Sigurd and Fafnir the Dragon
Sigurd was the son of Sigmund, a warrior who died in combat with Odin. As Sigmund lay there dying he gave the shattered pieces of his blade to his wife and promised them to his then unborn son. He made a prophecy that if his son were to carry the blade then he would be the greatest warrior of them all.
Sigurd’s mother was smart, she married a chief after her husband died and Sigurd lived in style while he trained to become a grand hero. The sword of his father was reforged and when Sigurd became a man grown his assistant, Regin, who was a dwarf living in exile, said that he should ask his step father for a horse of his own to help him become a hero.
On Sigurd’s way to the great Hall where men and their fathers and father’s fathers had ruled since before anyone could remember, a strange old man stopped him. This old man was actually Odin in disguise, he had watched over the boy out of remorse for making his mother a widow.
Odin convinced Sigurd to come with him instead, and Odin told him to drive the horses towards an icy river and the one that swam across would be the one he chose. This was a good plan and so Sigurd did it and he chose the horse that swam across. The horse was a descendent of Sleipnir, Odin’s own horse.
On the following night Regin informed Sigurd that in order to become a hero he must slay a dragon. Sigurd said that he wouldn’t know where to look for a dragon, but Regin knew.
Regin was the youngest of three brother Dwarves, who came from a rich family. But his eldest brother, Fafnir, had become sick with greed, so much so that he was cursed to become a dragon who then killed the rest of his family, except for Regin of course who escaped. Regin told Sigurd he would take him to the dragon and let him take the wealth and become a hero as long as Sigurd would let him have the heart of the beast to eat.
Sigurd agreed and the two set off. After several weeks they finally came to Fafnir’s cave. It was a ferocious battle and Sigurd was badly wounded but he eventually killed Fafnir after a three hour battle.
Sigurd and Regin made camp in the cave but Sigurd was restless. He decided to surprise Regin by cooking the heart up for him while he slept as a sign of gratitude. But as the heart cooked the grease popped and burned Sigurd’s finger. He sucked on the wound to reduce the swelling but even the taste of dragon’s heart has magical properties. Sigurd could now hear the speech of birds
The birds outside the mouth of the cave were talking. “Poor Sigurd,” they said, “He has no idea that his beloved Regin plans to betray him after he eats the heart and becomes strong enough to kill Sigurd.” Sigurd was enraged, he drove his sword through his assistant’s chest and ate the heart out of spite. He left the gold for he realized it was cursed to give him misery and woe and continued in his quest to become the greatest hero.
The moral of the story is that you don’t always know who you can trust when greed is involved.
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