There is a land where the stars have sons, and the sunsets, daughters.
She is awkwardly wedged between the Baltic and the Nordic, mother to a race which spawned its own vikings and told its own sagas, yet relied upon Mother Russia to abolish serfdom and bring its folk traditions into the light.
Her head regards the Gulf of Finland, her feet stand on Latvia; stage left, her hand dabbles in the Baltic sea, and stage left, in Lake Peipus, brushing against Mother Russia herself.
Her name is Estonia.
Since prehistory she has had myriad rulers; the Danes, the Swedes, The Russians, even the Holy Roman Empire. Industrious and now a model European Country, still she sits beneath the stars and their sons, and the sunsets and their daughters.
In the middle of the 19th century they emerged: the tales which had been passed on by word of mouth since prehistoric times. All over Europe men were collecting the tales they heard in the villages. Grimm’s were grim, the Russians’ savage; but listen to the folk tales of Estonia and you will find they are laced not only with the stark beauty of the land of their origin, but a wit which marks them as a world away from the bludgeon-dark tales of other story traditions.
The next post here at Kate Shrewsday is an Estonian folk tale.
It makes me grin, and tells me precisely how seriously I should take those who try to tell me my future, or predict how I will do in any given enterprise.
If you’d like to read it, read on.