[Darkwood-SCA] Baroness' Masked Ball (and another fairy tale)

Laurie Hupman rose at santiagosmagic.com
Tue Sep 2 15:52:57 PDT 2008

I still have tickets available for the Baroness' Masked Ball,  
September 27 at the Santa Cruz Masonic Hall.  Please email me if you'd  
like to reserve a ticket.

And now, story time!

Morozko (Old Man Winter)

Once there lived an old widower and his daughter. In due time, the man  
remarried to an older woman who had a daughter herself from a previous  
marriage. The woman doted on her own daughter, praising her at every  
opportunity, but she despised her stepdaughter. She found fault with  
everything the girl did and made her work long and hard all day long.  
One day the old woman made up her mind to get rid of the stepdaughter  
once and for all.

She ordered her husband, &quotTake her somewhere so that my eyes no  
longer have to see her, so that my ears no longer have to hear her.  
And don't take her to some relative's house. Take her into the biting  
cold of the forest and leave her there."

The old man grieved and wept but he knew that he could do nothing  
else; his wife always had her way. So he took the girl into the forest  
and left her there. He turned back quickly so that he wouldn't have to  
see his girl freeze.

Oh, the poor thing, sitting there in the snow, with her body shivering  
and her teeth chattering! Then Morozko (Old Man Winter), leaping from  
tree to tree, came upon her.

"Are you warm, my lass?" he asked.

"Welcome, my dear Morozko. Yes, I am quite warm," she said, even  
though she was cold to the bone.

At first, Morozko had wanted to freeze the life out of her with his  
icy grip. But he admired the young girl's stoicism and showed mercy.  
He gave her a warm fur coat and downy quilts before he left.

In a short while, Morozko returned to check on the girl. "Are you  
warm, my lass?" he asked.

"Welcome again, my dear Morozko. Yes, I am very warm," she said. And  
indeed she was warmer. So this time Morozko brought a large box for  
her to sit on.

A little later, Morozko returned once more to ask how she was doing.  
She was doing quite well now, and this time Morozko gave her silver  
and gold jewelry to wear, with enough extra jewels to fill the box on  
which she was sitting!

Meanwhile, back at her father's hut, the old woman told her husband to  
go back into the forest and fetch the body of his daughter. "Bring  
back what's left of her," she ordered. The old man did as he was told  
and went back into the woods. Joy overwhelmed him when he saw his  
daughter was still alive, wrapped in a sable coat and adorned with  
silver and gold!

When he arrived home with his daughter and the box of jewels, his wife  
looked on in amazement.

"Harness the horse, you old goat, and take my own daughter to that  
same spot in the forest and leave her there," she said with greed in  
her eye. The old man did as he was told.

Like the other girl at first, the old woman's daughter began to shake  
and shiver. In a short while, Morozko came by and asked her how she  
was doing.

"Are you blind?" she replied. "Can't you see that my hands and feet  
are quite numb? Curse you, you miserable old man!"

Dawn had hardly broken the next day when, back at the old man's hut,  
the old woman woke her husband and told him to bring back her  
daughter, adding, "Be careful with the box of jewels." The old man  
obeyed and went to get the girl.

A short while later, the gate to the yard creaked. The old woman went  
outside and saw her husband standing next to the sleigh. She rushed  
forward and pulled aside the sleigh's cover. To her horror, she saw  
the body of her daughter, frozen by an angry Morozko. She began to  
scream and berate her husband, but it was all in vain.

Later, the old man's daughter married a neighbor, had children, and  
lived happily. Her father would visit his grandchildren every now and  
then, and remind them always to respect Old Man Winter.

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