In truth, Baba Yaga was kind and very lonely. And as she watches the babushkas of the village delight in their grandchildren, she longs for a grandchild of her own. Then she has an idea: She will be a babushka instead of a Baba Yaga. She dresses herself up as a kindly grandmother and enters the village.
When she comes across a young woman and her grandmotherless son, they adopt her as their very own babushka, and as the days pass, Baba Yaga and the boy, Victor, grow to love each other very much. But one day, Victor hears stories of the horrible, wicked Baba Yaga, and she knows that she must go back to the woods before the child finds out who she really is.
Legend would have Baba Yaga evil and unkind, but in Patricia Polacco's version of this Russian folktale, we are reminded to judge not by rumor and appearance, but by what we know in our own hearts to be true.
©1993 Patricia Polacco; (P)2008 Penguin
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