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.

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