Myths and Legends of All Nations Famous Stories from the Greek, German, English, Spanish, Scandinavian, Danish, French, Russian, Bohemian, Italian and other sources
Page: 116At this Sigurd Ring invited the old man to remove his
WAYLAND THE SMITH
King Nidung had one daughter and three sons. The oldest son, Otvin, was away from court, guarding the outposts of the country; the other two sons were still children.
One day the two boys came with their bows to the great smith Wayland, asking him to make arrows for them.
"Not today," the smith answered. "I have not time; and besides, even though you are the sons of the king, I may not work for you without the wish and consent of your father. If he is willing, you may come again; but you must promise to do exactly as I tell you."
"What is that?" one of the boys ventured.
"You must," said Wayland, "come on a day when snow has freshly fallen, and you must walk facing backward all the way."
The children cared little whether they walked backward or forward, as long as they got their arrows, and so they promised. To their delight next morning they found that snow had fallen. Quickly they set out for the smithy, walking backward all the way.
"O Wayland, make us the arrows," they cried. "The king, our father, has said that we might have them."