Bjorn Rejects Queen Hvit's Advances: The Curse
Bjorn went back to his quarters after arguing with his father,
each thinking the other to be wrong. Bjorn, downcast and angry,
his face as red as blood, then took to his bed. The queen,
wanting to lift his spirits, spoke tenderly to him. He asked
her to go away, which she did for a time.
The queen often spoke with Bjorn, telling him that, while
the king was away, they had an opportunity to share one bed.
She said that their living together would be much better than
her experience with a man as old as King Hring.
Bjorn, taking this proposal badly, gave the queen a hard
slap. He told her to leave him alone and then threw her out.
She said that she was unaccustomed to being rejected or beaten.
'And it seems that you, Bjorn, think it preferable to embrace
a commoner's daughter. You deserve a punishment, something
far more disgraceful than enjoyment of my love and my tenderness.
It would not come as a surprise if something should happen
to make you suffer for your stubbornness and your stupidity.'
She then struck him with her wolfskin gloves, telling him
to become a cave bear, grim and savage: 'You will eat no food
other than your own father's livestock, and, in feeding yourself,
you will kill more than has ever been observed before. You
will never be released from the spell, and your awareness
of this disgrace will be more dreadful to you than no remembrance