The Spring Troll
The Sunday Mass
Little Alffina fidgeted on the hard wooden bench. She was not a happy little girl at all ! The weather had finally changed after a long and very hard winter, and she wanted to be out in the sunshine playing and picking flowers. Instead, her mother and father had dragged her to this stuffy, and smoky cathedral for Mass. All Alffina could do was sit pouting uncomfortably, as she listened to the priest, whose name was Lefvini, go through the monotonous meanderings of the Mass. The worst part for her was when the priest began to speak in Latin.
" Mommy ! Why can't he speak Norwegian so we can understand him !? " Alffina asked her mother.
Elina looked down at her daughter, and placed he finger over her lips.
" Shhh....., it is important that he read the scriptures in the language of the church. Besides, today is a very special day ! Jon Birgisson, the Archbishop of Nidaros, is going to speak here today . " she told her daughter.
Alffina pouted her lips even harder.
" Will he speak this Latin too ! ? " she asked sarcastically.
Hafr looked over at his wife with an angry stare !
" Be quiet ! Do you want the priest to stop the Mass because of us again !? " he said in a loud whisper.
It was too late ! Father Lefvini stopped reading the scriptures, and while tapping his finger on the manuscript, stared impatiently at the family who once again had disturbed his Sunday Mass.
Hafr lowered his head in shame, and whispered to his wife.
" Take Alffina outside ! " he told her angrily.
Elina rose up off of the bench, grabbed her daughter by the hand, and before turning to walk down the aisle to leave the cathedral bowed respectfully to the priest. Alffina, however, gave the priest a huge smile, despite knowing that she would be punished later. She was glad to leave the boring church where the man spoke words she did not understand.
Father Lefvini was a spiteful man. He waited at the altar until Elina and Alffina had left before continuing his recitation of the scriptures,... and he began them with a sarcastic remark that made Hafr cringe.
" Well ! Now that that is over,... I will continue,....Et factum est eum in Sabbato secundoprimo abire per segetes discipuli autem illius coeperunt vellere spicas et fricantes manibus manducabant,.....
Once they were outside Elina spun Alffina around and spanked her on the behind.
" Your father is going to be very mad when he gets home. He does not get along very well with Father Lefvini as it is, and I am sure that this will only further the friction between them. " she told her daughter.
Alffina turned her back to her mother, and with the crankiness of a child who had just been scolded stamped her feet on the ground.
" Why is it so important to come here every Sunday to listen to the boring priest ! ? " she asked.
Elina knelt down on one knee and smiled at her misbehaving daughter.
" Sunday is the seventh day, .... the day that God rested after creating the earth and the heavens, ... and us. We honor God and his son The Christ on this day for all that they have done for us. " she explained to Alffina.
" Why can't we do that at home mother ? " she asked with the innocence of a child.
Elina lovingly pushed her daughter's hair out of her eyes before answering.
" We are greatly honored here in Nidaros. The Nidarosdomen was built on top of the burial mound of St. Olav II. This site is considered so sacred that they now consecrate each new king of Norway right here in this very cathedral. Many of our folk have to travel great distances to attend worship here, but for us here in Nidaros our cathedral is only a short carriage ride away. " she explained to her daughter.
" Oh ! " Alffina responded, though she was still confused.
" I would still rather be at home playing with my friends, or out picking the beautiful Spring flowers that are blooming. " she told her mother with a sigh.
Elina and Alffina waited patiently outside the cathedral as the other villagers filed out of the church one by one. Hafr was the last to appear in the arched doorway. Elina nervously watched as her husband was lectured by Father Lefvini. The Bishop, whose appearance they had missed, was standing at the priest's side, and appeared to be acting as an arbiter between the two. Elina and Alffina both cringed because they knew all too well what the discussion was about !
Hafr shook the priest's hand, and then the hand of the bishop, before walking over to his wife and daughter. To Elina' s surprise her husband had a rather large smile on his face as he approached.
" Bishop Birgisson seems to be a fine fellow. And a man of great wisdom as well. " he told his wife happily.
While Alffina hid behind her mother, Elina frowned before asking :
" Then Father Lefvini will not mention our names in the Mass next week ? "
Hafr laughed as he explained.
" No ! The Bishop has come up with a compromise. The Father will not mention us in the Mass next week if we will move to the back of the church, .... I believe he mentioned the last benches by the cathedral doors. " he explained.
" Well, that is a relief ! " Elina replied happily.
Then Elina pulled Alffina out from behind her and asked :
" And what will Alffina's punishment be ? "
Hafr laughed again !
" Punishment ?! I should reward her for getting us off of those first row benches ! " he told his wife.
- End Chapter 1
- Next : Chapter 2 : A Beautiful Spring Day
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.