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“ To the children of America, we wish peace, friendship and very nice stories”  - Ksenya Chikhova, age 12
 
Russian Fairytales 1975-2005 Nothing gives us a finer example of the rich culture and genius of the Russian people than th...
At the Pike’s Command The Story… Lazy brother Emelya was left home to do tasks for his brothers’ wives. When he fetched wa...
Katya Fingerova, age 11 (1993)
Lena Salaeva, age 7 (1992)
Lisa Greshkova,  age 12 (2000)
Anastasia Baklazhko, age 13 (2002)
Baba-Yaga and the Swan-Geese The Story… When the old man and his wife went to work, the little girl had the care of her li...
Maxim Nestreuv, age 13 (1995)
Olga Dobish, age 13 (1995)
Evgenia Fisher, age 14 (1995)
Vavara Shchelkunova, age 13 (1995)
Ivan Kofanov, age 13 (1995)
Castle of the Fly The Story… A fly built a tall and mighty castle, which impressed all the insects and forest animals. Eve...
Natalia Veselova, age 13 (1998)
Cat and Fox Artist Statement… My illustration was made on the theme of a Russian fairy tale Cat and Fox. It tells about Ca...
Olga Bobyleva, age 14 (2005)
Cat, Fox and Little Cock The Story… Once there was an old man who lived with a cat and a cock. Every day the old man would...
Nadya Savina, age 11 (1991)
Clever Fox The Story… One day our Fox and Jackal walked down the road together until they came to a piece of meat by the s...
Andreii Lyovshin, age 9 (2000)
Elena Polunina, age 14 (2000)
Crane and Heron The Story… Once upon a time a crane and a heron lived in a bog; they had little huts, one at each end of i...
Olga, age 13 (2000)
Dragon Gorynych & Beautiful Vasilisa The Story… A dragon appeared near Kiev; he took heavy tribute from the people—a lovel...
Titania Kuleshova, age 11 (1998)
Nastya Samakhvalova, age 12 (1998)
Vitali Kiikov, age 9 (1998)
Ksenia Kalinina, age 14 (1998)
Katya Ponomoreva, age 13 (1998)
Fenist the Bright Falcon Artist Statement… I liked to read Russian tales long before I went to school and knew quite a lot...
Oksana Yamshchinkova, age 14 (2000)
Fox and Crane The Story… Fox and Crane used to be good friends; they even stood godparents for the same child. Fox wanted ...
Nikolai Abakumov, age 15 (2000)
Tanya Makarishcheva, age 11 (2000)
Victoria Fokina, age 12 (2000)
Irena Kurochkina, age 13 (2000)
Frog Princess The Story… Long ago, in ancient times, there was a tsar who had three sons. The tsar said: “My children, let...
Ksenia Kalinina, age 14 (2000)
Valera Baranova, age 5 (2000)
Frost, Sun and Wind Artist Statement… The plot of the drawing refers to the Russian fairy tale Frost, Sun and Wind. It has...
Ekaterina Porfenova, age 16 (2000)
Golden Cockerel & the  Magic Melenka The Story… Once there was an old man and an old woman who would go in to the forest e...
Maria Bogdanova, age 14 (1998)
Evgenia Ushakova, age 13 (2000)
Goldfish The Story… An old man and his wife lived in a crooked old hut along the shores of the Caspian Sea. Every day they...
Victoria Martynova, age 13 (2000)
Little Humpbacked Horse Artist Statement… This long humorous poem is a favorite among all Russian children. The Humpbacked...
Irena Rachikina, age 16 (1975)
Ilya Muromets Artist Statement… When I was 3 years old, my Mother often read me fairy-tales. One day she read a bylina abo...
Margarita Smirnova, age 14 (1995)
Kolobok The Story… On baking day, the little old woman placed her cookies on the window ledge to cool. Little Kolobok jump...
Anya Grishaeva, age 11 (2000)
Tania Dneprovskaya, age 5 (2000)
Lisa Razuvaeva, age 6 (2000)
Little Turnip The Story… A shoemaker and his wife planted a turnip. The time came to pick it. He took hold of it and pulle...
Olga Isaeva, age 6 (2000)
Masha and Bear The Story… When Masha was lost in the woods, she happened onto Bear’s house and he kept her there. One day ...
Masha Kozlova, age 5 (2000)
Peasant and Bear The Story… When the Peasant met the ferocious Bear in the forest, he offered to give Bear the nice leafy ...
Vladimir Frolov, age 13 (2000)
Prince Ivan, Firebird & Gray Wolf The Story… Once upon a time there lived a tsar who had three sons. The youngest was call...
Artist Note - The evil sorcerer, Kaschei the Immortal, returned again in this story and turned the beautiful maiden, Maryu...
Yulia Evdokimova, age 14 (2000)
Ksenia Chikhova, age 12 (2000)
Princess Who Never Smiled The Story… In a royal palace, in a princely castle, in a turret high up in the air there lived t...
Yulia Vinichenko, age 12 (2000)
Sadko The Story… Sadko, the gusli player, (an old stringed instrument that is played like a dulcimer) was known as the Nig...
Alyona Diachkova, age 5 (2000)
Sister Alionushka, Brother Ivanushka The Story… The young sister and brother were left alone to wander the world when thei...
Artist Statement  - This is my painting of the Russian fairy tale Sister Alionushka, Brother Ivanushka. I want to do good ...
Speckled Hen and the  Golden Egg The Story… In grandmother’s yard lived a speckled hen. She laid an egg one day; The egg r...
Elena Gerzikova, age 10 (2000)
Elena Gerzikova, age 10 (2000)
Polina Nosova, age 11 (2000)
Alla Roerich, age 14 (2000)
Swan-Geese The Story… When the old man and his wife went to work, the little girl had the care of her little brother. She ...
Maria Sheremetaeva, age 13 (2000)
Mari Bogoslovskaya, age 12 (2000)
Natalia Virs, age 11 (2000)
Elena Mazurova, age 13 (2000)
Kira Kozlova, age 12 (2000)
Polina Shatalova, age 5 (2000)
Tsar Saltan The Story… Long ago in a faraway kingdom three maidens were sitting under a window talking about what they wou...
Alena Kuzmichova, age 12 (2000)
Arkady Gurin, age 12 (1992)
Masha Arkhipova, age 6 (2000)
Twelve Months The Story… This is a tale about a little girl whose kindness and love for her father save her life. One day ...
Mikhail Khovrenko, age 10 (1995)
Wee Little Havroshechka The Story… Little Havroshechka was an orphan who had the misfortune to fall in with bad people. Th...
Nastia Pleshenko, age 11 (1998)
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A Collection of Folk Art by Russian Children

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*Children's Art From the "Land of the Firebird"*

This collection of artworks by Russian children, ages 5-15, was inspired by their national fairy tales and folk tales. The forest animals and 'tricksters' that live across the pages of their folk tales add vitality, inventiveness and humor to their art. The ubiquitous "Clever Fox" in Russian tales is a stand-in for "Br'er Fox" in American stories like "Tales of Uncle Remus". The stories and legends carry children off to a magic world with real life situations that usually turn out well: evil is punished and good deeds are rewarded. The folk tales and legends of all cultures are bound together by common threads of morality and values that are passed through the generations to children all over the world.

These artworks have been exhibited in over 50 locations in New York and beyond - public libraries, schools, children's hospitals, city halls and art museums. Over 300 artworks in the collection were sold at silent auctions, beginning in 1993, and proceeds were returned to their schools in Russia. American children also have sent artworks to Russia since mid-1900s. A large collection of these works is stored in Moscow.

