The arrival at a name can be
an interesting chain of impulses, thoughts and experiences. This chain
started with an Internet article on the research of Thomas Bugnyar on the
intelligence of ravens. The raven Hugin was the best at finding food in
colored film canisters and Munin would come along and steal it from him. Hugin
developed a new deceptive strategy of faking a food discovery and, while
Munin was occupied with the false site, would double back and eat from the
real site, demonstrating an undocumented intelligence.
The names resurfaced in my reading of Bernard Cornwell's historical novel
of the ninth century Danish invasion of England, The Last Kingdom. There
he explains that Hugin and Munin are the ravens that sit on the shoulders
of Odin and fly out in reconnaissance each day. Interest up, I 'googled'
Norse mythology and found that Hugin represents thought and Munin
memory. I think this is Bugnyar's subtle humor -- memory as a mugger of
I felt I was nearing a name with the idea that the mind at its fullest
rests in the center of the feedback -- from thought and the future on one
hand, and from memory, experience and the past on the other.
The final link in
finding a satisfactory name came with the discovery in Terry Johnston's
account of the 1868 Battle of Beecher Island in Colorado Territory. He
mentions the wise old plains Cheyenne leader, Two Crows. Crows are smaller
cousins to the raven, but the name has a better fit for one