3

Baba Yaga

by LoLoBird
(reading level: 4)
(read time: over 30 min.)
(story group: Story Writers Group)
(views: 1951)
(age rating: for all audiences)

Where: Russia
Main ideas: The author did not tag this story with any main ideas

Summary: "Baba Yaga" is adapted from "Baba Yaga and the Little Girl with the Kind Heart" from Old Peter's Russian Tales

Baba Yaga

Country of Origin: Russia

Adapted as a Play Script by Benjamin Knight

 

 

Characters in order of appearance:

 

NATASHA

GRIGORI

NARRATOR

INGA

AGATA

ANASTASIA

YAKOV  (dog)

BABA YAGA

DIMITRI  (cat)

 

 

Scene 1 – Natasha’s house

 

[Stage set: A decrepit, ramshackle hut made of wood.  NATASHAand her father GRIGORI sit at a dinner table talking quietly and laughing.  There is a set of Russian nesting dolls on the table.  That’s a classic kind of Russian toy doll.  If you’d like to see what they look like, Google, “Russian nesting dolls.”]

 

[NARRATOR enters.]

 

NARRATOR:

This play is “Baba Yaga,” a classic folktale from Russia.   It is brought to you by Stories to Grow by.    

 

It’s cold out here in the tundra of Russia.  (hugs shoulders and shivers)  You know– “tundra.”  No trees, and where the land is flat and COLD.  But inside the hut where Natasha lives with her father, Grigori (gestures to Natasha and Grigori), it’s warm.  That’s what a big cozy fire will do.    

 

[NARRATOR exits.]

 

NATASHA:

(laugs)  You’re silly, Papa.  There aren’t monsters out in the forest! 

 

GRIGORI:

I swear, hand on my heart!  I went out to collect firewood on Tuesday morning and I saw this big nasty-looking thing come out from the trees!

 

NATASHA:

Eek!  What did it look like?

 

GRIGORI:

Well, it was hairy, with thick black fur!  And HUGE teeth!  (picks up two pieces of bread and holds them to mouth as if they are teeth, making growling sounds)  Grrr! 

 

NATASHA:

(laughs)  And what did it do? 

 

GRIGORI:

Oh, it slowly ambled up to the house, like this  (walks slowly to Natasha, swinging back and forth)  And it said “Grigori!  I’m coming to your house!  I will eat you and your daughter!  And all your bread and vegetables, too!” and I looked at the monster!  And I said, “Monster!  You will not come here, or I will… I will… wear you as a fur hat!  Now begone!” And I threw some wood at him!

 

[GRIGORI picks up the loaf of bread at hurls it across the room.  He pauses, then picks it up and brushes it off.]

 

GRIGORI:

Actually, we’ll need this bread.  We don’t have much food in the house.

 

NATASHA:

It’s all right, Papa.  We’ll share the bread, just the two of us.  The way we always do.

 

GRIGORI:

Actually, Natasha.  I need to tell you something.  There’s going to be a change around here. 

 

NATASHA:

What do you mean, Papa?

 

GRIGORI:

You see, today I met (trill of music from offstage, as from a bell or harp) a beautiful woman.

 

NATASHA:

Uh-oh.

 

GRIGORI:

She’s enchanting, Natasha.  (dramatically)  Her hair, her eyes… (same trill of music)  Even her name, Inga – is spellbinding!

 

NATASHA:

That’s a nice enough name, I suppose.  Though I don’t know how “spell-binding” it is…

 

GRIGORI:

Natasha, she’s the one!  I knew it right away.  Of course I had to ask her to marry me.

 

NATASHA:

What?  You didn’t have to do anything.  Papa, you only just met the lady!

 

GRIGORI:

It felt like I’ve known her for years.  So I asked her, right then and there!

 

NATASHA:

Of course she said no.  Right?

 

GRIGORI:

She said  (same trill of music)  YES!  Oh, happiest of days!

 

NATASHA:

(to audience) Oh, no!  (to Grigori)  Papa, why do your eyes look so funny, all of a sudden? 

