In Czech culture, children are told the story of Babajaga. They are told that if they go outside without shoes, Babajaga will come get them and take them away from their family.


The informant first heard this story when her family was over for dinner at their family friend’s house. Her and the other kids were playing outside, but her brother did not have shoes on. The adults started scaring them with the story of Babajaga, and the informant was so frightened that she ran back inside to grab her brother’s shoes for him and pressured him to put them on before Babajaga could take him.


I think the story of Babajaga is a way for parents and adults to teach children that shoes should always be worn outside. In this sense, it is a way of protecting kids from possible injury. Additionally, I think frightening kids with a story is more effective in getting a message across than simply having adults telling the kids to do or not to do something, as children naturally want to rebel against adults.