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breeden
ursulav

House With Bird Feet

Once upon a time there was a girl named Sarah, whose mother loved her very very very much.

Her mother loved her so much that she was not allowed to play outside where someone might grab her, nor go away on sleepovers where there might be an accident or suspicious food. She was not allowed to go away to camp, where she might be squashed by a horse or bitten by diseased mosquitos, and she most certainly was not allowed to go on the Ferris Wheel at the carnival because (her mother said) the people who maintain the machinery are lazy and not very educated and might get drunk and forget to put a bolt back on and the entire thing could come loose at any moment and fall down and kill everyone inside, and they should probably leave the carnival immediately before it happened.

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I haven't read all that widely on the tales of Baba Yaga, though I certainly guessed from the title that the story would involve her somewhere. This is the first time I've seen the house characterized so distinctly! Baba Yaga is awesome, because of course she is, but I totally love what you've done with her house!

I want to know more about the salamander.

Bugger the salamander. I want to know more about the former house on leopards feet that has since been shot, stuffed, and turned into a storage shed. What does Baba Yaga keep in her storage shed, or even better what kind of person buys a second hand stoage shed with leopard feet from Baba Yaga and what do they pay.

"...the padlock clambered up the wooden crosspiece on the gate and swung itself out to the latch."

Yep, that's the bit that made my day, but the whole thing's lovely indeed.

You had me totally here: "One day in spring, when she was playing in the back garden, a house walked into the alley." but I knew you you WOULD have me, because I've read other stuff you write. I jsut didn't know WHAT you'd write.

And Baba Yaga! Is the bee's knees of awesomeness! Scary and nifty and no doubt has a red hat too somewhere, until she fed it to her second house because it was too tame.

I think.

Baba Yaga!


Her mother loved her so much that she was not allowed to play outside where someone might grab her, nor go away on sleepovers where there might be an accident or suspicious food. She was not allowed to go away to camp, where she might be squashed by a horse or bitten by diseased mosquitos, and she most certainly was not allowed to go on the Ferris Wheel at the carnival because (her mother said) the people who maintain the machinery are lazy and not very educated and might get drunk and forget to put a bolt back on and the entire thing could come loose at any moment and fall down and kill everyone inside, and they should probably leave the carnival immediately before it happened.


...yeah, save for piddling details like gender and the particular dangers, you've just described my father. Jesus.

I, uh, feel a little bad about that. I'm sorry! I hope it's better now?

Yay, Baba Yaga! I mean, c'mon, a hut on FOWL'S LEGS? How cool is that? (And I liked the bit about her last house having leopard feet. Very kewl)

I love this so much. It's just gorgeous.

"“Saint Sunday’s bones!” cried the woman, pulling her hand back, and then she said a great many other things, some of which were extremely rude. Sarah paid careful attention to these and committed many of them to memory."


Was my favourite part. B/c that's exactly what I would have done as a kid. <3

You tell your agent that I'll buy this book when it gets published. The other folks already nailed the lines that I also liked a lot. I like your writing style. Much more like a storyteller sitting around a warm fire in a pub telling tales, then some high-faluting literati declaiming in iambic pantameter.

"One day in spring, when she was playing in the back garden, a house walked into the alley." I first thought it was a typo and that you meant horse until I read a bit further.

I can't help wondering if Sarah's mother knew about Baba Yaga and had been trying to keep Sarah safe from her.

Like the others I am crazy for your writing and so would love to see this continued and collected in an anthology of your fairy tales.

Shakatany

Even if she didn't know about Baba Yaga, that's no guarantee she didn't know how strange a place the world actually was. There's enough folklore out there that she could be from something else entirely.

Loved the story, but I think I liked the part after it better.The insight into how you produce these things you occasionally share with us, and what happens to the things you don't, was quite interesting, and also encouraging. As someone who is gradually writing more, I like the idea of things working this way, even if it probably won't for me.

Migad! LOVED it. What everyone else said. And the overprotective parent; wow! that resonates with experiences I know of.

I AM NOT AFRAID OF THE FERRIS WHEEL

This line in particular resonated with me, but mostly because I used to operate a ferris wheel in a children's amusement park. Way, way back in the day, it wasn't really maintained by ANYONE and management couldn't give a flip about enforcing safety standards as long as the customers didn't complain, and I had some utterly terrifying experiences and refused to be rehired. Then management completely changed and they offered me my old job. Before I would accept, I quizzed the operations manager on things like "When did the bumper boats get new batteries?" and "Is the emergency brake on the ferris wheel fully functional?" not to mention "How long has it been since the train derailed?" The answers were, "Last month," "OH GOD OF COURSE," and "Not since we realized it's been going around the track the wrong way for decades," so I took the job. Under my previous boss, the answers were something like, "The Carter administration," "Why would that matter?" and "I dunno, what time is it now?" My first stint on that job, I was terrified of that ferris wheel. SO GLAD FOR NEW MANAGEMENT. Even if they kind of thought I was being obnoxious with my questions until one of the few people who survived the management changeover (who had nothing to do with the rides) mentioned that my tenure in the park predated hers.

Anyway, one of those memories that I have and pull out when I need to warm the cockles of my heart a little bit is of a little boy who was afraid of the ferris wheel. He was probably about four, and he had a bigger brother of about seven who was a big boy and definitely not afraid of the ferris wheel. The younger brother really wanted to go, but was also terrified. I offered my standard bargain -- I'll put you on, and you can go around once, and then I'll stop it when you get down and if you want to get off then you can, and if you want to stay on then you can. This was still a pretty scary proposition, and he really wasn't sure about taking me up on it. That's when I noticed that he had a stuffed raccoon under one arm and a stuffed dog under the other. "Maybe one of your friends here can ride with your big brother, and when they finish the ride they can tell you if it's safe." This plan was a winner. So the older brother and the raccoon rode together, and the younger brother had a long discussion with the raccoon before getting on the ride himself. He rode. He loved it. Then he remembered that the dog hadn't had a turn and asked if he could have a go all on his own. So the stuffed dog got a seat all to himself and absolutely everybody's day was made, and nobody was afraid of the ferris wheel anymore.


Working with the stuffed animals... You are fantastic!
Bravo!

" "I’ll have you breaded and fried and made into colossal drumsticks!” "

That line has made this my second favourite Baba Yaga story ever. Possibly even my favourite, but first I'll have to double check the other one and see if it's as good as I remember it to be.

As usual, this is amazing.

I desperately want to know what happens next, but at the same time, to see the next page would ruin it. Amazing. :)

my only quibble is the fact that the name Sarah is apparently irrevocably tied to one goblin king and a labyrinth. but tha'ts a personal problem

Love. This. I would buy a book of these beginnings for now other reason then to inspire roleplays with my table top group (we're a strange group) or my husband. Beautiful seeds, blooming into ideas.

So you have not been blessed with an abundance of Sara(h)s in your life, then? There were three in my high school class (which had fewer than 100 people in it) and at least another half-dozen that I knew from elsewhere.

Also, I think the Labyrinth's Sarah could have benefited from an early dose of Baba Yaga. Knock some darn sense into her before she summons the Goblin King, and she would have had a much better time all around.