 

GRIGORI:

(dazed)  She’s so beautiful!

 

NATASHA:

But Papa, I… I don’t even know what she is like!

 

[A knock on the door from offstage.]

 

GRIGORI:

(turns to look offstage)  Ah, there she is now!  (calls)  Come in, darling!

 

[INGA enters.]

 

INGA:

Grigori.  Darling. 

 

[GRIGORI sighs, lovesick.  He kneels and kisses her hand.]

 

INGA:

(notices Natasha)  And this is…?

 

GRIGORI:

Ah, yes!  You remember my saying, darling?  This is Natasha, my daughter.

 

INGA:

(deadpan)  Right.  How could one forget?

 

NATASHA:

(frightened)  It’s a p-pleasure to… meet you? 

 

INGA:

(turns her back on Natasha)  Maybe.  (points to the fireplace)  Is it you who let the fire go out?

 

NATASHA:

Well no, it’s actually Papa’s job to keep the–

 

GRIGORI:

Ah!  You are so observant to notice, my darling.  We are nearly out of wood in the woodshed.  I’ll go chop more.  It will be another cold one tonight.

 

INGA:

Darling, why strain yourself?  Why not just let Natasha do it?  The fresh air will do her good.

 

GRIGORI:

I didn’t think of that!  How very considerate of you, my pet.

 

INGA:

I’m that way.

 

NATASHA:

(alarmed)  Papa..!

 

INGA:

And besides, (strokes Grigori’s face and he purrs)  we will be able to have some quality time together.

 

GRIGORI:

(sighs loudlythen says sternly to Natasha)  Natasha!  You must go outside to cut more firewood.

 

NATASHA:

But Papa!  That axe is too heavy for me!  I don’t know how to use it.  And it’s freezing outside!

 

INGA:

For goodness sake!  (points dramatically to Natasha)  Does she always make EXCUSE after EXCUSE?

 

GRIGORI:

(to Natasha)  Go now, Natasha!  It’s for your own good.  No nonsense, now.

 

NATASHA:

Okay, OKAY!  (to audience)  This is not good.

 

[NATASHA scurries to the exit.  GRIGORI silently fawns over INGA.]

 

[NARRATOR enters.]

 

NARRATOR:

That winter, it was Natasha who cut the wood.  Natasha who fed the hogs and it was Natasha who fed the chickens.  Each bitter cold morning it was Natasha who got up early to light the heat stove.  When her father and Inga got married, it was Natasha who cooked the wedding meal.  And who cleaned up afterward?  You guessed it.  Natasha.  The girl was so busy, it was easy to forget she was even there.

 

[NATASHA knocks at the door.]

 

INGA:

Who would bother us at this time of night?

 

NATASHA:

(from outside)  Let me in!

 

GRIGORI:

(to Inga)  Who could that be?

 

[GRIGORI goes to open the door.  NATASHA enters, shivering and covered head-to-toe in dirt.]

 

NATASHA:

Papa, I cut the firewood, I cleaned the tools.  I washed the pigs and fed the chickens.  I counted exactly how many crickets there are in the foothill at the bottom of the yard – that’s forty-six.  Can I come back inside now where it’s warm?

 

GRIGORI:

Well, erm, I mean, if it’s all right with my dear wife–

 

NATASHA:

Papa!  I live here too, don’t I?

 

INGA:

(to audience)  Exactly the problem.  (crooning, to Natasha)  Feeding chickens and counting crickets is all well and good.  But I have just one more errand for you.

 

NATASHA:

(groans)  What is it this time?

 

GRIGORI:

Natasha, no fuss!  Listen to Mother Inga.

 

NATASHA:

Oh, all right!

 

INGA:

(sweetly, to Grigori)  Darling, didn’t you say you were going to check the hogs?

 

GRIGORI:

Did I?  Oh, I suppose I must have.  Well, I’ll be off then.  Right back.

 

INGA:

No rush. 

 

[GRIGORI exits.]

