The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

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Naming Father

I was sitting on the front steps with my three daughters one night after the farm work had been done. They were grown up and it was time to be thinking about marriage. Jovially, I asked my eldest if she had decided what her husband’s name will be. Names are important, you know!

Right away she said Sigmund. She declared that she would never marry a man who wasn’t called Sigmund. I laughed, and put the same question to my second. “Sigurd,” she said. He has to be called Sigurd. Well, lucky for them, there are a great many Sigmunds and Sigurds in this part of the world. They’ll have lots of fellows to choose from.

Then I turned to my youngest. She had a name on her lips but then her eyes rounded in surprise, and she said, “If I do marry it will be to no one except Habogi.”

Habogi? Who has ever heard of a name like that?

The Naming Father in Habogi, Brown Fairy Book