TIP OF THE DAY: Watch a short documentary by photo artist Sanna Kannisto about the creation of bird photos at the Hanko bird station.

Remarkable descent

Sara Wacklin

Definition of content? Relentlessness in the face of adversity, serenity in the face of suffering. The story of the remarkable descent is from Sara Wacklin's book? Hundrade minnen från Österbotten? from 1844.

The old sailor Anders Hägg, a tall and sturdy guy, arrived at Kallisenmäki one bitter winter day. He was wearing a sailor's cap and a worn-out Friesian coat. Behind him, the guy was pulling a sled that he had loaded full of bricks. After reaching the top of the hill, he sat down comfortably on top of the cargo to descend. But from his high seat, he was not even able to steer the sled. While cooling down the hill, the seasoned sailor looked as calm as ever.

Accelerated by the heavy load, the sled turned in the wrong direction, towards a large opening, which a dyer living nearby had cut into the ice for his needs. Steadily, he looked ahead at the fast-approaching opening and the sure danger of death. He didn't panic and didn't shout for help from the people standing nearby, who by the second opening were watching with their mouths open in wonder at how the old Hägg guy "skied" like a competent coxswain in a storm, even though directly towards the gaping opening. He was only able to catch a glimpse before the sledge and cargo disappeared in a flash into the seething mass beneath the ice.

Tools were fetched to lift the drowned, and holes were made in the ice a couple of cubits thick in many places? without success. Even the heavy sled had disappeared into the sledge, which rumbled eerily under the ice vault.

After working in vain for a couple of hours, the hope of salvation was extinguished. The crowd was getting ready to leave the ice. Then, quite unexpectedly, a scream was heard and a human head was seen sticking out of another, smaller opening about a hundred fathoms higher than what had been searched for. "Hey there!" roared Hägg: "Help me out of this damned tight hole!" Avanto was really so small that he couldn't climb up from there until the mouth of the opening had been widened with axes. But finally, Hägg's guy stood on the ice, straightened his long back and said: "You had to walk in the cursed bow down there."

After that, Hägg's guy was never interested in downhill.

Translation translation; Sampsa Laurinen.

Svenska Kulturfonden has supported Sara Wacklin's ?Hundrade minnen från Österbotten? publication of stories.

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