Old Father Frost

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Are you ready for a very wintry story? In this traditional Russian folk tale, you will read about Old Father Frost, whose icy staff directs the harsh winter weather, and about a modest, well-behaved girl called Tasha, who eventually finds good fortune despite the unjust treatment she gets from her stepmother.

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Old Father Frost
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Once upon a time, far, far away in the middle of a little village stood a crooked cottage. A farmer lived there with his wife and two daughters: Tasha and Masha. Tasha was her father’s daughter – her mother had died and so her father had married again. Masha was Tasha’s stepmother’s daughter.

Although Tasha’s father was the breadwinner, her stepmother ruled over the whole household with her iron fist. She couldn’t stand Tasha and constantly gave her more and more work to do. While Tasha worked her socks off taking care of the whole farm, Masha just lazed around and bossed Tasha about, telling her to make her delicious foods.

When winter came, Masha got a new fur coat, but still she spent all day lying by the stove. Tasha, meanwhile, had to push her way through deep snow drifts with nothing but an old shawl over her shoulders and her good heart to keep her warm. She toiled day after day, but still it was not good enough for her stepmother.

One day, her stepmother decided to get rid of Tasha for good. “Then, Masha my dear, we will find you a rich husband and live happily ever after!” she promised her daughter.

And so she set about carrying out her plan. She began by berating her husband: “Old man, look how badly you’ve brought up Tasha! She idles her time away all day long and eats up what little food we have. Tomorrow morning you must take her into the forest and leave her there.”

Tasha’s father protested, but his wife forced the girl to sit on a sleigh pulled by their old horse, and so her father had no choice but to go with her.

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