Russian: Морозко - Дед Мороз, Morozko - Ded Moroz

Many years ago there lived an old widower and his pretty, diligent daughter Nastenka. With time, the man married a second time to a woman, who had her own nasty and lazy daughter, named Marfa. The woman doted upon Marfa, praised her at any opportunity, and she despised and hated her stepdaughter. Nastya had to work hard every day, and nevertheless her stepmother was always unsatisfied and made her work more and more.

One day the old woman invented how to get rid of her stepdaughter once and for all. As the old man went to the market place, the old woman called Nastya and ordered her, "Go to the forest for brushwood." "We have a lot of brushwood," answered the girl. The wicked old woman gave a shout, stamped her feet, attacked Nastya, and together with her daughter pushed her out from the house. It couldn’t be helped, so Nastya went to the forest.

It was severe winter; there were a biting frost, a wailing wind, and a terrible snowstorm. Girl came into the forest, stopped beneath a thick birch and did not know where to go and what to do. She was cold and all in a shiver, her teeth were chattering.

Suddenly she heard a noise and crackle. It was Morozko, skipping from fir to fir, from birch to birch. He came upon her from the tree and asked, "Are you warm, my sweetheart?" "Welcome, my dear Morozko. Yes, I am warm," answered Nastenka. "Why have you come to me in such a severe cold?" asked Morozko. And Nastenka told him everything. "No, not for brushwood they sent you," said Morozko, "but if you came to my forest, show me what a good hand you are." He gave her tow and a spinning-wheel and told her to spin a tread to weave a linen and get a shirt for him made, and went out. The girl was working all night long. When her fingers were cold, she breathed on them, and worked again and again. She thought only how to make the shirt the best.

In the morning Morozko came back and asked, "Are you warm, my sweetheart?" "Welcome again, my dear Morozko. Yes, I am warm," answered Nastenka. "Oh, girl, I see you worked well. What the work was, such an award is," said Morozko and presented a big wrought chest to Nastya. Then he dressed her in a warm fur-coat and patterned kerchief, and led her out to the road. "Bye, my sweetheart! Now good people will help you and take you home," said Morozko and disappeared.

Morozko coloring book page
A coloring book page from the fairytale Morozko

 

That time an old man, Nastya’s father, returned home and asked his wife where his daughter was. "She went to the forest for brushwood as early as yesterday, and did not come back," answered the old woman. The old man became anxious about his daughter and rode to the forest. Lo and behold! His daughter was standing there well-dressed and cheery!

When he arrived home with his daughter and the box of jewels and smart clothes, his wife was open-mouthed with amazement and pumped her stepdaughter about who gave her such an expensive gift. As she heard of Morozko, she dressed her daughter Marfa in a warm fur-coat, gave her a bag with cakes and told her husband to carry her into the forest. "She will bring two such chests," said the old woman in firm belief.

The old man did as he was told. Marfa was standing and asking, "Where did this old Morozko got lost, why doesn’t he come to me?" She became to shiver. And when she was really cold, in spite of her warm clothes, Morozko appeared and asked, "Are you warm, my sweetheart?" "Are you blind?" she shouted. "Can’t you see that my hands and feet grew numb with cold? Curse you, miserable old man!" "Why have you come to me in such a severe cold?" asked Morozko. "For gifts," she replied. "Show me first, what a good hand you are." He gave her knitting needles and a woolen clew and went away. "Have you ever heard of such a thing? I don’t want to get my fingers frostbitten," she grew indignant.

The next morning the old woman woke her husband and told him to bring back her daughter, adding, "Be careful with the boxes of jewels." After a time the gate to the yard creaked, and the old woman ran outside. To her horror on the sleigh she saw the cold body of her daughter frozen by angry Morozko.

Later, Nastenka married a neighbor, who was a blacksmith. They had many children and lived happily. And they, their children and their grandchildren always remembered of Morozko and respected him.

Reference

Morozko

Collected and edited by