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Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a peasant woman
looked out the window of her cottage to watch the village
children play in the snow. She did this often because, although
she led a very happy life with her husband, there was still a
longing in her heart. The woman and her husband had no children
of their own, and their biggest wish was to one day be able to
watch their own child play in the snow.
The husband one day suggested to his wife that they should go
outside and build a snowman, instead of sitting in the house all
day. The wife agreed, but wanted instead to build a girl - a
snowmaiden. The couple spent that whole day carefully building
and molding a snowmaiden. They inserted two bright blue beads
for eyes, and a bright red ribbon for her mouth. Then they stood
back to look at their beautiful creation. As they watched they
noticed something, it looked as if the snowmaiden was smiling.
The couple then realized that she was coming to life. After she
smiled her hair curled up and she walked into the house. The
peasant couple finally had a daughter of their own!
Snowmaiden grew to be beautiful. Her eyes gleamed bright blue
and her flaxen hair hung down to her waist. Snowmaiden was
however very pale, with no color in her cheeks or lips, but this
did not make her any less beautiful.
As winter melted into spring, and the weather started getting
warmer, Snowmaiden started to behave strangely. She no longer
wanted to go outside to play with the other children, and she
began to hide in the dark places of the house. The husband and
wife began to worry about her.
Soon summer came and Snowmaiden was more withdrawn than ever.
One day her friends asked her to join them on a trip into the
woods to pick berries. Snowmaiden was reluctant to join, but at
the persistence of her parents went along. In the woods
Snowmaiden was sure to stay in the shade. When nightfall came
her friends built a fire, and played games jumping over it.
Snowmaiden, however, sat by an icy river. Her friends called to
her to join their games, but Snowmaiden did not want to go. But
as the night went on Snowmaiden grew very lonely by herself at
the river, and decided to join their games. "Jump over the
fire!" her friends yelled at her. Snowmaiden took a step, ran
towards the fire, jumped, and melted away. The poor peasant
couple were once again childless.
SNOWMAIDEN (second version)
There was once a daughter born to Fairy Spring and Father Frost.
This daughter was the most beautiful maiden that had ever been
known, she had skin as pale as the snow, eyes blue like the sky,
and thick blond hair that hung to her waist. She was named
Fairy Spring had to hide her daughter from the Sun God, whose
rays could easily destroy the beautiful girl, so for a very long
time Snowmaiden lived deep within the woods. But it was very
lonely there, and one day Snowmaiden decided to take a long
walk. As she walked she heard a beautiful sound. At first it was
very far away, but it drew Snowmaiden closer and closer to its
source. Snowmaiden followed it for a long time, all the way to
the edge of the forest. There in an open field sat Lyel, a farm
boy, playing his flute. Snowmaiden listened and watched form the
edge of the forest, and became enchanted with Lyel.
Snowmaiden went to the edge of the forest every day to listen to
the farm boy play his flute. Lyel always ignored the beautiful
girl standing in the shade of the trees, and instead danced with
the girls who sat with him in the field. This broke Snowmaiden's
tender heart, and she decided to go speak with her mother about
it. "Mother," Snowmaiden began, "please let me feel real love."
Fairy Spring understood that her daughter wanted the farm boy to
fall in love with her. "If you want real love," Fairy Spring
answered, "you must leave the protection of the forest and go
into the open field where the boy plays his flute."
The next day Snowmaiden once again followed the sweet sound of
Lyel's music to the edge of the woods. She stepped out of the
trees, and walked into the opening. Lyel turned to look at her,
and thought she was the most beautiful girl that he had ever
seen in his life. Just then Snowmaiden stepped into a ray of
sunshine, which illuminated her beauty to its fullest. But the
Sun God's ray was to strong for Snowmaiden, and she melted
before Lyel's eyes.