• 1952 - Gréta Björg Gunnlaugsdóttir
01.06.2015 - 07:27 | Vestfirska forlagiđ

“Poor Tom, are you feeling the cold this badly?”

Ţórarinn Sighvatsson á Höfđa.
Ţórarinn Sighvatsson á Höfđa.
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One autumn during the nineteen-sixties, Þórarinn Sighvatsson, farmer at Höfði in Mýrarhreppur, asked me to assist him with gathering his sheep and putting them indoors for the winter. This task proceeded quite smoothly apart from some bad weather we had in the form of cold rain and stormy spells.

         By the time we had gathered the sheep on Þórarinn’s land and put them indoors we were soaking wet and quite cold. Þórarinn then asked:

         “Are you cold, Tom?”

         “Yes,” I said.

         “Do you want some Brandy?”

         “Yes,” I said.

         “Then let’s go inside,” Þórarinn said.

         We went into Þórarinn’s house and I was invited into the kitchen. There I met Karlotta, Þórarinn’s Norwegian wife. Þórarinn then said to his wife:

         “Lotta, don’t I have something in the cupboard? Tom is a bit cold.”

         “Why should I know what you have in the cupboard,” she replied.

         Þórarinn now opened one of the cupboards, got out two medium-sized water glasses, and then reached into another cupboard for a nearly full bottle of brandy. He looked at his wife and said:

         “This is best that you can have, no matter what anybody says.”

         He then poured brandy into a glass for me. When the level in the glass had reached what amounted to a double, Þórarinn said:

         “Say when, Tom.”

         I said nothing and he kept on pouring. When the glass was about half full, he said again:

         “Say when, Tom.”

         I kept quiet as before. Finally, when the glass was nearly full to the brim, I said: “Thank you.”

         Lotta, who had been observing her husband, now turned to me and said, with audible sympathy in her voice:

         “Poor Tom, are you feeling the cold this badly?”


A short story from the book Life and History in the Westfjords of Iceland.


Volume 1 Dýrafjörður. Edited by Vestfirska forlagið

Selected tales as told by Tómas Jónsson:

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