Collects and grows roots and herbs and uses them as spices, in ointments, and as medication. She also sells them by walking from farm to farm at the end of the summer, and attending gatherings and markets in the village. Every time, she has to take her two daughters with her which makes their journey a slow one, but she much prefers taking them with her to leaving them behind alone.

Some years ago, a fire ruined her house, killed her husband and destroyed everything she owned except for a few sheep, chickens, and one mare. Her youngest daughter has been short of breath since that time, and no amount of herbs has cured her.

The mare ran away last summer, causing Hlíf much distress, but was found a few weeks later. Now she is getting fatter every day, and the whole family is very much looking forward to her having a foal.


  • the quiet time browsing for herbs
  • chatting with the women on farms and at the market, a welcome change from the solitude at home
  • seeing how quick her daughters learn the trade


  • sometimes not being allowed to help when a wound doesn’t heal, or an illness persists
  • being called “that poor woman”
  • people telling her she should remarry, preferably a rich farmer, because she doesn’t feel ready to do so and maybe never will
  • people coming to her home, seeing how poor she really is