The Magic Swan Geese

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The Magic Swan Geese or Гуси-лебеди is a Russian fairy tale collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki.[1]

It is Aarne-Thompson type 480.[2] Other variants of the Aarne-Thompson type include The Six Swans, The Twelve Wild Ducks, Udea and her Seven Brothers, The Wild Swans, The Seven Ravens, and The Twelve Brothers.[2]


Once there was a couple who had both a daughter and a son. They left their daughter in charge of her younger brother, but one day she lost track of him and the magic swan geese snatched him away. The daughter chased after him and came upon an oven that offered to tell her if she ate its rye buns; she scorned them, saying she doesn't even eat wheat buns. She also scorned similar offers from an apple tree, and a river of milk. She came across a little hut built on a hen's foot, in which she found Baba Yaga with her brother; Baba Yaga sent her to spin flax and left. A mouse scurried out and said it would tell her what she needed to know if she gave it porridge; she did, and it told her that Baba Yaga was heating the bath house to steam her, then she would cook her. The mouse took over her spinning, and the girl took her brother and fled.

Baba Yaga sent the swan geese after her. She begged the river for aid, and it insisted she drink some of it first; she did, and it sheltered her. When she ran on, the swan geese followed again, and the same happened with the apple tree and the oven. Then she reached home safely.


1949, "Soyuzmultfilm": a 20-minute animated film "Гуси-лебеди" by the directors Ivan Ivanov-Vano and Aleksandra Snezhko-Blotskaya. It was repeatedly published on VHS and DVD in collections of the Soviet animated films.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alexander Afanasyev, Narodnye russkie skazki "The Magic Swan Geese"
  2. ^ a b Heidi Anne Heiner, "Tales Similar to The Six Swans"
  3. ^