“Girl with Red Hood,” Albert Anker, 1866, WikiArt.

Part 2: Ash Tree Yggdrasil

Ambushed, all round us from earth beasts
Arose, self-buried in leaves and sticks, rock
Pummeled, arrows, clubs, our attackers we
Killed, hand-to-hand, bowel-spilling sacrifice,
Two grabbed Unna, safety running, into
Forest disappearing. Blood-spattered as our
Foes, upon our weapons we breath caught,
And I, Brithe, with nod of head, gesture of
Finger, sent Ritsá silent following, their
Trail well-marked by blood, matted hair.

Lo! How children fight, innocence taken by
Muscle-strength, panicked screams forest-
Fading, we feared Unna was no more. Vexed
Beyond reckoning, why her? Our numbers
Split, half returning to fiord-firth, dread tale
Mother telling, Kollstein and I pursued raiding
Beasts. First, to her soul-singing place we
Visited, sunlit clearing, stones circle made
Within she sang. Alas! Feathers, sticks, roots
Tree arranged, ash Yggdrasil we recognized.

Charmed child, Unna we realized, breeze-
Riding songs beast-attracted, what secrets
Her mother, Sigríth, kept concealed or knew
Not of god-touched forest maiden. Armored
Thus, dark depths we strove, hair and blood,
Plodding footprints, then cloth tatters we
Found amongst low tree branches, tiny cloak
Torn, Unna trail leaving to spear-stone fortified
Beast-den. Yes! Bright-eyed Ritsá returned,
Sprawling beasts in sunny meade lay ahead.

“Sunny Day in Wood,” Ivan Shishkin, 1891, WikiArt.

Shrieking death, 100 arrows flying, Kollstein
Offered, my head shaking, Unna at risk for
Flying darts, we knew not weapons beast-men
Wielded. From hillside distance we watched,
Unna quietly hummed, then wind-riding
Soul-refrains she sang, treetop-rising. How
Beasts reveled in her words, heart-mind
Soothing, resting at sun-warmed boulder,
Upon earth-fingering gnarled roots. Yet,
Dark eyes returned our woodland gaze.

For more on ash tree Yggdrasil, see this link and video. 

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