Publicado en: Educación

A Collection of Folk Art by Russian Children

  1. 1. “ To the children of America, we wish peace, friendship and very nice stories” - Ksenya Chikhova, age 12
  2. 3. Russian Fairytales 1975-2005 Nothing gives us a finer example of the rich culture and genius of the Russian people than their fairy tales; they are so full of charm, life, hope and lessons for all age groups. For centuries tsars and peasants alike were entertained by storytellers' magic tales from 'way beyond thrice nine lands and thrice ten kingdoms.' Russians learned their history from these epic tales and songs that traveled from village to village and from generation to generation. In 1554 Ivan the Terrible, a popular leader and hero of Russian folk legends, brought the first printing press to Russia. Ten years later, he produced a monumental encyclopedia that preserved all known Russian history and folklore. Ivan was a great lover of fairy tales and would fall asleep at night listening to the tales of 3 blind storytellers. We know that the grandfather of Russia's leading writer, Leo Tolstoy, hired an old storyteller to live with the family because of his knowledge and masterly rendition of Russian folklore. Lewis Carroll calls fairy tales "love gifts" to children because they give hope, they reassure, and they offer a safe place to explore one's own fears and learn from real life situations that most often turn out well. The stories stimulate children's imagination and expand that imagination in ways that may not be easily discovered by children on their own. - Laura Chodos, Curator
  3. 4. At the Pike’s Command The Story… Lazy brother Emelya was left home to do tasks for his brothers’ wives. When he fetched water in the river, he caught a pike that promised Emelya three wishes if he tossed him back in the river. Emelya asked for water for his pails and returned home with pails filled to the brim. Then lazy Emelya took a nap on the stove. Soon he was ordered by the wives to cut wood for a fire. In the blink of an eye Pike’s magic axe cut down and stacked piles of wood and even made a stick to hit villagers along the road if they tried to steal any of the cut wood. The villagers complained to the tsar about Emelya’s mean ways and he was promptly summoned to the palace. Off he went, flying through the sky on his stove to the palace. The tsar’s beautiful daughter fell in love with Emelya as soon as she saw him and they got married right away. The tsar was so angry with them that he tossed both of them into sea in a barrel—to disappear forever! Emelya used his last wish and asked Pike to save them and build a fine castle for them next to the tsar. The tsar was so impressed by the castle that he invited the new neighbors to his place. Imagine his surprise to see Emelya and his own daughter again! They made friends and lived side by side for many happy years.
  4. 5. Katya Fingerova, age 11 (1993)
  5. 6. Lena Salaeva, age 7 (1992)
  6. 7. Lisa Greshkova, age 12 (2000)
  7. 8. Anastasia Baklazhko, age 13 (2002)
  8. 9. Baba-Yaga and the Swan-Geese The Story… When the old man and his wife went to work, the little girl had the care of her little brother. She left him alone one day when she skipped off to the forest to play. Sad to say, a flock of geese swooped down and carried little brother away. The little girl looked everywhere; she looked under this and that; she called out his name in the forest, but little brother did not answer. She saw the swan-geese in the sky beyond the dark forest and knew immediately what had happened! They were wicked birds that stole children for Baba-Yaga who lived deep in the forest in a hut that spun around on chicken legs. The little girl ran around the forest asking everyone she met if her brother passed there. She asked her forest friends—Oven, Apple Tree and Milk River—if they knew which way the swan-geese had flown. No help there. She ran and ran until she came to the witch’s hut which was now spinning wildly around and around on its chicken legs. There sat the wicked Baba-Yaga spinning her flax and there on a bench sat little brother playing with silver apples. “ Good evening, Granny.” “Good evening, little girl, what brings you here?” The little girl told the old witch that she needed to dry her clothes because they were soaked from the morning dew. “Sit down here by the fire and spin some of my flax,” said the witch, and she chuckled as she left to go light her oven! A little mouse in the corner warned the little girl that the witch was preparing the oven to roast her brother and her. The mouse kindly offered to spin the flax and answer the witch when she called. The little girl thanked the mouse and took off for home through the forest with little brother. When the wicked witch saw that the children were missing, she screamed and screamed for the swan-geese and ordered them to find the children and bring them back. Fortunately for the little girl and her brother, the forest friends—Oven, Apple Tree and Milk River—hid them whenever the swan-geese were overhead. Many times the swan-geese would fly by, honking and swooping down for a better look around the forest, but eventually they returned to Baba-Yaga with nothing. A happy little girl thanked her forest friends and arrived back home just in time to welcome the parents as they returned from their day of work.
  9. 10. Maxim Nestreuv, age 13 (1995)
  10. 11. Olga Dobish, age 13 (1995)
  11. 12. Evgenia Fisher, age 14 (1995)
  12. 13. Vavara Shchelkunova, age 13 (1995)
  13. 14. Ivan Kofanov, age 13 (1995)
  14. 15. Castle of the Fly The Story… A fly built a tall and mighty castle, which impressed all the insects and forest animals. Every time a visitor came to the castle door and asked, “Who is in the castle?” the visitor was always invited in. When each new visitor asked the question “Who is in the castle?” the answer grew longer and longer and l-o-n-g-e-r. Finally, Bear Thicklegs knocked on the castle door and called out, “Who is in the castle?” The answer came, “I, I, Languishing Fly, and I, Crawling Louse, and I, Leaping Flea, and I, Mischievous Mosquito, and I, Murmuring Mouse, and I, Wriggly Lizard, and I, Patricia Fox, and I, Highjump the Hare, and I, Wolf Graytail. And who are you?” “I’m Rumbling Thunder! I’ll tumble you under. I’m Bear Thicklegs!” And he laid his paw on the castle and smashed it.
  15. 16. Natalia Veselova, age 13 (1998)
  16. 17. Cat and Fox Artist Statement… My illustration was made on the theme of a Russian fairy tale Cat and Fox. It tells about Cat who was driven out of the house by his master and was left in the forest. Cat came to feel at home in the forest. One day he met Fox. Fox had never seen a cat before in her entire life and believed Cat when he introduced himself as a voevoda who was sent from a neighboring forest. Cat and Fox got married. My painting illustrates the moment when they are sitting in Fox’s hut and drinking tea. Note: A voevoda was a military governor in Old Russia from the 16th to the end of 18th century.
  17. 18. Olga Bobyleva, age 14 (2005)
  18. 19. Cat, Fox and Little Cock The Story… Once there was an old man who lived with a cat and a cock. Every day the old man would go to work in the woods, and every day Cat would take food to him while Cock stayed at home to watch over the house. Fox came by to sit under the window and sing, “Cock-a-doodle-do, little Cock, Golden-crest! Look out the window and I’ll give you a pea.” Curious Cock opened the window and poked his head out to see who was singing. He was snatched by Fox and carried off for a delicious dinner. Little Cock cried out, “Fox is carrying me away, beyond the dark forest, into distant lands. Cat Cotonaevich, rescue me!” Cat could hear little Cock’s voice out in the fields and rushed after Fox, overtook him and brought little Cock back home. “Now mind us, Petya,” said Cat to Cock, “don’t look out the window again and don’t ever trust Fox; he’ll eat you up, bones and all!” Once again the old man went to work in the woods and Cat left to take food to him. Before leaving, the old man told little Cock to watch the house and meant it when he said, “Do not look out the window.” But the old fox wanted very badly to eat little cock so he sat under the window of the hut and began to sing, “ Cock-a-doodle-do, little Cock! Look out the window and I’ll give you a pea—I’ll give you seeds too.” And Fox tossed a pea onto the window ledge. Little Cock ate the pea and said, “Old Fox, you cannot fool me. You want to eat me, bones and all.” “Don’t say such things, little Petya. I just want you to come over and see my house and take a walk around my land. I have no idea of eating you.” Again Fox sang, “Cock-a-doodle-do! I gave you a pea, I’ll give you seeds too.” Little Cock looked out the window to see the seeds and was snatched again by Fox and carried off. Fortunately for little cock, Cat was not too far off and heard his cries. Straight-a-way Cat rushed after Fox and rescued little Cock. “Didn’t I tell you not to open the window, not to poke out your head out for Fox would eat you, bones and all? Listen now and heed my words, for tomorrow we shall be even farther away in the fields. We will never hear your call for help!” Again the old man went to work and again Cat went to bring him his food. The sly fox stole under the window and began to sing the same song; he sang the song three times but little Cock was silent. Fox said, “What is the matter, Petya. Have you become dumb?” “No, old Fox, you cannot fool me. I will not look out the window.” This time the fox cast several grains of wheat and another pea at the window pane and again sang, “Cock-a-doodle-do, little Cock, Golden-crest, butter head, look out the window! I have a big mansion: In every corner there is a measure of wheat for you to eat all you want!” Then Fox added, “ Petya, I also have a collection of curios I want you to see. Don’t believe that suspicious old cat. If I wanted to eat you, I would have done so long ago. The truth is that I like you. I want to show you the world, to develop your mind, to teach you how to live! Now, come on and show yourself. I’ll go behind the corner.” And, the sly fox crouched down and out of sight directly under the window. Little Cock perched himself up on the window frame to look out and about for Fox. When he didn’t see Fox anywhere around, he poked his head out the window just to make sure that Fox did go behind the corner. You know the rest of the story. Fox carried little Cock off to a fir grove and ate him, bones and all. His little tail feathers floated away with the wind. All his cries were in vain for the cat and the old man were far off in the fields and could not hear the rescue call. How sad. What a foolish little Cock. All we have now is a feather!
