An ancient Russian bedtime story, which was
often told to children to frighten them into being good, has a cast of
characters headed by Dedt Moroz. . . Father Ice.
According to the story, a Siberian woman
had a kindhearted stepdaughter and a wicked natural daughter. The good
girl was always treated more harshly by her step-mother. One day, in a fit
of rage, the step-mother threw the girl out into the cold. Dedt Moroz
appeared on his sleigh and, impressed by her kindness “Father Ice”
rewarded her with diamonds.
Hearing of this, the step-mother put her
own natural daughter into the snow. The wicked young girl galled Father
Ice by throwing a tantrum. Father Ice punished the little brat by turning
her into a pillar of ice.
This story gradually became associated
with Christmas due to the appearance of Dedt Moroz in drawings. His long,
white beard and sleigh gave a feeling of Christmas.
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