Caspian Folklore; Ivan and the Wicked Arch-witch’s Sweetroll

The Arch-witch of Caspia has been locked in her egged prison for thousands of years but the stories of her wickedness are still incredibly popular on Caspia, especially among parents who try to warn their children for things.

Here’s an example which is especially popular on the rural islands on Caspia.

Ivan and the Wicked Arch-witch’s Sweetroll

“Ivan walked past the smith to the baker of the village. The baker’s wife always had something nice for Ivan to eat and Ivan was always hungry.

“Good morning Ivan.” Said the baker’s wife. “Would you like something nice to eat?”

“Yes.” Said Ivan and the baker’s wife raised her brow before Ivan added: “Please.”

The wicked Arch-witch saw from her evil tower in the woods how the baker’s wife gave Ivan a warm bread. While Ivan ate, the Arch-witch concocted her most evil plan. She was going to poison Ivan with a poisoned sweetroll.  She climbed down her crooked stairs and into her flying mortar to fly to the village.

In a tree’s trunk, she hid until the next day Ivan went to the baker’s wife again.

“Good morning Ivan.” Said the baker’s wife. “Would you like something nice to eat?”

“Yes.” Said Ivan and the baker’s wife raised her brow before Ivan added: “Please.”

The wicked Arch-witch jumped out of the tree in the form of a poor maiden and held out her poisoned sweetroll to Ivan.

“Hello, little rat.” Said the wicked Arch-witch who did not know how to be friendly. “That bread is filthy, take my delicious sweetroll.”

“But by Sól! You are a poor maiden, I could not take a delicious sweetroll from you even though you have a filthy tongue. If you were a rich maiden I would take it.” Said Ivan and he walked onward, taking his warm bread home.

The wicked Arch-witch grumbled and hid in the trunk of the tree. Tomorrow she would poison Ivan.

The third day Ivan went to the baker’s wife again.

“Good morning Ivan.” Said the baker’s wife. “Would you like something nice to eat?”

“Yes.” Said Ivan and the baker’s wife raised her brow before Ivan added: “Please.”

When Ivan passed by her again, the wicked Arch-witch jumped out of her trunk in the form of a rich maiden and held out her poisoned sweetroll to Ivan.

“Hello, little rat.” Said the wicked Arch-witch who did not know how to be friendly. “That bread is filthy, take my delicious sweetroll.”

Ivan did not hesitate. He had wanted to take the sweetroll from the poor maiden but couldn’t because it was wrong to take from the poor. He grabbed the sweetroll and took a big bite.

Ivan died because he took food from the stranger who was the wicked Arch-witch in disguise.”

***

The moral of this story is: Don’t take food from strangers, especially if they are rude.

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