Once, in Russia, there was a married couple, as happy as nobody ever saw. When they walked around their neighborhood, every neighbor was delighted at the happy sight. They could not be in more love. But when the couple found out they were to be parents. The happiness doubled, for that was their wish.
At last, when Anya, the wife, and now mother gave birth to their child, Ivan, the husband and now father couldn't resist his growing happiness. But a cloud of sadness poured its shadow over them. When Anya had taken her first look at her child, she gave her last sigh, and died. Ivan, his heart broken for ever, held his dead wife's cold hand, and cried his heart out. How was he to take care of a child all alone?
Ivan put the finest clothes he could find for her dead wife, when they buried her.
His grieve could not be compared. Now the whole village shared his mourning, for they loved the couple's sight, and the child was a gift from heaven.
Ivan's child was very strange, for at day it cried and wailed like no other, no matter what he did, so he hired a woman to take care of him, Tatiana. When Ivan went to work out in the fields, the old woman would try to take care of the child, but it was too wild. No matter what she gave him or did, the child would scream as if he was in deep pain. But something strange also happened with the child. When night came upon them, it would stop crying, and be as quiet as air, you would think he wasn't there at all. This puzzled the old Tatiana, so one very cold night, she stayed up, sewing...