The narrator, Ivan Timofeevich, tells how, while relaxing on vacation in the village, he heard of a local witch. Intrigued, he finds in the forest the dwelling of an old witch and gets to know her granddaughter Olesya. Ivan finds Olesya interesting in communication with a girl and begins to meet with her. He is surprised at the clever speeches of the forest hermit who could not even read, and is even more amazed at her magical power.
Soon, Ivan becomes attached to Oles and tries to protect the “witch family” before the sergeant, who, under the pressure of local residents, decided to “lime” the old woman and her granddaughter. Soon Ivan understands that he is in love with Olesya and, having made sure of her feelings, admits to her. He asks Olesya to become his wife and give up his old life. Olesya refuses, explaining this by saying that you can not go against fate. Vaguely Ivan realizes that the girl who gave him her love is right. In the village they began to gossip about the connection between the master and the witch. Olesya accidentally provoked an attack of villagers’ anger by reporting to the church on Holy Trinity Day. She was brutally beaten, why she furiously promised evil to the villagers.
The same night a terrible hail fell on the village. Ivan guessed that now the villagers would hasten to accuse the witch in the bad weather, since his presence in the village was barely tolerated. He hurries to the forest, but it turns out that the old woman and her granddaughter have already fled in search of a new refuge.