Ancestral Story

I had an uncle who lived so many years ago and so many generations back that I don’t even know what year he was born in. His name was Cavell and he was a Danish Viking. He lived in a small castle along a fjord that drained into the sea. All of the people that lived along that bank were terrified because he reigned on fear.

Along he would come in his 30 foot long boat with skulls on the prow of the dead princes he had murdered. All the peasants ran in fear when the nose of it showed on the horizon. They’d grab their pots and pans and children and the one cow and sheep and hide in the thickets that sprung up out of the rocks.

Cavell would land wherever he saw chimney smoke and march ashore swinging the femur of a giraffe he’d hunted on a trip down to Africa. People never could quite believe tales of people with skin so black you could only see their teeth at night, but they dared not speak their doubts while Cavell was about. He’d take a couple of them and clonk their heads together and steal the shoes off their feet, if they wore shoes.

When he raided the houses he always took any metal he could find. That’s why the peasants would take their pots with them into the hills. Cavell had steered his boat across the great ocean and told of brown people that lived there who melted rock in giant fires and made pots. Well Cavell had decided he was going to do the same thing, only he was going to use it for a jail to put all the people he hated into.

On his raids he would also steal the women and take them back to his castle. He would force them to stay there and at first they would hate him, but after a while grew fond and never wanted to leave. They all fought jealously for his attention and scrubbed his castle till it shone to please him.

He also had a passel of children that grew up to be his deckmates on his boat and help him go into the surrounding countryside and steal land from other Vikings. His reputation was known far and wide and travelers steered clear of the area where he lived.

He had a friend that followed him around — an old man named Ellsworth. He had one eye and limped from being stabbed in the toe by a yellow man from the far east where they’d traveled. No one really quite believed that either, but they did have lots of jewels and rugs and as I said before, no one argued with Cavell, or Ellsworth either, for that matter.

Cavell also had a stable with many giant horses. He brought them from the kingdoms in the far south near the Mediterranean and east into the desserts. Some of these weren’t as large, but were so fleet of foot no other horses in the land could catch them.

Cavell died at about the age of 46. That was old back then. He got an infection in his pinky finger from an insect bite in a far away land below the far away land. It spread all over his body and he died.



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