T is 18 years old and a student at USC. She grew up in Georgia and spent a few years in London as well, learning to speak Georgian, Russian, and English as a child.
T was in the room with me and one of our other roommates when we were talking about stories we remembered from our childhood, and told us about the story of Kolobok:
“There’s this pastry made of dough, and this old woman baked it and put it on the windowsill and then it rolled and rolled and rolled away and everyone threatened to eat it because it’s so tasty…and they thought it was so clever. It met a hare, a wolf, and a bear, but the kolobok was so smart that it escaped all of them and tricked them. It kept saying ‘I managed to escape from the old man, the old woman and the bear’ and thought it was so smart and then the kolobok met a fox and it outwitted it and ate it”
“It’s kind of a story about how you can’t be too cocky because…yeah. About pride and cockiness and that you shouldn’t be too prideful because you will get eaten. He had a lot of pride..the kolobok got a bit cocky with how he was outsmarting everybody and because he let his guard down the fox ate it. This story is very famous where I’m from [Georgia].”
“I learned them from a collection of stories and every night either my grandma or mom would read them to me..that’s for sure how I learned them. I had a book of fables, a book of short stories, and tiny books with hard covers…same style of Russian caricatures”
This story reminds me of a kind of mix of Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks. It made me think about how many other variations of “fairytales” that I grew up hearing exist in other cultures, and more so what they mean to the people in those cultures.