This classic Russian fairy tale starts with a king leaving the castle with a queen waiting for him. She waits for nine months until she gives a birth to a beautiful daughter right when the king returns home. The same day the queen dies.


After one year the king remarries with a beautiful yet envious woman who doesn't like her step-daughter. She is very narcissistic and has a magical mirror telling her every day she is the most beautiful woman in the world.


The princess got engaged to a prince Yelisei from another kingdom when the new queen hears from the mirror she is not the most beautiful anymore - from now on the princess is.

The queen is mad and orders a servant Chernavka to take the girl into the forest and ties her to a tree so wolfs could eat her. The princess begs for her life. Chernavka really leaves her untied and lies to the queen about the death of her stepdaughter.

In the meantime, the princess finds a hut in the forest. There's a dog, but she befriends it and enters finding food and beds and a lot of opportunities for cleaning. Later the inhabitants of the hood, seven knight return and they accept her as a guest.



She stays there, cooking and cleaning, but her stepmother finds out she is alive (from the mirror) and sends Chernavka to kill her.

Chernavka disguises herself to trick the princess, but she can't get past the dog.


She still manages to throw a poisonous apple to the princess who bites it and drops dead. Dog leads knights home, where they find the dead girl and when the dog bites the apple and dies too, find a reason for her death as well.

They decide to put her body in a crystal coffin and put it in a cave.


But prince Yelisei, who wanted to marry the princess, still tries to find her, asking the Sun, the Moon, and the Wind before finding his fiancee in the coffin. He angrily his the crystal, breaking it and freeing the princess who becomes alive again.


The prince and the princess return to the castle where the step-mother seeing her die of anger. The young couple marries.


Illustrations by Boris Zvorykin, all public domain, for further information about him and his work visit: