Once Sigurd and Regin reach the peak of Gnita-heath they find the dragon Fafnir’s
footprints falling to the shore. So Sigurd digs a pit mid-path and hides himself, waiting
until Fafnir climbs away from his gold-hoard. While heaving up the hill, Fafnir hoarks
poison, some of which splashes on Sigurd’s head. But Sigurd holds fast until Fafnir’s
directly over the pit — then slips his blade through Fafnir’s heart. Fafnir topples and
wails his head and tail. Sigurd springs from the pit and the two stare at each other for a
moment before Fafnir says:
1 Aren’t you a cocksure and callow little cub.
Are you your father’s son? Who do you come from?
Yes, yes, the reason your blade’s bathed rust-red
is it’s sunk hilt-high in my thudding hub.
Sigurd holds the old belief that the words of the dying contain great power, if they are
used to curse another by name. So, Sigurd conceals his for a moment.
2 Reigning Stag’s my name, I’m a motherless one,
my father is no one, I am no one’s son. I wander
the world alone, without anyone.
3 If not born like most men, then what
chemistry forced you to suck a birth-breath?
4 My genealogy, like me, will be unknown
to you. But okay, Sigmund was my father
and I am called Sigurd — the one who beat
your blood-drum with a sharp steel stick.
5 Bug-eyed boy, Sigmund was a ferocious father,
sure, but who told you to burst my beating bird?