  19. 20. Nadya Savina, age 11 (1991)
  20. 21. Clever Fox The Story… One day our Fox and Jackal walked down the road together until they came to a piece of meat by the side of the road. “Please have the first bite,” said Jackal, but Fox was not hungry. Just as Jackal bit off some of the meat, a trap snapped shut on his head, and Fox sat there and ate all the meat before the jackal’s eyes. As he swished his tail to go off into the woods, Fox said, “Now, my friend, you will have to be the hungry one.” Jackal thrashed about until he freed himself from the trap. “Just wait! I’ll teach Fox a lesson,” he said, and he did. One day while cutting down trees with his axe, Jackal caught sight of Fox nearby and threw his axe at him. Off went the fox’s tail! As if that was not punishment enough, all the forest animals laughed so much to see a fox with no tail that Fox ran away to live as a hermit. But, my friends, he continued to play his old tricks. Fox was outside his hut in the woods when he saw a peasant driving a sled of fish down the road. Fox decided to pretend that he was dead by the side of the road. “Perhaps I can steal some fish as the cart passes,” said the sly fox. When the peasant rode by, he saw the dead fox and thought, “ My wife would love a fur coat from this handsome red fox.” So the peasant tossed the fox on top of the pile of fish in the wagon and drove toward home. Fox had other ideas; one by one he tossed the fish by the side of the road until the sled was empty, and then he hopped off and collected all the fish for a grand feast. Dozens and dozens of foxes gathered for the feast, but Fox told them to go fish for their own food. “All you do is cut a hole in the ice, drop your tails and wag them about in the water. You will catch all the fish you can eat. That’s what I did. Now go.” The foxes sat on the ice with their tails in the water throughout the night but not one single fish was caught. By morning their tails were frozen solid in the ice. When all the village men came by to fish the next morning, the terrified foxes tore away and left their tails behind in the ice. That winter all the villagers were cozy and warm in their handsome red fox hats. You can be sure that Clever Fox continued to play tricks until he played one too many and got bopped in the head. Then he was really dead.
  21. 22. Andreii Lyovshin, age 9 (2000)
  22. 23. Elena Polunina, age 14 (2000)
  23. 24. Crane and Heron The Story… Once upon a time a crane and a heron lived in a bog; they had little huts, one at each end of it. Crane grew weary of living alone and decided to marry: “I will go woo Heron!” Crane set out—flap, flap!—and he flapped over the bog for seven versts. Finally, he arrived and asked: “Is Heron at home?” “She is.” “Heron, be my wife.” “No, Crane, I will not be your wife; your legs are too long, your clothes are too short, your flying is poor, and you cannot support me. Go away, you spindleshanks!” Crane returned home with a long face. Later Heron changed her mind and thought to herself, "Why should I live alone? It would be better to marry Crane!” She came to him and said, “Crane, take me to wife.” “No, Heron, I don’t need you. I don’t want to get married and I won’t take you to wife. Get out!” Heron wept for shame at her boldness and went home. Crane changed his mind and thought to himself, “I was wrong not to marry Heron; it is wearisome to live alone. I will go now and take her to wife.” He came and said, “Heron, I have decided to marry you; be my wife.” “No, Crane, I won’t be your wife!” Then Heron changed her mind, so she came to propose, and this time Crane refused. And to this very day they go to each other to propose, but never get married.
  24. 25. Olga, age 13 (2000)
  25. 26. Dragon Gorynych & Beautiful Vasilisa The Story… A dragon appeared near Kiev; he took heavy tribute from the people—a lovely maiden from every house, whom he then devoured. Finally, it was the fate of the tsar’s daughter, Vasilisa the Beautiful, to go to Dragon. He seized her and dragged her to his lair, but he didn’t devour her because she was a beauty. Instead he took her as his wife. Whenever he went out, he boarded up his house to prevent the princess from escaping. The princess had a little dog that followed her to Dragon’s lair. The princess often wrote to her father and mother. She would attach her letter to the dog’s neck and the dog would take it to them and even bring back the answer. One day the tsar and tsaritza wrote their daughter, asking her to find out who in this world was stronger than Dragon. The princess decided to be kinder and friendlier to Dragon and asked many questions. For a long time the dragon didn’t answer, but one day he inadvertently said that a tanner in Kiev named Nikita was stronger than he. When the princess heard this, she wrote her father to find Nikita and to send him to deliver her from captivity. Upon receiving this letter, the tsar went in person to beg Nikita the Tanner to free his land from the wicked dragon and rescue the princess. At that moment, Nikita was currying hides and held 12 hides in his hands; when he saw that the tsar in person had come to see him, he began to tremble with fear, his hands shook, and he tore the twelve hides. But no matter how much the tsar and tsaritza entreated him, he refused to go forth against Dragon. So they gathered together five thousand little children and sent them to implore him, hoping that their tears would move him to pity. The little children begged Nikita with tears in their eyes to go fight Dragon. Nikita himself began to shed tears when he saw that the children were crying. He took twelve thousand pounds of hemp, tarred it with pitch, and wound it around himself so that Dragon could not devour him, then went forth to do battle. Nikita went to Dragon’s lair but the dragon locked himself in. “Better come out into the open field,” said Nikita, “or I will destroy your lair together with you!” And he began to break down the door. Dragon, seeing that he could not avoid trouble, went out to fight in the open field. Nikita fought him for a long time or a short time; in any event he defeated him. Then Dragon began to implore Nikita: “Do not put me to death, Nikita the Tanner, no one in the world is stronger than you and I. Let us divide the world into equal parts; you shall live in one half, I in the other.” “Very well,” said Nikita, “let us draw a boundary line.” He made a plow that weighed 12,000 pounds, harnessed the dragon to it, and Dragon began to plow the boundary from Kiev; he plowed a furrow from Kiev to the Caspian Sea. “Now,” said Dragon, “we have divided the whole earth.” “We have divided the earth,” said Nikita, “now let us divide the sea, else you will say that your water has been taken.” Dragon crawled to the middle of the sea; Nikita killed him and drowned him in the sea. The furrow can be seen to this very day; it is fourteen feet high. Around it the fields are plowed, but the furrow is intact; and those who do not know what it is call it the rampart. Nikita, having done his heroic deed, would not accept any reward and, instead, continued to curry his hides. The story ends happily for Vasilisa the Beautiful who returned to her family and lived a long and happy life with many more exciting adventures.
  26. 27. Titania Kuleshova, age 11 (1998)
  27. 28. Nastya Samakhvalova, age 12 (1998)
  28. 29. Vitali Kiikov, age 9 (1998)
  29. 30. Ksenia Kalinina, age 14 (1998)
  30. 31. Katya Ponomoreva, age 13 (1998)
  31. 32. Fenist the Bright Falcon Artist Statement… I liked to read Russian tales long before I went to school and knew quite a lot of Russian folklore. Being asked to draw something related to the Russian popular wisdom, I thought of Fenist the Bright Falcon. I used batik to render the theme, as I greatly enjoy working in this technique. When I start printing designs on fabric, I become absorbed in the way the paints move, the way they are transformed and acquire new and strange shape. I am so interested in what happens when you mix the seemingly incompatible colors, and what would become of the picture when the final touches are made. To my mind, batik is a very unpredictable and entertaining type of decorative and applied art.
