Shannon Scott
Search for other papers by Shannon Scott in
Current site
Google Scholar
Wild sanctuary
Running into the forest in Russian fairy tales
in In the company of wolves
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

In many fairy tales and folktales, wolves and witches are villains that lead the protagonists into the dark realm of the forest to commit crimes with impunity. However, in the Russian folktale ‘Tsarevich Ivan and the Grey Wolf’, the wolf and the witch become figures of salvation, aiding the heroes and heroines in their quest, while the forest itself, although ruled by the super-natural, becomes a respite from the cruelty of human nature and civilisation. In the forest, the Grey Wolf provides Ivan with wise counsel, escape and resurrection from death. And when events are outside his power, the Grey Wolf directs Ivan to the only other equally powerful being in the forest – the witch Baba Yaga. Although the Russian taiga, or boreal forest, is a wild and liminal space, it, along with its inhabitants (Baba Yaga, the Grey Wolf and the Leshii, or forest spirits who take the form of wolves), offers the only hope of survival for the fairy tale protagonists. If the hero or heroine are to survive, they must go into the forest and place themselves into the paws of the wolf or the ancient hands of Baba Yaga, seeking wild sanctuary to survive.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

In the company of wolves

Werewolves, wolves and wild children

Editors: and


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 166 38 4
Full Text Views 4 0 0
PDF Downloads 6 0 0