A retelling of a classic Swedish Folktale, by me, Räv! How Bear Got a Stumpy Tail
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A retelling of a classic Swedish Folktale, by me, Räv! How Bear Got a Stumpy Tail
So I’m a Viking storyteller at MNRF and I’ve been working hard to put my own voice into these stories. Special thanks to @neilhimself for Norse Mythology.
The Walls of Asgard
Let me tell you the story
Of the wall around Asgard
The wall had to be high and mighty
To keep out giants it must be hard
The wall was destroyed in a great battle
But the all the mead and feasting made the gods lazy
And the great Thor was away
Leaving security a little hazy
Then one day a builder came
And made a disgusting offer
He would build the wall in three seasons
If the sun, the moon, and Freya’s hand they did proffer
The gods sent him out and took council
The builder’s offer was too much, and crude
Odin was inclined to send him packing,
But then Loki spoke up with a counter rather rude
They would set the terms in their favor
Ones that no builder could meet
They brought the builder back and told him sure,
But he had only one season with which the wall to complete
They made great oaths of binding which they could not cross
On Odin’s golden arm ring, Draupnir
The word of both the Gods and the stranger
Held fast unbreakable by Gungnir, Odin’s spear
So the builder smiled and began work
To the mountain he progressed
And loaded great stones on a sledge pulled by his giant horse
Svaldifari, who hardly ever needed rest
Day and night the builder worked
And all winter long the wall was raised
No fault could be found with the builder’s work
Any one else the gods would praise
For the builder was right when he had bragged
His stones would be fitted true
There would be no sag or chink
Along the seams not even an ant could crawl through
But one day before summer
The gods were getting nervous
Only one stone remained to settle
Before the wall was impervious
The Gods they blamed Loki
For he came up with this plan
The builder was going to succeed
And they’d have to give the sun, moon and Freya’s hand
So into a chestnut mare Loki changed
And Svldafari he neared
For Loki was a pretty horse
And up Svaldafari reared
Away mare Loki went
Far into the woods he did run
And grey Svaldafari followed
Until set the sun
The builder could not finish alone
Freya’s hand remained unwed
The builder was angered
As away Svaldifari was lead
The builder turned out to be a giant
Of mountain, granite and stone
And he cursed the gods that fooled him
But now they were not alone
There stood Thor,
As the giant ran at them, stone hands raised
The mighty hammer Mjolnir ended the giant
In death his eye no longer crazed
Mare Loki stayed away a while
And returned with a son
Young eight legged Sleppnir was with Loki
And before Odin’s chariot he would run
So in the end Loki was a mother,
Even though he’s usually a dude,
But the builder got less than nothing
He’s the one who got screwed.
Standing in a store perusing the merchandise I put my hands in my pockets. They’re new jeans and I’m amazed by how my hands keep going deeper, and then deeper than deep into the pockets.
“CAN I help you?” The sales person asks as I jump a mile..with my hands in pockets that go up to my forearms.
“Umm, no. Just looking.” I say, not stealing anything in my giant pockets.
The Prince strode into the King’s hall and threw the giant’s head at the feet of the royal thrones.
“I have completed my task and fulfilled my oath oh King, now I have come for my prize. Your daughter’s hand in marriage.” He crowed this to the King and court
“‘Tis true you have and I am a king of my word-” but the King’s words ceased when there was a sudden movement at his side. His daughter, the Princess, stood and drew her sword. Her face unreadable, she turned toward her father and set her free hand on the arm of his throne.
“It is true father, you offer many things that are not yours to give, and yet you give them still,” she said as she stared into the eyes of the Prince unblinking.
All was silent in the throne room. Then color raised in her cheeks, and many gasped as her sword swung.
The sword cleaved through flesh and nearly all the way through the wood of the grand chair.
The Princess smiled through clenched teeth and after re-sheathing her sword, she looked down and bent to pick her hand up from the granite floor.
Not a murmur was heard of the hundreds assembled as she descended the steps dripping blood, and stood before the Prince.
She held her hand out to him, but he did not take it. His nostrils flared, and his eyes squinted as he prepared to speak.
But she dropped the hand at his feet, silencing him once more, and splattering blood on his boots. Then she tore the collar from her blouse and wrapped her new stump to preserve her remaining life within her body.
“Prince,” she said then. “There is your prize. My hand. Marry it, bury it, with it do what you will. But if you ever presume to bargain further for me, I will be delivered in pieces before I consent to be traded like I am the property of any man.”
She turned her back on him, and her father, and left the hall then, never to return…Until the day she was made Queen.
Possible Tw: violence, but it gets better.Why do I bring politics up? Well, I have a question for some of you. Have you ever stood face to face with a stranger while they screamed abuse at you? Eye to eye while their spittle landed on your cheeks? While they condemned you to hell, while they reveled in the future where they saw you burned and flayed in life, and then eternity, because of who you love?
Because I have.
Have you ever stood face to face with a man who lived near you and knew where you lived, who whispered in smoker’s breath how the white man is superior and soon they would kill people like you, and your friends and family. And how he would like to just take out his knife and gut you right there if there weren’t so many people watching?
Because I have.