  32. 33. Oksana Yamshchinkova, age 14 (2000)
  33. 34. Fox and Crane The Story… Fox and Crane used to be good friends; they even stood godparents for the same child. Fox wanted to treat Crane to dinner and invited him to her house. “Come to see me and gossip! Come, my dear, you’ll see how nicely I’ll entertain you!” So Crane came to her house. Meantime Fox had cooked gruel and spread it over a dish. She served it and urged her guest, “Eat, my darling, I cooked it myself.” Crane pecked with his bill, knocked and knocked at the dish, but nothing got into his mouth, while Fox lapped and lapped the gruel until she had eaten it all. After the gruel was gone, Fox said, “I’m sorry, dear friend, but that’s all I have to offer you.” “Thank you, my friend, for what you have given me. You must come to visit me soon.” The next day Fox went to Crane’s house. Crane had made a soup and put it in a pitcher with a narrow neck. He placed it on the table and said, “Eat, my friend, that’s all I have to offer you.” Fox began to trot around the pitcher, she approached it from one side, then from another, she licked it and smelled it, but all to no avail. Her snout could not get into the pitcher. Meanwhile Crane sucked and sucked until he had drunk all the soup. “I’m sorry, my friend, that’s all I have to offer you.” Fox was greatly vexed; for she had thought she would eat for a whole week, and now she had to go home with a long face and an empty stomach. It was tit for tat, but their silly tricks on each other did not harm their friendship.
  34. 35. Nikolai Abakumov, age 15 (2000)
  35. 36. Tanya Makarishcheva, age 11 (2000)
  36. 37. Victoria Fokina, age 12 (2000)
  37. 38. Irena Kurochkina, age 13 (2000)
  38. 39. Frog Princess The Story… Long ago, in ancient times, there was a tsar who had three sons. The tsar said: “My children, let each of you make a bow for himself and shoot an arrow. She who brings back your arrow will be your bride.” The eldest son shot his arrow, and a prince’s daughter brought it back to him. The middle son shot his arrow, and a general’s daughter brought it back to him. But little Prince Ivan’s arrow was brought back from the marsh by a frog that held it between her teeth. His brothers were joyous and happy, but Prince Ivan became thoughtful and wept: “How will I live with a frog?” He wept and wept, but there was no way out of it, so he took Frog to wife. One day the tsar asked that all three brides make him gifts. Prince Ivan again became thoughtful and wept. When he fell asleep, Frog went out into the street, cast off her skin, turned into a beautiful princess named Vasilisa, and her nurses brought her a finely woven shirt. The tsar received it and said that he’ll wear the shirt on holidays. His other sons’ shirts were fit to be worn only in a lowly peasant hut. Then the tsar asked his daughters-in-law to bake bread. Prince Ivan fell asleep again and when he awoke he took the bread and went with it to his father. Just then the tsar was examining the loaves of bread brought by his elder sons. He ordered to send them back to the kitchen. Then came Prince Ivan’s turn, and the father said it was good enough for a holiday. After that the tsar decided to hold a ball in order to see which of his daughters-in-law danced best. Our Prince Ivan began to sob. Frog said to him to go to the ball alone and she would join him in an hour. Prince Ivan left for the ball, and Frog cast off her skin, became beautiful Princess Vasilisa and dressed herself in marvelous raiment. She came to the ball and Prince Ivan was overjoyed. The guests began to eat and drink; the Princess would pick a bone and put it in her sleeve; she would drink a cup and pour the last drops into her other sleeve. The wives of the elder brothers saw what she did and they did the same. Then the guests began to dance. The Princess waved her right hand, and lakes and woods appeared; she waved her left hand, and various birds began to fly about. Then the other daughters-in-law wanted to do the same: they waved their right hands, and the bones flew straight at the guests; and from their left sleeves water spattered, that too on the guests. The ball was over. Prince Ivan went home first, found his wife’s skin and burned it. Princess Vasilisa said to him: “What you’ve done, Ivan!” She turned into a little dove and flew away to Koshchei the Immortal’s kingdom. A year went by, and Prince Ivan went to seek his wife beyond the thrice ninth land, in the thrice tenth kingdom. He finally found Koshchei the Immortal, defeated him and rescued his wife. The happy bride and groom came home: everyone rejoiced, and soon Ivan and Vasilisa the Beautiful began to live and prosper, for the glory of all the people.
  39. 40. Ksenia Kalinina, age 14 (2000)
  40. 41. Valera Baranova, age 5 (2000)
  41. 42. Frost, Sun and Wind Artist Statement… The plot of the drawing refers to the Russian fairy tale Frost, Sun and Wind. It has a short and clear meaning. An old man and three younger men met in the road. The old man bowed respectfully and went further on. The three strangers were Frost, Sun and Wind. They began speculating who the old man wanted to honor. They decided to follow him and ask. This very moment I depicted in my work. They found out that the special bow was made for Wind alone, because ‘it is a known fact that frost is not frost when there is no wind blowing.' I aimed at depicting the nature of every character, that’s why Sun has red hair sticking out and the beard. And the character himself is rosy and cheerful. Frost is wearing a very long sheepskin coat and is surrounded by snow. He has a stick in his hand that can turn everything into ice, and he has icicles on his beard. Wind is usually dressed according to a country fashion. As he breathes out, the whirlpool of foliage appears.
  42. 43. Ekaterina Porfenova, age 16 (2000)
  43. 44. Golden Cockerel & the Magic Melenka The Story… Once there was an old man and an old woman who would go in to the forest every day to find food to keep them alive. For the most part they lived on peas for they had no money to buy grains for bread. That was it, peas from the trees day after day! One day, a pea slipped off the lap of the old woman and fell into a little hole in the dirt floor. In no time a green shoot began to grow—and grow. The old man decided to cut a hole in the roof so that the green shoot could have sunlight to grow big and bear peas. Just think! The old man and the old woman would never have to search for food in the forest again. Well, the green shoot did grow beyond the roof and up, up, high into the sky. The old man had to climb up the tall tree to fetch the peas, which, of course, grew at the very top of the tree. He found his peas and he found a golden cockerel and a golden melenka nearby. [Melenka is a Russian word referring to a hand mill that is used to grind grains and other foods]. The old man grabbed the peas, Golden Cockerel and the melenka, and started down and back into his little hut. As luck would have it, the melenka was magic and cranked out pancakes and pies. Yes, pancakes every day, and pie every day too. The old man and the old woman were as happy and as content as could be. When a tsar came by one fine day in his carriage to seek a meal, the old man and the old woman were honored to make a feast for him of pancakes and pie. The food was so wonderful that the tsar wanted to buy the magic melenka right there on the spot. When the old couple would not sell their magic melenka, the tsar stole it from them and went back to his palace. Golden Cockerel flew after the tsar. He perched himself on the gatepost of the palace and called out to the tsar, “Cock-a-doodle-do! Give us back our golden melenka.” The tsar gave orders to his servants to throw the cockerel into the well, and they did. The smart little cockerel drank up all the water and returned to the tsar’s gatepost to repeat his plea, “Cock-a-doodle-do, give us back the golden melenka.” This time the tsar gave orders to his servants to throw the cockerel into the fire in the stove, and they did. The clever cockerel just belched out all the water he had swallowed after he had been thrown into the well, and he quenched the fire. Then he took wing and followed the tsar directly into the palace banquet hall. And right there, before all the guests, Golden Cockerel called out again, only this time his words were much, much louder! The guests were so startled that they ran away from the banquet, with the tsar running close behind them and pleading with them to return to the table. The rest of the tale is simple. Golden Cockerel snatched the magic melenka and flew back to the old man and the old woman. To this day the magic melenka is cranking out pancakes and pies somewhere in a forest in Russia. Note: Alexander Pushkin adapted this from a story by an American writer, Washington Irving.
  44. 45. Maria Bogdanova, age 14 (1998)
  45. 46. Evgenia Ushakova, age 13 (2000)
  46. 47. Goldfish The Story… An old man and his wife lived in a crooked old hut along the shores of the Caspian Sea. Every day they ate fish that the old man would catch in his net. One day he pulled in a very heavy load but there was only one fish in the net. This was no ordinary fish, in any manner of speaking, but a goldfish. “Please don’t take me, old man. Let me go back to the blue sea and I’ll return your kindness by granting whatever you wish.” The old man thought for a while and then said, “I don’t need anything from you. Here, go back to the sea.” When the old man returned to the hut and told the wife, she screamed, “At least you could have asked for some bread, for we have nothing to eat!” The old man returned to the blue sea and called out, “Goldfish, Goldfish, stand with your tail to the sea and your head to me.” He told Goldfish of his need for bread, and Goldfish said, ”Go home and find lots and lots of bread.” And he did. Well, that was not the end. The wife, of course, would not be satisfied for long and told the old man ask for a beautiful house. When he returned home, the wife was sitting on a throne in a magnificent palace, dressed in fine brocade. Servants were tending her and bringing her sweets and amusements. But this restless and greedy woman wanted yet more! For now, you see, she was no longer satisfied having just wealth with no position in society, so she asked for the title of Governor and ordered her old husband to be banned from the palace to live in the barns as a sweeper. The poor old man now knew that he had a witch for a wife! So did Goldfish! Before too long, the wife was bored being Governor and demanded the title “Ruler of the Sea.” Well, that did it! When the old man returned to the sea to ask for this great power, Goldfish dove down into the blue sea and did not answer the old man. With a sad heart he returned home and saw his old crooked house standing at the same spot as before and the wife was sitting at the empty table as before. The old man heaved a big sigh of relief, took his fishing net and went to catch some fish for dinner. Goldfish was never seen again.
  47. 48. Victoria Martynova, age 13 (2000)
  48. 49. Little Humpbacked Horse Artist Statement… This long humorous poem is a favorite among all Russian children. The Humpbacked Horse (konek-gorbunok) is known as the Golden-Maned Steed in Russian fairy tales. The dear little horse helps Ivan, a peasant’s son, carry out many unreasonable demands of the tsar. Ivan completes all of the tasks. He gets the beautiful magic firebird for the tsar, keeps the Golden-Maned Steed and carries Elena home on it with him. The princess and the peasant’s son live happily together in the castle for many years after. Censors banned the story for over 30 years in the mid-19th century because it made the tsar appear foolish. It is meant to be a satire on the absurdities of Russian feudal life at the time. The story is similar to another wonderful tale about another Ivan, son of the tsar. It is my favorite Russian fairy tale. Note - Pyotr Ershov wrote this poem in 1834 at the age of 19.
  49. 50. Irena Rachikina, age 16 (1975)
  50. 51. Ilya Muromets Artist Statement… When I was 3 years old, my Mother often read me fairy-tales. One day she read a bylina about the brave warrior in armor, mounted on a horse, and the beautiful maiden. I very well memorized an episode when Ilya Muromets smiled at the maiden and asked her to give him some water. Now I’ve grown and turned 13 and somehow remembered the moment from my far away childhood when Mother was reading me Russian tales. Note - Ilya Muromets, a peasant’s son, was a leading valiant knight in Prince Vladimir’s retinue. Prince Vladimir brought Christianity to Russia at the end of the 10th century. A bylina is an heroic epic song.
  51. 52. Margarita Smirnova, age 14 (1995)
  52. 53. Kolobok The Story… On baking day, the little old woman placed her cookies on the window ledge to cool. Little Kolobok jumped off the window ledge and rolled away through the forest. Kolobok met many strangers along the way, but he just kept rolling along and singing a happy tune. He felt so good. The sun shone brightly and the sky was blue. It was a great day to be alive. Kolobok rolled into a fox that was out strolling in the sunshine. Fox said, “Dear little Kolobok, I cannot quite hear you. Will you kindly sit on my nose and sing your lovely song?” And Kolobok did. It wasn’t long before Clever Fox tossed his head in the air, opened his jaw, popped little Kolobok in his mouth and ate him up! Note - Kolobok is like the story of “The Gingerbread Boy.” Kolobok is also called “round loaf’” or “little doughnut.”
  53. 54. Anya Grishaeva, age 11 (2000)
  54. 55. Tania Dneprovskaya, age 5 (2000)
  55. 56. Lisa Razuvaeva, age 6 (2000)
  56. 57. Little Turnip The Story… A shoemaker and his wife planted a turnip. The time came to pick it. He took hold of it and pulled and pulled, but he couldn’t pull it out. Grandpa called grandma; grandma pulled grandpa, and grandpa pulled the turnip. They pulled and pulled, but they couldn’t pull it out. Then their granddaughter came; she pulled grandma, grandma pulled grandpa, grandpa pulled the turnip; they pulled and they pulled, but they couldn’t pull it out. Then the puppy came; he pulled the granddaughter, she pulled grandma, grandma pulled grandpa, grandpa pulled the turnip; they pulled and they pulled, but they couldn’t pull it out. Then a beetle came; the beetle pulled the puppy, the puppy pulled the granddaughter, she pulled grandma, grandma pulled grandpa, grandpa pulled the turnip; they pulled and they pulled, but they couldn’t pull it out. Then came a second beetle. The second beetle pulled the first beetle, the first beetle pulled the puppy, the puppy pulled the granddaughter, she pulled grandma, grandma pulled grandpa, grandpa pulled the turnip; they pulled and they pulled, but they couldn’t pull it out. (Repeated for a third beetle and a fourth). Then the fifth beetle came. He pulled the fourth beetle, the fourth beetle pulled the third, the third pulled the second, the second pulled the first, the first beetle pulled the puppy, the puppy pulled the granddaughter, she pulled grandma, grandma pulled grandpa, grandpa pulled the turnip; they pulled and they pulled, and they pulled out the turnip. Note This story has a history that begins: “An honest shoemaker gave Tsar Ivan the Terrible the huge turnip that he and all his friends helped to pull up in his garden. He also gave the tsar a pair of his hand-made shoes (lopkyes). Ivan the Terrible was so touched by the humble gift that he ordered all his noblemen to buy these lopkyes that only peasants wear. Of course the shoemaker became very wealthy and did many good deeds with his money. It is said that the custom in his village is to throw all old lopkyes under the tree in front of his grand estate.”
  57. 58. Olga Isaeva, age 6 (2000)
  58. 59. Masha and Bear The Story… When Masha was lost in the woods, she happened onto Bear’s house and he kept her there. One day she decided to bake pies and cakes and have Bear deliver them to her grandparents. She had a plan and called to Bear, “Do not open the pannier (backpack) of sweets on the way to Grandmother’s. I will be watching you from the tallest tree in the forest.” Well, just before Bear put the pannier on his back, Masha jumped inside and covered herself with the pastries and sweets. Bear took off through the forest to Grandmother’s. Three times during his journey, Bear stopped to rest. Three times he decided to eat some of the sweets in the pannier, but each time Masha’s voice came from the secret hiding place and said, “No, no Bear, you cannot stop until you get to Grandmother’s. I am watching you from the tallest tree!” Then Bear said, “How can that little girl see me from such a far distance? I guess I will keep going.” When Bear arrived at Grandmother’s, the dog smelled the sweets and jumped all over Bear; so he took off to the forest in a big hurry and left the pannier behind. When Grandmother opened the surprise that was left at their gate, Masha jumped out of the pannier and hugged both her grandparents. And then, all three danced about and laughed with joy.
