What Pegman Saw: Worth His Salt

Gorky Park, Minsk: Image by Giovanni Scarpari on Google Maps

Bronimir sat upon the table, not his usual place at all. He sat between a yeasty loaf that made his clay mouth drool and the smallest imaginable dish of salt. His family wanted something of him, and he knew what it was. Yet he’d do nothing until they asked.

Same as he’d waited when the Krivici hammered them from the north… and when Rurik’s Rus from out the west tried to trample on their toes… and all that trouble with the Varvags exacting tribute. Then the Baltic Lithuanians… and the Poles… and the Russian occupation (how many times was that?); and the French and the German. But today’s trouble was closer to home. Young Čestmír had been found in compromising situation with the golden-haired Sveta next door.

Domovoy that he was, Bronimir must sweeten the air. Yet again. But not before they asked him and gave him bread and salt.

149 words written for What Pegman Saw: Minsk, Belarus

image from Wikipedia, public domain

Domovoy was a family god in the form of a baked-clay man; his usual place was in a niche beside the door.

He was loyal to his family throughout the generations and remained in residence with them whenever and wherever they moved.




About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in History, Mostly Micro and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to What Pegman Saw: Worth His Salt

  1. Lynn Love says:

    I like this idea of a household goods who’s there for the family though small problems and very large ones. He’s a trusted being to fall back on whether they’re being invaded or having girlfriend trouble! Love that sweep of history and culture in your story. Very satisfying

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’d hazard a guess that they were a common feature of all Indo-European tribes, since they’re found amongst Hindus, Greeks, Romans, the Balts and Slavs, the Celts… all Indo-European peoples.


      • Lynn Love says:

        I’ve read about the Roman Lares, but I confess I know little about other countries. I must read more 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was common throughout the Indo-European peoples. So it follows that the Proto-Indo-Europeans, in their native Steppes homeland, also had these family/house spirits.


      • Lynn Love says:

        It makes sense. What would you need a god for more than your home, to ensure you’re safe and secure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • In that respect, it’s interesting to note that the P.I.E. word *-polis means a protected hill (where the people gather for safety. In UK we think of them as the Iron Age hillforts. It is the origin of the Acropolis.


      • Lynn Love says:

        I didn’t realise that. I thought polis meant people. Interesting

        Liked by 1 person

      • It has come to mean so. But originally… a place of gathering. Think of Britain’s henges, and before then, the causewayed camps. If, as is speculated, the Proto-Indo-Europeans were the inhabitants of what the archies have named the Cucuteni-Tripolye culture (it stretched from the Danube to beyond the Ukraine), then we understand the meaning, for they had ringed villages that houses 10,000 people… back in 6th and 5th millennia BCE. Not one, but several. That’s mega.


  2. hrh66 says:

    I’m reading the Winternight trilogy by Katherine Arden and this totally reminded me of those novels. Have you read them?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pennygadd51 says:

    Wow! Are there really families with a domovoy as old as the one you describe? I shall have to look them up, and see how they were used. Fascinating piece of (pre)-history.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Violet Lentz says:

    Wow! Excellent story and really interesting back story. I saw the whole scenario in a completely different light after having read it. Brilliant all the way around!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh! I do like where you took this story. I took a class on Russian folklore about two years ago. This reminds me of some of those tales. Lovely! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale says:

    You truly are the queen of bringing the past to life. This was eye-opening. Wonderfully done, as I have come to expect from you!


    • Thanks Dale. See, it combines my interests of mythology and history. It was a way to condense the later years of history, for my previous knowledge of the area stops around the type (the Scandinavian) Rurik and his Rus founded Novgord to the north of Minsk… and stayed to *conquer*. The Rus were Scandinavians, not Slavs.


  7. Cool bit of history!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love where you took this. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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