Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Leshy

A priest’s daughter went for a walk in the forest without asking her father or mother and disappeared without a trace. Three years later, in the village where her parents still lived there was a brave hunter who traveled through the primeval forests with his dog and his gun.
One day while he was traveling through the woods his dog began barking furiously as its hair rose up on its back in anger. The hunter looked down the path to see a man picking at his shoe. After a moment the hunter realized that the man wasn’t really a human but a leshy and so he took aim and fired striking the forest spirit in the belly. The Leshy rolled across the ground for only a moment before getting up and dragging himself into the thicket with the dog and the hunter chasing after.
The hunter followed the Leshy into the mountains, through a rock crevice where there stood a tiny cabin. On peering inside the cabin the hunter saw the Leshy laying on a bench with a girl crying bitterly beside him.
“Who will feed me now?” the girl cried.
“Hello, fairy maiden,” the hunter greeted her. “Can you tell me where your from?”
“I do not know,” the girl told him. “I do not know if I have ever seen freedom, if I have a father and mother, I don’t recall anything.”
“Very well, I’m going to take to Holy Russia,” the hunter told the girl.
So he took her with him out of the forest as he realized that she had been carried away by the Leshy, and had lived in the woods for many years, naked and knowing no shame. At last they came to the village and the hunter inquired if anyone had lost a girl. Soon the priest and his wife discovered that their daughter had returned. SO the priests wife ran to the girl and hugged her.
“You are my dear little child, where have you been so long?” the girls mother said tearfully.
At first however the girl didn’t understand anything that was happening and it took some time for her to recover. However eventually she recalled all and married the hunter. When people went later to find the hut in which she’d been living with the leshy they couldn’t find it.