Friday, October 25, 2013

52 Weeks of Fairy Tales #49 - Lichka

The fall weather has really got me in the crafty mood, and I was able to spend a good part of the day working on my needle felting.  I still have a few more fairy tales to go in my 52 Weeks of Fairy Tale series, and I have been eager to needle felt the doll for this next story.  The tale I chose for week 49 is another story from The Fish Bride and Other Gypsy Tales, retold by Jean Russel Larson, called Lichka. 

The story begins in the cold winter with a young girl named Lichka who is all alone in her small cottage.  Her brother has gone off to military service, and the snow has piled all around her cottage, making it impossible for her to go into town for more food.  The only food she has left is a cabbage, two onions, and three potatoes.

One evening Lichka sat down by her peat fire to cook her cabbage, and work on sewing a new cloak, since her old cloak is full of holes.  Then Lichka heard three knocks at her door, when she opened the door, there stood an old women leaning on a walking stick, cold and drenched.  The old gypsy woman asked Lichka if she had anything that would comfort her on this cold and windy evening.  Lichka welcomed the old woman inside by the fire and offered her the cabbage.  The old woman ate all of the cabbage, and when she was warm, she told Lichka that her kindness would be rewarded, and then left.

The next evening the storm continued, and Lichka cooked her two onions, and sat by her fire to continue working on her cloak.  Again three knocks came at the door, and again it was the old woman, freezing cold and wet.  The old woman asked Lichka if she had anything that would comfort her on this cold evening. Lichka invited the old woman to come in by the fire and offered her the onion soup.  The old woman ate all of the onion soup, not leaving a drop for Lichka. When she was warm, she told Lichka her kindness would be rewarded, and then she left.

The third evening, just before dark, Lichka finished her cloak, and set it aside. Then she cooked her three potatoes.  Again there were three knocks at the door, and again it was the old woman looking for comfort from the storm.  Lichka invited the old woman inside by the fire, and gave her the potato soup she had made. The old woman ate every drop, then walked over to the cloak and tried it on.  She told Lichka that the cloak would warm her on the road.  Lichka gladly gave her cloak to the old woman.  Before she could even say anything more to the old woman, the old woman left, leaving behind her walking stick.

The next evening, there was no food left, Lichka sat in her home, when again she heard three knocks on her door.  Thinking it was the old Gypsy woman, she opened the door.  Unfortunately, it was not the old woman. Standing at Lichka's door was a terrible three-headed monster!  Lichka tried shutting the door, but the monster pushed inside.  Terrified, Lichka grabbed the old woman's walking stick, which was by the door, and gave the monster a hard hit on the largest of his three heads!

In a flash, the monster disappeared, in its place was a horse and cart, and gold coins rained down on Lichka. Just like the Old Gypsy woman said, Lichka's kindness had been rewarded. From that day on Lichka lived in wealth and cheer.

I just loved this story!  What a wonderful story to teach kindness and giving, perfect as we approach the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.  As soon as I read this story I knew I wanted to needle felt the old woman in the cloak that Lichka gave her.  This was a fun project, and I was happy how it turned out.  

She is only a few inches tall, and her hair is a combination of light purple, gray and black put up in a bun. She is happily residing on the dining room bookcase.

I would highly recommend the book this story came from, The Fish Bride and Other Gypsy Tales retold by Jean Russel Larson, wonderful folk and fairy tales!  You can read more about it through my Amazon Affiliate Link below.

You can find all of my 52 Weeks of Fairy Tale Posts through the link below.

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  1. Really like this tale, April. What a nice message. Your little old woman is adorable. Can you suggest a book on getting started on needle felting? I just saw some really adorable mice done with this craft and I want to give it a try.

  2. Thanks Jane! :) I have never had a book about needle felting, I could never really find a needle felting book that told me anything more than the basics. The best place I have found for learning to needle felt are all the youtube tutorials out there, as well as some great ideas on Pinterest. It's a very fun and easy craft to get going on, I do love some of the cute needle felted animals people make, I have seen some with amazing detail. I do love the cute little mouses people make, I've also seen dogs made in every breed which are very cute as well. I get my supplies mostly from they also have some tutorial videos on their site, and some books which might be helpful, like Wool Pets by Laurie Sharp. Have a great weekend!

  3. Thanks April! I'll check into your suggestions. It looks like so much fun.

  4. What a fantastic little old lady. I am going to go back and catch up on all your other fairy tale posts now. I love a good story!

  5. I had never heard this tale. I like it and your little woman.

  6. What a great tale! I had never heard it before, but I love it. And your old woman is wonderful. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  7. April, I came across your blog accidentally. It is wonderful and so creative.It is always my hope that when I write, the conversation will be continued in various forms, and you have done that. If you can give me your address, I would like to send you a copy of my most recent book, "Norwegian Folktales of Anthon and Gurina Johnson" I am at Thank you for your lovely words. Best, Jean Larson


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