Author Archives: Edan Millstein

Ice Girl

  1. Ice Girl

Main Piece: Ice Girl (Tale)

“In the summertime, a young boy and girl become very good friends and they are neighbors. They hang out everyday and the boy sees her as his one companion. One day, he finds a single red rose in his garden, and thinks that that would be a wonderful gift to show her his love for her. When he presents the rose, she blushes and with a big smile throws her arms around him. Autumn passes, and their friendship remains strong. Come winter, the boy goes over to the girl’s house, and knocks on the door to no answer. He waits for a few minutes, and she still never shows up. He sadly goes back home. Weeks pass with no word from her. He sits alone in his bedroom, watching the cold Russian tundra turn icy and snow flurries float by his window. Finally he cannot wait any longer. He sets out into the cold to find her. After hours of trekking through the snow, he finds a small castle of ice–the only shelter in sight. Seeking to warm up, he knocks on the door. It creaks open, and his girl is standing there, a menacing look on her face. “What are you doing here?” she says. He takes a step back in surprise. No hug? No smile from his long lost dear friend? “Go away.” She says. “I need to be alone here. I don’t need your disgusting happiness in my sight.” He doesn’t understand this sudden change in behavior, but he will not give up trying to bring his friend back home. “Are you hungry?” He asks. “We can walk back to my home and I will prepare you a fresh pot of Borsch.” Reluctantly, she takes his hand, still with a frown on her face and they begin the long hike home. As they are walking, he notices a shard of ice stuck in her eye. “What happened to your eye? There is a piece of ice in it.” 

“I broke a vase made out of ice when the winter started, and since then the ice has been stuck in my eye.”

They walk and they walk, and as they walk the winter begins to melt away, with sprouts of flowers from the ground indicating the start of Spring. As the snow melts and the blizzard dies out, he notices the shard of ice in her eye grow smaller and smaller as it melts into tears dripping down her face. Suddenly, she turns to him, with the once familiar smile that he had grown to love. “I’m sorry, Vanya.” She says. “The ice had made me coldhearted and angry, but now I feel that it has gone. Let’s go back home and make the Borsch together.” 

Background Information:

This was told to MD as a child by her mother. Not much is known about the origin of this story because neither MD nor I could find this story on the internet. We believe that it would not be a very difficult story to find being sold in a bookstore in Russia. However, since the winters are not nearly as frigid, for the most part, in the United States, the story does not hold as true as it does in Russia. 

Context of the Performance: 

This is mainly told to children during storytime in Russia. It familiarizes them with the harsh realities of the Russian winter weather. 

My Thoughts:

The Russian winter makes everybody cold hearted and angry and once it passes everybody returns to normalcy. It also provides a lesson that people may feel something or act in a particular way due to something that is not noticeable at first, but can change once the issue has been resolved. It tells about situations that are not fully understood when taken at only face value. 

Happy Birthday Song

Main Piece: Happy Birthday Song

“Happy birthday, happy happy birthday, we’re in love with you, so in love with you,

May happiness be near throughout the coming year 

And all the best to you and all the best to you

May you keep on smiling everyday

And all your troubles fade away 

And may you never ever ever be blue

So happy birthday (name) 

Happy happy birthday to youuu youuuuu youuuuuuuuu!”

Background Information:

This was taught to L when she was a child by her Uncle and Aunt. They made it up because they thought that the normal happy birthday song was much too dull.

Context of the Performance:

This is sung when it is somebody’s birthday at the same time as when people would normally sing the well known happy birthday song. Usually, this occurs when the birthday cake is brought out to the person whose birthday it is.

My Thoughts:

I like this version of the happy birthday song better than the well known version of the happy birthday song because it is more lively and interesting. It is a little bit more complex than the original version of the happy birthday song; however, it is not overly complicated and still easy for people to learn in a short period of time. Additionally, this song mentions that the singers are in love with the birthday recipient and therefore I presume that it is only sung to people that the birthday recipient is very close with because singing this birthday song to somebody that you are not familiar with would not be as comfortable.


Main Piece: Lemurians 

“There is a city inside of Mount Shasta that is the greatest shakra in the world. There are people who live within the mountain in the city and they are much larger than regular people because they stand at nine feet tall on average. My friend’s wife was hiking Mount Shasta and saw and talked to one of the tall people who lives inside of the mountain. She invited him into the city of Shasta and also to meet her husband, but the giant declined and retreated back into the mountain.” 

Background Information:

This is a legend that has been around for many years and began in the 1800s. This stems from the belief in Lemuria, which is the city believed to be inside of the mountain. The people who inhabit the city are called Lemurians. Mount Shasta and the area surrounding it are not developed and have dense forests, so it is ripe for many stories and legends to be told about it because we did not know much about the area back when the legend originated.

Context of the Performance:

This was told while staying in an Airbnb near the Mount Shasta area by the Airbnb host. We were talking about the history of Mount Shasta and he brought up this story and about his wife supposedly meeting a Lemurian. 

My Thoughts:

I think that this is a very interesting legend because it is very complex and has many parts to the legend such as the city within the mountain and its Lemurian inhabitants who are much larger than normal humans. This is especially more intricate of a legend than the legend of Bigfoot which is a very simple legend yet still intriguing.

Corny Pickup Line Joke

Main Piece: Pickup Line Joke

“Are you Australian? Because I want to didgeridoo you.”

Background Information:

The origin of these jokes are not very well known, but they are a very well known genre where M grew up in the United States. M heard this joke while growing up in middle school and also again in high school.

Context of the Performance:

These jokes were told ironically and are very rarely, if ever, told unironically. These were most commonly heard in middle school and the beginning of high school because the jokes are very simplistic. These would commonly be told in a group of friends.

My Thoughts:

These jokes fall into a genre that I have heard before when I was younger and in middle school. They are all very short and to the point and when I was growing up it was relatively common to hear these jokes when talking with friends about jokes and also in passing.

Finders Keepers

Main Piece: Proverb

“Finders keepers, losers weepers!”

Background Information:

This is an age old proverb and it has been used in normal day to day settings when saying it rhetorically to one another. It is also used in a legal sense too because it is such a common phrase that it has been accepted as the truth in many scenarios where something that is of value is found. 

Context of the Performance:

The context of this performance is normally when somebody finds something that does not belong to them and if nobody has explicit ownership of such an item then this proverb is said by the person who found the item and it takes precedence over the people who did not find the item, but may deserve some credit when it comes to the items discovery. 

My Thoughts:

I have heard this proverb many more times than I could count and I likely have said this at some point in my life when I found something. It is a very basic saying because if you found something that does not mean that you automatically deserve to keep the item. The item could belong to someone that is not there at the time of discovery and may just not be there to claim ownership over the item. For example, if I am out in the desert with nobody around and I find a car parked on the side of the road with nobody inside of it, this discovery does not mean that I own the vehicle now. It only means that I found it, and it does not mean that the vehicle was lost in the first place either.