Sunday, April 16, 2017

From the Seasonal Archives - Household Tales: Easter, Baba Yaga & The Monster Chicken

Bunny Beware by Michael Sowa
A little treat from my household to yours.
You've probably heard of Baba Yaga and her hut on chicken legs. But did you know the hut has its own story? 
The chicken-legged house spends all year long soaking up the magic leaking out of Baba Yaga's kitchen, and one day each new Spring (a day we call Easter), there's finally enough in its bones that a wondrous thing happens. The hut shakes its walls and shingles into feathers, breaking enough of the spell keeping it chained to Baba Yaga's bidding, to transform into the strangest half-house, half-chicken monster anyone has ever seen. 
Having picked up a few tricks living with its Master, the hut always manages to escape, forcing Baba Yaga to give chase. For a whole day, the Monster Chicken plays a mischievous game of hide-and-seek, dodging the Yaga's flying mortar and pestle by hiding in the yards of good-hearted children. Wherever it sits and makes a hurried nest, it leaves monster eggs as thank you's for the household's hospitality.  
Hut on chicken legs during the spring nesting season
Divo-Ostrov", Saint-Petersburg
At the end of one whole day and one whole night, however, the hut is tired and has enough of running. Baba Yaga catches up with it and drags her little house back to their home in the woods. There it gives one great shake before turning its body back into a hut and settling into a good long sleep, dreaming of the next year when it can run on its own again.  
But even though the hut is sleeping, sometimes the dreams are so strong, it gets up on its legs, stretches them out, turns around and settles down again, without even waking up...
Update April 2017: My son, now 10, still adores this tale of ours (and if any of you have had visits from the Monster Chicken  my son would LOVE to hear about it!). With the fairly recent news confirming many dinosaurs as having feathers, in addition to being related to chickens, this story no longer seems quite as fanciful... ;) He looks forward to visits from the Monster Chicken even more than the Easter Bunny. Frankly, I think the Easter Bunny is tickled to have the magical company in our yard every year. 
Mystic Chicken by Ekaterina/Philieria
 Do you have a personal 'Household Tale' of your own you'd like to share? Write to fairytalenews AT gmail DOT com. We'd love to share your personal traditions and stories.

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