Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Fairy Folks Are in Old Oaks

It's well-known in Iceland that elves make their homes in certain boulders.

Some years ago, a certain farmer near Reykjavik resolved to blow up a particular boulder in order to make room for a new henhouse. With this in mind, he went out and bought some dynamite.

From that day, his hens began to lay fewer and fewer eggs.

Every day there were fewer eggs, until finally there were none.

The farmer called in the vet. The vet examined the chickens. The chickens were in fine health; nothing was wrong with their feed. There was no organic reason why the hens should not be laying.

The farmer decided not to blow up the boulder after all. He gave the dynamite away.

Next day the hens began to lay again.

Soon egg production was back where it had been before.

This is a true story.

Be smart. Don't mess with the Hidden Folk.

It really doesn't pay.

 

Jón Hnefill Aðalsteinsson, A Piece of Horse Liver: Myth, Ritual and Folklore in Old Icelandic Sources (1998). Tr. Terry Gunnel and Joan Turville-Petre. Reykjavik: University of Iceland, p. 139.

 

Above: Sigurður Guðmundsson, Eggin í Gleðivík

 

 

 

 

 

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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.
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