Russian Folk-Tales/The Devil in the Dough-pan


Once a woman was kneading bread, but had forgotten to say the blessing. So the demon, Potánka,[1] ran up and sat down in it. Then she recollected she had kneaded the dough without saying the blessing, went up to it and crossed herself; and Potánka wanted to escape, but could not anyhow, because of the blessing. So she put the leavened dough through a strainer and threw it out into the street, with Potánka inside. The pigs turned him over and over, and he could not escape for three whole days. At last he tore his way out through a crack in the dough and scampered off without looking behind him.

He ran up to his comrades, who asked him: "Where have you been, Potánka?"

"May that woman be accursed!" he said.


"The one who was kneading her dough and had made it without saying the proper blessing; so I ran up and squatted in it. Then she laid hold of me and crossed herself, and after three livelong days I got out, the pigs poking me about and I unable to escape! Never again will I get into a woman's dough."

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

  1. "n" and "k" to be sounded distinct as in pin-case.