 

INGA:

(to Natasha, in a softer voice)  Child, come here.  (Natasha tentatively steps forward)  One of your dear father’s shirts has torn.  I need you to go to my sister, Baba Yaga, who lives in the woods.  You must ask her to lend us a needle and thread.

 

NATASHA:

But… everyone knows that Baba Yaga, the bony-legged one, is a witch! 

 

INGA:

Oh, that’s ridiculous.  You believe everything you hear?

 

NATASHA:

Baba Yaga lives in the forest.  Her hut hops on chicken legs.  She follows children around and when she gets near them, she eats them! 

 

INGA:

I will not listen to another word of this nonsense.

 

NATASHA:

(picks up a pin cushion and holds it up to Inga)  H-here is a pin cushion.  It already has a needle and thread, Mother Inga.  Can we use this one? 

 

INGA:

(pretends to slap the pin cushion from Natasha’s hand – actually, Natasha should throw the needle and thread onto the floor so it looks as if Inga slapped it out of her hand.  Note- practice so there is no actual contact)  Do not argue with me!  I will not tolerate insolence from a child!  So help me, I will have your father lock you in the cellar.  We’ll see how you like THAT.

 

NATASHA:

(sadly gazing at where the needle and thread landed on the floor)  So… how do I even find Baba Yaga’s house in the forest?

 

INGA:

That’s more like it.  That’s the question you SHOULD be asking.  I’ll show you how to find her house, all right. 

 

[INGA approaches Natasha and pretends to squeeze and twist her nose.  NATASH twitches her head, as if her nose were being twisted- remember, this is pretend!

 

NATASHA:

Ouch!

 

INGA:

Be quiet.  There, that nose of yours will point the way to Baba Yaga.  Now be off with you!

 

NATASHA:

(looks offstage to Grigori)  Papa?

 

[GRIGORI enters, brushing off his clothes.]

 

GRIGORI:

(still brushing his clothes, not looking up)  Listen to your mother, Natasha.

 

NATASHA:

She is NOT my mother!  (Inga “twists” her nose again)  OUCH!  I mean, all right already.  I’ll go.

 

GRIGORI:

(distractedly)  Knew you’d do the right thing, love.

 

NATASHA:

(throws up her hands in despair as she runs offstage)  AUGHH!

 

[NATASHA exits.]

 

 

 

 

Scene 2 – Forest

 

[Stage set:  Place Baba Yaga’s hut at the side of the stage.  Try to hide it by trees or other props so it is unseen by the audience.  NATASHA enters.  The character who plays the gate, AGATA, stands in front of Baba Yaga’s hut.  AGATA hangs her head down.  At the back of the stage, ANASTASIA (servant) holds a broom.  She is frozen in position.  YAKOV (dog) lies at her feet.  On the ground near AGATA is an oilcan.  NATASHA nervously fiddles with her hands and looks around.  She doesn’t notice Baba Yaga’s hut, AGATA, ANASTASIA, or YAKOV.]

 

NATASHA:

I’ve been wandering around in these woods for hours.  I’ll never get out!  I’ll have to be raised by wolves or something.  Though maybe that would be better.  (rubs her nose)  Hey, my nose is throbbing.  I must be getting closer! 

 

[NATASHA turns to face BABA YAGA’s hut and notices it for the first time.]

 

NATASHA:

(gazes at the scene for a moment, then turns to audience)  This must be Baba Yaga’s hut, all right. 

 

[NATASHA approaches the gate AGATA, and “pushes her open.”  (See Performance Notes on how to simulate opening and closing AGATA, the gate.)  AGATA has a sad expression when “opened.”  The actor/actress makes a loud creaking sound.  Or the sound of a loudly creaking door may be played offstage from a recording.]

 

NATASHA:

Gosh, that’s one squeaky gate!  Hmm… (looks around, then notices the oil can on the ground)  Oh, look at that – an oilcan!  Let’s see if this does the trick.  (pours a few drops of oil on Agata at three places – Agata’s head, midsection and lower legs, to simulate oiling the three hinges of a door)

 

AGATA:

(brightens)  Wow, I feel so much better!  (twists head and body while keeping the “door” open)  You know what they say, when one gate closes, another one opens! Close!  (closes)  Open!  (opens)  Close!  (closes)  Open!  (opens)  As quiet as a snowflake.  Why thank you, Miss!  I’m Agata (prounce: ah-GAHT-dah).  The gate.  Pleased to meet you.

