say it again, I’m quite warm,” laughed Masha.


Then he gave her a big bag of colourful shiny jewels, a beautiful dress and a golden stallion. She thanked him and returned home. When her stepmother saw her, she was furious and cried to her husband: “Get my daughter and take her to the forest immediately!� When Dussya arrived at the forest, she too met Father Frost. Father Frost decided he didn’t like her because she was lazy and ugly, so he killed her. Then Masha got married to a handsome young man and they lived happily ever after.


The Little House Стоит в поле теремок. Бежит мимо мышка ... The little house sat in field of bluebells. It was a small brown cottage with a steep sloped roof. One day a grey, fluffy mouse scampered by the little house and squeaked: “Little, little house! Who lives in this little house?” Nobody answered. The mouse sneaked into the little house and started to live in it. A few days later a green tree-frog jumped towards the little house and croaked in a faint voice: “Little, little house! Who lives in this little house?” “I’m Mouse. And who are you?” “I’m Frog. Can I live in your house?” So Mouse and Frog lived in the house. A few days later a small, grey rabbit hopped to the little house.

He saw the little house and asked: “Little, little house! Who lives in this little house?” “I’m Mouse and I’m Frog. And who are you?” they both said at once. “I’m Rabbit. Can I live in your house?” The rabbit jumped into the little house, and he started to live with the other animals.


One day a ginger fox went by. She knocked slyly on the window. “Little, little house! Who lives in this little house?” “I’m Mouse, I’m Frog and I’m Rabbit. And who are you?” they all said. “I’m Fox. Can I live in your house?” The fox jumped into the little house, and she started to live with the other animals. A few days later, a hairy, grey wolf crept up to the little house. “Little, little house! Who lives in this little house?” “I’m Mouse, I’m Frog, I’m Rabbit and I’m Fox. And who are you?” “I’m Wolf. Can I live in your house?” The wolf crept into the little house, and he started to live with the other animals. The next day, a big brown bear stumbled to the little house. He saw the little house and roared: “Little, little house! Who lives in this little house?”


“I’m Mouse, I’m Frog, I’m Rabbit, I’m Fox and I’m Wolf. And who are you?” they all said. “I’m Bear!” he replied gruffly. The bear struggled to crawl into the little house, but he couldn’t get inside because he was too big. “I shall live on the roof,” he said. “You will crush the little house,” the animals cried. “No I won’t,” replied the bear. “Fine,” said the animals, “you can climb on the roof then.” Bear climbed onto the roof and BANG! He crushed the little house and all the animals ran away in horror crying, “Oh little, little house, the bear has crushed our little house.”


The Fox and the Crab встретила Лиса Рака и ... A fox met a crab and said, “let’s have a race!” “Okay, fox. Let’s run,” replied the crab. As soon as they started to run, the crab grabbed hold of the fox’s tail. Later, as the fox was approaching the finish, he turned round to see how far behind the crab was. When he wagged his tail the crab unhooked himself and said, “I have been waiting for you for a long time!”

The Bun Жили-были старик со старухой ... Once upon a time there was an old man and his wife, Marusya. One day the old man asked his wife to bake a bun. “We haven’t had buns for ages,” called the old man. So Marusya made a bun for her husband and put it in the oven to bake. When it was ready, she put it on the windowsill to cool off. Suddenly, the bun turned to life and jumped quickly out of the window and rolled quietly along the path. Soon it met a fluffy grey hare. “You look tasty to me. You’re going to go straight into my tummy,” the hare said. The bun told him that it had run away from the old man and woman, and it would run away from him too. The bun rolled on and on until suddenly it met a vicious black wolf with large white teeth. The cunning wolf looked at the bun and realised that he wanted it. “You look tasty,” said the wolf, licking his lips.


The wolf told the bun that he wanted to eat it but the bun didn’t get frightened. The bun explained to the wolf it had run away from the old man and woman, from the hare and that it would run away from him too. And then it rolled away quickly along the narrow path. After a while it met a fierce black bear. “You look tasty,” said the bear, licking his lips, so the bun ran away from him too. The bun quickly rolled on until it met a cunning red fox. “Where are you going?” the red fox asked the small round loaf. “I’m going for a walk in the woods. And if I find someone, I will run away from them, just like I ran away from the old man and woman, the hare, the wolf and the bear,” the bun replied while bobbing.


“You look tasty,” the fox muttered. “Pardon?” the bun asked. “Oh, er, nothing,” she replied. “Well, I’m going to run away from you and you will never ever catch me,” the bun promised. And it began to sing a song about how it had escaped the old man and woman, the hare, the wolf and the bear. But the fox was sly. “Sorry, I couldn’t hear your beautiful song. Could you sit on my nose, please, and sing your lovely song again,” she whispered, licking her lips and twirling her whiskers. The bun didn’t know what the fox was up to, so it jumped on the fox’s nose as she had asked and began to sing again. Suddenly, SNAP! The bun was eaten in one gulp.


