Me, spilling out all my thoughts, inner and outer, on just about anything! Lots of poetry, short stories from past experiences, anecdotes about teaching elementary school, music, relationships....garage sale type thing...Something For Everyone!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Baba Yaga, A Russian Witch!

Today, I have the fun opportunity of going in to my school dressed up as a witch to read, "Bony Legs" for Hallowe'en. The story is a Russian folktale based on the witch, Baba Yaga, who lives in the forest in a hut that stands on chicken feet. She has iron feet and eats little children! She is dressed in a long skirt with an apron and wears a babushka on her head. Of course, I have the whole outfit kept in the dress-up section of my attic, complete with green rubber hands with long gnarly fingers and black nails.

I have an absolute blast doing this! All the kids laugh at my witchy voice and jump out of their skin when Bony Legs yells, "Bah!" as she does unexpectedly a few times. They all have a good chuckle as I turn the pages deftly (and sometimes not so deftly!) with my new fingers! In the storyteller's apron, which my mom made me 26 years ago, are several deep pockets from which I pull out various objects that are featured in the story as they are mentioned. I have a mirror, a comb, a piece of bread, a dog and a cat.

The teachers get a big kick out of me doing this, probably as much as I do. The kids sit quietly and hang off every word. It is such a neat feeling to have them in the palm of my hands, green as they are!

I'll be back to read more stories!

Happy Hallowe'en!

Mother of Invention, already planning my reading of, "Strega Nona"!

25 Comments:

Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

I love Strega Nona! Baba Yaga...you should video that!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Blogger Diana said...

I remember reading Baba Yaga as a kid! Hard to beat the Russians for wicked witch tales.

Have a ball!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Mona: She's one of my favourite characters! Gotta practice my Italian accent, bring in some dry pasta and a big pasta pot. Anything else I should bring?
After that I'll read, "Strega Nona Meets Her Match"!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Diana: Thanks, I will! I love this part of teaching! HA! While I'm on a leave I can have the fun and then walk out without the report card pressure!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Blogger Richard said...

I think you meant iron teeth, not iron feet.

While often ascribed to the Russians, it is a Slavic tale. I remember it growing up (my parents are from Poland).

It was one of the stories my daughter loved when she was younger.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Blogger meno said...

That sounds like jolly good fun! Baba Yaga is featured in one of those anime movies that i love. I can't remember which movie though.
A video would be awesome.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Blogger Maggie said...

MOI, what an awesome thing to do! I love reading to kids and there is a local English library here that was asking for volunteer readers for story times. I think I might just do it. I love when kids stare at you with their mouths open engrossed in the story you're telling.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping the spirit of Halloween alive. In Florida, they've changed the day to "Change of Seasons Day" and costumes and treats are banned. How PC can a state be anyway.

B-O-O-O!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Blogger steve said...

Seems like my Second Grade teacher did have Iron Legs and Green Rubbery hands... I would not doubt for a minute that she lived in a house that stood on Chicken Legs; none of my class mates ever went missing... you are so much fun, Ma! That apron sounds like a real treasure.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Anonymous colleen said...

I love crashing costume parties like I did this weekend where not one single person knows it's me!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Richard: You are right, it's iron teeth glinting in the sun!
Might it have come to Russia via Poland?
I love it because she is differently dressed than "Our" typical witch.


Meno: It is so much fun! I missed my calling...should have taken drama!

Maggie: How perfect for you! Go for it...it's very rewarding. For me, it is extra cool because I taught all these little guys music and drama last year in Gr. 2 so they know what a nutbar I am!

Stephen: How awful! What a loss for the kids! I have such great kid memories of hallowe'en! My dad used to dress up too and go out with us.

Steve: Yes, that's half the fun....collecting neat junk around my house and attic to put in the pockets!

Colleen: Now that is really cool! You gotta love it when people have spirit. It's that kind of thing that really makes it for me.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Blogger RennyBA said...

This gave me a real good laugh - a very nice story! You know, Halloween is not a very common celebration in Norway, but we do have witches: My parents always told me they came from Bloksberg in Germany though. Great to read about the Russian folktale then!
Btw: Some of your question about Norway is on my last post - have a great read:-)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Blogger Richard said...

I was very entranced by her hut on chicken legs.

Some versions have her flying about in the sky in a mortar, but that was not part of my tradition.

I discovered Strega Nona last year and red a number of them to my daughter.

Other stories she has really liked are Thumbelina, The Twelve Dancing Princesses and most recently The Princess Mouse a wonderful Finnish fairy tale.

My boy goes more for things like Jack and the Beanstalk or Lazy Jack

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Renny: Thanks. Glad you got a laugh out of it! So did the kids! Me too! No trick or treats? Those poor kids!

Richard: The chicken feet are col and the picture of her tub (in which she rows across the water that was made from the mirror the cat gave her) is on chicken feet too. There are many different versions I have found. This one didn't fly at all. Another version had the child embroidering in a room instead of washing in a tub.

I'll have to ask my Finnish friend whether she knows The Princess Mouse. I'll check the story links later. Thanks. Always neat to get directed to a new book!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great story, I have always loved that one.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

 
Blogger brooksba said...

What a treat for the kids! Sounds like wonderful fun!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Old Lady: I really get into the witch theme! Strega Nona is neat too. (She's a good witch..Grandma Witch)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

 
Anonymous Brian said...

Hi Ruth,

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. You are welcome back anytime.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Brian: Okay!

Brooksba: It is a treat for both of us! I'm doing Strega in a few weeks.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Brian: Okay!

Brooksba: It is a treat for both of us! I'm doing Strega in a few weeks.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

 
Blogger Annelisa said...

Wonderful! As someone said before, 'Wish you were my teacher!'

Thursday, November 02, 2006

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Annelisa: Thanks! I would have loved a student like you in my class! I wish my teachers had been like many teachers today. I would have flourished.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

 
Blogger Carmi said...

Educators like you aren't made; they're born. How lucky we all are that you choose to share your gift with the next generation in this way.

This inspires me!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Carmi: Thanks so much. (My brother-in-law said the same thing once...I was the kid with the blackboard on my bedroom door!)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Carmi: Thanks so much. (My brother-in-law said the same thing once...I was the kid with the blackboard on my bedroom door!)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

 

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