As the autumn is rather cold this year I have decided to go on the topic of winter represented in the Russian folk tales. This time it is about a Snow Maiden or Sneg’urochka as we call it. The plot is so popular that has become the ground for numerous movies, cartoons &, certainly, for a famous opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
This sad tale reminds us of the price we all pay for our carelessness & unwish to comprehend or to notice alarm signs far before something sad has taken place: an old childless couple makes a snow-maiden who turns alive & they accept her as their daughter. She grows very fast & soon becomes a true beautiful maiden. The whole village is delighted with her. However winter passes, the sun becomes brighter, but nobody pays attention that the maiden herself becomes ill. She even doesn’t realise what’s happening, while her own parents consider her to be alike human & don’t ponder upon the fact that their snow daughter might be destroyed by heat or fire.
This story puts various questions besides the eternal problems of relationship between parents & children. For example: essence of our desires & dreams, coexistence of the magic & human worlds, importance of trust & responsibility for our own actions. So, let’s be careful with our desires, Esteemed Readers, not to set this world on fire!
Here is the full text: Russian Folk Tale 12
Source: Edith M. S. Hodgetts, Tales and Legends from the Land of the Tzar: Collection of Russian Stories, 2nd edition (London: Griffith Farran and Company, 1891)