Friday, April 18, 2008

Ratatosk

Question for today: What do squirrels, Norwegian Forest Cats, snot, and the Red Sox have to do with each other?

Allusions to mythology are everywhere - product placement, names, references in books and movies. The following links takes you to a news story about the recent hexing attempt on the New York Yankees stadium by the Red Sox fan who buried a Red Sox jersey in the concrete.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/17/sports/JERSEY.php

He talks about the burial of Egyptians and how they (well, at least the rich ones) buried objects to help them in the afterlife. O.K., that point is somewhat close.

He also mentions the ancient Iranian art of hexing people by burying object with their name on it. O.K., that is closer. Allusions begin to fly just to have allusions. Achilles's armor is invoked. The most absurd (and what wins the author The Obscure Myth Allusion Award) is bringing in Ratatosk.

What? You don't know who/what/where Ratatosk is? Why it is every one's favorite Norse squirrel, the one that runs up and down Yggdrasil, the world tree, delivering insults to the great eagle that sits at the top of the tree from the great dragon Nidhogg, who lives in the roots of the tree (and vice versa). Along the way he spreads gossip and mischief among the gods and men. Alas, while Nidhogg will survive the holocaust caused by Ragnarok, Ratatosk is not mentioned.

Ratatosk does live on today in the publishing world. Yes, there is a business out there called the Ratatosk Publishing company that publishes such excellent works as The Snot Book. Bound to be a classic.

There is also a Ratatosk network for Scandinavian shamans. You can't underestimate the need for shamans to be able to communicate with each other. (By the way, if you are a Scandinavian shaman and have not yet joined this network, you can at http://www.multiart.nu/ratatosk/aboutratat.html - Native American shamans need not apply.)
There is also the Ratatosk Norwegian Forest Cats, a cattery for Norwegian Forest Cats. What do cats (forest or any other variety) have to do with immortal Norse squirrels? Well, according to the website (http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Ridge/5176/) these cats have bushy tails that look like squirrel tails.

There is even a video game called Knights of Ratatosk. Sounds cool until you realize that it means Knights of the Squirrel.