 

NATASHA:

No problem, Agata.  (to audience)  I am talking to a gate.

 

[NATASHA continues through the gate until she sees the servant ANASTASIA.  ANASTASIA is weeping.]

 

NATASHA:

Poor thing!  Scared by the witch Baba Yaga, no doubt.  Who wouldn’t be?  (approaches Anastasia)  Hi, there.  Say, can I help with something?

 

ANASTASIA:

Hoo hoo, it’s just the worst.  My Mistress Baba Yaga has commanded me to sweep up all the leaves.  But they’re magic, so they’re invisible leaves!  How can I tell where they are?

 

NATASHA:

(pats Anastasia on the shoulder)  There, there.  (rummages through her pockets and produces a small handkerchief)  Here, take this handkerchief.  Dry your tears.

 

[ANASTASIA takes the handkerchief and dabs her eyes.  She sneezes into it.  Then she hands back the handkerchief to NATASHA.]

 

NATASHA:

Uh, you can keep it.  It’s fine, really.

 

ANASTASIA:

(in disbelief)  Nobody has ever given me anything before.  I’m so surprised, I could… I could… (starts sobbing again, into the handkerchief)

 

[YAKOV is roused from his sleep.]

 

YAKOV:

(looks at NATASHA)  Growl!

 

NATASHA:

(reels in fear, then nervously)  Doggy!   You sound… hungry? 

 

[NATASHA rummages through her pockets and pulls out a piece of cloth.  The cloth has bits of food inside.]

 

YAKOV:

Growl! 

 

NATASHA:

You’d like a little beef, right?  Here’s some bread, even.

 

[NATASAHA sets the food on the rock and steps back.  She is afraid to feed the dog from her hand.]

 

NATASHA:

Go ahead, now.  There.

 

YAKOV:

(looks at food on rock and sniffs it)  Woof, woof!  Stroganoff?  I haven’t had real meat in years! 

 

NATASHA:

Not exactly STROGANOFF, but…  (to audience)  My goodness, the dog talks, too!

 

[YAKOV walks on all fours over to the rock and licks up the food.]

 

YAKOV:

(smacks lips in satisfaction)   Yummy meat and bread.   Not bad!

 

NATASHA:

Glad you like it. 

 

[NATASHA stands in front of BABA YAGA’S HUT.  The actor playing BABA YAGA stands behind BABA YAGA’S HUT and moves the HUT.   NATASHA takes one step to the right.  HUT takes one step in the same direction.  NATASHA takes one step to the left.  HUT mirrors her action and takes a step in the same direction.]

 

[NATASHA takes a couple of steps backward, toward the audience.  HUT takes a couple of steps forward, toward NATASHA.  NATASHA runs a few steps and HUT follows her, also running a few steps.  At the end of this exchange, HUT should end up at the edge of the stage near where BABA YAGA’s offstage voice will call out in a few seconds.]

 

NATASHA:

(to audience)  Oh my!  What they say about Baba Yaga’s hut is true!

 

BABA YAGA’S voice:

(from behind Baba Yaga’s Hut)  Come in and take the weight off your feet, dearie.  It’s as cheap to sit as it is to stand.

 

NATASHA:

I’m coming.  (cautiously steps toward Baba Yaga’s Hut)

 

[If BABA YAGA’S HUT has a door that actually opens, then NATASHA steps inside the door of BABA YAGA’S HUT.  If BABA YAGA’s HUT has a door that is painted, then NATASHA walks around the edge of BABA YAGA’S HUT where a doorknob is painted, simulating the action of walking inside.]

 

 

 

 

Scene 3 – Interior of Baba Yaga’s hut

 

[Stage set:  A dark and dingy wooden hut.  In one corner sits a loom.  In the other sits a rocking chair containing BABA YAGA.  Near the loom is a roll of wax paper that will be the magic towel later in the scene.  BABA YAGA is weaving.  As she draws the “shuttle” across, there is a clickety-clacking sound.  The sound can be made offstage by clapping together two blocks.]

