What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

-William Shakespear, Romeo and Juliet

What Shakespear wants to say is that what matters is what something is, not what it is called. This is a short story about how something was changed in the mind of people and how also the name changed once people accepted the change.

Nine years ago, when moved into our newly built house here in the countryside, there was a path that passed just outside our garden and went through the woods and a meadow. This path was about 400 meters long (about a quarter mile) and used by horsemen and people walking to the bus stop at the main road. The path had the name “Fyllestigen”, which translated means, more or less, “The drunken man’s path”. When we moved here it was explained to us that it was named like that long time ago when there lived a man close to our house and he had some trouble with the alcohol. We were also told that he used to walk to the main road where he would order alcohol from the bus drivers that passed by on their way to the town; he then waited for them to return with his order before going back home. The farmer that we bought or lot from also told us that sometimes he didn’t even get home before falling asleep. We didn’t think too much about the name, after all it was the accepted name for the path and everyone knew what it was called.

IMG_1048 The drunken man’s path at the meadow

A few years after we moved in the change started, but as it often is, change does take time. I think it was a Christmas that we got a pair of garden gnomes from my parents and to be honest we really didn’t know what to do with the gnomes as they just weren’t our thing.  We didn’t want to throw them away or give them to anyone as they were after all a gift to us so after some time we decided to place them in the woods close to the “Fyllestigen” to give people who walks there something new to see. Some more time went and people started to mention the garden gnomes and since we had placed those there we thought it would be fun to get a few more gnomes or frogs for the path and bought a few garden-decorations that were carefully placed along the path.

 IMG_1039One of the original gnomes

Then one summer, Booom!, gnomes, fairies, frogs and other fairytale beings popped up everywhere along the path. Information about the location started to travel by word of mouth and families from as much as 15 km (just under 10 miles) away started to find their way here. People started to ask about and talk about the “Sagostigen” (“fairytale-trail”) and everyone around here knew what they meant and started to adapt to the new name. Today I haven’t heard anyone use the old name in almost 3 years. And last time anyone cared to try and count all the beings along the trail they lost count at 250 beings and that was back in 2009. If you are a geocacher and plan on visiting Sagostigen look here, or just contact me for coordinates.












an you Count the gnomes?

IMG_1049Is it still the same trail for you as it was in the beginning of the post?

All the credit for creating Sagostigen goes to my wonderful wife.

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One thought on “What’s in a name?

  1. Elin, the wonderful wife says:

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