Vasilisa, traditional Russian lacquer box design.

“Home at last!” Simplia said as they pulled into the driveway.

“Now, let’s get our sunburns into the house and see what all’s happened while we were at the beach,” Sagacia said, pulling up the handbrake.

“I wonder if Murzik has eaten all his cat food again.”

“Like last time?”

“Yeah,” Simplia lifted the trunk and pulled out some sandy bags. “I think I hear him meowing, don’t I?”

Sagacia froze for a moment. “Yep, that’s him,” she said. She pulled out a rolled up towel and flipped it open, releasing a cloud of sand.

Meow!” said Murzik impatiently from inside the house.

“Got your keys?” Simplia asked rolling her suitcase toward the door.

“Yep!” Sagacia jogged to the door to unlock it. “Murzik!” she exclaimed.

“Meow,” he said. “Meow.

“Murzik!” Sagacia said, glancing toward the cat dish. “Look at you complaining over nothing!” She knuckle rubbed his head and rubbed down his back.

“It looks like he barely touched his food while we were gone!” Simplia noted, passing by the cat dish. “Are you just glad to see us, kitty?” she asked.

“Meow, Meow,” he said, urging them toward the dining room. “Meow!

“Oh, what now?” Sagacia whined, setting her keys on the table.

“Meow,” he said again. “Meow!” he insisted at the door.

Sagacia pushed it open. “What’s this?” she asked?

Simplia propped the suitcases and followed her.

There, on the dining room table was a note in Vasalisa’s own handwriting! And Vasalisa’s Kokoshnik! Sagacia picked it up and put it on her own head.

“Oh! She was here!” she exclaimed, gazing at herself in the mirror over the buffet, nodding this way and that. “What does she have to say?”

Simplia was already perusing the note.

“I can’t believe we missed her!” she said with a sigh. Then she began reading aloud.

July 3, 2016

Beautiful Simplia and lovely Sagacia, I am so sorry I missed you, друзья, but I hope you are out somewhere giving your USA Independence Day a proper salute! I had a great night’s sleep cuddling with Murzik and listening to him purr, and I ate a delicious breakfast, I assure you. I assume you’re going to be gone for the whole holiday weekend, so I’m going to move on with sadness at not having been able to visit with you both a while.

Just a few minutes ago I received a text message on my phone, and I think you and our magical friends should be able to help this disturbed questioner, if you don’t mind. Area code 302, so maybe Delaware? Anyway, she says, (and I quote)

V.—How about more bad men in FT? U know: evil wizards, corrupt kings, abusive fathers, and so forth. thx.

I think she means instead of witches and sorceresses and evil stepmothers. Can you ask about that for our next column. I really should say “your” next column! Please carry on! Cпасибо.

Благодаря ему и благословение, my friends! You are doing wonderful things for the Сказки and the whole Fairy Tale community!—Vas

Sagacia heaved a sigh. “I wish we had been here,” she said, lifting the little headdress from her head, turning and admiring it. “I wonder why she left her kokoshnik?”

“I doubt she needs it in this weather!” Simplia observed. “And these sunburns will serve as our proper penance for missing her!”

“Meow!” Murzik agreed.

“Let’s finish unpacking and then take this question over to the Fairy Tale Lobby,” Sagacia suggested.

“I’m for that!” Simpia agreed. “Between the sunburn and being cramped up in the car for hours, a walk in the woods would do me good.”

“And maybe some of our magical friends will already be there,” Sagacia added. Let’s take Vasalisa’s kokoshnik with us.”


Fairy Tale Lobby Dutch Treat Dinner
at the NSN Conference in Kansas City. 

Friday evening, July 22 at 5:45
at the Kona Grill in Country Club Plaza.
Take the hotel shuttle at about 5:30 to Country Club Plaza; Kona Grill is three doors east of Plaza III, facing Brush Creek. Dinner Menu.
RSVP in your comment below or email Mary Grace: