People in the village say Vasilisa is the most beautiful girl in town, so we put her to work. Let her grow thin with toil! Let the red sun burn her and the black soil chafe her pretty white hands! Then we’ll see who is more beautiful.

What irks me more than anything is that the stupid girl doesn’t seem to mind hard work. She’s becoming more rosy and buxom by the day, while we ladies, who sit inside with our hands folded on our laps, are getting more and more thin and ugly. Evil witch! It’s her fault this is happening to us!

Vasilisa’s Envious Eldest Stepsister in Vasilisa the Beautiful, Russian Fairy Tales (Afanas’ev). Picture by Hans Holbein the Younger.

vasilisa sister