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18 Works of Arthur Ransome

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This chapter is not one of old Peter’s stories, though there are, doubtless, some stories in it. It tells how Vanya and Maroosia drove to the village to see a new baby. Old Peter had a sister who lived in the village not so very far away from the forest. And she had a plump […]

Salt

Story type: Literature

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One evening, when they were sitting round the table after their supper, old Peter asked the children what story they would like to hear. Vanya asked whether there were any stories left which they had not already heard. “Why,” said old Peter, “you have heard scarcely any of the stories, for there is a story […]

Long ago there lived a King, and he had three daughters, the loveliest in all the world. He loved them so well that he built a palace for them underground, lest the rough winds should blow on them or the red sun scorch their delicate faces. A wonderful palace it was, down there underground, with […]

The Hunter And His Wife

Story type: Literature

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It sometimes happened that the two children asked too many questions even for old Peter, though he was the kindest old Russian peasant who ever was a grandfather. Sometimes he was busy; sometimes he was tired, and really could not think of the right answer; sometimes he did not know the right answer. And once, […]

Once upon a time a strong and powerful Tzar ruled in a country far away. And among his servants was a young archer, and this archer had a horse–a horse of power–such a horse as belonged to the wonderful men of long ago–a great horse with a broad chest, eyes like fire, and hoofs of […]

Once upon a time there were two orphan children, a little boy and a little girl. Their father and mother were dead, and they had not even an old grandfather to spend his time in telling them stories. They were alone. The little boy was called Vanoushka,[3] and the little girl’s name was Alenoushka.[3] They […]

Who Lived In The Skull?

Story type: Literature

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Once upon a time a horse’s skull lay on the open plain. It had been picked clean by the ants, and shone white in the sunlight. Little Burrowing Mouse came along, twirling his whiskers and looking at the world. He saw the white skull, and thought it was as good as a palace. He stood […]

The Golden Fish

Story type: Literature

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Sometimes in spring, when the big river flooded its banks and made lakes of the meadows, and the little rivers flowed deep, old Peter spent a few days netting fish. Also in summer he set night-lines in the little river not far from where it left the forest. And so it happened that one day […]

Little Master Misery

Story type: Literature

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Once upon a time there were two brothers, peasants, and one was kind and the other was cunning. And the cunning one made money and became rich–very rich–so rich that he thought himself far too good for the village. He went off to the town, and dressed in fine furs, and clothed his wife in […]

This is the story which old Peter used to tell whenever either Vanya or Maroosia was cross. This did not often happen; but it would be no use to pretend that it never happened at all. Sometimes it was Vanya who scolded Maroosia, and sometimes it was Maroosia who scolded Vanya. Sometimes there were two […]

Once upon a time, very long ago, there was a little Prince Ivan who was dumb. Never a word had he spoken from the day that he was born–not so much as a “Yes” or a “No,” or a “Please” or a “Thank you.” A great sorrow he was to his father because he could […]

Warmer the sun shone, and warmer yet. The pines were green now. All the snow had melted off them, drip, drip, the falling drops of water making tiny wells in the snow under the trees. And the snow under the trees was melting too. Much had gone, and now there were only patches of snow […]

If you drop Vladimir by mistake, you know he always falls on his feet. And if Vladimir tumbles off the roof of the hut, he always falls on his feet. Cats always fall on their feet, on their four paws, and never hurt themselves. And as in tumbling, so it is in life. No cat […]

Baba Yaga

Story type: Literature

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“Tell us about Baba Yaga,” begged Maroosia. “Yes,” said Vanya, “please, grandfather, and about the little hut on hen’s legs.” “Baba Yaga is a witch,” said old Peter; “a terrible old woman she is, but sometimes kind enough. You know it was she who told Prince Ivan how to win one of the daughters of […]

There were once upon a time an old peasant and his wife, and they had three sons. Two of them were clever young men who could borrow money without being cheated, but the third was the Fool of the World. He was as simple as a child, simpler than some children, and he never did […]

Frost

Story type: Literature

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The children, in their little sheepskin coats and high felt boots and fur hats, trudged along the forest path in the snow. Vanya went first, then Maroosia, and then old Peter. The ground was white and the snow was hard and crisp, and all over the forest could be heard the crackling of the frost. […]

Sadko

Story type: Literature

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In Novgorod in the old days there was a young man–just a boy he was–the son of a rich merchant who had lost all his money and died. So Sadko was very poor. He had not a kopeck in the world, except what the people gave him when he played his dulcimer for their dancing. […]

Outside in the forest there was deep snow. The white snow had crusted the branches of the pine trees, and piled itself up them till they bent under its weight. Now and then a snow-laden branch would bend too far, and huge lumps of snow fell crashing to the ground under the trees. Then the […]