There was this in Chertukhin long ago, “when the coachman Peter Eremeyich was young.” There lived two brothers, Akim and Pyotr Kirilych Penkina. Akim married early, he had a lot of children, and he worked day and night. And Peter was lazy, he lived with his brother, did nothing, but he knew how to tell different stories, for which he was nicknamed balakire. This story, too, is known from his words – who knows whether she really was or not.
Mavra, the wife of Akim, began to be angry with Peter, with a piece of reproach. She wanted Peter to marry, start his own farm. He himself was not averse, but he did not like girls: lazy and balakir. Offended Mavroi, Pyotr Kirilich went into the woods and met the Antsyuk. He promised to marry Peter on a water girl, and instead showed her a bathing fecko, the daughter of Miller Spiridon Emelyanych.
Miller was not a simple man. In his youth he and his brother Andrey went to the monastery. The brothers lived on Mount Athos, but they were overcome by temptations: Spiridon in the cell redheaded virgin, and Andrey in the church some monk is faceless. Moreover, the demon told Andrei that the muzhiks were not holy, and embarrassed him. The brothers fled from Athos, taking with them an Armenian, which, according to legend, belonged to the holy peasant Ivan Nedotyape. They returned to their native village. Andrew was sent to the soldiers, and he disappeared without a trace. And Spiridon married a beautiful old woman
One Spiridonov daughter, Fekolka, was beautiful, the second, Masha, plain-looking, Pheckolka married early, and Spiridon imposed a ban on her: not to live with her husband three years after the wedding. This ended in the fact that Fekolkin’s husband, Mitry Semyonitch, had got himself a mistress. When these three years had passed, Pheckola came to visit her father. Then it was seen by Pyotr Kirilich. The next day he returned to this place. But Fyokolka already left, and Peter saw instead of her ugly Masha. He decided that Masha was not worse than others, he got acquainted and got consent. And Spiridon accepted Peter Kirilich into his faith.
One misfortune – the sorceress Ustinya was attached to Peter Kirilych, he fell in love with her. Ustinya came to Masha in the guise of an old woman and gave her a magic spine: you eat after the wedding – you’ll have a lot of fun. And the spine was sleepy. They played a wedding, swallowed the bride’s root and became like a dead woman. They buried her. Pyotr Kirilich was grieving – he managed to fall in love with Masha. He began to live with Spiridon Emelyanych. It seemed to Miller that the deceased – the first wife – came to him at night. And one day he saw instead of her in bed… a witch Ulyana. She also from that day began to live at the mill and told me that Masha did not die, but was asleep. Spiridon stole the sleeping Masha from the cemetery. And he was angry with Ulyana and drove her away. During the service the mill caught fire. Maybe it was revenge Ulyana, but Peter Kirilich thought that the fire was from the image of the Burning Bush. Both the miller and Masha burned… And Pyotr Kirilich,