Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fairytale Reflections at Seven Miles of Steel Thistles

I thought this published earlier this week, but apparently it went to draft instead of scheduled publication, so here it is today...

I'm a few days late on this one (as well as most of my life right now!)... This past Friday's Fairytale Reflections (7) at Seven Miles of Steel Thistles featured author Lucy Coats. Her fairy tale of choice to discuss was Baba Yaga, more character than actual fairy tale.

I can no longer remember where my fascination with Baba Yaga began. It may have been Arthur Ransome and Old Peter’s Russian Tales who introduced me to her, but I think not. Having a set of Russian cousins probably meant that somewhere, somehow, I was first told of her via whispered under-bedclothes tales of the witch with iron teeth, who lived in a house with chicken legs behind a bonefence of bright-lit human skulls. What a fabulous story! I was immediately hooked for life.

For me, she is the ultimate über-witch; the one all other fairytales imitate and fail to surpass. She has, variously, black iron teeth, a skeleton-leg, a sharp, beaky nose with excellent smelling skills, poor eyesight, no talent whatsoever for fine cooking, warts (and what is a witch without warts?), wheezy breath à la Darth Vader and a temperament which swings in a moment from mildly benevolent to seriously inimical. Her mode of travel is to climb into a large iron mortar, and row herself about the sky with a pestle, sweeping out her tracks with a silver birch besom as she goes—so much cooler than a mere broomstick in my opinion.
Click through the link to read the rest...

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