Head Ransom
The pipe of Egil Skallagrimsson


In spite of being bald from a very early age, Egil Skallagrimsson managed to lead a very fulfilling life, including his fair share of killing people, having relaxing smokes, and writing poetry. During an unplanned holiday in England, having killed one king's son too many, Egil wound up in the father's hands, ex-king Erik Bloodax, who wasn't a particularly happy person.

A quaint Viking custom had been to compose a poem in honor of one's captor, as opposed to the more modern techniques of lying and/or forgetting.

So Egil had one night in order to write a poem commemorating Erik, and fortunately he had a favorite pipe to help inspire himself: it had lines of a ship as well as an ax. Yes, a doubly useful pipe. Thus Egil wrote the poem, saved his head, and went on to other fine smokes in Iceland, England, and Norway.

You ask about the ax notch in Egil's pipe? True. It saved his life. But that's another story.

Head ransom

Hanging out and looking for tobacco.

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