Once upon a time, there was a girl called Alyonushka. Alyonushka lived with her father, mother and baby brother Ivanushka.
One day, Mother said to Alyonushka, “Daughter, we are going out to work. Be a good girl and look after your baby brother.”
Father and Mother went away. Soon, Alyonushka forgot all that her mother had said. She seated her baby brother on the grass, ran out to her friends and began to play with them. She clean forgot to look after her baby brother.
Suddenly, a flock of geese came flying. They swooped down, picked up her baby brother and flew away with him.
“Look, Alyonushka!” cried one of the children. “The geese are flying away with your baby brother.”
“Stop, stop, you wicked birds,” said Alyonushka.
But it was no use. She ran after the birds. The birds flew faster and faster and were soon out of sight.
Poor Alyonushka ! What could she do! She sobbed and wept. But then she got up and said, “I must bring back my baby brother.”
Away ran Alyonushka to where the birds had flown. She ran and ran till she came to an oven.
“Oven, Oven, tell me where the geese have flown.”
“Eat a slice of my wheat bread first,” said the oven.
“What, eat a slice of wheat bread! At home, we don’t eat even wheat cakes.”
So the oven kept quiet. Alyonushka ran on. But then she turned back and said, “I am sorry, Oven. I’d like to taste your wheat bread.”
Alyonushka ate a slice of the wheat bread and the oven showed her the way. She thanked the oven and ran on.
Soon she came to an apple tree.
“Apple Tree, Apple Tree, tell me where the geese have flown.”
“Eat one of my wild apples first,” said the apple tree.
“What, me eat a wild apple? At home, we don’t eat even garden apples.”
So the apple tree kept quiet. Alyonushka ran on. But then she turned back and said, “I am sorry, Apple Tree. I’d like to taste your apples.”
She ate a wild apple, and the apple tree showed her the way. She thanked the apple tree and ran on.
Soon she came to the milk river.
“Milk River, Milk River, please tell me where the geese have gone.”
“Have some milk, first,” said the milk river.
Alyonushka thought, “Have milk! At home, I don’t touch even cream,” But then she thought, “No, I must not say that.”
So she had some milk and the milk river showed her the way. She thanked the milk river and ran on.
She ran over the fields and through the woods. At the edge of a wood,
she saw a hut on hen’s feet, turning round and round. Inside the hut sat Baba Yaga, the witch. And as the hut turned, Alyonushka saw Ivanushka, sleeping in a corner.
Alyonushka was frightened. But what could she do! She went inside the hut. “Who are you ?” asked Baba Yaga. “And why have you come ?”
“I am Alyonushka and I have come to take my baby brother,” said she and picked up her baby brother.
“Come to take your baby brother? He-he-he!” laughed Baba Yaga. “I have got your baby brother, and now I have got you, too!”
“Oh, no, you haven’t!” said Alyonushka. Holding Ivanushka, she jumped out of the hut and began to run back home again.
Then Baba Yaga the witch called up the geese. “Go after the children and bring them back to me,” she shouted. The geese went flying after the children.
Alyonushka ran and ran till she came to the milk river.
“Milk River, Milk River, hide us, please.” Quickly, the milk river hid the children. The geese couldn’t find them and turned back.
Alyonushka began to run again. But the geese saw the children and came after them. Holding her brother, Alyonushka ran and ran till she came to the apple tree.
“Apple Tree, Apple Tree, hide us, please.” Quickly, the apple tree hid the children in its branches. The geese couldn’t find them and turned back.
Alyonushka began to run again. But the geese saw the children and flew after them. Holding her brother, Alyonushka ran and ran till she came. to the oven.
“Hide us, please, Oven,” said Alyonushka. Quickly, the oven hid the children. The geese couldn’t find them. They flew round and round and up and down but it was no use. At last, they turned and flew back to Baba Yaga.
Then Alyonushka crawled out of the oven with her baby brother and ran home with him. And before long, Father and Mother came home too.
-Adapted from a Russian fairy tale