SNOWMAIDEN (first version)
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a peasant woman looked out the window of her cottage to watch the village children play in the snow. She did this often because, although she led a very happy life with her husband, there was still a longing in her heart. The woman and her husband had no children of their own, and their biggest wish was to one day be able to watch their own child play in the snow.
The husband one day suggested to his wife that they should go outside and build a snowman, instead of sitting in the house all day. The wife agreed, but wanted instead to build a girl — a snowmaiden. The couple spent that whole day carefully building and molding a snowmaiden. They inserted two bright blue beads for eyes, and a bright red ribbon for her mouth. Then they stood back to look at their beautiful creation. As they watched they noticed something, it looked as if the snowmaiden was smiling. The couple then realized that she was coming to life. After she smiled her hair curled up and she walked into the house. The peasant couple finally had a daughter of their own!
Snowmaiden grew to be beautiful. Her eyes gleamed bright blue and her flaxen hair hung down to her waist. Snowmaiden was however very pale, with no color in her cheeks or lips, but this did not make her any less beautiful.
As winter melted into spring, and the weather started getting warmer, Snowmaiden started to behave strangely. She no longer wanted to go outside to play with the other children, and she began to hide in the dark places of the house. The husband and wife began to worry about her.
Soon summer came and Snowmaiden was more withdrawn than ever. One day her friends asked her to join them on a trip into the woods to pick berries. Snowmaiden was reluctant to join, but at the persistence of her parents went along. In the woods Snowmaiden was sure to stay in the shade. When nightfall came her friends built a fire, and played games jumping over it. Snowmaiden, however, sat by an icy river. Her friends called to her to join their games, but Snowmaiden did not want to go. But as the night went on Snowmaiden grew very lonely by herself at the river, and decided to join their games. «Jump over the fire!» her friends yelled at her. Snowmaiden took a step, ran towards the fire, jumped, and melted away. The poor peasant couple were once again childless.
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