Stekkjastaur (Sheep-Cote Clod), the first of the 13 Icelandic Yule Lads, has turned down a generous offer from pioneering prosthetic company Össur to help him with his leg condition.
For centuries Sheep-Cote Clod’s daily life has been inhibited by a rare medical condition that causes his legs to be stiff as wood, making it hard for him to bend down or kneel.
“Well it can be tough,” said Sheep-Cote Clod. “Sneaking onto farms isn’t what it used to be. With all the security measures and electric fences, it’s hard work. Then once I finally reach the sheep, I barely have the energy to harass them and there’s no chance of me bending down to suckle from their teats with my legs being what they are.”
The news comes as a blow to Össur as well. The company had already built a prototype for Sheep-Cote Clod to try on when he travelled down from the mountains this morning.
“Yes it was a disappointment,” a representative of Össur told the Grapevine. “Sheep-Cote Clod had expressed an interest in our work and we were excited to collaborate with him and help restore a more natural gait through our bionic technology. His rejection came as quite a surprise.”
When asked why he had rejected the prosthetic, Sheep-Cote Clod was less forth-coming, at first citing “troll reasons.” Upon further questioning the Yule Lad conceded he couldn’t work out how to use the device remote.
If you or your family would like to meet Sheep-Cote Clod, he will be making his annual visit the National Museum of Iceland at 11 am today.
To learn more about Icelandic Christmas traditions check out our Encyclopaedia of Icelandic Holidays.