Baba Yaga

In Russian folklore, a female witch who loved to roast and eat people, preferably children.

She was as likely to pop a niece in the oven as she was a stranger.

She lived in a little hut beyond a river of fire in the “thrice tenth kingdom.”

The hut was ringed with stakes topped by human heads.

It stood on chickens’ legs and dogs’ heels and turned on command.

Those who were brave enough to enter the hut usually found Baba Yaga lying on the floor with her right leg in one corner and her left leg in another, sometimes with her nose growing into the ceiling.

The Bony-Legged One, as Baba Yaga often was called, would cackle at her guests, “Fie! Fie! I smell a Russian bone!” If she didn’t try to get them into the oven, she gave them advice.

Baba Yaga possessed a magic wand and flew in an iron mortar (cauldron) that she spurred on with a pestle as she swept away her tracks with a broom. She had two or three sisters, also called Baba Yaga.