Medieval Icelandic Sagas
13th century, Old Norse.
Ex(change) of identityagain and again
Birds and animals
Katla took her son with her into the front of the house and began to comb his hair, and to cut it. When Arnkel and the others burst through the door they could see Katla combing the hair of a billy goat.
Arnkel and Thorarin have come to Katla’s house looking for her son Odd. Unable to find him, they ride off, but, a short distance away, they stop and, suspecting that they have been the victims of a deception, they ride back to the house. Katla told her women to remain at their spinning and she took Odd with her into the front of the house where she began to comb his hair, and to cut it.
When Arnkel and the others burst through the door they could see Katla combing the hair of a billy goat, and stroking his head and beard. They searched the house once more and, unable to find Odd, they rode away again.
Again, they stopped their horses and considered the likelihood that by some strange deception the billy goat they saw might have been Odd. So they returned once again to the homestead.
Katla saw this and made her son lie down beside the rubbish heap where the fire cinders were thrown. The men burst in once again. But all they could find alive besides Katla and her women was a house-pig that was lying in a pile of cinders.