Her mother was waiting for Holena; she kept on looking for her, first at the window, then outside the door, but all in vain.

"Maybe she likes the apples so much that she is eating them all. I must find them for myself," decided the stepmother at last. So she put on her fur coat, she wrapped a shawl round her head, and went out to look for the delicious apples.

The snow was lying deep; there wasn't a human footprint to be seen; and more snow began to fall fast, and an icy wind started to blow through the forest.

That evening Marusa had cooked the dinner, she had seen to the cow, and yet Holena and her mother had not come back.

"Where are they staying so long?" thought Marusa , as she sat down to work on her spinning wheel... The spindle was full and it was dark in the room, and yet Holena and the stepmother had not come back.

"Alas, what could have become of them?" cried Marusa , peering anxiously through the window. The snow was falling thickly, and the wind was blowing bitterly, and there wasn't a human soul to be seen... Sadly she shut the window; and prayed for her sister and her mother.

In the morning she waited with breakfast, she waited with dinner; but however much she waited, it was no good. Neither her mother nor her sister ever came back.