Baba Yaga


“While life is often gloomy and cheerless, the tale runs on, bright and fearless!” from Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic ( translated from the Croatian)

Well, I simply must read this book, which may take awhile as I tried to request it through interlibrary loan, but I could not get the program to work. For a password, the computer wanted the last four digits of my library card number. After entering it three times, I entered my mother’s maiden name, my blood type, shoe size, and number of swear words uttered since beginning the process.

“**** you,” I said and moved on to Family Video to return Casablanca for the second time and explain that their fix did not fix it and they should round up the usual suspects.

“Here’s looking at you kid,” said the youngster at the counter as he shoved a complimentary copy of Terminator 14 Meets Bambi into my trembling hands.

“We’ll always have Bolingbrook,” I replied.

Some wise person in Morris, Illinois, checked out the only copy of Baba Yaga Laid an Egg in the library system. DO NOT BEND THE CORNERS, but you can mark the good parts with post it notes.

Baba Yaga, in Russian myth, does old lady better than anyone I have heard of. She rides in a cauldron and steers it with a broom. She doesn’t take any crap from anyone because she doesn’t have to. I thought about Baba Yaga, what little I knew of her, while standing in Red Square, heart of the former Evil Empire, just a few years after the walls came down.  Russia’s past was gloomy and cheerless. The ruble had just collapsed, so Russia’s present was gloomy and cheerless. But thanks to Baba Yaga and the multicolored domes of St. Basil’s church, I knew the story was not over.

I want stories that affirm that the tale runs on, bright and fearless. Kinda like Casablanca.


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