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Elya Yelnats
Elya Box
Vital statistics
Title Elya Yelnats
Actor Damien Luvara
Family Stanley Yelnats I - Son
Stanley Yelnats II - Grandson
Stanley Yelnats III - Great Grandson
Stanley Yelnats IV - Great Great Grandson
Gender Male
Race Latvian-American
Status Deceased
Cause of Death Old Age
Location Unknown
Gallery {{{gallery}}}
Elya Yelnats is Stanley's no good, dirty, rotten, pig-stealing great great grandfather.

150 years ago, Elya Yelnats was in love with the empty-headed but beautiful Myra Menke. Madame Zeroni told him to forget about her "Her head's as empty as a flower pot." She suggested he go to America, where her son lived.


2 months before Myra's 15th birthday (according to the novel), Igor Barkov had offered his fattest pig for her. Elya tried to woo Myra, asking Mr. Morris Menke for his daughter's hand in marriage. Unfortunately, Mr. Menke would only marry his daughter to the man who offered the biggest dowry, such as Igor Barkov's fattest pig. Elya's "Heart full of love" only made Mr. Menke laugh. "I'd rather have a fat pig!"

Madame Zeroni's own pig had given birth to several piglets but the littlest one, a runt, was too small, and the mother pig wouldn't feed it. Madame Zeroni gave that pig to Elya Yelnats, told him to carry the pig up the mountain, let it drink from the stream, and sing it the If Only, If Only song. Also he had to do the same for her, so she herself could get healthy. Elya had to do this for 2 months. He carried the pig up to the stream and sang the song as it drank. As the pig grew stronger and bigger, Elya himself grew stronger and more built. According to the novel, Elya didn't want to carry the pig up to the stream on Myra's 15th birthday, so he took a bath instead, because didn't want to smell like a pig when he presented his offering. So the pig was the exact same size as Barkov's offering.

He brought the pig to Morris Menke. As the pig was the same size and weight as Igor's pig, Mr. Menke decided to let Myra decide which one she wanted - Elya or Igor.

Instead of being able to decide on A: Young, strapping, muscular Elya Yelnats, or B: Fat, sweaty, slovenly Igor Barkov - Myra, being of empty head and no substance, she asked which pig weighed more. Since they were the same, she tried `thinking of a number' to decide.

Realizing he's wasted his time with that `flower pot', Elya declared "Marry Igor! You can keep my pig as a wedding present!" He tore up the flowers he brought her and left.

The Curse

Despondent, Elya Yelnats took Madame Zeroni's advice, signed up aboard a ship as a deck hand, and got free passage to America, to meet Madame Zeroni's Son. Per Stanley Yelnats II "But the dummy forgot to go back and carry Madame Zeroni up the mountain!"

Warning Elya Yelnats

Madame Zeroni warning Elya about the curse

"If you forget to come back for Madame Zeroni,you and your family will be cursed for always and eternity."

He eventually married an American woman named Sarah Miller, and taught her the `Pig Song'.

The Yelnats family was cursed with bad luck for 150 years, but his great great grandson Stanley Yelnats IV lifted the curse by carrying Zero (Hector Zeroni) up to the stream on God's Thumb and singing If Only If Only in a soft voice.

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