After holidays work days started
again. Life in the village ran quietly and leisurely. This was the warmest time
of the year.
Once on a hot day Meelo-Liza and her
brother Miloyar walked on the edge of the forest not far from their house.
Miloyar soon became tired, he sat down on the grass and dozed off, while his
little sister decided to gather some flowers on the near by meadow. There bloomed
many kinds of beautiful field flowers. Meelo-Liza did not watch the time while
walking around the glade. But when she returned to the birch tree, under which
her brother had fell asleep, he was not there. She ran by the edge of the
forest and called: «Milo-yar! Milo-yar! Hallooo! Where are you?!»However, only
silence was the answer. In tears the girl ran home. Mom and Dad were already
back from work. Upon learning about the missing child, they rushed out to
search for him. But all was in vain: Miloyar was no where to be found!
Sorrowful parents continued to
search for the child, and Meelo-Liza ran to the other side of the village to
search help of granny Martha. The girl told her of the trouble. This is what
granny Martha said: «I shall guess where your brother is, but I need an exact
confirmation of this. Take this magic kernel, and plant it in a secluded
location near your house. Sprinkle it with your tears. In the morning a flower
will blossom, and you must pick it and bring it to me. But do not tell anyone
about it, even your parents!» Martha took a grain out of her bag and gave it to
Meelo-Liza. The girl thanked Martha for help and ran home.
Miloyar still could not be found! Liza
decided to plant the kernel next to her favorite currant bush. Having sprinkled
it with one of her tears, Meelo-Liza went to bed; and with a hope for a better
tomorrow fell asleep. By dawn it grew up into a currant bush. She was stunned
by what she saw! She had never seen such an unusual and beautiful flower. It was
gentle as the first snow and had a wonderful aroma. But most of all she was
struck by the color of the flower. At the bottom up to the middle the petals were
bright red, but from the middle to the top they were snowy white! She gently picked
the flower and brought it to granny Martha. Martha was not a bit surprised to
see such a flower, as if she observed them every day.
Then granny Martha told her: «Now I
have the precise proof. White petals mean that Miloyar is alive and in good
health. And red onesindicate that he was kidnapped and probably enchanted. And the
person responsible for it must be Saina! She is still safe and sound and she is
back to her business! She has no children, and has long been dreaming of a
child of her own. And such a chance has been given to her. You are nothing to
blame for, child. Saina would steal your brother anyway. Now she gives him tea
with a magic herb, and he has forgot that he has a real mother, and father, and
sister. But nobody can return Miloyar home except you. Now listen carefully. It
is not so easy to find Saina. I will give you a leaf, which the Ash-Druid gave
me. It will show you the way to Saina. And yet, the most important thing! When
you come to Saina, she will understand everything. She will try to force you to
drink the same tea. But be careful! I’m giving you a bottle with some water
from my well. It is magical – it will remove the charms of Saina. Let Miloyar drink
it and his memory will come back and the witch will fall asleep. While being in
Saina’s house drink this water in stead of tea! The same ash-leaf will help you
to find the way back. Can you remember everything, my child? Do as I told you. And
not a single word to any body! Day comes from the darkness, horsefly – from the
grass!» Granny Martha gave Meelo-Liza the magical ash-leaf and a bottle of well
water and stroked her head. The girl thanked Martha and hurried to the forest.
After getting a little bit deeper
into the woods by a familiar path, Meelo-Liza took out the leaf and released it.
Then she followed the leaf. It was flying and taking the girl deeper and deeper
into the forest. But she wasn’t afraid at all. She knew that she will soon see her
brother alive and unharmed! Finally, the leaf stopped and fell to the ground. Meelo-Liza
took and hid it. Then she moved the bushes apart and saw a big beautiful log
house. Saina lived here!
The girl knocked at the door, it
opened, and Saina appeared on the threshold. «How did you get here, Liz…little
girl?!»- asked Saina. Meelo-Liza has invented a story about her being lost in
the woods and accidentally finding the house. The witch seemed to believe it
and let the girl into the house. «We have just been going to drink some tea
with a pie and jam. Please, have a meal with us, and rest for some time, and in
the morning I will show you the way to your village»,- uttered Saina. Miloyar
was sitting quietly and paid no attention to his sister. He forgot everyone: his
mama and papa that once lived in the village together with his sister. Saina brought
the tea to the children and went out to fetch some cake. Meelo-Liza quickly poured
the tea out under the floor and filled their cups with well water which granny Martha
had given. Miloyar took a sip from the cup and he was changed immediately – he
suddenly remembered everything! The witch’s spell was broken. «Be quiet and
behave the same way! Otherwise Saina will understand everything and we will
never get back home!»- whispered Meelo-Liza. Saina entered the room with
several cakes and jam. «Help yourself, children, and I’ll go snatch a nap».
Children did not eat anything, but only drank the water. Being very careful not
to awaken the witch, they got out through the window and took to their heels. Meelo-Liza
released the ash-leaf to fly ahead of her. They ran for a long time and stopped
to rest only once. Soon they saw the village. Their mom and dad stood near the
house. They were very glad to see their daughter, but when they noticed Miloyar,
tears showed in their eyes. There was no end to their joy. The next day the
parents arranged a party on this occasion. They invited the kids from all over
the village. The cake with strawberry tea and currant jam was
the main course of the celebration. At the head of the table next to mother and
father sat their beloved children, brother and sister - Miloyar and Meelo-Liza.
The honorary guest sitting next to them at the table was granny Martha.
Tale of magic bell
Konstantin Dmitriev, 2008
Translated into English: Maria Lyukish, 2012