Olga’s mother lived in Russia when she was a girl. Olga has never been to Russia, but she enjoys Russian stories. Every day or so she comes to her mother and coaxes a story.
Last winter when Olga got mumps, her mother was busy telling Russian stories. “Olga,” said the mother at great length, “if you’ll give me a break from storytelling long enough for me to do a little shopping, I’ll surprise you with something.”
“What will be the surprise?” Olga wanted to know.
Her mother replied, “As if I could tell you and be surprised.”
Olga was very good all afternoon. In fact, she was lying in bed alone, quietly contemplating the surprise that she fell asleep. When she woke up, the surprise was ready for her!
A small table was drawn near the bed, and on the table were three new dolls, Russian dolls. Behind the dolls were trees and buildings. Snow covered the ground.
“Mom! Mom! You made my favorite story come true – about a market where one could buy anything from a pet goose to a copper kettle. It turned into a spectacle, didn’t it?”
Olga had dozens more questions to ask. She wanted to know where her mother had learned to cut such wonderful Russian buildings out of paper; And where did you find an incense burner that looks very much like one of the small censers that someone filled with live charcoal and warmed their hands? Is the dog made of soap? And can she keep the dolls?
By the time all Olga’s questions were answered, she had almost forgotten that she was sick with mumps in bed.