  59. 60. Masha Kozlova, age 5 (2000)
  60. 61. Peasant and Bear The Story… When the Peasant met the ferocious Bear in the forest, he offered to give Bear the nice leafy tops of the turnips he was planting. In the autumn Bear returned for his share of the harvest. “Yes, dear Bear, tops for you and roots for me,” said the Peasant, and then took the turnip roots to market and made a pretty penny. When Bear tasted the delicious roots, he roared, “You tricked me, you tricked me!” The next spring the Peasant planted wheat on the same plot. Bear was determined not to be tricked again and told the Peasant, “This time I’ll take the roots and you take the top!” In the autumn Bear came by for his share. The Peasant loaded the tops of the wheat plants on his cart and gave Bear the roots. The Peasant took the grain to market and made a pretty penny. Bear, however, tried everything, but could find no use for the tasteless roots. Since then, there has been hostility between man and bear.
  61. 62. Vladimir Frolov, age 13 (2000)
  62. 63. Prince Ivan, Firebird & Gray Wolf The Story… Once upon a time there lived a tsar who had three sons. The youngest was called Ivan. There was a beautiful garden with golden apples, but then one day something flew into the garden to steal the golden apples. The tsar sent his sons to keep watch. The older sons sat and sat and fell asleep, but the youngest son caught sight of the thief—Firebird—but he was unable to succeed in catching the bird. All that he managed to get into his hands was a feather. The tsar was angry about this and sent his sons off to catch Firebird and bring it back. The children saddled their trusty steeds and set off, each taking a path in a different direction. The youngest son, Ivan, rode and rode for a long time. He grew tired and lay down to sleep. When he awoke, he looked and saw that all that was left of his dear steed was some small bones. Ivan was very sad but there was nothing he could do about it. He walked along farther on foot. Suddenly a gray wolf spoke from behind the bushes, “Do not be sad, little Ivan, that I ate your steed. Sit astride me. I know where Firebird lives.” So Ivan mounted the old wolf and they flew off, high above the forest and the mountain. They came upon a high wooden palace dwelling. The wolf said to Ivan, “Take Firebird but do not touch the golden cage or you will get yourself in trouble.” Prince Ivan Tsarevich did not listen. He took Firebird and the golden cage. Well, horns began to blow and drums began to play. Guards ran in and grabbed little Ivan and took him to Tsar Afon. The tsar was furious but after thinking about it for a while said, “I’ll pardon you and give you this Firebird if you get me the Golden-Maned Steed.” Ivan and Gray Wolf galloped up to a fortress. Again the wolf said, “Take the steed but do not touch the golden bridle or you will get yourself into trouble.” Once again Ivan did not listen to the wolf. He caught the steed and wanted to take the bridle. Again horns began to blow and drums began to play. The guards woke up, caught Ivan and took him to Tsar Kusman. “I’ll pardon you and give you the Golden-Maned Steed if you will bring Elena the Beautiful to me.” Ivan was not happy about this and went to Gray Wolf. Again they galloped off. They rode and rode until they reached Tsar Dalmat. Elena the Beautiful was playing in the garden. Gray Wolf jumped over the garden wall, seized Elena the Beautiful and ran away. They all set off across rivers, lakes, fields and forests. Finally they reached Tsar Kusman. Little Ivan again was very sad to give up Elena the Beautiful for he had fallen in love with her. And again the wolf helped him. Gray Wolf turned himself into Elena the Beautiful. The tsar was pleased and gave Ivan the Golden-Maned Steed with the golden bridle. Ivan rode away and the tsar sat down at his wedding table with Elena the Beautiful. Suddenly Elena turned back into Gray Wolf and ran away. The wolf caught up with Prince Ivan Tsarevich. He saw that Ivan did not want to give up the Golden-Maned Steed. Gray Wolf turned into the steed and Ivan brought him to Tsar Afon. The tsar was pleased and gave Ivan the golden cage with Firebird. Prince Ivan sat Elena the Beautiful upon the Golden-Maned Steed, took the golden cage with Firebird and rode home. Just as Tsar Afon began to ride the Golden-Maned Steed, it turned back into Gray Wolf and ran off. Gray Wolf caught up with Prince Ivan and they said farewell to each other. Prince Ivan returned home on the Golden-Maned Steed and brought Firebird to the tsar, his father. And for himself, he took Elena the Beautiful as his bride and they had a very happy wedding.
  63. 64. Artist Note - The evil sorcerer, Kaschei the Immortal, returned again in this story and turned the beautiful maiden, Maryushka, into an exquisite firebird. He swept her away and carried her in his steel claws high above the clouds to his castle. She was to live with him in his prison and belong to him forever. Firebird couldn't bear her tragic fate and lost her will to live. As she traveled high in the sky in Kaschei's steel claws, she dropped her brilliant feathers, one by one, and they floated down across the beautiful Russian landscape. Then Firebird died. Her feathers can be seen to this day, but only by those who make beauty for others to see and enjoy. Firebird flies across the pages of Russian fairy tales as an embodiment of love and beauty. She represents the noble character of the Russian people. Anastasia Elchaninova, age 8 (2000)
  64. 65. Yulia Evdokimova, age 14 (2000)
  65. 66. Ksenia Chikhova, age 12 (2000)
  66. 67. Princess Who Never Smiled The Story… In a royal palace, in a princely castle, in a turret high up in the air there lived the glorious Princess Who Never Smiled. She lived in luxury and had everything her heart desired, but her heart did not delight in anything. Whenever the tsar looked on his sorrowful daughter, he was heartbroken. He decided to open the palace to all who wished to try to make his daughter smile. “Let everyone try to divert the Princess who never smiles. He who succeeds shall take her to wife.” The words were barely out of the tsar’s mouth when people began to rush through the palace gates. They came from all corners—princes and dukes, boyars and noblemen, people of all rank, and commoners. Feasts began and the wine flowed—but alas, not one smile from the princess. At the other end of the town, in a corner of his own, lived an honest worker. Every morning he swept the courtyard and in the evening he grazed the cattle; he toiled without stopping. His master was a rich and righteous man who paid proper wages. At the end of each year, the man placed a bag of gold coins from the year’s work on the table and said, “ Take as much as you want.” And then he left the room. The honest worker took only one gold coin because he didn’t want to take more than he deserved. As luck would have it while he sipped some water at the well, the gold coin fell from his hands and it sank to the very bottom. The poor fellow was left with nothing. He decided that the good Lord had taken his coin because he didn’t earn it, so the honest worker toiled even harder the next year. The time came for the master to place his bag of gold coins on the table. Again the master said, “My good worker, take as much as your heart desires.” And again he left the room, but the worker took only one gold coin for his toils. Fate intervened again and the second coin dropped into the well and sank out of sight. The poor fellow was left with nothing. This honest worker was convinced, however, that he had not earned the gold coin and now worked harder than ever, going for days at a time without stopping to sleep. His efforts produced the best harvest, the best apples and the best grains, while other farmers’ harvests dried up and their cattle and horses suffered from exhaustion and thirst. When the time came to pay the worker, the kind master presented a huge bag of gold coins and said, “Take all you want. Your labor produced all this money. The honest worker took his gold coin. This time he did not lose his coin in the well and, even more amazing, the other two coins floated to the top of the well! The honest worker took this as a sign that his hard work was being rewarded. He decided to take his three coins and set out to see the world. It wasn’t long before he met creatures that asked him to help them out and, of course, he did. He gave a little close-cropped mouse a coin and the mouse thanked him and said, “You’ll need my help one day too.” He gave a coin to an old beetle he met in the forest and the beetle said, “Thank you. I’ll help you one day.” As he swam across a river, he gave his last coin to a catfish with whiskers who had swum over to him and said, “ Please help me for I can be useful to you one day.” The honest worker wearily continued his journey, now tired and discouraged because his pockets were empty. After a short time he fell asleep on the road right in front of the palace where the princess could see him. An amazing thing happened! Along came the close-cropped mouse, the old beetle and the catfish with whiskers to clean up their friend and make him presentable. They were such a sight to behold as they tried to roll the honest worker over while he was sleeping that the princess couldn’t take her eyes off of the antics and just burst out laughing at the funny scene. The tsar was happy to hear laughter from his lovely daughter. Of course, everyone took credit for this, but the princess pointed to the honest worker and smiled. Well, you know the ending. Do you think that the honest worker just dreamed all this, as he lay asleep in the road?
