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The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 23

"We will show you the way if you stay with us here," said one of the Dwarfs.

"For how long would you have me stay?" said Freya.

"Until the cocks in Svartheim crow," said the Dwarfs, closing round her. "We want to know what the company of one of the Vanir is like." "I will stay," Freya said.[Pg 47]

Then one of the Dwarfs reached up and put his arms round her neck and kissed her with his ugly mouth. Freya tried to break away from them, but the Dwarfs held her. "You cannot go away from us now until the cocks of Svartheim crow," they said.

Then one and then another of the Dwarfs pressed up to her and kissed her. They made her sit down beside them on the heaps of skins they had. When she wept they screamed at her and beat her. One, when she would not kiss him on the mouth, bit her hands. So Freya stayed with the Dwarfs until the cocks of Svartheim crew.

They showed her the mountain on the top of which the Three banished from Asgard had their abode. The Giant Women sat overlooking the World of Men. "What would you have from us, wife of Odur?" one who was called Gulveig said to her.

"Alas! Now that I have found you I know that I should ask you for nought," Freya said.

"Speak, Vana," said the second of the Giant Women.

The third said nothing, but she held up in her hands a necklace of gold most curiously fashioned. "How bright it is!" Freya said. "There is shadow where you sit, women, but the necklace you hold makes brightness now. Oh, how I should joy to wear it!"

"It is the necklace Brisingamen," said the one who was called Gulveig.

"It is yours to wear, wife of Odur," said the one who held it in her hands.

Freya took the shining necklace and clasped it round her throat. She could not bring herself to thank the Giant[Pg 48] Women, for she saw that there was evil in their eyes. She made reverence to them, however, and she went from the mountain on which they sat overlooking the World of Men.

In a while she looked down and saw Brisingamen and her misery went from her. It was the most beautiful thing ever made by hands. None of the Asyniur and none other of the Vanir possessed a thing so beautiful. It made her more and more lovely, and Odur, she thought, would forgive her when he saw how beautiful and how happy Brisingamen made her.

She rose up from amongst the flowers and took leave of the slight Elves and she made her way into Asgard. All who greeted her looked long and with wonder upon the necklace that she wore. And into the eyes of the Goddesses there came a look of longing when they saw Brisingamen.

But Freya hardly stopped to speak to anyone. As swiftly as she could she made her way to her own palace. She would show herself to Odur and win his forgiveness. She entered her shining palace and called to him. No answer came. Her child, the little Hnossa, was on the floor, playing. Her mother took her in her arms, but the child, when she looked on Brisingamen, turned away crying.


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