December 11th – Stekkjastaur

December11th

Well boys and girls, it’s time to face the truth about whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year because the first Yule Lad is coming to town tonight. So if you have thrown any temper tantrums lately and you plan to put your biggest shoe in the window tonight so the first brother can bring you that iPad you’ve been longing after, don’t be surprised if the only apple products you’ll see are of the rotten earth apple kind. You know: potatoes.

Stekkjastaur

Picture: Brian Pilkington from the book The Yule Lads

Stekkjastaur, or Sheep Cote Clod whatever that means, is the first of the thirteen Yule Lads to come to town. He’s probably one of the older brothers and he has long stiff legs that make it difficult for him to walk. He is known for sneaking into sheep cotes where he tries to capture the sheep and drink from their teats (I’m as appalled as you are) but thankfully his stiff legs make this almost impossible for him. He can’t bend you see.

I’ve always found Stekkjastaur one of the more disturbing Yule Lads and don’t really understand why he would prey on the poor sheep. I also read somewhere that it’s unlikely that sheep produce any milk in December so either he was pretty stupid (which he must have been, it couldn’t have come as a surprise to him that catching a sheep to suck it without being able to bend your knees is not really possible) or he had some ulterior motives. In which case I just don’t want to know more.

sheep

Innocent victim

If the poor fella was just thirsty you might be able to butter him up by leaving a glass of milk out for him. That might convince him to overlook your bad behavior and leave you something nice. Like a clementine. Or some playing cards.

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