ATTACK

February 13, 2019

Attack by Rick Haynes

 

I wanted to write something a bit different by using some Old English words.

Thus, I've written two parts to the tale.

The first is written in English.

Once you have finished reading, you will see parts of the story retold in Old English.

 

 

Attack

 

Moving slowly through the bracken, the warrior constantly looked around, searching for any sign of the enemy. His helm was dull and covered in dirt, his tunic and trews faded with age. Pitted after so many battles, even his sword lacked lustre. Only his dark brown eyes set in an old face shone in the fading light.

The sound of bold voices carried on the gentle breeze and instantly, the man lowered himself below the foliage. Like a wraith in the night, he made no sound, his breathing slowed and he concentrated on what lay ahead.

He heard a noise behind him and relaxed. The loyal face of his sword shield, Athelstan, drew level with his own. Grinning like the village idiot in their home at Winchester, Athelstan pointed.

Patton followed his line of sight. The fools were speaking like a gaggle of washerwomen. Suppressing a laugh was difficult but Patton doubted whether the fighters would hear them as clearly they were all drunk.

“Are you ready for the slaughter, Patton?”

Patton wet his lips rubbed both hands on his soiled trews and grinned.

“Time to be brave, Athelstan.”

They took one last look at each other and nodded.

 “To victory,” Athelstan whispered.

“Kill!” They screamed together as they emerged from cover.

 

 

Attack

 

Moving slowly through the bracken, the beorn constantly looked around, searching for any sign of the andsaca. His helm was dull and covered in dirt, his tunic and trews faded with age. Pitted after so many battles, even his sweord lacked lustre. Only his dark brown eyes set in an old andwlita shone in the fading light.

The sound of arod voices carried on the gentle breeze and instantly, the man lowered himself below the foliage. Like a wraith in the night he made no sound, his breathing slowed, and he concentrated on what lay ahead.

He heard a noise behind him and relaxed. The treow face of his sword shield, Æthelstan, drew level with his own. Grinning like the village idiot in their home at Wintanceaster,  Æthelstan pointed.

beorn followed his line of sight. The fools were speaking like a gaggle of washer women. Suppressing a laugh was difficult but beorn doubted whether the fighters would hear them as clearly they were all drunk.

“Are you ready for the wael, beorn?”

beorn wet his lips rubbed both hands on his soiled trews and grinned.

“tid to be modig, Æthelstan.”

They took one last look at each other and nodded.

“To sige”, Æthelstan, whispered.

“cwellan!” They screamed together as they emerged from cover.

 

 

Do let me know how much you understood when reading the Old English story without referring to the modern English version.
 

 

 

NOTES

 

It is estimated that about 85% of the 30,000 or so Anglo-Saxon words gradually died out under the cultural onslaught of the Vikings and the Normans who would come after them, leaving a total of only around 4,500. This represents less than 1% of modern English vocabulary.

 

Do note the lack of capital letters

Sword/sweord – Patton/beorn-Time/tid

The name, Patton, means warrior.

Athelstan/ means noble or strong.

 

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