The Rune Stone
Plowed Into History
- Ravensheart , May 10, 2017.
- Eggja Farm, June 5th, 1917.
Nils Eggum woke early and stretched to loosen his muscles. He and his son Johannes had been diligently plowing the fields on their Eggja farm day after day since the weather broke, and today would quite possibly be the most difficult yet. For this morning they would be going out onto the heights that overlooked the valley. It was cultivable land, but tended to require more work than most of their fields due to the amount of rocks embedded within the soil.
Nils scratched himself and walked down the hall to his son's bedroom. With a yawn he opened the door and peered inside. There, sprawled on his bed, and dead to the world, was his son Johannes. As he stood watching his son for a moment he realized that he wasn't a boy anymore, but a young man who should probably have married already. Unlike his wife, who wanted grandchildren as soon as possible, Nils did not push his son to find a wife. For Johannes was a big help around the farm, despite being a little lazy. He was of course much stronger than his father, but it did take a little prodding to get him going in the morning.
" Johannes ! The sky has brightened ! It is time for us to eat breakfast so that we can go out to the fields ! " Nils said loud enough to wake his son, but quiet enough not to disturb his wife.
Johannes rolled over and pressed his face into his pillow.
" Ohhh,... why must the morning come so quickly, when the night arrives so very slowly. " he muttered into his pillow.
" Come on sleepy head. It is time to rise and shine like the sun ! " he told his son.
His father was already at the table eating his favorite breakfast when he came into the kitchen. Johannes could not remember the last time his father had eaten anything different for his morning meal. Oatmeal topped with apple slices, and sprinkled with a little honey,... and of course several cups of coffee to wash it all down. His father had told him many times that it was an easy, yet hardy breakfast, that allowed a farmer to get out to his fields quickly. Johannes would have preferred eggs once in a while, but as his father also told him, " If you want something different you can make it yourself ! ". And at the break of dawn Johannes did not feel much like cooking, so he sat down and ate his oatmeal.
Nils shook his head as he watched his son eat. The way he shoved food into his mouth reminded him of the way their Norwegian Elk Hound, Garm, gobbled down his food. They both seemed to eat as though someone, or something, were going to take their food away from them. As Nils finished his coffee he did have to admit to himself that at least it got them out to the fields early.
Johannes put 'Old Red's' harness on while Nils hooked up the plow to his most reliable horse. Within minutes the father and son were headed to the hill that was known as Bergahaugen. Along the way Nils repeatedly had to remind his son to keep up.
It was a beautiful day ! The sun was shining and there were not too many clouds in the brightening sky. As Nils and Johannes looked over the edge of the hill normally they could see down the valley to Stedje, and the fjord beyond, but this morning a wispy fog lay over the valley, like a blanket, blocking the view.
It was Nils who spoke up first.
" The field will not get plowed if we stand here admiring the view. " he told his son.
As Nils had feared the plowing was hard. It seemed as though they had to stop every few feet to remove rocks of various sizes that lay throughout the field . Being at the highest point in the area the field also did not benefit from water and nutrients running down into it's soil the way the land in the valley enjoyed the runoff from the mountains. On the contrary, the melting snows, and spring rains, washed the fertile soils down into the lower fields leaving this ground much poorer for farming.
Nils removed his hat and scratched his head when he thought of how much manure it would take to fertilize this field. Just as he was placing his hat back on his head, his son, who was guiding the plow stopped dead in his tracks. Johannes glanced up at his father with a surprised look upon his face.
" I must have hit a boulder father ! " he explained.
Nils backed up ' Old Red ' while Johannes removed the plow. Together they brushed the dirt off of what appeared to be a great flat slab so that they could find it's edges. Once they could get their fingers under the corners the father and son gently flipped it over. They both gave each other shocked expressions when they realized what it might be.
Johannes frantically used his hand to remove the moist dirt, while his father pulled out his handkerchief and began to work carefully clearing the stone of dirt.
" Runes ! " Nils exclaimed as he rubbed harder.
Johannes placed his finger in one of the grooves and traced the etching from top to bottom.
" What do you think they mean ? " he asked.
Nils raised his eyebrows, and shook his head.
" I have no idea . The deciphering of this stone is better left up to the men who know how to read the runes. " he told his son.
Then he added :
" Let us finish the plowing, and then I will go to the De Heibergske Samlinger Folkemuseum in Sogn, and let them know what we have found. "
Johannes scratched his chin.
" Should we move it to the edge of the field father ? " he asked.
Nils thought for a moment.
" No ! The placement of such a stone might have special meaning. We will skip over this spot and continue plowing twenty paces further on in the same row ! " he explained to Johannes.
As the farmers continued their plowing neither could help themselves from turning around from time to time to take a look at the strange Rune Stone that they had found on the heights of Bergahaugen.
- End Chapter 3
- Next : Chapter 4 : Interpretation And Controversy
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.