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The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 21

Brock looked triumphantly at Loki who was standing there with his lips drawn closely together.

To Odin, the Father of the Gods, Brock gave the noble armring.

Then he commanded the attending Dwarfs to lay before Thor the hammer Miölnir. Thor took the hammer up and swung it around his head. As he did so he uttered a great cry. And the eyes of the Dwellers in Asgard lightened up when they saw Thor with the hammer Miölnir in his hands; their eyes lightened up and from their lips came the cry, "This is a wonder, a wonder indeed! With this hammer in his hand none can withstand Thor, our Champion. No greater thing has ever come into Asgard than the hammer Miölnir."

Then Odin, the Father of the Gods, spoke from his throne, giving judgment. "The hammer Miölnir that the Dwarf Brock has brought into Asgard is a thing wonder[Pg 42]ful indeed and profitable to the Gods. In Thor's hands it can crush mountains, and hurl the Giant race from the ramparts of Asgard. Sindri the Dwarf has forged a greater thing than the spear Gungnir and the boat Skidbladnir. There can be no other judgment."

Brock looked at Loki, showing his gnarled teeth. "Now, Loki, yield your head, yield your head," he cried.

"Do not ask such a thing," said Odin. "Put any other penalty on Loki for mocking you and tormenting you. Make him yield to you the greatest thing that it is in his power to give."

"Not so, not so," screamed Brock. "You Dwellers in Asgard would shield one another. But what of me? Loki would have taken my head had I lost the wager. Loki has lost his head to me. Let him kneel down now till I cut it off."

Loki came forward, smiling with closed lips. "I kneel before you, Dwarf," he said. "Take off my head. But be careful. Do not touch my neck. I did not bargain that you should touch my neck. If you do, I shall call upon the Dwellers in Asgard to punish you."

Brock drew back with a snarl. "Is this the judgment of the Gods?" he asked.

"The bargain you made, Brock," said Odin, "was an evil one, and all its evil consequences you must bear."

Brock, in a rage, looked upon Loki, and he saw that his lips were smiling. He stamped his feet and raged. Then he went up to Loki and said, "I may not take your head, but I can do something with your lips that mock me."[Pg 43]

"What would you do, Dwarf?" asked Thor.

"Sew Loki's lips together," said Brock, "so that he can do no more mischief with his talk. You Dwellers in Asgard cannot forbid me to do this. Down, Loki, on your knees before me."

Loki looked round on the Dwellers in Asgard and he saw that their judgment was that he must kneel before the Dwarf. He knelt down with a frown upon his brow. "Draw your lips together, Loki," said Brock. Loki drew his lips together while his eyes flashed fire. With an awl that he took from his belt Brock pierced Loki's lips. He took out a thong and tightened them together. Then in triumph the Dwarf looked on Loki.

"O Loki," he said, "you boasted that the Dwarfs who worked for you were better craftsmen than Sindri, my brother. Your words have been shown to be lies. And now you cannot boast for a while."

Then Brock the Dwarf, with great majesty, walked out of the Council House of Asgard, and the attending Dwarfs marched behind him in procession. Down the passages in the earth the Dwarfs went, singing the song of Brock's triumph over Loki. And in Svartheim it was told forever after how Sindri and Brock had prevailed.

In Asgard, now that Loki's lips were closed, there was peace and a respite from mischief. No one amongst the Æsir or the Vanir were sorry when Loki had to walk about in silence with his head bent low.


[Pg 44]

HOW FREYA GAINED HER NECKLACE AND
HOW HER LOVED ONE WAS LOST TO HER

Yes, Loki went through Asgard silent and with head bent, and the Dwellers in Asgard said one unto the other, "This will teach Loki to work no more mischief." They did not know that what Loki had done had sown the seeds of mischief and that these seeds were to sprout up and bring sorrow to the beautiful Vana Freya, to Freya whom the Giant wanted to carry off with the Sun and the Moon as payment for his building the wall around Asgard.


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