Albion, Books, Don and Wen, Trickster

Wily Wotan…


Determined to retake the mead of poetry from the Giants

who had stolen it, Odin, The High God,

disguises himself as one of them…


He calls himself, ‘The Evil One’.


All the Jotunn have those sort of names…

‘Death by Envy’, ‘Judgements Thrall’, ‘Bluff’ and ‘Bluster’ etc.

Still, as the God of Gods you would want to outdo all that,

so, the Evil One, is pretty much the last word in giant names.


He sets off in giant form

for the farm of the mead keeper’s brother…


Clever that.

Thor would have just gone straight to the mountain,

where the mead was now kept,

and the mead keeper himself but Odin,

well, he is all about turning brother against brother.


Wily you see… wild and wily,

probably, in origin, the self-same word,

and only a wise god would know that.


…Anyway, the mead keeper’s brother

has nine human thralls working his farm,

and when the Evil One strolls onto the land

he takes a look around and immediately spies his chance.


The thralls are weary with still a good third of the field to harvest

and from the time it is taking for the sheaves to fall

their scythes look to be a tad on the blunt side.


The Evil One pulls a whetstone from his pocket,

“Need an edge?” he says, all nonchalant like,

to the nearest farm-hand and holds out the hone.


“Do I ever,” replies the farm-hand

and when the others see what he is about

they crowd around the God,

disguised as a Giant, in the hope of getting an edge too.


The Evil One duly obliges,

and as every last jack of them is impressed with their new edge,

they ask him if the hone is for sale.

“I might consider selling it to the one man who can host me tonight

in the manner most befitting,” says the Evil One.


Oh, they are all up for that,

hell yes, falling over themselves, they are,

to host the Evil One that night.


Odin squints at them through his single eye

and gives them a grisly grin,

then he tosses the whetstone, high in the air…


Up into the summer sky, it arches,

 ever so high it flies,

glinting in the sunlight, it is,

like blue-silver.


Up go the heads of the thralls to watch it,

with not a thought for anything or anyone else,

except the honour to be bestowed on themselves,

and all of them hoping to be the one to catch it,

which they all do actually, every last jack of them.


They jostle, and turn,

and run backwards,

flailing about,

with eyes only for the whetstone,

and they all catch the edge real good.


Slice each other’s gullets they do

with their new-honed scythes…


The whetstone, when it finally falls to earth,

lands in a field of nine dead bodies,

and the Evil One,

he stoops, and bends,

and picks it up,

returns it to his pocket,

and traipses off back down the road

the same way he came…whistling…

a somewhat plaintiff tune… it has to be owned.

5 thoughts on “Wily Wotan…”

We'd love to hear from you...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.