Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I wish I could remember what the Swedes called the bed that held more than one stranger. During snowstorms people would never turn out a person who needed a safe port. Often beds were in short supply, and the bed would be made from both ends. And people would sleep with their heads next to the stranger's feet. I those days with no indoor plumbing, I can imagine the odors that issued forth from the feet of the stranger, and vice versa. People were lucky who could manage a bath a week. But what has this to do with pregnancy.

Grandfather had met the love of his life somewhere. Probably in the school he was attending in order to get his teaching certificate. He lived in on a farm North of Helsingborg in exchange for work (milking the cows in the morning and in the evening). School started at eight o'clock, and the walk to the school took 45 minutes. Weekends he was free and he would walk to Helsingborg to see Botilda. Her father was a businessman and they lived in a great house, probably with in-door plumbing) There were times when the weather was so atrocious that Botilda's parents could not send the swain out in the night. And then they would fix the bed 'skafottes'. And they would put the couple in the bed with what they thought, the security of the sheet between them. And that was the way Botilda got pregnant.


Anonymous said...

I love your stories. The subject itself is fascinating, but you are such a natural storyteller!

musingegret said...

Fascinating! Reminds me of 'bundling' practiced in colonial America.

Anonymous said...

Dear Svensto,

That story had me laughing out loud. I love the matter of fact way you ended it. It makes the punchline so much more effective. Love your blog, and all you write.

Ariel said...

lol! People get pregnant all sorts of ways. Human nature.