The Story of Yvashka with the Bear's Ear

Author: George Borrow
Published: 1913
Language: English
Wordcount: 3,514 / 17 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 57.5
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 464
Added to site: 2009.05.17
mnybks.net#: 24186
Genre: Poetry
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Excerpt

l young and handsome daughters whom she keeps in a deep well beneath her izbushka or cabin, which has neither door nor window, and stands upon the wildest part of the steppe upon crow's feet and is continually turning round. Whenever Baba Yaga meets a person she is in the habit of screaming out:--

"_Oho_, _Oho_!
_I ne'er saw Russian wight till now_;
_But now the flesh of a Russian wight_
_I smell with nose and see with sight_."

Such is the Russian tradition about Baba Yaga, who is unlike in every respect any of the goblins and mythological monsters of Western Europe, except perhaps in her cry, which puts one in mind of the exclamation of the giant in the English nursery tale of Jack the Giant killer:--

"_Fee_, _Fi_, _Fo_, _Fum_,
_I smell the blood of an Englishman_."

In the demon lore of the Turks, however, there is a ghostly being with which she seems to have considerable affinity. This goblin is called Kara Conjulos. Kara Conjulos is a female, and lives at the bottom of a well in a certain part of Constantinople, from which she emerges every night and drives

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