A merchant had, by his first wife, a single daughter, who was known as Vasilisa the Beautiful. When she was eight years old, her mother died. On her deathbed, she gave Vasilisa a tiny doll with instructions to give it a little to eat and a little to drink if she was in need, and then it would help her.
After a time, her father remarried to a woman with two daughters. Her stepmother was very cruel to her, but with the help of the doll, Vasilisa was able to perform all the tasks imposed on her.
One day, when the merchant had to embark on a journey, stepmother gave each of the girls a task and put out all the fires except a single candle. Stepsisters put out the candle, whereupon they sent Vasilisa to fetch light from Baba Yagas’s hut.
Baba Yaga said that she must perform tasks to earn the fire, or be killed. For the first task, Vasilisa had to clean the house and yard, cook supper, and pick out black grains and wild peas from a quarter measure of wheat. Baba Yaga left, and Vasilisa cooked, while the doll did everything else. Later in the evening Baba Yaga returned and could complain of nothing. She set new tasks for the next day. Again, the doll did everything but cook the meal.
Next night Baba Yaga inquired into the cause of Vasilisa’s success. On hearing the answer “by my mother’s blessing”, Baba Yaga sends Vasilisa home with a skull-lantern to provide light for her step-family. The skulls light burns Vasilisa’s stepmother and stepsisters to ashes.