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I've had a request, via the Storytelling FAQ, from Emmie who is desperate to identify the following Russian fairytale and find the full text. Do you recognise it?

It's about a little girl who was told her mother was dead; however she wasn't dead, she was kidnapped by a wicked witch. The little girl is on a quest to find her mother.

The witch transformed 5 different women to look exactly like the little girl's mother. In order for the girl 
to get her mother back, she had to identify which one was her real mother. The woman with tears in her eyes was the real mother, and that's how the little girl was able to identify her. Story ends with the witch freeing the girl's mother, and the two return home.

If you want to contact Emmie directly (she's not on this ning) she's at - let her know you're responding to my query. Or just reply here and I'll forward to her.


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I've been looking into this and can't find this story. It sound like a good one and I would love to hear or read it in full. Do you have a copy of this story or is that what you're looking for?
Thanks for looking, Daniel. No I don't know where to find the story, that's why I passed on the request. I've suggested that Emmie look through Afasanyev, which she's doing, but it may not be there.
it sounds like a baba yaga tale. i have the collection of baba yaga stories from one russian fairytale book, and there isn't one that sounds like this. i'd contact russian studies folklore experts at different universities w/ strong russian studies departments. i believe you can find some russian professors involved in russian fairytales who probably do know. i was a russian studies major in undergrad. best!
Thanks Anastasia. That's a good Russian name - do you have roots there? I've passed on your response to Emmie so she can pursue it if she is still looking. I do love Russian fairytales myself. I've told a number of parts of the Kiev epic cycle about the great hero Ilya. But I didn't read it in the original - my Russian didn't progress beyond O-Level at school.




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