Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the best kind of crazy

I recently learned about Iggo the Viking. Seems that Iggo was beloved: he wrote fine poetry, was a fierce warrior in battle, and was generally well respected. (And I'm not just saying that because anyone who didn't respect him was brutally killed and made an example of.) Here is an anecdote from his life.

A friend of his made a long arduous journey to visit Iggo. You know how it was in those days, horseback, snowy mountains, etc, etc. So this guy, whose name escapes me, shows up and Iggo isn't there. But he is expected back soon. So the friend sticks around for the standard 3 days and still no Iggo. Since it would be rude to outstay his welcome, he decides to head home. He tells Iggo's family that he is leaving a large, ornate shield for Iggo as a gift.

When Iggo comes home, he sees the beautiful shield. Instead of saying "aw, what a nice friend I have to come all this way and bring me such a nice gift" (a gift of fear, perhaps?), he freaks out - literally goes ballistic - and screams something to the effect of "That Scoundrel! How dare he leave me such a nice gift! Now he expects me to stay up all night writing a poem in praise of him, but I am tired from my own journey and I don't wanna! Now he must die!" And Iggo set off after his friend to kill him.

It is not known whether the friend really did expect a poem in exchange for the gift, but it was the best Viking story I'd heard all day.

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