And now there he was, looking down from his hideout on the big tree at the sacrifice on the big block of stone. He was excited, he was worried, his heart was racing because his guardian spirit told him, "That's him, that's the dark-haired boy! Get him! Together you will find the sun! Fight with Hraesvelgr. Fight with the Mighty Eagle, fight off the Soul-Eater, fight for your love!"
Aegir scanned the sky for the mighty Eagle. At that moment just a pair of harriers circled the air. They circled the place in front of the cave but did not dive for the unconscious youngster on top of the big boulder. "They are spying! The harriers are spying by order of the eagle!" Aegir's thoughts run wild! He had to hurry! He had to arrive at Curlyhead ahead of the mighty eagle.
Suddenly out of the grey sky a big bird was approaching at the speed of a lightning. It had to be Hraesvelgr, the Soul-Eater, the mighty eagle seeking for the living and the dead. Aegir took his spear with the sharp point and began to descend the maple tree. "I have to be the first! I have to claim Curlyhead! He is mine!" He called out loud to the Soul-Eater, "Curlyhead is mine, not yours, evil Soul-Eater!" He rushed to the passage in the earth work around the dwelling. But it was barred with tree trunks and branches. Aegir was good at climbing but he needed more time than he expected to reach the top of the barrier. When he set foot on it the big bird was slowly circling in the sky overhead. Aegir's sharp eyes watched the head of the big bird with the cold yellow eyes closely. The bird seemed to look at him too! It still seemed undecided whom to pick first, Aegir on top of the fence or the lifeless boy on big altar stone.
"Hi you, Hraesvelgr!" Aegir shouted, "Try to catch me! Can you only deal with helpless prey?" When the bird didn't change direction and assail him, Aegir began to sneer at him. "Mighty Bird! Man-Eater! Soul-Eater! Are you afraid of a boy with a spear? If you want it I will throw away my spear and fight you with my knife, even with my bare hands! Big Bird! Man-Eater! Chicken-hearted coward!"
While Aegir mocked the bird, he jumped down to the ground inside the fencing and crossed the free space to the altar stone in a hurry waving his spear overhead. Again he was held up, this time by the crude barrier around the altar. The fence of piled up branches and spiny shrubs was taller than Aegir himself. He tried to tear down the barrier, but the thorns pricked his hands and tore his shirt. Full of fear he looked around for the Soul-Eater. He was gone. He couldn't believe it! He scanned the trees nearby and then ledges in the steep rock face. There he was, sitting on one of them in his eyrie of scrawny twitches. With its big eyes the bird was peering down at the red-head and to the sacrifice on the boulder that might be dead. Aegir began throwing stones at the eagle, but the bird was too far away. He doubled his efforts and finally was able to force his way through the wall of thorns.
Pushing the last obstacles away, he climbed on top of the boulder. There he was, his Curlyhead! "Curlyhead, Curlyhead, my bro, the vision of my dream!" he shouted, "Here I am! I ready to fight the soul-eater! Don't be afraid!" For the first time Aegir saw Curlyhead from close up. His dream was about his age, about his height, but very slim almost skinny. His skin was dark, nearly black, his curly black hair was of bloodstained. Curlyhead's eyes were closed, but he was still breathing. He was alive!
Aegir eyes blazed! He drew himself up to full height, "Hraesvelgr! Hraesvelgr! Soul-Eater! Chicken-hearted Soul-eater! It's me! It's Aegir, the giant from the north! Curlyhead is mine, he is my brother! If you want him, you have to fight me!"
Kneeling in front of the limp body and checking for signs of life, Aegir was roused by big wing flaps and the cracking of branches overhead. Frightened he turned his head and starred into the yellow eyes with black pupils of a big bird sitting just above his head in the tree. The mighty eagle had landed, Hraesvelgr the soul eater had landed. Puffing up his feathers and splaying out his wings the raptor stared down at the two teens turning his head with the sharp beak from one side to the other. For a moment all blood drained out of Aegir's brain and he nearly fainted horrified besides the lifeless body. But suddenly an unexpected feeling pervaded him. The mighty eagle didn't look like a soul eating monster. No! Hraesvelgr looked like a wood grouse hen sheltering her chickens from the attacks of wild beasts.
Aegir looked the mighty bird straight into the eyes and with renewed strength started to undo the ropes tying up the hands and feet of the unconscious boy. Having freed him he tried to bring Curlyhead back to consciousness by breathing into his face, tickling his nose with a feather and caressing his cheeks. As these efforts didn't work, he began to shake Curlyhead, at first tenderly then harder. But in vain! He began to rub his chest and his limbs to stimulate the blood-flow. However, there was no response. Aegir got more and more worried. In despair he began to shake Curlyhead vigorously! In vain! Crying with despair he began to pound the chest of the lifeless boy with both fists. "Wake up! Wake up! Wake up Curlyhead, my bro, my love!" This gross treatment had an unexpected result. Suddenly Curlyhead gasped for air, his face turned dark and he began burp repeatedly. Then he raised his head and began to throw up. Groaning with pain he opened his eyes and tried to sit up.
With a sigh of relief and full of happiness Aegir embraced Curlyhead "My Curlyhead, my bro, my love" he repeated over and over again. Then however he had to turn his head because the sour smell of the vomit made him puke too. But Aegir didn't care about the mess! Curlyhead lived; the boy of his dream was alive!
Radiating like the sun itself he raised his arms to heaven and praised the big bird: "Mighty Eagle! Protector! Guardian! Who ever called you Soul-Eater is wrong! I love you too!"
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