 

[NATASHA enters.]

 

NATASHA:

Uh… hello?

 

BABA YAGA:

(stops weaving)  Do my eyes deceive me?  My very own niece.  Have you come to visit your Auntie Baba Yaga?

 

NATASHA:

 

Just a quick visit, really.  Mother Inga sent me to borrow a needle and thread.  Do you have that?  If not, I’ll just be moving on now, if you please.

 

BABA YAGA:

But you must stay a bit and visit.  (to audience)  How very thoughtful of my sister!  (to Natasha)  Hmm, how long have you been traveling in the woods, niece?

 

NATASHA:

A while.

 

BABA YAGA:

(holds nose)  Well you smell absolutely ghastly!  I’ll tell you what.  I’ll have my servant run you a nice hot bath.  Doesn’t that sound nice?

 

NATASHA:

(reluctantly)  I suppose…

 

BABA YAGA:

Can you take my place at the loom?  (points at the loom)  I’m weaving a blanket to cover my bony old legs.  But I barely have time to work on it. 

 

NATASHA:

There’s no harm in a little weaving, right? 

 

BABA YAGA:

How could there be? 

 

[NATASHA goes to sit at the loom.  As she draws the “shuttle” across the loom, there is the same clickety-clacking sound.  Again, this can be created by an actor offstage clapping two blocks together.]

 

BABA YAGA:

Keep it up, dearie.  (to audience)  That will keep her busy while her bath is readied.  (calls off-stage)  Anastasia!

 

[ANASTASIA enters.  She does a double take when she notices NATASHA.  As ANASTASIA talks to NATASHA later in the scene, NATASHA continues to weave.  There is still a clickety-clacking sound from off-stage but it should be softer so the audience can hear ANASTASIA and NATASHA talking.]

 

ANASTASIA:

Yes, ma’am.

 

BABA YAGA:

Fill the bath and make it hot.  I’m going to make sure young Natasha cooks very nicely.  If you know what I mean.  (cackles)

 

[BABA YAGA exits.  ANASTASIA waits until she is gone.  Then ANASTASIA tip-toes over to NATASHA and taps her on the shoulder.]

 

ANASTASIA:

Miss?

 

NATASHA:

Oh, hi there!  I’m glad you’re better now.

 

ANASTASIA:

I am.  But you’re not.

 

NATASHA:

What do you mean?

 

ANASTASIA:

My Mistress told me to draw a bath for you.  A hot one.  You know what that means, don’t you?

 

NATASHA:

Not really.  What? 

 

ANASTASIA:

Your Auntie Baba Yaga intends to cook you in this (airquotes) “bath” of hers. 

 

NATASHA:

Oh, my!  I’m in trouble!  (clutches Anastasia’s sleeve)  Will you help me?

 

ANASTASIA:

I wish I could, my friend.  But I must do as my Mistress commands.

 

NATASHA:

Of course.  (thoughtfully)  You know, there is a way. 

 

ANASTASIA:

What?

 

NATASHA:

Draw the bath, just as your Mistress has commanded.

 

ANASTASIA:

Yes?

 

NATASHA:

But use a sieve (pronounce: SIV), a container with holes.  That way the water will keep pouring out.  The bath will fill very slowly.  You’ll still be doing her bidding, though.

 

ANASTASIA:

(nods)  Yes, I suppose I would.  I just hope it gives you enough time.

 

[ANASTASIA and NATASHA clasp hands for a moment.  Then ANASTASIA exits.]

 

NATASHA:

(to audience, resuming the weaving)  Maybe the bath will be delayed a few minutes. But what good will that do me?  I still have to get out of here!  Yet if I leave this loom, even for a moment, Baba Yaga will notice the sound has stopped.

 

BABA YAGA:

(from off-stage)  Are you weaving, little niece?  Are you weaving, my pretty?

