Fairy-tales came to us from the ancient times. Besides the explanation of morality fairy-tales give us a view of the world. First these stories were the words of mouth but later they were written.
Let`s take a look at the famous Russian Characters.
In spite of the fact she is ugly and beak-nosed and all her body in warts with a hunch and bony fingers we can`t consider her as a wicked character. She never carried out her threats like eating or doing harm to anybody. Baba-Yaga is a Queen of the Forest and Mistress of the animals and birds.
After visiting Baba -yaga a hero awaits to meet other creatures from another world. They`re all unreal and represent the World of Dead.
Baba-Yaga is like a border guard. Her strange house is a check-point to another World.
A hero takes all the necessary ceremonies in her place (which is called Избушка на Курьих Ножках(Izbushka na kur`ikh nozhkakh)) to be ready to go to another World.
By turning front and back side to a hero Izbushka opens an entrance into the World of Dead or the living. The image of it is taken from reality. In ancient times dead people were buried in cramped houses - домовины (domoviny; It means a coffin in Ucranian). They put such coffin houses on the tall stumps with massive roots coming out from the ground.
Our hero takes Banya (a late ablution before burying); Baba-Yaga gives him to eat ( means funeral feast) and the last thing a hero has to do is to stay in Izbushka for a night (night It is a time when It`s possible to transfer to another state).
All these things are necessary to get a supernatural power to fight the evil.
On his way a hero meets a firedrake Змей Горыныч (Zmei Gorynych). He might have 3, 6, 9 or even 12 heads. He can also fly. Zmei Gorynych represents evel inclination.
In some Russian epics Zmei Gorynych serves as a guard of Kalinov Bridge wich goes through Smorodina River and divides world into two parts the Dead and The Living.
In the christian culture a serpent is a symbol of the Evil and Fall. But in the pagan times a serpent was an idol.
After adoption of christianity Zmei turned into a negative character with traits usual for nomad tribes.
From time to time he burns the whole villages or takes people prisoners especialy beautiful young girls.
Another character we meet in Russian fairy-tales is the most mysterious and powerful Кащей Бессмертный (Kashchey Bessmertnyi)
His name is related to a word Кость (Kost` - Bone) which means very slim and lean. Other historical scientists think It came from the word Кощун (Kochun- "wizard")
Some believes that Kashchey impersonates God Karachun The God of Death and Coldness.
Other ones think He`s a Germanic mythic leader Odin.
He has a magic armour suit and a hourse half dead half alive. There is nobody who could stand against him. All the other creatures obey him absolutely.
He lives in a splendid palace full of treasures in the end of the Earth. To reach his place you have to wear out 3 pairs оf iron boots. He never turns into other animals exсept a black raven.
Kashchey has unnatural power however he`s mortal.
His death is hidden in several objects.
"There is an island in the ocean. This island has a сentury-old oak. There`s a trunk buried under the oak. In the trunk there is a hare. There is a duck inside the hare. There is an egg inside the duck. There is a needle inside the egg. And this needle is the Death of Kashchey Bessmertnyi.