|Purpose||To teach children not to wander|
She shares many traits with Black Annis - Baba has iron teeth; Annis has iron claws. They are both old, and will both kill and eat victims.
She travels perched in a large mortar with her knees almost touching her chin, and pushes herself across the forest floor with a pestle.
Whenever she appears on the scene, a wild wind begins to blow, the trees around creak and groan and leaves whirl through the air. Shrieking and wailing, a host of spirits often accompany her on her way.
She is also known as Baba Yaga Boney Legs, because, in spite of a ferocious appetite, she is as thin as a skeleton. In Russian that's: 'Baba Yaga Kostianaya Noga'. She has iron teeth and a huge nose. Her nose is so long that it rattles against the ceiling of her hut when she snores, stretched out in all directions upon her ancient brick
Being a somewhat secretive lady, (in spite of all the din she makes,) she sweeps away all traces of herself with a broom made of silver birch. She can also fly through the air in the same manner.
Baba Yaga lives in a hut deep in the forest. Her hut seems to have a personality of its own and can move about on its extra-large chicken legs. Usually the hut is either spinning around as it moves through the forest or stands at rest with its back to the visitor. The windows of the hut seem to serve as eyes.
All the while it is spinning round, it emits blood-curdling screeches and will only come to a halt, amid much creaking and groaning, when a secret incantation is said. When it stops, it turns to face the visitor and lowers itself down on its chicken legs, throwing open the door with a loud crash.
The hut is sometimes surrounded by a fence made of bones, which helps to keep out intruders! The fence is topped with skulls whose blazing eye sockets illuminate the darkness.
When a visitor enters her hut, (not too often) Baba Yaga asks them whether they came of their own free will, or whether they were sent. (One answer is the right one!)
Thankfully, she appears to have no power over the pure of heart, such as Vasilisa and those of us who are 'blessed' (protected by the power of love, virtue, or a mother's blessing.)
Baba Yaga rules over the elements. Her faithful servants are the White Horseman, the Red Horseman and the Black Horseman.
When Vasilissa asks her who these mysterious horsemen are, she replies: 'My Bright Dawn, my Red Sun and my Dark Midnight.'
Amongst her other servants, are three bodiless and somewhat menacing pairs of hands, which appear out of thin air to do her bidding. She calls them "my soul friends" or "friends of my bosom" and she is more than a little reticent about discussing them with Vasilisa.