I honestly do not know where the name Habogi came from. It popped into my mind when my father asked me to name my future husband. I didn’t want to marry so I cast about for the most improbable name I could imagine. At the same time, I found the odd name charming, and the voice that whispered it reached right into my heart.

Later, at my sisters’ wedding, a man showed up. He was a coarse old peasant, and he strode up to my father and said, “My name is Habogi, and Helga must be my wife.”

My father put him off but I stood pale and trembling with surprise. I did not try and run away.

Helga Who Names Her Husband in Habogi, Brown Fairy Book. Painting by Sir Frank Dicksee.

helga