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THE BEAR AND THE OLD MAN’S DAUGHTERS – Russian Fairy Tales – Pictures

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There was once an old man and he had three little daughters, and one day he said to them:
“I am going out into the fields to plough, and you, my little daughters, bake me a loaf and bring it to me.”
“But how are we to find you, daddy?” they said.

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“As I go along,” he said, “I shall drop shavings in a row along the path, and that will help you to find me.

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” And as the old man rode along he threw down the shavings one after the other, and a bear came and drew them all aside on to the path that led to his den.

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Then the eldest daughter said to the youngest:

“Go and take the bread to daddy.”

And the youngest said:

“But how am I to find daddy, and where am I to take the bread to?”

Then the eldest answered:

“He kept dropping shavings in a row along the path as he went.”

Then she took the loaf, and started off to follow the shavings, when lo and behold! she came to the bear’s den.

And the bear saw her and said:

“O-ho! What a nice little girl has come to see me!”

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The next day the old man went off to sow, and he said to his daughters:

“My dear little daughters, my clever little ones, bake me a loaf and bring it to me in the field.”

“But how are we to find you, daddy?” they said.

And he answered:

“Yesterday I threw one row of shavings down, to-day I will throw two.”

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And he set off, throwing the shavings down in two rows, and the bear came and drew them all aside on to the path that led to his den.

Then the second daughter started out with the loaf, following the shavings, and went straight to the bear’s den.

And the bear saw her and said:

“O-ho! here’s another little girl come to see me!”

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The next day the old man went off to the field to harrow, and he said to his daughter:

“My dear little daughter, bake me a loaf and bring it to me in the field.

I will throw three rows of shavings.”

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And the old man went off, throwing the shavings down in three rows, and the bear came and drew them all aside on to the path that led to his den.

And the eldest daughter set out, and she, too, came to the bear’s den.

And the bear saw her and said:

“O-ho! here’s a third little girl come to see me in my den!”

And there they went on living, when one day the eldest sister said:

“Bruin, Bruin, I’ll bake some pies, and you take them and give them to my daddy to eat.”

“All right,” answered the bear, “I’ll take them.”

And so she popped her youngest sister into a sack, and said:

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“Here, Bruin, take this to my daddy, and mind, don’t you eat it yourself on the way!”

And the bear took the sack and set off with it to the old man.

And as he went along, he kept saying to himself:

“Suppose I sit down on a stump, and suppose I just eat one little pie!”

And the youngest daughter in the sack heard him and said:

“Don’t sit down on a stump, don’t!

Don’t eat a pie, don’t!”

And the bear thought that this was the eldest sister, and said to himself:

“There now, fancy that!

I’ve come a long way, and yet she can still hear me!”

And he brought the sack right up to the old man’s courtyard, when the dogs all rushed out and began to bark at him!

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So he flung down the sack and ran off home.

And the eldest sister asked him:

“Did they make you welcome, Bruin, and give you nice things to eat?”

“They didn’t give me anything to eat,” he answered, “but their welcome was loud enough.”

The next day the eldest sister said:

“Bruin, take my daddy some more pies to eat!”

And she tied up her other sister in the sack, and the bear put it on his back and carried it off into the village.

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And as he went through the forest he kept saying to himself:

“Suppose I sit down on a stump, and suppose I just eat one little pie!”

And the second daughter said to him from out of the sack:

“Don’t sit down on a stump, don’t!

Don’t eat a pie, don’t!”

And the bear thought:

“There now, fancy that!

I’ve come a long way, and yet she can still hear me, and tells me not to eat a pie!”

And so he reached the old man’s courtyard, and when the dogs went for him that time, they all but worried him to death!

So he flung down the sack and ran off home. And the eldest sister asked him:

“Did they welcome you warmly, Bruin, and give you plenty to eat?”

“It was such a warm welcome, and they gave me so much to eat, that I shan’t forget it in a hurry!” he answered.

And the next day the eldest girl said:

“I’ll bake some more pies, and you take them to my daddy for him to eat.”

And so she herself sat down in the sack, and the bear carried her off.

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And as he carried her along he kept saying to himself:

“Oh, I should so like to sit down on a stump, and I should so like to eat one little pie!”

And the eldest daughter said to him from out of the sack:

“Don’t sit down on a stump, don’t!

Don’t eat a pie, don’t!”

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And the bear thought: “There now, fancy that! Look at the long way I’ve come, and yet she can still see and hear me!”

And so he brought the sack to the old man, and then the dogs came upon him and all but tore him in bits.

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And he ran off into the forest without as much as looking round, and the old man began once more to live with his three little daughters.

MORE RUSSIAN PICTURE TALES
BY VALERY CARRICK
TRANSLATED BY NEVILL FORBES
NEW YORK
FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY
PUBLISHERS
Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1914

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