  67. 68. Yulia Vinichenko, age 12 (2000)
  68. 69. Sadko The Story… Sadko, the gusli player, (an old stringed instrument that is played like a dulcimer) was known as the Nightingale of Novgorod. He was invited to a feast to entertain guests and sing of the ancient glory of Novgorod but, instead, he sang of how all the merchants at the feast could get rich by sailing the seven seas to new markets. He was kicked out of the banquet for his insulting behavior and wandered away. As he sat at the shore of Lake Ilman, Sadko poured out songs of sadness on his gusli that were so beautiful that Volkhova, the Princess of the Sea, and her sisters rose from the water, completely charmed by the music, and sat with Sadko until the pink dawn. Then, the beautiful Princess of the Sea told Sadko to cast his net for three fish with golden scales. With that, she and her sisters turned into swans and skimmed over the lake, disappearing in the horizon just as the sun rose. When Sadko returned home, his wife listened to his story about the promise of netting three fish with golden scales and told Sadko that he was a crazy man. In anger Sadko responds, “Foolish wife, the longer the hair, the smaller the brain.” And he left her for the port of Novgorod to collect wagers from all the merchants. Everyone wanted to bet on whether or not he could catch such fish. They rowed with Sadko to the middle of the lake and, with their own eyes, they saw him catch three fish with golden scales. Sadko was now a very wealthy merchant. He built a fine fleet of 30 ships and straight away sailed down the river to the sea and to the far away land of the Golden Horde. His 30 ships were emptied in no time of all their cargo and, in return, Sadko collected 40 pails of gold and 40 pails of silver. Sadko and his men stored all the gold and silver in huge barrels and, with joy and satisfaction in their hearts, raised their sails for the trip back to Novgorod. As luck would have it, the seas began to churn like boiling water, wind tore the sails of the ships and billows of water swept over their decks. Sadko knew that The King of the Sea wanted a human sacrifice and he knew what he must do. He played a song on his gusli telling his sailors how to divide his wealth among his sailors, his wife, the church, and the needy and poor beggars; and then he stepped off the boat on to an oaken board in the sea while continuing to play his gusli. The seas calmed down immediately and the 30 ships headed off swiftly with the wind for home without him. The King of the Sea welcomed Sadko below and ordered him to play for his subjects. At first the music was soft and tender but it grew wilder and wilder and the King and his queen and all their subjects danced with abandon. In the midst of this orgy the Apparition of the Old Hero appeared and ordered the King and his subjects to the nethermost beds of the sea. Volkhova, Princess of the Sea was soon to turn into the great Volkhova River, and Sadko was admonished to return to his beautiful city of Novgorod immediately and celebrate its greatness in song. Sadko set out on a conch shell, pulled by seagulls, and arrived on the banks of Lake Ilman at dawn. Princess Volkhova watched over his journey, tenderly kissed him goodbye as he slept by the water’s edge and faded into the rosy mist. Sadko was reunited with his wife and all the citizens of Vovgorod in a joyous celebration. He softly touched the strings of his gusli to sing for his people and everyone, man, woman and child, joined together with him in a magnificent hymn of praise to their hero, Sadko, and to the beautiful Volkhova River. When the song ended, the rolling, bubbling, sparkling waters of the Volkhova River swept across meadows and valleys and opened a road to the sea for the good people of Novgorod.
  69. 70. Alyona Diachkova, age 5 (2000)
  70. 71. Sister Alionushka, Brother Ivanushka The Story… The young sister and brother were left alone to wander the world when their parents, the king and queen, died suddenly. They walked and walked until they came to a pond. “Sister, I am so thirsty. Let’s stop to rest and drink.” “Do not drink, little brother, or you will turn into a calf.” He obeyed his sister’s warning and they went on. They came to a river with a drove of horses drinking at the edge. “Ah, little sister, if you only knew how thirsty I am,” said little Ivanushka, “Let us stop to rest and drink.” “Dear little brother, please don’t drink in the river, for I fear you will become a colt,” said the sister. Ivanushka listened to the warning and walked on. After many hours of walking in the heat of the day, Ivanushka stopped at a well of water where goats and their kids were milling about. This time, little Ivanushka did not ask for his sister’s permission (for he was desperate) and drank and drank of the well’s water until his thirst was gone. Well, as the story goes, it was not too long before Ivanushka began to jump about and make funny sounds, “ Naa-ka-ka. Naa-ka-ka.” Poor Alionushka’s heart was broken for she knew that Ivanushka would never return again as her brother. She tied him to her wrist with a silken cord and continued on her journey. She wept as she walked alone through the strange land. Her goat would always run ahead of Alionushka to explore this and that. One day he ran straight into the tsar’s garden. Servants reported to the tsar that a goat tied by a silken cord to the hand of a beautiful maiden was roaming in the tsar’s garden. Immediately Alionushka was summoned to the palace and ordered by the tsar to tell her story. The tsar learned about the death of her parents, a king and queen, and about her little brother’s misfortune from drinking evil waters. Of course, he fell in love with the lovely little princess—for that indeed was what she was—and they married. For many years they lived happily together and always took their little goat everywhere with them. Sad to say, this is not the end of the story, for evil was about. One day, when the tsar was off hunting in the forest, a jealous and evil sorceress cast a spell over Alionushka. The wicked woman’s magic caused Alionushka to be sent to the bottom of the river with a rock tied around her neck. The sorceress then turned herself into lovely Alionushka and completely tricked the tsar into believing that she was his tsaritza. The castle was never the same again. Flowers did not grow, sun did not stream through the windows, laughter did not float through the hallways, and the tsar could not rid himself of a heavy sadness in his heart. The little palace goat saw all this and tried to comfort his unhappy tsar. He was unhappy too for he knew he would not last long in the palace. He was right about that, too, for the very next day the sorceress told the tsar that the goat was causing trouble every day and should be slaughtered. In a final effort to save his life and bring his sister back, the goat ran to the tsar and begged him for one last wish before his slaughter. “Please, kind sir, follow me to the edge of the river. I need to drink its waters.” When they stood on the shore, Ivanushka called out to his sister at the bottom of the river, “Alionushka, my little sister, come up, come up to the shore. Hot fires are burning. Big kettles are boiling. Steel knives are being sharpened. They want to slaughter me!” When Alionushka heard her little brother’s terrified voice, she gathered every bit of strength left in her body and rose up to the surface of the water. The tsar snatched her up, removed the heavy stone around Alionushka’s neck and returned to the palace with his beloved wife and their goat. The palace was already beginning to come alive. Everything was growing again, birds sang, and all the servants rejoiced to see Alionushka and the little goat they all loved. The sorceress was put to death and life returned to the way it had been for so many happy years.
  71. 72. Artist Statement - This is my painting of the Russian fairy tale Sister Alionushka, Brother Ivanushka. I want to do good to people and to share with them the warmth of my soul. That’s why I had an idea of painting the tale in a humorous manner to bring joy and happiness to people. Iga Khokhlova, age 14 (1995)
  72. 73. Speckled Hen and the Golden Egg The Story… In grandmother’s yard lived a speckled hen. She laid an egg one day; The egg rolled down From shelf to shelf And in the end it found itself In a keg of aspen wood Away in a corner under a bench. A mouse ran by too near the keg, Wiggled his tale, and broke the egg! At the great catastrophe an old cripple began to cry, An ugly crone let out a sigh, A startled chicken rose to fly; The gateposts shrieked, The doors all creaked, The swill tub leaked; The priest’s daughter carrying water, Broke her buckets. All in a dither, she came to her mother—and said… Note - The complete poem with several additional verses can be read in Alexandr Afanas’ev’s national collection of Russian Fairy Tales (1945).
