“A prince! We have a prince!” the midwife shouts.
She slaps the baby. Nothing happens. She slaps it again, and we hear him cry.
I touch the charm I hide in my pocket. “Thank you, Freya,” I whisper. “Keep the queen safe.”
We send a messenger to the king and hear shouting from his hall.
A few hours later, King Edwin enters.
“Will the queen live?”
“We pray that she will,” Breguswid replies.
“Show me my son.”
I unwrap the infant and hold him in my hands.
“He’s very ugly,” the king says, tickling his son’s chin.
“I don’t know how you can bear to look at him,” my mother replies with a smile. “Do you accept him?”
“The archbishop will baptize him today,” King Edwin declares.
I swaddle the prince.
“What will you call him?” I ask.
“Wuscfrea, so he may have the cunning of a wolf.”
Wolves belong to Woden. Is my uncle asking Woden to protect his son?
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