Valkyrie Bestiary

Doing Our Best to Care for the Fae

Ratatosk—messenger of the gods

November 5, 2081

I’ve been away visiting family in Asgard, so please forgive the interruption of the blog. I won’t go into details of my trip, only to say that it was more successful than I could have hoped and also more devastating. 

One good thing that came out of it was that I met a new friend. His name is Raol, and he’s a ratatosk, the only one on Terra as far as I know.

Ratatosks are descendants of the creature known as Ratatoskr.

The old Norse tales don’t have much good to say about him. He was a large squirrel who ferried messages between the great eagle atop the world tree, Yggdrasil, and the monster Niohoggr that gnawed on the tree’s roots. He was a creature who delighted in malicious gossip and fomenting discord. 

If you’ve ever been scolded by a red squirrel for invading its territory, you can imagine that it’s not a big leap to make from squirrel to hateful gossipmonger. 
I can’t attest to the truth of Ratatoskr’s role in the drama that surrounded the world tree. By the time I went to live with the Aesir, the gods had long since retired to Valhalla, leaving Asgard in the hands of godlings. The pathways to Yggdrasil with its sacred wells and fantastic creatures faded into the mists of memory. 

I know one thing to be true about Ratatoskr, however. He was a horny bugger. He spawned dozens if not hundreds of children from regular squirrel stock. These children became the ratatosks. They were one rung up from regular squirrels on the ladder of sentience. And like their sire, they made their place in Aesir society as pages, messengers and servants. Today, the city of Asgard would come to a standstill if the ratatosk workforce decided to go on strike. 

I had the pleasure recently of making the acquaintance of an unusual ratatosk who was neither courier nor servant. He is a guide. There isn’t one forest on Asgard or Jotunheim that he doesn’t know intimately. 

Unfortunately, in Asgard, few ratatosks seek out other roles in society. The Aesir have no problem accepting a message carried by a squirrel, but not a loaf of bread baked by one. Likewise, the ratatosks are banned from farming or being merchants. Under Aesir law, they cannot own land or businesses. 

Though the ratatosks seem content with their lot, I can’t help feeling that they deserve more. After spending time with our ratatosk guide, I can attest that these beings are intelligent, creative and nimble. They could be a much more valuable asset to any society, given the chance. 

Our guide returned with me to Montreal. I hope he’ll find a warm welcome here. And now that he’s made his home on Terra, I’m sure he’ll become intimately acquainted with the paths of the Inbetween.

That’s my two cents on the topic. I hesitate to open comments because I know I’ll be blasted with the usual hate, drivel and racism. But, what the heck. Bring it on.

Comments (8)

Don’t we have enough trouble with the godling uprising? You want to introduce another new species to the mix? Forget it. Go back where you came from and take your vermin with you. 
FromTheForge333 (November 5, 2081)

That’s a big nope. Squirrels are just rats with fluffy tales. You can keep them.
SunnyG45 (November 5, 2081)

I applaud your concern for an overlooked species. I hope your ratatosk friend finds a warm welcome in his new home, but I fear humans won’t be much more open-minded than the Aesir.
cchedgewitch (November 6, 2081)

What is this? Story hour? You want us to believe that you were on another world. Fake news!
HoaxFinder455 (November 6, 2081)

     Other worlds exist! I’ve been to Mars, Neverland and Lilliput. The truth is out there.
     Foxyfox27 (November 6, 2081)

        HoaxFinder455 (November 6, 2081)

              Foxyfox27 (November 6, 2081)

Thanks guys, but I’m cutting you off. Comments are closed.
Valkyrie367 (November 6, 2081)