Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Leda, Smilla and Wulf

Sunny Day...
Originally uploaded by esmereldes
Oops, sorry it's been a bit of time since I posted last! Spring weather has finally arrived, and it's hard not to spend all my time outside!

I wanted to keep going with my introductions though, so I could maybe start getting to some more current news! I think next I should introduce you to Smilla, Wulf and Leda. They were the first of us to arrive here, so I feel like, by rights, their intro should've come first!

Smilla's Birthday 1

This is Smilla. She's a cheerful and helpful girl that loves to cook and always tries to take care of people. She is here studying biology, which seems strange sometimes for many reasons - she doesn't strike you as someone who is going to be a scientist! She gets amazing grades, so you know she is very smart, but... well, sometimes in person she seems pretty ditzy!

Like me, Smilla is not a princess. She came from an ordinary family in Germany. Well, mostly ordinary. The one thing that was strange was Leda. Although neither Smilla or Leda have said much, Wulf says (since Wulf is also from the same area, at least sort of...) that the people in Smilla's village didn't like Leda very much. Smilla's parents were well-liked, and no one could really dislike Smilla, she's too cute! They called her "Little Red-Riding Hood" there because she was always wearing red, and had a red hooded cape she often wore when she was doing errands.


The villagers thought Leda was strange, and perhaps a bit rude. I feel unkindly towards the villagers for thinking so, since Leda is great! But if I'm being fair, I guess I could admit that Leda is sometimes a bit difficult... She's kind of abrasive and seems to like causing little bits of trouble...

This Is Me

This is Leda, looking maybe a little more demure than usual...

Smilla sometimes calls Leda grandma, but I think that is a joke, since Leda does not look old enough to be Smilla's grandma. As I think I said earlier, I'm not sure if they are actually related or not, but Leda definitely tries to look out for Smilla.

Another thing that was probably a big strike against Leda - she's a biologist and she was studying the wolves that lived in the forests near Smilla's village. She lived off on her own and since the villagers didn't really like the wolves, I think a lot of suspicion rubbed off onto Leda. I guess they thought of her as a witch! Leda said this one time jokingly. I was immediately interested, but she didn't seem to want to talk about it. You would think with my experience I could tell if someone was or wasn't a witch, but it's honestly not always easy to know... I haven't seen her do any magic yet, so I guess it remains a mystery for now...

Rock Star Leda

Smilla loved to go to Leda's house and learn about the wolves. Smilla's parents weren't so excited about Smilla spending all that time with Leda, or, I guess more importantly, with the wolves. They thought it was dangerous. And, apparently, their worst fears were confirmed when Leda was injured by one of the wolves! She had some nasty scarring on her back when one of the young wolves got too rough with her. See, generally Leda just observed the wolves, but one day she came across a young wolf with a broken leg. As a researcher, she isn't supposed to interfere, but this wolf was not part of the pack she was studying, and there was something strange about it. So despite misgivings, she took it in and helped it heal. It became something of a pet. Smilla loved it, the way any kid probably loves a pet dog and they became fast friends. But I guess it didn't know its own strength, and that's how Smilla got hurt so badly playing with it. Or, I think anyway. No one seems to like to talk about it.

Smilla wasn't angry at all about the injury, but I think it made her shy about her appearance... It didn't seem to make her lose interest in Leda or the wolves at all, either. Her parents stepped up their efforts to get her to stay away from Leda, but Smilla proved surprisingly disobedient and kept going back anyway!

Not too long after all this happened, Smilla was old enough to go to college, and her parents were all too glad to send her to Boston when she said that's where she wanted to go to school. No wolves there, they figured! I bet they are kicking themselves now, however, since Leda unexpectedly got a teaching fellowship here and came too. I'm sure this was no accident, but they both claim it was coincidence...

Leda brought along the wolf that injured Smilla. She says it is not advisable to do something like this, but she was afraid to leave it there on its own. It never was accepted by the pack, and the villagers were less forgiving than Smilla, so no one else would've ever taken it in. You'd never know it wasn't Smilla's wolf tho, as whenever she is around, it sticks to her like glue.

LRRH & the Wolf

I didn't really mention much about Wulf yet. He is very shy, but very devoted to Smilla. They seem to be childhood friends from back in the village. He clearly has a huge crush on her, but I am not sure if Smilla has figured it out yet! I think she might like him back, but... she can be sort of a lost cause when it comes to romance! I suspect he followed her here too, although this also is supposed to be "coincidence". Smilla seems to attract a lot of those, doesn't she? ~.^

Thanks elfinity!

Wulf doesn't talk much about himself, so I don't know too much about his family yet. Leda hasn't talked a whole lot about her family either, she mostly manages to just talk about work. But I do know she has a lot of brothers. I hope to meet some of them someday!!


dementedchris said...

You know, I've ALWAYS wondered what Leda's story was. I assumed she was from the Children of Lir. ^_^ I can sleep better now!

Nightfall said...

Shhh... secret secret! *covers Atsuko's ears* You were actually sort of right. In addition to playing the grandma role, Leda is also the girl from the Six Swans fairy tale. But since I have no brothers for her yet, that hasn't been officially revealed (I wanted her to have her own fairy tale, and the swan connection...). I am not sure if that story and the Children of Lir are related, but they seem like they should be...
(I do plan, probably, to introduce maybe one brother someday...)

dementedchris said...

Ooh, I've always loved this story. I have Peg Kerr's version of it as well. ^_^ [Off-topic: Have you ever read Donna Jo Napoli's fairy tale re-tellings?]

Nightfall said...

I have! I don't think I've read all of her books, but I've definitely read several, and mean to get around to reading the rest. I actually got to hear her talk in person this year, she's hysterical and so cute! I would love to hang out with her... ^^
I've read Peg Kerr's version too.

If you haven't picked up how much I love this site/haven't been there, you really have to go to Sur La Lune's website. They keep track of all the fairy tale retellings out there. I wish I had nothing to do but read them all... ~.^