 

NATASHA:

(calling to Baba Yaga)  I am weaving, Auntie! 

 

[DIMITRI enters.  DIMITRI looks around and begins to circle ANASTASIA.]

 

DIMITRI:

Meow!  I haven’t noticed you here before.  Have you seen any mice?  I haven’t eaten in three days.  Meow!

 

NATASHA:

Not a one.  But I’ll tell you what.  I have something left in my pocket I think you may like.  (takes the cloth out of her pocket)  Look – cheese!  (hands to Dimitri)

 

DIMITRI:

Cheese?  (eats it)  And it’s Bryndza! [pronounce “BRIN-zeh”]  Ooh, I haven’t tasted Bryndza cheese since I was a kitten!  (arms upstretched)  Meow!  What a day!  (to Natasha)  Little girl, if you have any smarts at all, I imagine you want to get out of here.

 

NATASHA:

Oh catkin, more than anything! 

 

DIMITRI:

But if you run away… Meow!...the loom will stop.  My Mistress will be warned.

 

NATASHA:

Don’t I know it!

 

DIMITRI:

So here’s what I can do, child.  Step aside.  I’ll take over the weaving for you. 

 

NATASHA:

You would do that?

 

DIMITRI:

A lick of cheese goes a long way.  (to audience, licks lips)  Ah!  I can still taste the Bryndza cheese in my mouth!

 

[NATASHA leaps off the seat of the loom, while DIMITRI jumps on almost instantly.  He picks up the weaving where she left off.  The roll of wax paper should be near the loom.]

 

DIMITRI:

One more thing.  Take that towel. (nods to it)  It’s magic.  (Natasha picks up the “towel,” a prop that is a roll of wax paper outside its cardboard box)  Trust me.

 

NATASHA:

You’re a talking cat.  I trust you.

 

DIMITRI:

Meow!  Now skedaddle!  Go!

 

[NATASHA exits, quickly.]

 

 

Scene 4 – Forest

 

[Stage set: Scene is laid out similarly to Scene 2, except a giant mortar and pestle lies to the edge of stage.  See Performance Notes as to construction of the mortar and pestle.  AGATA and YAKOV lie in wait.  Enter NATASHA hurriedly.  She tries to cross the stage, but YAKOV lunges toward her.]

 

YAKOV:

(growls)  AH!  An escaped child!  (recognizes her, and says softly)  Oh, the kind girl!  If it weren’t for you, my tummy would still be rumbling.  Go on now.  Get away with you, and don’t let my Mistress Baba Yaga see you. 

 

[NATASHA continues across the stage and arrives at the gate, AGATA.  NATASHA gently pushes AGATA, and the gate door slowly opens.]

 

AGATA:

I make no noise, thanks to you, my friend!

 

[NATASHA passes through, and AGATA quietly closes.  NATASHA gives a “thumbs up” sign to AGATA, and AGATA returns the signal.  NATASHA exits.] 

 

BABA YAGA’s voice from offstage”:

All right, everyone.  Line up!  I said, NOW!

 

[ANASTASIA, DIMITRI, AGATA and YAKOV, all enter and line up.]

 

[BABA YAGA enters.]

 

BABA YAGA:

Now, which one of you miserable lot will tell me how you managed to let a CHILD escape?  (to Dimitri) How about you, Dimitri (pronounce: duh-MEE-tree)?  Why didn’t you scratch the little girl’s eyes out?

 

DIMITRI:

Meow!  In all the years I’ve served you, you have given me only water and made me hunt for my dinner.  Meow!  The girl gave me real cheese.

 

BABA YAGA:

Ungrateful varmint!  I’ll throw you in the deep water, mark my words.  (to Anastasia) Servant!  What of you?  Why did you take so long to fill the bath?

 

ANASTASIA:

Mistress, in all the years I have served you, you have never so much as given me a rag.  But that girl gave me a pretty handkerchief.

 

BABA YAGA:

Infernal wretch!  (to Yakov)  Yakov (pronounce: YAH-guv)!  You miserable hound, why did you not tear her to pieces when she ran out of the house?

