From Google Books – The Nine Books of Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus"But, when Ring heard that Siward had meantime returned from his expedition, he attacked the Zealanders with a large force, and proclaimed that they should perish by the sword if they did not surrender; but the Zealanders, who were bidden to choose between shame and peril, were so few that they distrusted their strength, and requested a truce to consider the matter. It was granted: but, since it did not seem open to them to seek the favor of Siward, nor honorable to embrace that of Ring, they wavered long in perplexity between fear and shame. In this plight even the old were at a loss for counsel; but Ragnar, who chanced to be present at the assembly, said "the short bow shoots its shaft suddenly. Though it may seem the hardihood of a boy that I venture to forestall the speech of the elders, yet I pray you to pardon my errors, and be indulgent to my unripe words. Yet the counselor of wisdom is not to be spurned, though he seem contemptible, for the teaching of profitable things should be drunk in with an open mind."So maybe just a folk saying for young men acting impetuously? And a flowery way for Ragnar to show humility to his elders, so that they will listen to him?after Ragnar gives his advice which was basically 'pretend to give in, then turn on them', Saxo says "Nor were the old men ashamed to obey the bidding of a boy when they lacked counsel themselves; for, though it came from one of tender years, it was full, notwithstanding, of weighty and sound instruction."