The students of a Saint-Petersburg high school with a concentration on biology chose different destinations for their April holidays. Masha's deskmate flew to Turkey with his parents, A-grade student Sonya to the Crimea, while Masha herself was sent to her grandmother in the village of Pershlakhta.
"Where is that?" her classmates wondered.
"In Kenozero area, that's where it is. Arkhangelsk Province, Northern Russia. There is still snow there...," replied Masha.
Not much snow, though, for Masha must have taken spring with her to Kenozero. The sun began to get hot on the day following her arrival. The snow disappeared instantly, exposing clearances and the green sprouts poking out from under them.
Masha's grandmother Anna is a kind-hearted woman. She adores her granddaughter and enjoys pampering her with pancakes, pies, and baked milk – the frothy milk with aromatic taste that Masha seems to never get enough of. And yet, it's a bit boring for her to be in the hut with her grandmother all day. She has been to the vegetable garden and the chicken coop and the barn and now she is looking in the direction of the river and the lake.
"Don't go far, dear," the grandma tells her. "Stay away from water."
It is on the shore that Masha comes across the yellow flowers. They look somewhat like lilies, only smaller and shrub-like, with two sharp leaves sticking out of each stalk.
Masha is curious. She pulls out one by the root to discover two bulbs hanging on it, one larger than the other. Interestingly, there is a third bulb inside (Masha is curious enough to take a closer look). "You must be a daughter bulb," she figures out after noticing how one bulb seemed to embrace the other. "A natural protective mechanism!" Masha guessed again. Smells like garlic. Well, that's fine.
Masha decides to give the plant to her grandmother as a gift and carries it to the hut.
But, on seeing it, her grandma flung up her hands and got upset for some reason.
"Masha, you got me a goose onion!"