Manic Mondays 3-Way Challenge – The Ice Witch of Norway.

This story was written in response to Laura M Bailey’s challenge. See Link:

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-witch-witchy-bewitched/

You may also wish to read my previous entry for the 3-way challenge:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/manic-mondays-3-way-challenge-so-hungry-are-the-damned-a-dark-poem/

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The Ice Witch of Norway

There was a Witch who lived in a simple hut in the mountains of the far north of Norway.

The Winters were long and harsh and ravaged the land between October and early May.

During the Winter months, the people huddled together in their wooden houses around the fire and prayed for the Spring.

The Witch lived alone in the hill and seemed to delight in the snow, dancing and capering on all but the most terrible snow storms.

People started to believe that this woman was responsible for bringing the winter that she seemed to enjoy so much.

It was her fault that the Winters were so harsh. It was her fault that the lambs and kids born early would perish in the late winter frosts.

After one particularly bad blizzard, the menfolk gathered in the beer house drinking the last of their precious brew.

“Something has got to be done!” Cried Olav Harkensson.

“She was out dancing again last night,” agreed Nils Thorssen, “There were lights flashing in the sky, bright greens. She was casting a spell. Bringing this storm down upon us, no doubt”.

As the menfolk talked and drank, they began to grow braver and more stupid. They no longer feared the magic that the Witch could bring down upon them. This winter had been particularly bad, it was nearly May and it was still not showing signs of departing. Eventually, they grabbed torches and pitchforks and went to find the witch.

The blizzard had passed but it was still snowing lightly as they climbed up the mountain path onto the high plateau where the Witch lived. Her hut was built near the steep side of a mountain, near a frozen waterfall and the snow-covered meadow that she danced in.

She must have sensed their presence because the door opened and she strode out, tall and proud to meet them.

Her long red hair caught in the wind and flapped around her white face. Her dark wool cloak also flapped like a banner in the cold icy air.

Defiantly she stood in front of her simple hut.

“What do you want?” She shouted in a clear voice that carried and echoed around the valley.

Olav Harkensson, who was the self-appointed leader of the group, stepped forward.

“Leave this place, you foul Witch and take this accursed Winter away with you!”

The Witch threw back her head and laughed.

“And what if I fail to acquiesce to your request? What will you do then?”

The angry mob drew back from the glare of her eyes. Some people made the sign of the cross across their fur-clad chests. A young firebrand by the name of Magnus Vigmir ran forward, either braver than the rest or drunker and threw his flaming torch at the Witch’s hut.

Despite the snow, the timber caught alight quickly and within a short moment, the hut was ablaze.

Boldened by this move, the men rushed forward brandishing their pitchforks.

Before they could reach her, the Witch wrapped her black cloak around her and transformed into an enormous raven.

The mob shouted in horror and clung to each other in fear like little boys.

The raven flew around them and the Witches voice called out.

“Fools, You Fools! It was not I who brought the Winter. The Winter clings hard to all the lands this far north, but I summoned the Spring every year followed by the Summer. I could only do this for a few months before Winter returned to claim what is rightfully hers. Now I will leave to find somewhere else to call home.”

The Raven flew away to the west and was never seen again. The Spring never came that year and the people either perished or moved further south and closer to the sea. To this day, that valley in the far north of Norway is known as the Valley of Eternal Winter.

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 16/October/2018

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/10/16/your-daily-word-prompt-acquiesce-october-16-2018/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/18/rdp-thursday-blizzard/

Bergen and a visit to Trollhaugen – home of the composer Edvard Grieg.

I was very lucky with the weather in Norway. Call me prophetic but I happened to choose the one week in October when temperatures remained in the high teens (in Centigrade or low 60’s in Fahrenheit) and rather than a Blizzard, we had sunshine for the most part, apart from when we went to Flam (previous photos) where it rained all day.

Bergen is known for being the second largest city in Norway after its capital Oslo. It also has milder winter temperatures but rains for 270 days a year! We were lucky because, although it rained in the morning, we had a lovely sunny afternoon.

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This part of Bergen is known as Bryggen and is the oldest part of the harbour. The wooden buildings here were rebuilt after the war but recreate the original harbour that dates back to medieval times. The City was one of the key outposts of the Hanseatic League, a trading union similar to the Single Market or the European Union, which operated in Northern Europe in the middle ages.

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This is Haakon’s Hall, named after the Norwegian King Haakon. This is a post-war reconstruction of what the original building would have looked like.IMG_2634IMG_2654

This is a statue of the Composer, Edvard Grieg. On the left is the new concert hall which gives small concerts and piano recitals of Grieg’s music. His music from the Peer Gynt suite is particularly famous, including Morning, The Hall of the Mountain King and Anitra’s dance, to name but a few.

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This wooden house is called Trollhaugen, (Home of the Trolls) and was named by Grieg’s wife Nina. The house was built in 1885/6 and they lived here only in the summer months. It was built in a very traditional style and had no electricity or running water (despite being available at the time) because Edvard Grieg was ultra conservative. IMG_2666

This is a photograph of the Composer (on the right) entertaining with friends. His wife is in the centre of the picture. Nina was a soprano and most of Edvard’s music for the voice was written for her. They had lots of friends, including the composers Lizst and also Tchaikovsky.

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Edvard Grieg demanded absolute silence when he was composing and he found his house was too noisy so he built himself a wooden cabin on the edge of the lake in which he did most of his work.IMG_2708

This stone in the cliff marks the grave of Edvard Grieg who lived from 1843 to 1907. His wife, Nina is also buried here. She lived from 1845 to 1935. The grave is pointing eastwards over the lake because Grieg wanted them to always face the rising sun.

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This is a photo taken through the window into Grieg’s private hut where he wrote his music.

 

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the photographs of my truly magical journey to Norway. I loved the country and the scenery and am now saving up so I can visit Oslo in a few years time.

🙂

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/10/18/prophetic/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/18/rdp-thursday-blizzard/