Babushka-Lyagushka-Skakushka In Russian folklore this is “Grandmother Hopping Frog,” who lives in the Green Marsh. She is asked by Baba-Yaga to help Petrushka find the place I-Know-Not-Where and the thing I-Know-Not-What. The frog agrees to help Petrushka if he will carry her in a pitcher of fresh milk to the River of Fire. There she can be rejuvenated from the powers of the river. BabaYaga agrees and in a mortar and pestle takes the frog home, where she prepares a pitcher of fresh milk, puts the frog in the pitcher, and tells her son-in-law what to do with the pitcher and the frog. Petrushka takes the pitcher with the frog, mounts Baba-Yaga’s fastest horse, and rides to the River of Fire. Here Petrushka lets the frog out of the pitcher and puts her on the ground. Babushka-Lyagushka-Skakushka places one foot in the River of Fire and starts to grow until she is the size of Petrushka’s horse. She then tells him to climb on her back, which he does, and the frog continues to increase in size until she is taller than the trees of the forest. The grandmother frog then leaps through the air and lands in a foreign land, where she breathes out slowly and soon returns to her normal size. She informs him that they are now in I-Know-NotWhere, and if he goes to the humblest hut in the village and hide behind the stove, there he will find the thing I-Know-Not-What. In the hut lives an old man who commands Nobody to bring him food. A banquet soon appears, and when the old man calls for wine, that, too, appears. The old man eats and drinks his fill, and Petrushka then creeps out from behind the stove and asks Nobody to accompany him back to the czar’s palace. This he does, and now he knows where I-Know-Not-Where is and what I-Know-Not-What is.


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante