The Snow Girl

A childless old couple is very unhappy.  They watch as the children from the other huts play outside.  All the time they watch, because they do not have a little one.  When winter comes the old man says to the old woman:

"Let us go into the yard behind and make a little snow girl;  and perhaps she will come alive, and be a little daughter to us."  They roll the snow tenderly. Their little snow girl is very beautiful.  They beg her to speak, they beg her to run. Then a miracle happens, the snow girl begins to dance and run and sing.  She warns the old people that she'll gladly stay with them, unless they love her too little, for then she will melt away and return to the land of the sky.

The old people are beside themselves with gladness.  The little snow girl laughs and plays and brings great happiness into their life.  One day the village children go into the forest. The little snow girl goes with them.  She gets terribly lost. Darkness falls and she starts to cry, begging the animals of the forest to help her.  They offer to take her home, but she is afraid of the old brown bear, and afraid of the grey wolf. At last the little red fox comes and she accepts his help, for he does not frighten her.

Meanwhile the old man and the old woman lament bitterly, for they believe that their little daughter of the snow is lost.  They are therefore overjoyed when she comes safely home. They thank the fox, and offer him a crust of bread as a reward. But Fox asks for a nice, plump hen saying:  "After all, your snow girl is worth a nice plump hen."

The old people grumble.  A hen is a big gift and they try to fool the little red fox, even sending a fierce dog after him.  As they do this, they hear the little snow girl sing that because they love her even less than a chicken, she has to leave them and return to the land in the sky.  Then the snow girl is gone.