Flies and ser­pents

Fortean Times - - Letters -

A Mythconceptions col­umn in 2010 “ex­plained” how the house­flies of to­day pose no risk to hu­man life [ FT261:25]. En­ter the equal and op­po­site ex­perts, who warn of dire con­se­quences if flies land on your food: http://www.tele­graph.co.uk/


I am re­minded of an oc­ca­sion in my youth when a fly landed in my soup, and I non­cha­lantly fished it out and con­tin­ued eat­ing. Nor­mally I would do no such thing, but this was on a farm where I was eat­ing at a re­fec­tory table with a gag­gle of Amer­i­can hip­pies. I couldn’t let such a chance to gross them out pass me by... I don’t re­mem­ber any un­pleas­ant con­se­quences from this. •

Nor­we­gians are brought up to be­lieve that Midgard­sor­men, the ter­ri­ble World-Girdling Ser­pent of Norse mythol­ogy, is a par­tic­u­lar Scan­di­na­vian con­struct. I was ac­tu­ally afraid of it when I was lit­tle, but then I was afraid of so many things. Un­til I read SD Tucker’s “Poked by a Poké­mon!” [ FT345:55], I was un­aware that the Ja­panese have a sim­i­lar world-span­ning cat­fish, but the two must surely be re­lated (as Pri­vate Eye would put it). Since this trope crops up in two such dif­fer­ent and fara­part cul­tures, it is prob­a­bly part of other mytholo­gies around the world as well. Nils Erik Grande Oslo, Nor­way

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