Pretty much all of you know how big and strong I am and these men were my size. Maybe I could have fought and lived if they tried to do these things to me. Maybe not. But I had people standing with me, so I didn’t have to find out.
So do you think I’m going to cry over a lost election? No.
You think I’m going to cry because the people in power right now are cut from the same cloth as those who threatened me? No.
I will fight them. As I have fought them my whole life.
Because it’s not politics, this is people who are threatening other people’s lives just as transparently as when I stood face to face with their ilk. And the only way to stop people with the power to hurt other people is to stand together and stand up to them.
You wonder why I feel so strongly about people I’ll never meet? Because people I had never met stood with me in those times, when I needed them. Muslim people, black people, immigrant people, men, women, Christians, Asian, Latinx, Native, Jewish people, gay, lesbian bi and trans* people, poor and rich people. So many different people stood with me on those Aids fundraiser rides and other marches, and in quiet places on college campuses, at home, and in new strange places, they stood with me and we kept each other safe. There are more good people than bad in this world, and I will take and face the bad, I will not cower behind a wall of fear, if I can stand with the good.
So I’m dancing around in my living room and the cats are staring at me. They look enraptured. They aren’t just following me with their eyes, they are turning their heads and craning their necks to see me when I go behind the chair too. So I dance closer to them, and then Sumi gets up and then stands on her hind legs and I think, “Oh my, she’s going to dance with-” and then she slaps a whole paw full of needle sharp claws into my inner thigh. I yelp, she runs and hides behind Boo..
The drawstring on my pants. They were watching the drawstring on my pants.
I WILL FIGHT
You say liberals are weak
Because we don’t like guns all over the place,
And we do fight with our words before our hands,
With information before fear,
With hope before hate…
But we withstand.
We are the nerds and artists who have taken more shit than you can dream of
And we protect our own.
I will fight
I will fight for my Muslim neighbor.
And I will fight for my immigrant brother in law
I will fight for friends and family who need heath care
and mental health care,
And fight for schools with new textbooks in every neighborhood everywhere.
I will fight for people who are disabled
And take up arms for veteran care
For the people who fought for me
And for black men in the crosshairs and single mothers, and survivors, and homeless people and criminals fresh out of prison starting from the first square.
Because this is not only a white nation, this is not only a Christian nation, this is not only a heterosexual nation, and this is not a nation only for the well to do.
This is not a nation just for you.
It never has been.
I still believe one thing I once thought upon we’d all agree
This nation and it’s people are free.
Our strength has always been diversity.
You can be you but this country is not yours personally
My fearful cousins,
I will fight you with my bare hands if you try to take the dream away from any person in this country,
Because this country is nothing but dreams
It is built on dreams and with dreams held tall
You can’t build a wall
around your own people.
So, you gave your dreams up for fear,
And made yourself the very thing that will destroy you
and somehow that makes you right.
But I will dream.
And I will fight
You’d burn down the country for fear of ghosts on the lintel
But it’s my house too
And this country is its people.
If you think you can burn the people of this country on the pyre built of your phobias
I will fight you.
Half this country still believes as I do.
Believes in “We the people,”
Not I the person.
Not just you.
You see, I am not alone
And we don’t want to fight our own people for our own people
But we will not lay down,
We will protect our own.
We will fight.
What if ghosts are our other selves that walked down paths we didn’t take, haunting us after those paths didn’t turn out very well?
Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what he reads.”
To that end, here are the searches I ran on Google today:
“Pulse podcast quote: You can’t tell somebody to get over something that’s still happening to them.”
“Piano head banging muppet guy”
“Is it possible to be cremated and have the heavy metals separated out?”
“Wherever you will go by The Calling lyrics video”
“Wherever you will go by The Calling meaning”
“Do it yourself wills”
“Funny bird names Europe”
“Naughty bird names”
“Legal places to spread people ashes”
“Last Week Tonight”
“School supplies for refugees Minnesota”
“Doctor Who spinoff”
“Anti vaxxx mom reversal”
“Sherlock Holmes, Fox Mulder, Fozzie Bear, Don Music” (image searches, safe search on)
“Small bears” (image search, safe search on)
“Mass high court ok to run from police”
“Nodapl pipeline camp buzz”
“Average stride length of a chihuahua”
“Inches in a mile”
“Tv fall premiere schedule”
“Transparent season 2”
“Quotes about books to make me look intelligent”
I think that pretty much says it all…
Teacher I remember you. You used to give us bookmarks as rewards for reading. I still have some of them, in a box on my bookshelf, but not the one you took away. The one I earned and I said thank you, but you said I didn’t and took it back. Do you remember me? How I almost never spoke as a kid? I almost never spoke as a kid and I would get frogs in my throat and I didn’t want to make the sound to get rid of them because that would draw attention and my classmates would remember to tease me more.
So when I spoke, I was hoarse, and fuzzy and quiet. So I said thank you, you didn’t hear and you took it back before I could clear my throat and say it so you would hear. I earned it, I read the book and picked out the bookmark off the wall and then you took it because I didn’t use my voice enough, because I preferred reading to speaking… And my intention meant nothing if I didn’t say it loud enough.
That was a place in my life, that I go back to sometimes even though it’s marked by nothing. But you gave us other bookmarks, and I still have some of them.