The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 19

"To Odin, the Father of the Gods, the ring shall be given," said Brock. "And Odin will have to declare that nothing so wonderful or so profitable to the Gods was ever brought into Asgard. O Loki, cunning Loki, I shall have thy head in spite of thy tricks."

"Be not too hasty, brother," said Sindri. "What we have done so far is good. But better still must be the thing that will make the Dwellers in Asgard give the judgment that delivers Loki's head to thee. Work as before, brother, and do not let the fire blaze up or die down for a single instant."

This time Sindri threw into the fire a bar of iron. Then he went away to fetch the hammer that would shape it. Brock worked the bellows as before, but only his hands[Pg 39] were steady, for every other part of him was trembling with expectation of the gadfly's sting.

He saw the gadfly dart into the forge. He screamed as it flew round and round him, searching out a place where it might sting him most fearfully. It lighted down on his forehead, just between his eyes. The first sting it gave took the sight from his eyes. It stung again and Brock felt the blood flowing down. Darkness filled the cave. Brock tried to keep his hands steady on the bellows, but he did not know whether the fire was blazing up or dying down. He shouted and Sindri hurried up.

Sindri said the magic words over the thing that was in the fire. Then he drew it out. "An instant more," he said, "and the work would have been perfect. But because you let the fire die down for an instant the work is not as good as it might have been made." He took what was shaped in the fire to the main-anvil and worked over it. Then when Brock's eyesight came back to him he saw a great hammer, a hammer all of iron. The handle did not seem to be long enough to balance the head. This was because the fire had died down for an instant while it was being formed.

"The hammer is Miölnir," said Sindri, "and it is the greatest of the things that I am able to make. All in Asgard must rejoice to see this hammer. Thor only will be able to wield it. Now I am not afraid of the judgment that the Dwellers in Asgard will give."

"The Dwellers in Asgard will have to give judgment for us," Brock cried out. "They will have to give judg[Pg 40]ment for us, and the head of Loki, my tormentor, will be given me."

"No more wonderful or more profitable gifts than these have ever been brought into Asgard," Sindri said. "Thy head is saved, and thou wilt be able to take the head of Loki who was insolent to us. Bring it here, and we will throw it into the fire in the forge."