Tolstoy's wife Sophia and their daughter Alexandra
A poor woman had a daughter by the name of Másha. Másha went in the morning to fetch water, and saw at the door something wrapped in rags. When she touched the rags, there came from it the sound of “Ooah, ooah, ooah!” Másha bent down and saw that it was a tiny, red-skinned baby. It was crying aloud: “Ooah, ooah!”
Másha took it into her arms and carried it into the house, and gave it milk with a spoon. Her mother said:
“What have you brought?”
“A baby. I found it at our door.”
The mother said:
“We are poor as it is; we have nothing to feed the baby with; I will go to the chief and tell him to take the baby.”
Másha began to cry, and said:
“Mother, the child will not eat much; leave it here! See what red, wrinkled little hands and fingers it has!”
Her mother looked at them, and she felt pity for the child. She did not take the baby away. Másha fed and swathed the child, and sang songs to it, when it went to sleep.
A peasant once went to the gardener’s, to steal cucumbers. He crept up to the cucumbers, and thought:
“I will carry off a bag of cucumbers, which I will sell; with the money I will buy a hen. The hen will lay eggs, hatch them, and raise a lot of chicks. I will feed the chicks and sell them; then I will buy me a young sow, and she will bear a lot of pigs. I will sell the pigs, and buy me a mare; the mare will foal me some colts. I will raise the colts, and sell them. I will buy me a house, and start a garden. In the garden I will sow cucumbers, and will not let them be stolen, but will keep a sharp watch on them. I will hire watchmen, and put them in the cucumber patch, while I myself will come on them, unawares, and shout: ‘Oh, there, keep a sharp lookout!’”
And this he shouted as loud as he could. The watchmen heard it, and they rushed out and beat the peasant.