 

YAKOV:

Woof!  In all the years that I have served you, you never threw me anything but an old bone crust.  But the girl gave me real meat and bread.

 

BABA YAGA:

Grr!  You’ll be lucky to get as much as one dry bone in the future.  (to Agata)  And you, gate!  Why didn’t you squeak when she opened you?

 

AGATA:

In all the years that I have served you, Mistress, you never so much as sprinkled a drop of oil on me.  I could hardly stand the sound of my own creaking.  But the girl oiled me.  Now I swing back and forth without a sound.  Look!  (opens and closes, happily)

 

BABA YAGA:

We’ll see how happy you are when I dismantle you and sell you for scrap!  (Agata is alarmed)  Ungrateful servants, all of you!  Worthless!  (to audience)  You can’t get decent help anymore!  (to all Servants)  No matter.  If you want something done properly –

 

[BABA YAGA wears or rides the giant mortar and wields the giant pestle.  (See Performance Notes for suggestions on how to simulate a giant mortar and pestle.)]

 

BABA YAGA:

…you have to do it yourself!  Begone, all of you!

 

[AGATA, ANASTASIA, DMITRI and YAKOV run offstage, frightened.]

 

BABA YAGA:

Now where could that girl be?

 

[NATASHA enters on the opposite side of stage.  She doesn’t notice BABA YAGA, and she looks around.]

 

NATASHA:

My nose might have led me to the witch’s hut, but it’s definitely not leading me out of here!

 

BABA YAGA:

Aha!  I have you now!

 

NATASHA:

Oh no! 

 

[Chase scene.  BABA YAGA chases NATASHA around in circles.]

 

NATASHA:

(to audience)  Wait, I just remembered!  The towel!

 

[NATASHA rolls out the roll of wax paper in front of Baba Yaga, creating an imaginary ‘river’ between them.  BABA YAGA jumps back.]

 

NATASHA:

Wow!  The towel actually turned into a river!

 

BABA YAGA:

Curses!  Why did I ever create a magic towel like that in the first place?  And how did she get her hands on it?

 

NATASHA:

Now’s my chance!  I’m out of here!

 

[NATASHA runs offstage.]

 

BABA YAGA:

I can’t cross!  Drat!

 

[BABA YAGA exits offstage, at the opposite side.]

 

 

 

 

Scene 5 – Natasha’s house

 

[Stage set: The layout is the same as in Scene 1.  GRIGORI is fawning over INGA.]

 

INGA:

Ha ha.  Oh, husband!  You give me far too much attention!  But what was that part about how beautiful I am?

 

GRIGORI:

My darling.  Your eyes are as deep as Lake Baikal (pronounce:  bike-uhl).  You move with the elegance of a Siberian Tiger.  Your hair  (Inga runs her fingers through her hair) is as silky as–

 

INGA:

(shakes hair and head)  Oh, don’t I know it!  Don’t I know it!

 

[There’s a knock at the door, simulated from off-stage.  GRIGORI and INGA look at each other, shocked.]

 

GRIGORI:

Who could that be?

 

[INGA shrugs.  GRIGORI goes to open the door.  NATASHA enters, shivering in the cold.]

 

NATASHA:

Papa! 

 

GRIGORI:

Natasha – you’re back!

 

            [NATASHA and GRIGORI hug.]

 

INGA:

What?!?

 

GRIGORI:

(shakes head and rubs eyes, as if returning from a trance)  Natasha!  How could this be?  We were afraid we would never see you again!

 

INGA:

(under her breath)  Speak for yourself.  (to audience)  Whatever went wrong?

 

NATASHA:

Mother Inga sent me to the woods, to the witch Baba Yaga.  So I would be eaten by her, deep in the forest!

 

INGA:

That’s an outrageous lie!  I will not dignify it with a response.

 

GRIGORI:

(to Inga)  Inga, tell us the truth.  Did you send my daughter to be eaten by the witch Baba Yaga?

 

INGA:

I… no!  I mean, not exactly…  You’re making an elephant out of a fly, my dearest.  This whole matter is of no consequence, anyway.

