Before there was the novel, there were the stories...

by Nan Hawthorne, who also writes under Christopher Hawthorne Moss, Books and Stories b ChristopherHawthorne Moss at

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Old Stories: Shannon Is Rescued by Ranigg

In the newer stories Shannon is likewise rescued, but the captain of the fishing boat is Falni, not Ranigg.

ff over the horizon the sun grew orange and hazy behind remote clouds, and the reflection given onto the glassy sea caused it to seem to burn,. The young man at the helm of the boat grinned. "The Midgard Serpent is roaring fire, as he does every night." The burly fisherman who dragged nets out of the sea, answered his young friend., "Aye, he's said to see the sun drop, for it only brings him one day closer to his doom."

They sat quietly for awhile until the sun hardly could be seen over the sea in the distance. "We're way farther south than your father would care to know, Ranigg. He'll fear the sea has swallowed us."

"No, Thordi, he'd know the sea would not have us; besides, it pleases the gods that the fish swim closer to warmer countries. I'm just pleased that storm is over. The world is black as Odin's ravens during a storm." He glanced out to sea and began to tell Thordi to turn about, but snapped his attention back to the choppy waves.

"Thordi! Thordi! Look! Is that a sea serpent over there? No, it looks like…a man, a man on a raft!" Ranigg leaned way over the side to see.

They pulled the Sif's Pride over to the position of the raft. On it lay a bedraggled looking man who seemed dead and whose red hair was caked with ice . The tow of them and two slaves pulled the man up and determined he was alive. "Wrap him up in furs, Thordi. We have to get him right home, whoever he is!"

The next morning dawned bright-skied and the waters of the fjord were bluer than sapphires. Snow covered mountains came down to the water's edge and the green evergreens were like a welcoming party. As Sif's Pride pulled up to the crude dock a crystal clear voice cried joyfully, "Oh Ranigg! Praise Baldur! You're back again! Father and I were so worried during the storm!"

Ranigg ran up to his sister and hugged her, turned and ran back to the boat calling, "Come, Falni, see what Thordi and I found!"

Cocking her head to one side in curiosity, she tripped down to the dock where Thordi, who was making a sling to carry the red-haired man back in. The girls gasped when she saw him. "Be this Loki, whose hair burns like live coals? No, he doesn't look wicked enough…where did he come from?"

As the two men carried the man up to a hut, Ranigg told his sister the whole story.

Their father Ragnar roared with rage when he saw his son. "Where have you been, no son of mine! Lost the catch, I imagine, gallivanting all over the world!"

"No, father, the catch is good. Not only fish, but this!"

Ragnar stared at the strange man, but said quickly, "Get him in by the fire. He's frozen like an iceberg!"

Falni knelt beside the man, watching his every move and trying to force broth down his throat. She grew frustrated, "If only Mother were alive! She'd bring back the color in his cheeks with some of her broth!" The girl seemed to notice a change, though, and late into the night she watched. "Frodi will never marry you if he hears you stayed up all night with a man!" She smiled and continued watching. The fire began to go out so she put another piece of driftwood on and stirred up the fire. The blaze seemed to affect the man, because he stretched and slowly opened his eyes. He peered straight into Falni's face.

"Here!" she cried. "What is your name? Come now, red man, what is your name?"

He seemed to smile and mumbled something, again, falling to sleep.

Ranigg jumped up. "What did he say? What did he say?"

Falni looked into the red man's face. "I'm not sure. Hedah, or Hodur,. or Wodur or some such thing."

"He could hardly be Hedar, or Hodur, so he must be Wodur!" Ranigg concluded.

Falni smiled. "Yes. Well, goodnight handsome Wodur. Perhaps in the morning we can learn more of you."

QUESTION: Which would you like to read after this story line is finished, the next stories or this story as it was retold more recently? See poll in the upper right.

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About the author

Nan Hawthorne now writes under the name Christopher Hawthorne Moss. You can contact Christopher at .