Robert L. Peters

9 November 2018

A cautionary tale… featuring Jack Frost.

Jack_Frost

Somewhere in wintery Russia…

Once upon a time, there was a woman who had both a daughter of her own, whom she loved, as well as a step-daughter, whom she hated. One day, the woman ordered her husband to take her stepdaughter out into the winter fields and leave her there to die, and he obeys her. Morozko (aka Jack Frost) finds her there; she is polite and kind to him, so he gives her a chest full of beautiful things and fine garments. After a while, the stepmother sends her father to bring back the girl’s body to be buried, which he also obeys. After a while, the barking family dog imparts that the girl is coming back, and that she is beautiful and happy.

When the stepmother sees what her stepdaughter has brought back, she orders her husband to take her own daughter out into the fields. Unlike before, this child is rude to Morozko, and he freezes her to death. When the husband goes out to bring her back, the family dog forewarns that the child will be buried. When the father brings back the body, the old woman weeps.

(In the Grimm version of this fairy tale, the girl is coated with gold and sliver coins while the rude child is coated with cement, mud, flour and pitch).

Illustration by Ivan Bilibin

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