4-Year-Old Becomes a Hero, But Gets Her Mom in Trouble


This story has all the makings of a real-life Little Red Riding Hood–a sick grandmother, wolves, and a brave 4-year-old from Siberia who everyone is calling a hero.

Saglana Salchak lives with her grandparents in Tuva, a remote area of Siberia. Her mom and stepdad had left their daughter in their care while they went to another part of Tuva to herd their horses, never dreaming what would happen.

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One morning, the little girl woke up to find that her grandmother was so sick she could no longer move. After discussing the situation with her blind grandfather, Saglana set off to get help from their nearest neighbor five miles away. She took a box of matches, just in case, and set off in the early morning darkness. She trudged along the riverbank, wading through snowdrifts and keeping an eye out for the wolves that roam the forest. Luckily, she didn’t run into any–or get lost.

She almost bypassed her neighbors, though. Fortunately, someone spotted her–and got help from the village. A doctor traveled to her grandparents to check out the situation there, and found her 60-year-old grandmother dead of a heart-attack. Saglana, who caught a cold, was sent to the local hospital. When the local newspaper interviewed her, the 4-year-old said she hadn’t been scared, just hungry.

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The 4-year-old’s matter-of-fact manner impressed people of Tuva, who are used to tough winters and hardship. But the Russian authorities were less impressed with her mom, who now faces criminal charges for leaving her daughter with her sick and disabled parents. Still, we have to admire this very inspiring, resourceful little girl!


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