 

NATASHA:

Father, Baba Yaga is her SISTER!  And that means SHE (points to Inga)  is a witch, too! 

 

GRIGORI:

What?

 

INGA:

Insolent child!  (to Grigori)  Grigori, darling.  Isn’t it better around here without that yapping child underfoot, getting in the way?  Who needs that noise coming out of her mouth?

 

GRIGORI:

(shakes his head)  What, noise?  Underfoot?  Wait a minute.  (holds hands to ears and shakes head)  I feel different.  (to Inga)  Ah, I see it clearly now!  You’re an enchantress!

 

INGA:

Yes.  (flirtingly to Grigori)  I am enchanting, am I not?  

 

GRIGORI:

(growls)  That’s not what I meant!  How could I send my own daughter away?  (rushes to Natasha and puts his arms around her) 

 

INGA:

Grigori, darling.  Let us not jump to conclusions.  (points to Natasha)  She WANTED to go to the woods!

 

NATASHA:

What?!?

 

INGA:

Admit it!

 

NATASHA:

I’ll do no such thing!

 

GRIGORI:

Nothing you say is true.  I am no longer under your spell!  (picks up a shovel and holds it threateningly)

 

INGA:

Grigori.  Let’s not be rash!

 

GRIGORI:

Begone with you!  (chases Inga with the shovel) 

 

INGA:

Hisssssss!

 

[INGA runs offstage.]

 

GRIGORI:

(yells to Inga)  And don’t ever come back!

 

INGA:

(from offstage)  Curses!

 

GRIGORI:

(kneels before Natasha)  My sweet daughter.  How could this have happened?  Can’t we go back to how we were before? 

 

NATASHA:

Papa, that’s what I want more than anything! 

 

GRIGORI:

Sent off to the woods, all alone.  How frightened you must have been!

 

NATASHA:

Yes Papa, it was scary.  But I met some friends who had troubles of their own.  I wonder if I’ll ever see them again.

 

[A knock at the door.]

 

NATASHA:

Who could that be?

 

GRIGORI:

Come in.

 

[ANASTASIA, YAKOV, AGATA and DIMITRI stand at the door.]

 

NATASHA:

I can’t believe it!  How did you all find me?

 

ANASTASIA:

When Baba Yaga was chasing you, we escaped, too.  We followed your tracks and they led us to this nice warm house.

 

NATASHA:

These are the friends I met in the woods, Papa.

 

DIMITRI:

(looks around)  Meow!  Any mice?

 

NATASHA:

Lots of mice here, Dmitri.

 

DIMITRI:

Ah, goody.

 

YAKOV:

Woof!  Stroganoff?

 

GRIGORI:

I could rummage some up. 

 

YAKOV:

(happy)  Woof!

 

AGATA:

Need a gate?

 

GRIGORI:

A nice gate is always welcome.

 

NATASHA:

Come in, come in, everyone! 

 

GRIGORI:

Any friend of Natasha’s is welcome here. 

 

ALL:

Hooray!

 

YAKOV:

Woof!  I will guard this house.

 

DMITRI:

Meow!  I will keep it free of mice.

 

AGATA:

I will be the perfect gate.

 

ANASTASIA:

And I will be your playmate, Natasha.  (clasps hands with Natasha)

 

[NARRATOR enters.]

 

NARRATOR:

From then on, they all lived together in Grigori’s hut.  So maybe it was a little crowded in there.  But it was fun to all be together. 

 

[ANASTASIA, YAKOV, AGATA and DIMITRI each pick up a nesting doll and holds it on their respective head.  Lined up in a row of four, the 1st and 3rd of them bends down while 2nd and 4th of them remains standing up; in the next moment, the 1st and 3rd of them straightens up while the 2nd and 4th of them bends down.  They are playing.]

 

NARRATOR:

And so Natasha, her father, and their new friends lived happily together for many years to come.

 

            [If you have a curtain, close it now.  If you do not, fade the lights.  If you have no stage lights, all actors come on stage and bow to the audience.]

 

 

[All bow.]

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