Ferocious old ladies, three ways

A personal (autobiographical?) narrative, a tale of friends at the spa, a commentary: three ways of Baba Yaga, the three-way hag.

“Mevlo thinks he’s not good enough for the girl, that he doesn’t speak English, which is true, and that he lacks polish,” explained Beba.

Here Pupa raised herself up a little on her lounger and asked in a serious tone:

“Do you pick your nose in the girl’s presence?”
“No, I don’t, I swear by my granny,” said Mevlo, astonished by the question.
“Are you stingy?” Pupa went on.
“No, I’m not, I swear by my mother.”
“Remember, there’s nothing worse than a stingy man!”
“I’m not stingy, I swear by Tito!”
“Do you chatter a lot in the girl’s presence?”
“Well, I like talking, I can’t say I don’t, but I control myself . . . And anyway I can’t speak English,” he replied candidly.
“You’re as handsome as Apollo, you don’t pick your nose, you’re not stingy and you don’t talk too much. There’s nothing at all the matter with you!” announced Pupa in the tone of a doctor who was a hundred per cent sure of her diagnosis.

— Dabravka Ugresic, Baba Yaga Laid an Egg, p 171.


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