Alyonushka and her brother Ivanushka Жили-были сестрица Алёнушка да братец Иванушка ... Once upon a time – a long, long time ago – there were two children who lived in a small cottage with their grandparents. The cottage was situated in a quiet Russian village. The children were called Alyonushka and Ivanushka. The children were sobbing their hearts out because their grandparents had died. All they had left was each other. Alyonushka and Ivanushka decided they had better get a job because they had no one to look after them, and no money. They set off down the long, cobbled road, in search of a job. The children had been walking for such a long time that they were starting to feel exhausted. Ivanushka was becoming increasingly thirsty; he was absolutely dying for a drink! All of a sudden, he spotted a pond, from which the cows in the field drank. “Alyonushka, I need a drink. Please!” Ivanushka begged. “We can get a drink later,” replied Alyonushka. “If you drink from that pond, you will turn into a calf!” Eventually they came to a beautiful, sparkling pond. There were horses nearby. Ivanushka got on his knees and begged his sister to let him have a drink from the pond. “No, my brother! If you drink from that, you will turn into a foal,” Alyonushka replied. Ivanushka obeyed his sister and didn’t drink from the pond.


The sun was beating down and the nearest well was still miles away. As they were walking along, Ivanushka spotted a glistening, shimmering, ice cold pond, which provided water for the goats living nearby. “Ooh, that looks so delicious,” said Ivanushka, his mouth watering. “Please may I drink from it?” “No! If you do, you will turn into an ugly baby goat,” said Alyonushka sternly, “and I don’t want a kid for a brother!” But this time Ivanushka disobeyed his sister and, on his first sip, turned into a bleating little goat. Alyonushka looked everywhere for Ivanushka, and screamed his name loudly in a panic, ten times! But all she could see was a little baby goat.


Alyonushka burst into tears, and sat sadly by the side of the road, sobbing her heart out. She felt as if her heart was frozen. Suddenly, a merchant appeared on a horse and cart. “What’s the matter?” he enquired softly. “Can I help you?” Alyonushka explained her tragic story. The merchant thought for a while, and then ... DING; it was as if a light bulb appeared above his head! “I’ve got a brilliant idea,” said the man excitedly. “Marry me, and we can live happily together with your brother, the goat. I promise to take care of you!” Alyonushka had a magical wedding to the kind man, and they lived happily together for the next few years. Ten years later, the merchant came home to his wife as usual. He didn’t know that, while he was out, something awful had happened. An evil witch, who was extremely ugly, had tied a stone around Alyonushka’s neck and thrown her into the river. Then she had cast a wicked spell to make her morph into the form of Alyonushka.


Now the witch looked just like Alyonushka, while the real girl was stuck at the bottom of the river! Only poor Ivanushka knew the truth about the witch’s disguise and he was worried that the witch had evil plans for his future. One day, the horrible witch overheard Ivanushka talking to his sister. She saw red and shivered with anger. She was concerned that Ivanushka would spoil her dastardly plan and ruin her happy life living as Alyonushka. She ordered the merchant to kill the goat. It was hard for him to agree to kill Ivanushka, as he loved the goat like a person. But, being deceived by the witch, he gave in and chased the goat with his axe. Ivanushka begged the merchant to let him go to the river for one last drink before he died, and luckily his wish was granted. There, at the river’s edge, the goat cried out to his sister. “Alyonushka, please help me! Your husband, the merchant, is going to kill me!” She replied, “Oh no, my brother. I’m afraid I can’t help you because of this gigantic stone around my neck.” Neither the brother, nor his sister, realised that a farmer, who was minding his own business after milking his cows, had overheard their conversation. Fortunately he decided to save the day ... Hooray!


The farmer sprinted to tell the merchant not to kill the goat. Upon hearing the farmer’s story, he ran to the river, found Alyonushka, dived under the water, untied the stone from her neck and brought her back to safety. He then tied the witch to a wild horse, and let it loose in an open field. The witch bounced around until she exploded all over the ground. The little goat was so happy that he turned three somersaults of joy, and was changed back into a boy. They lived happily ever after.


The Contributors The Frog Princess Translated by Katya Kartashova and Katya Saenko. Edited by 6PM.

The Coloured Fox Translated by Katya Kalinina and Alina Malysheva. Edited by 5SB.

The Speckled Hen Translated by Tzvetalina Krasteva and Boris Meshkov. Edited by 6RC.

The Enormous Turnip Translated by Daniel Emelyanov, Andrei Maryin, Evgeni Noskov and Denis Burilov. Edited by 6RC.

Father Frost Translated by Sasha Chubsa, Ksyusha Osipova and Anton Gornostaev. Edited by 3-4SO.

The Little House Translated by Misha Zverkov, Katya Ilina, Veronika Smirnova and Vitalik Mai. Edited by 3-4AC.

The Fox and the Crab Translated by Alex Pshenitsyn. Edited by 6RC.

The Bun Translated by Katya Kozlova, Andrei Ivanov, Dasha Tkachenko and Dima Miheev. Edited by 5KH.

Alyonushka and her brother Ivanushka Translated by Antonina Shcherbakova, Victoria Shavrieva, Amil Mukhdarly and Zarina Mukhdarly. Edited by 3-4JH. Children from both schools provided the illustrations.


This collection of Russian folk tales is the work of children at School 325, St Petersburg and Townfield Primary School, Wirral. It includes the well-known story of the Enormous Turnip and a rather unusual tale about Father Frost.

In A Kingdom Far Away... A Collection of Russian Folk Tales  

By pupils of School 325 in St Petersburg and Townfield Primary School in Wirral. The publication of In a Kingdom Far Away ... is a highly c...

In A Kingdom Far Away... A Collection of Russian Folk Tales  

By pupils of School 325 in St Petersburg and Townfield Primary School in Wirral. The publication of In a Kingdom Far Away ... is a highly c...