The Snow Maiden (Snowmaiden)
"Snegurochka." A Russian fairy tale.
A long time ago in the forests of Russia there lived a peasant by the name of Ivan with his
wife, Maria. Although they loved each other very much and had many friends, they were unhappy because
they had no children.
One winter day, they watched the village children build a snowman. "Let's build a snowman, too!," said
Ivan. And they proceeded to craft a pretty little maiden out of snow. Struck with their creation, Ivan said,
"Little snowmaiden, speak to me." Maria exclaimed, "Yes, come to life so you can romp and play like the
other children!" Before their very eyes, Snegurochka became a real girl. "I have come from the land of
winter, ice and snow," said the little girl. She ran and hugged them.
There was joyous singing, dancing and
celebrating in the village that night. All that long Russian winter Snegurochka romped and played with the
other children. Everyone loved her. She, Ivan and Maria were very happy.
Then one day, when the first signs of spring appeared, Snegurochka came to Ivan and Maria, and with
tear-filled eyes told them that she must go away, up North to the land of snow. They begged her to stay.
Upset, Ivan jumped up and shut the door to the hut so the snowmaiden couldn't leave, and Maria hugged her
tight. But as she held the little girl, the child melted away. Ivan and Maria wept bitterly.
All spring and summer they were lonely. Summer turned into fall and fall into winter and once
again it was cold and icy outside. One night a familiar voice was heard. "Mother! Father! Open
the door! The snow has brought me back once more!" Ivan threw open the door and Snegurochka ran into
their arms. All that winter she lived with them and played with the other village children. But in the spring
she had to go back North, whence she had come. This time Ivan and Maria did not weep, knowing she
would return once more when winter appeared on the land. And so it was
that the snowmaiden brought warmth and joy to
Ivan and Maria during the long, cold, Russian winter for many, many, many years.