Hadda Pada eBook

Guðmundur Kamban
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 71 pages of information about Hadda Pada.

(Hadda Padda and Kristrun are sitting toward the front, in large deep arm-chairs, throwing a crystal ball to each other.  Near by is a small table, covered with a piece of velvet, on which the ball had lain.  Hadda Padda is very sunburnt.)

Rannveig [enters from behind.  She is knitting, keeping the ball of yarn under her arm.  She is dressed in an Icelandic costume].  Take care!  Don’t drop the ball! [Drops a stitch, takes it up again—­ smiles.] Who knows—­maybe it is your life-egg, children!

Kristrun.  Life-egg! ...  Is that a fairy-tale?

Rannveig.  Haven’t you ever heard it?  Come, let me tell you about it. [Takes a chair and sits down beside them.] Once upon a time there lived two giantesses who were sisters.  One day, they lured a young prince to them.  They let the prince sleep under a coverlet woven of gold, while they themselves slept under one woven of silver.  When at last the prince pledged himself in marriage to one of them, he made them tell him how they spent the day in the forest.  They went hunting deer and birds, and when they rested, they sat down under an oak, and threw their life-egg to each other.  If they broke it they both would die.  The next day, the prince went to the forest, and saw the sisters sitting there, under the oak.  One of them was holding a golden egg in her hand, and just as she tossed it into the air, he hurled his spear.  It hit the egg, and broke it—­the giantesses fell down, dead.

Kristrun.  Brave giantesses who dared to treat your sacred possession so heedlessly!

Rannveig.  One does not hear the footstep of vengeance.  It came to them unexpectedly.

Kristrun.  How I wish my whole fate were held in this ball.

Rannveig.  What would you do if it were?

Kristrun.  I would lay it gently in the hand of the man I loved, saying:  Take it to a safe place!—­and I would shut my eyes—­while he were searching for the place.

Rannveig.  If my sister were here, perhaps she could read your fate in the ball, both the past and the future ...  Who knows, but the whole Universe may be mirrored in this one glass globe.

Kristrun.  That’s your favorite superstition. [Smiling surreptitiously.] Tell me, Veiga—­haven’t you a life-egg? [Turns abruptly from her, throwing the ball to Hadda.]

Rannveig [evasively].  I had one once. ...

Kristrun [catching the ball].  Then you haven’t it any more?

Rannveig.  No.

Kristrun.  And you are still alive?

Rannveig.  He who lived once in happiness dies twice. [Sees the sisters throw the ball faster and faster.] Don’t throw the ball so carelessly.

Kristrun.  Be calm.  The prince won’t come.  And even if he came—­do you think we have the same life-egg, I and Hrafnhild?

Rannveig.  Now stop making fun of me!  The ball may hit you in the face—­there now!—­that’s enough!—­you nearly dazed my Hadda.  It is strange to like to do this. [Picks up the ball, and puts it back on the velvet.]

Project Gutenberg
Hadda Pada from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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