Elya asked her help in wooing the empty-headed but beautiful Myra Menke. In summary, the bargain was that if Madame Zeroni would give Elya a pig so he could offer it as dowry for Myra's hand in marriage, to compete with a rival suitor, Igor Barkov's fattest pig.
Elya was to carry the pig up the mountain, sing to it If Only, If Only as it drank from the uphill-flowing stream, so it would get big and strong, and that Elya himself would grow stronger from carrying the pig up the mountain. After Elya was to present Morris Menke with the pig, he would return to Madame Zeroni, carry her up the mountain, and sing the If Only song to her as she drank, so she would get strong, too. Elya was happy to do so, since Madame Zeroni was a friend, and not in the best of health. In the novel, she only had one foot.
Unfortunately, when Elya finally learned that he wasted his time with the flower-pot-headed Myra Menke, he left his pig as a wedding present, and signed up on a boat heading to America, just like Madame Zeroni's son did. But Elya Yelnats forgot to go back and carry Madame Zeroni up the mountain!
She placed a 150-year-long curse on Stanley Yelnats IV (Caveman)'s family, because his so-called no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather Elya Yelnats did not complete his end of a bargain he made with her. Thus, his descendants would be cursed "for always and eternity".
The last the viewers see of Madame Zeroni was her spirit smiling down on Stanley Yelnats IV as he carried her descendant Hector Zeroni, up God's Thumb, then let him drink from a stream, and sang If Only, If Only, finally fulfilling the promise.
|Campers||Caveman (Stanley Yelnats IV) • Zero (Hector Zeroni) • Squid (Alan) • Armpit (Theodore Johnson) • X-Ray (Rex Washburn) • Jose • Twitch (Brian) • Barfbag (Louis) • Zigzag (Ricky)|
|Camp Green Lake Staff||The Warden (Louise Walker) • Mr. Sir (Marion Sevillo) • Mr. Pendanski (Mom)|
|Early Green Lake||Kissin' Kate Barlow (Katherine Barlow) • Sam • Charles "Trout" Walker|