Johnny America


Long Sto­ry Short: Yurig and the Most Sa­cred of Eggs


When I was younger I was prone to some se­ri­ous bed­wet­ting. My grand­moth­er, know­ing the pres­sures of be­ing a high school sopho­more, was rather acute in help­ing me con­quer my prob­lem. She did so by telling me an old Russ­ian yarn of myth­ic lore. Grant­ed she was Swiss but she al­ways told me that it was bet­ter to be Russ­ian be­cause their yarns were far su­pe­ri­or to all of Eu­rope’s and she as­sured me that Russ­ian fa­thers played far less grab-ass.

Any­way my grand­ma’s cure-all tale was called “Yurig and the Most Sa­cred of Eggs.” Long sto­ry short it’s about a young Russ­ian boy ob­vi­ous­ly named Yurig who ob­vi­ous­ly has an egg on his mind, a most sa­cred egg.

But short sto­ry long it was a seem­ing­ly nor­mal day in the non-tun­dra rur­al lands where Yurig, a boy of thir­teen, dwelled with his moth­er, fa­ther and three beau­ti­ful younger sis­ters. As stat­ed in the pre­vi­ous sen­tence all seemed well and tran­quil as every­one went about their busi­ness, Fa­ther tend­ed to the field with his over­weight helper Gre­gor, Moth­er was busy at the wash tub, the sis­ters were play­ing in a near­by lake and Yurig be­ing the up­stand­ing Russ­ian boy he was, spent his af­ter­noon study­ing the Psalms, and it would have stayed that way had a hag­gard witch not come bar­rel­ing down the pas­tures with a mag­i­cal scepter made of bone in one hand and the sev­ered heads of Yurig’s three [for­mer­ly] beau­ti­ful sis­ters in the oth­er. Land­ing smack on the spine of Gre­gor in the mid­dle of the field, the hag­gard witch held the heads high above her, call­ing out the fam­i­ly. As those who re­mained of the fam­i­ly gath­ered ’round the dev­il­ish whore-beast, she ut­tered a creed: “This may be you,” she said in a hoarse, man­ly voice re­fer­ring to the clean­ly-cut heads, “if you don’t bring me the egg.”

Fa­ther, Moth­er and a very fear-en­rap­tured Yurig stared at each oth­er, puz­zled. The hag­gard she-ver­min then gave spe­cif­ic in­struc­tions that on­ly the “pure of heart and soul” must go on this har­row­ing odyssey to re­trieve an egg not paint­ed by mere man, but by spir­its not “mono” enough to be can­on­ized in the monothe­is­tic scrip­tures that Yurig loved so well. The witch be­ing pure of nei­ther of those things nat­u­ral­ly sought the help of in­no­cent fam­i­lies of the Russ­ian farm­land, how­ev­er qual­i­ty was not some­thing the witch sensed right away so she had no choice but to de­vour the fam­i­lies of the jour­ney­men who failed.

Grand­ma nev­er re­al­ly ex­plained suf­fi­cient­ly why Yurig was picked, oth­er than it was bet­ter suit­ed to a plot that had an ob­vi­ous com­ing-of-age bent to it. Nev­er­the­less Yurig’s jour­ney was no walk in the park, rather it was a walk all the way up the Ur­al Moun­tains in or­der to lo­cate the yo­gurt-eat­ing peo­ples of the moun­tain who in turn will take him to Olev the guardian bear that may or may not have hatched the egg it­self and swipe it whilst the bear is in its sea­son­al slum­ber. With a bag full of clothes and a pack­et full of seedlings, Yurig was off on his jour­ney while the she-freak of black mag­ic watched greed­i­ly over his par­ents and their daugh­ter’s heads.

Sus­pect­ing that the witch made the “sa­cred egg” sto­ry up in or­der to eat his par­ents as soon as his fig­ure dis­solved in­to the far-off hori­zon, Yurig fig­ured there was­n’t much sense in go­ing all that way for a fake egg and felt that any oth­er do­mes­tic egg would do just as well. Though get­ting every­day eggs was just as com­pli­cat­ed, it beat hav­ing to deal with what he as­sumed to be so­cial­ly in­ept dwellers of the Ur­al Mountains.

In or­der to get the egg how­ev­er, Yurig had to walk a ways down the road to the near­est col­lec­tive farm in or­der to some­how get an egg from the The Par­ty’s crop and get back to his own land with­out run­ning in­to the pesky se­cret po­lice and in front of a troika.

Grand­ma did­n’t re­al­ly elab­o­rate on how he got the egg ei­ther. Need­less to say there was no get­ting passed the “ran­dom” check­point and be­fore he could get lost at the fork in the road Yurig found him­self in front of that troi­ka and spent his pu­ber­ty and sub­se­quent for­ma­tive years get­ting the rain­bow spec­trum of bruis­es plant­ed on his flesh.

Long sto­ry short, the up­per half of Yurig’s body, though ad­ver­tised by the re­gion­al polit­buro as able to sus­tain a Ukrain­ian fam­i­ly of twelve, could on­ly nour­ish two fair­ly healthy adults. The low­er half of his body was shipped to Leningrad where to this day it lan­guish­es in de­vel­op­ment hell as part of an un­fin­ished project to fur­ther hu­mil­i­ate Leon Trot­sky by sur­gi­cal­ly adding un­der­de­vel­oped, pu­bes­cent gen­i­talia to his re­mains, as the plan­ning com­mit­tee was un­aware he was cre­mat­ed. It was made in­to an awe­some play by Chekov and a shit­ty mu­si­cal by El­ton John, which won sev­en Tonys.

Filed under Fiction on August 30th, 2006

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