Objects That Love
In a certain kingdom, there lived a merchant who had an only daughter named Vasilisa. When the girl was eight years old, her mother fell gravely ill, and called her daughter to her side. She took a doll from under her coverlet and gave it to the girl, saying, "Listen, Vasilisa, and heed my last words. I am dying, and together with my maternal blessing I leave you this doll. Always keep it with you, and do not show it to anyone; if you get into trouble, give the doll food and ask its advice. When it has eaten, it will tell you what to do." Then the mother kissed her child goodbye and died.