Last Saturday night, we attended a prayer service at a beautiful tiny stave church called St Olaf in Balestrand, a small old fishing village on the Sonjefjord. The pastor read Michael Morpurgo's reflections on the attacks. He is a British children's author and wrote this piece for the BBC. He describes the dark natural beauty of the country and how our cautious existence mirrors that of Beowulf's enduring fight:
This struggle between good and evil is at the heart of so many of our legends and folktales, and these were told not simply to children but to everyone. And they had a purpose. They are warning tales, to alarm and to terrify - yes, to entertain too - but essentially to remind us of our frailty.
Whatever the evil one is called - witch, devil, troll or dragon, we have to be watchful and wary. These stories are there to prepare us, to give us some understanding of our human predicament, of the precariousness of our existence.