Grandfather Mazai and the Hares (Дед Мазай и Зайцы). Late 1990's Gzhel backstamp. 4" x 4". 1 only.
"Grandfather Mazai and The Hares" is by Nikolay Nekrasov (1821-1878). Nekrasov's storyteller (Nekrasov in disguise) would often come to the village of Malye Vezhi (Малые Вежи) where he would meet up with an old hunter by the name of Mazai. One day they were caught in the pouring rain and had to seek refuge. The old hunter began to weave a tale about the one time, while floating on a boat, his grandfather discovered a small islet in the water, on which hares were huddled to escape the spring floods. Grandfather Mazai took them to into his boat. Continuing, he noticed more and more rabbits, which he saved from certain death. He took all the animals to a safe place and released them, after which rushed out in all directions. Two pairs of hares were greatly weakened and could not escape. Mazai put them in a sack and brought them home, warmed them up and released them in the morning. After this incident, the whole village laughed at Nekrasov's grandfather, who hunted hares only during he winter. In the summer he picked berries and mushrooms.