  73. 74. Elena Gerzikova, age 10 (2000)
  74. 75. Elena Gerzikova, age 10 (2000)
  75. 76. Polina Nosova, age 11 (2000)
  76. 77. Alla Roerich, age 14 (2000)
  77. 78. Swan-Geese The Story… When the old man and his wife went to work, the little girl had the care of her little brother. She left him alone one day when she skipped off to the forest to play. Sad to say, a flock of geese swooped down and carried little brother away. The little girl looked everywhere; she looked under this and that; she called out his name in the forest, but little brother did not answer. She saw the swan-geese in the sky beyond the dark forest and knew immediately what had happened! They were wicked birds that stole children for Baba-Yaga who lived deep in the forest in a hut that spun around on chicken legs. The little girl ran around the forest asking everyone she met if her brother passed there. She asked her forest friends—Oven, Apple Tree and Milk River—if they knew which way the swan-geese had flown. No help there. She ran and ran until she came to the witch’s hut which was now spinning wildly around and around on its chicken legs. There sat the wicked Baba-Yaga spinning her flax. And there on a bench sat little brother playing with silver apples. “ Good evening, Granny.” “Good evening, little girl, what brings you here?” The little girl told the old witch that she needed to dry her clothes because they were soaked from the morning dew. “Sit down here by the fire and spin some of my flax,” said the witch, and she chuckled as she left to go light her oven! A little mouse in the corner warned the little girl that the witch was preparing the oven to roast her brother and her. The mouse kindly offered to spin the flax and answer the witch when she called. The little girl thanked the mouse and took off for home through the forest with little brother. When the wicked witch saw that the children were missing, she screamed and screamed for the swan-geese and ordered them to find the children and bring them back. Fortunately for the little girl and her brother, the forest friends—Oven, Apple Tree and Milk River—hid them whenever the swan-geese were overhead. Many times the swan-geese would fly by, honking and swooping down for a better look around the forest, but eventually they returned to Baba-Yaga with nothing. A happy little girl thanked her forest friends and arrived back home just in time to welcome the parents as they returned from their day of work.
  78. 79. Maria Sheremetaeva, age 13 (2000)
  79. 80. Mari Bogoslovskaya, age 12 (2000)
  80. 81. Natalia Virs, age 11 (2000)
  81. 82. Elena Mazurova, age 13 (2000)
  82. 83. Kira Kozlova, age 12 (2000)
  83. 84. Polina Shatalova, age 5 (2000)
  84. 85. Tsar Saltan The Story… Long ago in a faraway kingdom three maidens were sitting under a window talking about what they would do to win the tsar’s heart. One would weave the finest linen, one would prepare the finest feast, and the third would “bear a hero son for our beloved tsar.” The very next evening the tsar married the maiden who wanted to bear a hero son. In due time the tsaritza had a wonderful baby son, Gvidon, and a courier carried a letter to a far away battlefield to tell the tsar this happy news. The letter, however, was replaced with a message from the other two sisters and their Aunt Babarikha that the new baby was “not a son, not a daughter, not a mouse or frog, but an unknown little creature.” The tsar was sad and disappointed with this news and sent back orders, “Do nothing until I arrive back home.” Alas, this message also was replaced with new instructions to place the tsaritza and the baby in a tarred barrel and toss it to the sea. The tsar’s mistaken orders were carried out and the barrel drifted off on a heavy, rolling sea! The tsaritza wept and wept in the barrel as it tossed in the waves, and the baby grew and grew. He begged a big wave to wash them to land, and it did. Young Gvidon made a bow and sharp arrow out of a strong oak branch and used a silk cord from his pendant for a bowstring to fetch some food for his mother and himself. Instead, he killed an evil black hawk that was attacking a beautiful white swan in the waves. As luck would have it, the swan had magical powers and created for Gvidon and his mother a magnificent walled city with bells pealing, golden domes glistening in the sunshine and a white stone palace. They became rulers of this glorious kingdom, and the lovely swan became their guardian and friend. Merchant sailors who visited the city of Gvidon would praise its beauty and the kindness of its rulers. Gvidon realized that these sailors could help him make contact with his dear father, Tsar Saltan. On their next trip, the sailors invited Tsar Saltan to visit the kingdom of Gvidon to see for himself the marvelous walled city. But the jealous sisters and their Aunt Barbarikha always made fun of the sailors and convinced the tsar to ignore them. The magic swan, however, decided to give Gvidon disguises, first as a gnat, then a fly and finally a bee, so he would not be noticed when he accompanied the sailors on their visits to his father. He saw what the sisters and their aunt were up to and became so angry that he bit them and stung them and buzzed about their faces, but Gvidon could not stop them from convincing the tsar to stay away. In time the lovely swan turned into a beautiful maiden who was splendid to behold. Moonbeams gleamed on her golden braids and stars glowed on her brow; she, of course, captured Gvidon’s heart. His mother gave her blessing and they were married that day. Finally, one day Tsar Saltan decided on his own to set sail with his full fleet to visit Gvidon’s famous kingdom. His son, Gvidon, his bride and his mother, who, of course, was the tsar’s wife, greeted him. A great celebration took place and the tsar was so happy to be reunited with his tsaritza and his son after so many years. He took his wife back to his home, and Gvidon and his bride remained in the beautiful walled city. Everyone lived happily ever after.
  85. 86. Alena Kuzmichova, age 12 (2000)
  86. 87. Arkady Gurin, age 12 (1992)
  87. 88. Masha Arkhipova, age 6 (2000)
  88. 89. Twelve Months The Story… This is a tale about a little girl whose kindness and love for her father save her life. One day she is led deep into the frosty, snow-covered forest by her grieving father on orders of the cruel stepmother. The little girl was told not to return until she found some snowdrop flowers for her stepmother. How could snowdrops grow in the snow and ice that covered the forest floor? The little girl wandered farther and farther into the forest knowing that she would never return alive. She followed a glowing light and found herself in the midst of a campfire circle of 12 men, all dressed in different colors and each one representing one of the 12 months. The oldest was January. He blew snow and icicles on all the branches of the trees. He sent a freezing blast of air toward the little girl and she gasped from the cold. Each one of the twelve men greeted her and, when they heard her sad story, they knew how they could help. March folded his green velvet coat over his shoulders and walked towards the little girl, sending warm wind and sunshine to melt the ice and snow and warm her freezing toes. Soon, little snowdrops appeared over the forest floor around her feet. The little girl quickly picked a bunch of snowdrops and headed off with a happy heart for home. You can be sure that the stepmother was taken completely by surprise and was, in truth, quite disappointed when the little girl walked into the house, but she was even more surprised to see the bunch of snowdrops in her hands. Well, this could only mean that there was some magic going on in the forest. The stepmother immediately ordered her husband to take her two daughters to the very same spot in the forest and leave them to find more treasures. The next morning the husband went back to the forest but found only two frozen bodies lying in new snow. No snowdrops anywhere. When the stepmother saw that her own two daughters found no treasures and had died from exposure to the cold, she took matters into her own hands because she simply could not control her greed. She bundled herself up and ordered her husband against his strong protest to take her to the forest to the same spot. You know the rest. The father lived with his daughter for many happy years. He took his grandchildren into the forest in March every year to pick beautiful snow-white snowdrops.
  89. 90. Mikhail Khovrenko, age 10 (1995)
  90. 91. Wee Little Havroshechka The Story… Little Havroshechka was an orphan who had the misfortune to fall in with bad people. They made her work beyond her strength. Every night she had to spin, weave and bleach five “poods” of flax for the cruel mother and her three daughters—One Eye, Two Eyes and Three Eyes. One night the sisters decided to spy on Havroshechka while she worked to find out how the little girl could make such beautiful cloth. It was Three Eyes who had one eye open after the three sisters fell asleep. The third eye saw Havroshechka climb into one ear of her friend, Brindled, the cow, and come out the other ear with all the poods of flax neatly folded into piles of bleached cloth. When the crazy mother heard this, she ordered her husband to kill the cow. Havroshechka followed the cow’s instructions to her before he died. She buried his bones in the orchard. Soon an apple tree with boughs of silver and leaves of gold grew on the very spot, and the most wonderful apples in the land hung from all the silver boughs. You can guess the ending. Little Havroshechka was the only one who could get the apples off the tree. She picked one for a handsome stranger who by chanced by. They married and from that day on, Havroshechka knew no sadness nor shed a tear.
  91. 92. Nastia Pleshenko, age 11 (1998)

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