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Drinking horns

 

The snowstorm blocked out all sense of direction. There were no stars and every tree limb bowed down to meet the ground.

Then, late at night, we saw a candle in a window. We approached and I told the men outside that we were the envoys of King Hakon. They said that we were at Armod’s farm.

We were welcomed inside. There was not much to eat and we were given bowls of sour curd. Being thirsty from all the hard work of pulling the sleds out of the snowbanks we swilled it down.

The farmer’s wife called their young daughter over and whispered something in her ear.

The daughter approached me and made a verse.

 

Mother asks you, Egil,

To lend an ear;

She gives you guidance,

Stay on your guard.

Spare your stomach

Was what she said:

Appetites can ask for

Better to eat.

 

Armod slapped the little girl and told her to be quiet. “Whenever you open your mouth it is worse for us.”

The little girl ran away crying.

I read the message clearly and threw down my bowl of sour curds. The help scurried and cleared out the area.

They then set up tables and good food was placed on them. Ale was also served with each of my men given his own horn.

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