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The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 29

Gerda came, but another Giant maid came also. This is how that came to be:

All the Dwellers in Asgard were standing before the great gate, waiting to welcome the bride of Frey. There appeared a Giant maid who was not Gerda; all in armor was she.[Pg 60]

"I am Skadi," she said, "the daughter of Thiassi. My father met his death at the hands of the Dwellers in Asgard. I claim a recompense."

"What recompense would you have, maiden?" asked Odin, smiling to see a Giant maid standing so boldly in Asgard.

"A husband from amongst you, even as Gerda. And I myself must be let choose him."

All laughed aloud at the words of Skadi. Then said Odin, laughing, "We will let you choose a husband from amongst us, but you must choose him by his feet."

"I will choose him whatever way you will," said Skadi fixing her eyes on Baldur, the most beautiful of all the Dwellers in Asgard.

They put a bandage round her eyes, and the Æsir and the Vanir seat in a half circle around. As she went by she stooped over each and laid hands upon their feet. At last she came to one whose feet were so finely formed that she felt sure it was Baldur. She stood up and said:

"This is the one that Skadi chooses for her husband."

Then the Æsir and the Vanir laughed more and more. They took the bandage off her eyes and she saw, not Baldur the Beautiful, but Niörd, the father of Frey. But as Skadi looked more and more on Niörd she became more and more contented with her choice; for Niörd was strong, and he was noble looking.

These two, Niörd and Skadi, went first to live in Niörd's palace by the sea; but the coming of the sea mew would waken Skadi too early in the morning, and she[Pg 61] drew her husband to the mountaintop where she was more at home. He would not live long away from the sound of the sea. Back and forward, between the mountain and the sea, Skadi and Niörd went. But Gerda stayed in Asgard with Frey, her husband, and the Æsir and the Vanir came to love greatly Gerda, the Giant maid.


[Pg 62]

HEIMDALL AND LITTLE HNOSSA:
HOW ALL THINGS CAME TO BE

Hnossa, the child of Freya and the lost Odur, was the youngest of all the Dwellers in Asgard. And because it had been prophesied that the child would bring her father and her mother together, little Hnossa was often taken without the City of the Gods to stand by Bifröst, the Rainbow Bridge, so that she might greet Odur if his steps turned toward Asgard.

In all the palaces of the City of the Gods little Hnossa was made welcome: in Fensalir, the Halls of Mists, where Frigga, the wife of Odin All-Father, sat spinning with golden threads; in Breidablik, where Baldur, the Well Beloved, lived with his fair wife, the young Nanna; in Bilskirnir, the Winding House, where Thor and Sif lived;[Pg 63] and in Odin's own palace Valaskjalf, that was all roofed over with silver shields.


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