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The Rhubarb Princess


The rhubarb princess, a story for Fríða from Simbahöllin.

Once upon a time, there was a little Princess named Fríða. She was the Rhubarb Princess, responsible for bringing new life to the rhubarb plants each and every spring. With her magic, new leaf stalks would grow, from with the little rhubarb elves would make jam. This gave them all the energy they needed to ensure the survival and reproduction of the plant.


So every year alike, Fríða woke up at the end of winter. She walked around for a bit, stretching her limbs and breathing the fresh air. While she was dancing around, she suddenly caught a glimpse of bright white fur, hiding in the grass. It was a snow rabbit!


“Hi there white rabbit!” Fríða said. “What are you doing here on the land? Winter is over, snow is gone. You should be in the summer caves with your family! With your white fur you will get caught by a fox!” She added. “My pawn got stuck between these roots! Look!” The rabbit said. “So I couldn’t go to the caves before the snow melted...” “Oh! But I’ll help you!” Fríða said. “I’ll cut you loose and travel with you to the caves!” She added, ambitious and courageous as she was. “Here, I’ll cover you with this rhubarb leave while we walk.” She said while taking the leave of her head. “My name is Fríða. What is yours?” Fríða asked. “Bonbon. My name is Bonbon.” The snow rabbit answered.

And so Bonbon and Fríða started walking. But it was a long way to the caves and everywhere in the land, the rhubarb elves were getting worried, for their princess was late in bringing her magic. Soon they would run out of jam and there were yet no fresh leave stalks.

After counseling, they decided to send out some search troops. It did not take long, before they found her. Walking next to a moving rhubarb leaf. “Please, Princess Fríða, we need you!” The elves plead. But they got a firm “No!”, for Fríða had set her mind firmly on completing the task of bringing Bonbon home.


The little elves knew they had to find another way, for Princess Rhubarb had a too strong temper. Thus, they decided to go to her brother. Prince Frosti was the Prince of Snow. Where his sister was fierce, Frosti was mild. So, the little rhubarb elves were not afraid to wake him up, although he had just fallen into his summer sleep.


Prince Frosti did not hesitate to bring winter back for a short while. For the snow would allow Bonbon to hasten towards the caves. The people of the land lifted their shoulders at the sudden days of snow, because they had long learned to not trust the weather.

Once Bonbon was safe, Frosti went back to sleep and Fríða turned all her dedication towards her task of spring. In the end, they were all heroes and all was good.


The end.


INSPIRATION

Earlier this summer, I was helping with restoring the walls of the viking site in Þingeyri. Suddenly, the daughter of the owners of Simbahöllin coffeehouse passed by, carried around in a wheelbarrow filled with flowers and with a rhubarb leaf on her head. That was all I needed to write this story.


Read all about Simahöllin here.