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Making this made me think of an old Nordic mythological story.
Aslaug was the daughter of Sigurd and the shieldmaiden Brynhildr, but was raised by Brynhild's fosterfather Heimer. At the death of Sigurd and Brynhild, Heimer was concerned about Aslaug's security, so he made a harp large enough to hide the girl. He then travelled as a poor harpplayer carrying the harp containing the girl.
They arrived at Spangereid at Lindesnes in Norway, where they stayed for the night in the house of �ke and Grima. �ke believed that he saw that the harp contained valuable items, and told his wife Grima. Grima then convinced him to murder Heimer as he was sleeping. However, when they broke the harp open, they discovered a little girl, who they raised as their own, calling her Kraka (Crow). In order to hide her noble origins, they forced the girl always to be dirty and to walk in dirty clothes.
Kraka by M�rten Eskil Winge, 1862
However, once as she was bathing, she was discovered by some of Ragnar Lodbrok's men, who had been sent ashore to bake bread. Confused by Kraka's beauty, they allowed the bread to be burnt, and when Ragnar enquired about this mishap, they told him about the girl. Ragnar then sent for her, but in order to test her wits, he commanded her neither to arrive dressed nor undressed, neither hungry nor full and neither alone nor in company. Kraka arrived dressed in a net, biting an onion and with only the dog as a companion. Impressed, Ragnar married her and she gave him the sons, Ivar the Boneless, Bj�rn Ironside, Hvitserk and Ragnvald.
April 11th, 2013
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