Award-winning storyteller Bill Gordh (Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence winner, National Association of Parenting Periodicals Gold Award winner) presents this folk tale live with no script, accompanied only by his own dynamic banjo playing.
Masha lived with the grandparents in a village alongside of a great forest. One day, she went out looking for mushrooms. She carried a big basket and as her grandmother had reminded her, she often stopped, listened for the village dog, and looked for the smoke from village chimneys to be sure she knew where she was, so she wouldn't get lost. But after a while, she forgot to keep checking and she went too far.
A bear grabbed her and took her to his cave. He was a kind bear and told her that he would ever hurt her. He just wanted some company and for her to help him with cooking and cleaning. She did, but she wanted to go home. She grew to like the kind bear, but she still missed her grandparents and worried about how worried they must be. She asked if she could just go home for a little while to let them know she was safe. He said "No." She asked if she could leave her basket with some muffins in it at the edge of the village and that when they found, it they would know she was safe. He said, "No," but offered to leave a basket for them himself.
That gave her an idea and she told the bear she would bake a big batch of muffins, enough for him as well. It might take her a long time and that he should just go to bed when he was tired. She would leave a plateful of muffins for him on the table and he should leave the ones in the basket alone and keep them covered, so they would stay fresh. She told the bear that she would know if he tried to sneak any of the basket muffins. Then she added that he should not disturb her in the morning when he woke, because she would need to sleep late to catch up on her sleep. The bear went to bed.
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