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Крошечка-Хаврошечка (WEE LITTLE HAVROSHECHKA)
There are good people in the world and some who are not so good.
There are also people who are shameless in their wickedness.
Wee Little Havroshechka had the bad luck to fall in with such as
these. She was an orphan and these people took her in and
brought her up, only to make her work till she couldn't stand.
She wove and spun and did the housework and had to answer for
Now the mistress of the house had three daughters. The eldest
was called One-Eye, the second Two-Eyes, and the youngest
Three-Eyes. The three sisters did nothing all day but sit by the
gate and watch what went on in the street, while Wee Little
Havroshe chka sewed, spun and wove for them and never heard a
kind word in return.
Sometimes Wee Little Havroshechka would go out into the field,
put her arms round the neck of her brindled cow and pour out all
her sorrows to her.
"Brindled, my dear," she would say, "they beat me and scold me,
they don't give me enough to eat, and yet they forbid me to cry.
I am to have five pounds of flax spun, woven, bleached and
rolled by tomorrow."
And the cow would say in reply, "My bonny lass, you have only to
climb into one of my ears and come out through the other and
your work will be done for you." And just as Brindled said, so
it was. Wee Little Havroshechka would climb into one of the
cow's ears and come out through the other, and behold! there lay
the cloth, all woven and bleached and rolled. Little
Havroshechka would then take the rolls of cloth to her mistress,
who would look at them and grunt, and put them away in a chest
and give Wee Little Havroshechka even more work to do.
And Wee Little Havroshechka would go to Brindled, put her arms
round her and stroke her, climb into one of her ears and come
out through the other, pick up the ready cloth and take it to
her mistress again.
One day the old woman called her daughter One-Eye to her and
said, "My good child, my bonny child, go and see who helps the
orphan with her work. Find out who spins the thread, weaves the
cloth and rolls it."
One-Eye went with Wee Little Havroshechka into the woods and she
went with her into the fields, but she forgot her mother's
command and she basked in the sun and lay down on the grass. And
Havroshechka murmured, "Sleep, little eye, sleep!"
One-Eye shut her eye and fell asleep. While she slept, Brindled
wove, bleached and rolled the cloth. The mistress learned
nothing, so she sent for her second daughter, Two-Eyes.
"My good child, my bonny child, go and see who helps the orphan
with her work."
Two-Eyes went with Wee Little Havroshechka, but she forgot her
mother's commend and she basked in the sun and lay down on the
grass. And Wee Little Havroshechka murmured, "Sleep, little eye!
Sleep, the other little eye!" Two-Eyes shut her eyes a nd she
dozed off. While she slept, Brindled wove, bleached and rolled
The old woman was very angry and on the third day she told her
third daughter, Three-Eyes, to go with Wee Little Havroshechka,
to whom she gave more work than ever. Three-Eyes played and
skipped about in the sun until she was so tired that she lay
down o n the grass. And Wee Little Havroshechka sang out,
"Sleep, little eye! Sleep, the other little eye!"
But she forgot all about the third little eye. Two of
Three-Eyes' eyes fell asleep, but the third looked on and saw
everything. It saw Wee Little Havroshechka climb into one of the
cow's ears and come out through the other and pick up the ready
Three-Eyes came home and told her mother what she had seen. The
old woman was overjoyed, and on the very next day she went to
her husband and said, "Go and kill the brindled cow."
The old man was astonished and tried to reason with her. "Have
you lost your wits, old woman?", he said. "The cow is a good one
and still young."
"Kill it and say no more," the wife insisted.
There was no help for it, and the old man began to sharpen his
knife. Wee Little Havroshechka found out all about it and she
ran to the field and threw her arms around Brindled.
"Brindled, dearie," she said, "they want to kill you!"
And the cow replied, "Do not grieve, my bonny lass, but do what
I tell you. Take my bones, tie them up in a kerchief, bury them
in the garden and water them every day. Do not eat of my flesh
and never forget me."
The old man killed the cow, and Wee Little Havroshechka did as
Brindled had told her. She went hungry, but she would not touch
the meat, and she buried the bones in the garden and watered
them every day.
After a while an apple tree grew out of them, and a wonderful
tree it was! Its apples were round and juicy, its swaying boughs
were of silver, and its rustling leaves were of gold. Whoever
drove by would stop to look, and whoever came near marveled.
A long time passed by and a little time. One day One-Eye,
Two-Eyes and Three-Eyes were out walking in the garden. And who
should chance to be riding by at the time but a young man,
handsome and strong and rich and curly-haired. When he saw the
juicy apples he stopped and said to the girls teasingly, "Fair
maidens! Her I will marry amongst you three who brings me an
apple off yonder tree."
And off rushed the sisters to the apple tree, each trying to get
ahead of the others. But the apples which had been hanging very
low and seemed within easy reach now swung up high in the air
above the sisters' heads. The sisters tried to knock them down,
but the leaves came down in a shower and blinded them. They
tried to pluck the apples off, but the boughs caught in their
braids and unplaited them. Struggle and stretch as they might,
they could not reach the apples and only scratched their hands.
Then Wee Little Havroshechka walked up to the tree, and at once
the boughs bent down and the apples came into her hands. She
gave an apple to the handsome young stranger and he married her.
From that day on she knew no sorrow, and she and her husband
lived happily ever after.