Huginn and Muninn

There is a weathered green bench on the strip of sunblasted grass between the street and the sidewalk. Odin sits there, drapes his suit jacket over the back of the bench, and looks at what’s for lunch.

Times were, whole roast boar, pheasants, flagons of wine and ale.

Not to mention the wenches.

Odin sighs and peels the plastic cover off a serving of Greek salad from the deli. He spears a cherry tomato with a plastic fork.

Times were.

A grey crow hops up.

No, wait, it’s a black crow. A grey crow yawked at him a few minutes ago when he was walking here from the deli. He used to always have to stop and think, which one is Huginn and which one is Muninn? Which is the grey one and which is the black one? Then he decided, I am Odin, I say the first one you see is Huginn and the other one is Muninn, just because. So the grey one from before was Huginn — Odin gave it a handful of peanuts — which makes this black one Muninn. Careful not to spook Muninn, Odin tosses a few peanuts in its direction.

Which Muninn eats.

“How are you with dairy?” asks Odin, and tosses over a piece of feta cheese. Muninn looks at the cheese, thinks about it, then hides it under a pile of dead leaves in the gutter.

Eating peanuts and salad is nice when you’re hungry, thinks Odin, but sharing them with hungry crows is even better.

“Have you lore for me, Muninn?” asks Odin. “What say the slain?”

Muninn is seeing how many peanuts it can carry in its beak, and so says nothing.

Time was, thinks Odin, and polishes off his salad, even the last hard-to-get bits of grated carrot.

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