DANES AND JUTES
His destination turned out to be a foggy marsh before dawn. The bogland met the sea, and the water that reached his knees was brackish, that much he could taste on the wind. All about them, frogs sang welcome. Zorikh hummed "Rainbow Connection."
The sea shore rose in the distant northeast into white cliffs, shining like a beacon in the mist and the pre-dawn light. About a mile inland stood a tall hill. A large red stone building perched at its crest, commanding the valley below. Further inland began dense woods. Theodora laughed to herself. "What is it?" Zorikh asked.
"I've been here" she said. "We're in Scray, land of King Hrothgar. That," she pointed to the red stone building, "is Heorot hall."
Zorikh's eyes widened. "Holy crap!" he cried with a splash. "We're in Denmark? He was a Danish King! Actually, they were Jutes I think. Where is Jutland again?"
"Quite right, he is a Jute." there was the sonorous laugh again. Theodora waded carefully towards the solid shore. "But we're nowhere near Denmark. We're on the coast of Kent."
"But in the poem 'Beowulf' Hrothgar's land was in Denmark." Zorikh insisted, then added, "Or in Jutland. I really need to read that poem again. My friend Rich would know for sure. Either way, I'm sure it wasn't England."
The smile never left Theodora's face. "Zorikh, do you believe everything you read?"
He knew where this was going. "Of course not." He said dryly.
"And who wrote that poem?"
"I don't know. An anonymous author." Zorikh answered impatiently, picking his way through the rushes.
They reached solid land. Theodora sat heavily, removed her boots and wrung out her muddy socks. "Well, who are you going to believe? Some anonymous poet or a Saxon Rifter?" Zorikh noticed that her accent had faded.
He kicked mud from his soles. "Ya got me." He straightened and squinted into the dawn. "That's sure pretty." Indeed it was. The sun had broken the horizon over the Channel, turning it and the marsh into red gold water. The chalk cliffs in the distance glowed as well, a brighter but paler hue. Fresh breezes from inland met them as the stillness of pre dawn awakened about them; a choir of birds had joined the frogs in song. Theodora searched in one of her inner coat pockets and drew a handheld television into the dawn light.
"We need to contact Balliol." Theodora pressed the switch."
Zorikh wanted to point out that there were no television stations about, and would not be for several centuries yet. All he managed to say was "Sony?"
"Of course...ah, hello sir." Balliol grimaced in miniature on the tiny screen. Zorikh made a mental memo to himself that none of this made any sense.
"Theodora, what is all that noise? You're not in an aviary again are you?"
"No sir. We're in Kent." She raised her voice to compete with the animal chorus.
"Ah, well that explains it doesn't it?"
Theodora continued. "Sir, we seem to have gone back quite a bit." Balliol looked down, examining something out of Zorikh's view. Balliol nodded.
"Beginning of the sixth century." He announced. "Five hundred and seven. Well done Digo! It seems the advantage is yours my dear."
Theodora grinned savagely. Zorikh imagined her with a beard and iron helmet. "It is at that sir. I'm requesting some help. I think I know what Digo's after. I'm asking you to call the Bear out." Balliol eyebrows jumped suddenly, then settled contentedly back in place.
"Why not?" He finally said, more to himself than to the listening pair. "I trust, as always, that you know what you're doing. Right. I'll let you two get on with it."
"Later," Zorikh added before the screen turned to snow. Theodora shut off the television and pocketed it.
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The comic that started it all!
How to Sart a Marsh System
The Amazing, Adaptable Frog
The Somewhat Amusing World of Frogs
A really sappy webpage about friendship that also has the lyrics to "Rainbow Connection"
Beowulf in Kent?
Finding Beowulf in Kent's landscape
The MudPile News
Marine Mud Run
Mud Pie Unlimited Do-It-Yourself Ceramic Kits
The Mud Slinger Clay Artist
The Geology and Fossils of Thanet and East Kent
The Aviary" Your Avian Info Center
The Bear Den
Vermont Teddy Bears
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