The Valkyrie's Daughter
Svanhvit, and her true sister Hervor Alvitr were paddling around the serene lake when suddenly a loud noise on the shore silenced the orchestra of crickets. And in that hushed moment Svanhvit heard a voice that commanded her into action.
" Yes, All-Father ! I understand, and will obey ! " she replied in a series of swan cries and hisses.
As Svanhvit began to swim to the shore her sister Alvitr called out to her.
" What is it ? ! Where are you going ? ! " she cried out.
Olrun, Rota, and Svipul swam over to Hervor Alvitr, and turned their swan necks to the side to express their confusion over Svanhvit's sudden departure.
" I do not know why my sister has left us, but I intend to find out ! " she told the others before flapping her wings and skipping her feet along the water's surface to catch up to Svanhvit.
Hlaðguðr Svanhvít paddled her yellow webbed feet as fast as she could toward the shore. When her feet hit the mud, at the bottom of the edge of the lake, she suddenly transformed into a six foot tall Valkyrie. As she left the water she folded her massive pure white wings behind her. And as she came upon the reason for her leaving the serenity of the lake Odin's maiden bent down and stared at the human who lay there covered in both mud and blood.
" I understand great Odin,and I will protect him as you have commanded ! " she said to the invisible God, who sat on the other end of the cosmos looking down upon her from his high-seat at Hlidskjalf.
Hervor Alvitr swam to the edge of the lake and set her feet upon dry land. She walked over to her sister and stood next to her in Valkyrie form.
" Is he dead ? " she asked Svanhvit.
" No ! " Svanhvit answered. " And Odin himself has commanded that he live ! "
The two Valkyries examined the human from head to foot, and found him to have two injuries. The large gash in his shoulder looked much worse than it really was, but the wound in his side was much deeper, and appeared to be life threatening.
" Let us undress the warrior, and bathe his wounds in the lake. Then we will make a bed out of leaves for him to lie upon. " Svanhvit told her sister.
As Hlaðguðr Svanhvít removed his coat of mail, and his shirt, Alvitr took of his shoes, socks, and pants. When she removed his undergarments Alvitr raised her eyebrows.
" He is not just a brave warrior, but quite the man as well ! " she told her sister with a little grin.
Svanhvit gave her sister a look that showed her annoyance at the remark.
" Have you forgotten what happened in the Wolfdales ? ! " she reminded Alvitr.
Hervor Alvitr narrowed her eyes and gave her sister an angry stare.
" Yes ! It was a mistake for us to stay at Wolf Lake, in the Wolfdales, with those humans for seven years,.... but I still have feelings for Volundr. " she told her sister.
Svanhvit took a deep breath as she gently lifted the human by his shoulders.
" Grab his feet and let us bathe him. " she said before adding : " I loved Slagfiðr as well ! "
While the sisters were washing the wounds of the human Olrun, Rota, and Svipul swam over and transformed into Valkyrie form. As they helped to support the warrior to float, and wash his wounds, Olrun turned to her sister Valkyries and asked a question that they were all thinking.
" Why did Odin choose this human above all the others ? " she wondered.
As she cleaned the human's hair Svanhvit smiled down upon the dying man before answering the question posed by Olrun.
" Odin did not choose this human. This human chose the All-Father over the White Christ. " she explained.
" In this day and age ?! " she blurted out.
Svanhvit looked over at her sister Valkyries and nodded.
" Yes ! That is why Odin has granted him his life back. " she replied.
After they had finished cleaning the warrior from head to toe the Valkyries carried him over to a bed of leaves they had made for him to lie upon. It quickly became obvious to Svanhvit that the wounds needed to be closed or the human would bleed out and die. She held out her hand, palm up, to each of her sister Valkyries, and they took turns spitting into it. When she had enough spittle she let it drip into the wound on the side of the warrior. When it covered the opening completely she grabbed hold of the skin on either side and squeezed as hard as she could with her free hand. When she let go the wound was sealed. She carefully repeated this to the bleeding wound on his shoulder sealing it as well.
As they stood around the comatose warrior, watching his every breath, Svipul suddenly looked up at the moon.
" Our sisters are coming ! " she stated without having seen them yet.
Then Hervor Alvitr pointed to the North Star and affirmed what Svipul had only perceived.
" Yes ! Brynhildr leads the way ! " she told them.
Hlaðguðr Svanhvít looked at each of her sister Valkyries, and nodded to each of them in turn.
" You must join our sisters, and retrieve the fallen from the battlefield. " she informed them.
Then she quickly added :
" Odin has given me, and me alone, the task of caring for this human. "
As the Valkyries eagerly raced to their horses, Svanhvit looked up to the sky, and spoke to the one who knew she was lying.
" Forgive me All-Father ! " Was all Hlaðguðr Svanhvít said before she wrapped her arms around the human and covered him in her pure healing feathers.
Odin raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. He had ordered Hlaðguðr Svanhvít to have all of her sisters at the lake care for the human, but the small lie did not seem important enough for him to punish her. For it was not as if she had gone against his wishes as had Brynhildr all those years ago !
- End Chapter 3
- Next : Chapter 4 : The Comfort Of Her Arms
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.