The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 24

Freya left Hnossa down and searched again for Odur. He was not in any part of their palace. She went into the houses of all who dwelt in Asgard, asking for tidings of him. None knew where he had gone to. At last Freya went back to their palace and waited and waited for Odur to return. But Odur did not come.[Pg 49]

One came to her. It was a Goddess, Odin's wife, the queenly Frigga. "You are waiting for Odur, your husband," Frigga said. "Ah, let me tell you Odur will not come to you here. He went, when for the sake of a shining thing you did what would make him unhappy. Odur has gone from Asgard and no one knows where to search for him."

"I will seek him outside of Asgard," Freya said. She wept no more, but she took the little child Hnossa and put her in Frigga's arms. Then she mounted her car that was drawn by two cats, and journeyed down from Asgard to Midgard, the Earth, to search for Odur her husband.

Year in and year out, and over all the Earth, Freya went searching and calling for the lost Odur. She went as far as the bounds of the Earth, where she could look over to Jötunheim, where dwelt the Giant who would have carried her off with the Sun and the Moon as payment for the building of the wall around Asgard. But in no place, from the end of the Rainbow Bifröst, that stretched from Asgard to the Earth, to the boundary of Jötunheim, did she find a trace of her husband Odur.

At last she turned her car toward Bifröst, the Rainbow Bridge that stretched from Midgard, the Earth, to Asgard, the Dwelling of the Gods. Heimdall, the Watcher for the Gods, guarded the Rainbow Bridge. To him Freya went with a half hope fluttering in her heart.

"O Heimdall," she cried, "O Heimdall, Watcher for the Gods, speak and tell me if you know where Odur is."

"Odur is in every place where the searcher has not[Pg 50] come; Odur is in every place that the searcher has left; those who seek him will never find Odur," said Heimdall, the Watcher for the Gods.

Then Freya stood on Bifröst and wept. Frigga, the queenly Goddess, heard the sound of her weeping, and came out of Asgard to comfort her.

"Ah, what comfort can you give me, Frigga?" cried Freya. "What comfort can you give me when Odur will never be found by one who searches for him?"

"Behold how your daughter, the child Hnossa, has grown," said Frigga. Freya looked up and saw a beautiful maiden standing on Bifröst, the Rainbow Bridge. She was young, more youthful than any of the Vanir or the Asyniur, and her face and her form were so lovely that all hearts became melted when they looked upon her.

And Freya was comforted in her loss. She followed Frigga across Bifröst, the Rainbow Bridge, and came once again into the City of the Gods. In her own palace in Asgard Freya dwelt with Hnossa, her child.