Sunday, April 18, 2010

Smaug Stirring

Eyja is the Icelandic word for island; fjall means mountain; jökull means ice-cap or glacier.

Eyjafjall is the Island Mountain; Eyjafjallajökull is the Island Mountain Glacier. It is an outlier of the larger Myrdalsjökull to the east.

[In Iceland ll is aspirated, as in Welsh llan. So the spoken name should sound something like eiya-fyatla-jerkutl.]

Eyjafjall: might that translate as Lonely Mountain? Remember, this is the country that inspired so much in Tolkien.
And who had occupied the deep spaces of the Lonely Mountain? It was that most dreaded of disasters, that most catastrophic of calamities, the Great Worm from the northern wastelands, Smaug the Magnificent, the giant dragon.
And Smaug was violently possessive and jealous of his treasure, to the last tiny jewel. Bilbo stole a goblet, arousing Smaug to fury, and to wreak fire and havoc on Esgaroth.

Now Britain and other European countries are demanding treasure from Iceland, reparations for their losses in the collapse of the icelandic banks. Maybe Smaug is aware, stirring, giving warning when his treasure is threatened. His closure of our airspace is just a starter, telling us to back off or else he'll erupt from his lair to unleash an Armageddon of flame and fury on London.

Does he still have a scale missing on the left breast? Can we hope that in a showdown a grim, heroic Bard will hear a thrush report Smaug's weakness? Will he have one last black arrow, forged by elven-smiths, to snatch victory from the jaws of hell?

Do our leaders know all this? Is there a conspiracy of silence, 'in the national interest'?

Put no trust in officials; check your fire extinguisher. That is the doctor's advice for today.

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