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The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 44

"Stay with me for the season," said Baugi, "and I shall give you a full reward."

So Vegtam stayed at the Giant's house and worked in the Giant's fields, and when all the work of the season was done Baugi said to him:

"Speak now and tell me what reward I am to give you."

"The only reward I shall ask of you," said Vegtam, "is a draught of the Magic Mead."

"The Magic Mead?" said Baugi. "I do not know where it is nor how to get it."

"Your brother Suttung has it. Go to him and claim a draught of the Magic Mead for me."

Baugi went to Suttung. But when he heard what he had come for, the Giant Suttung turned on his brother in a rage.

"A draught of the Magic Mead?" he said. "To no one will I give a draught of the Magic Mead. Have I not enchanted my daughter Gunnlöd, so that she may watch over it? And you tell me that a Wanderer who has done the work of nine men for you asks a draught of the Magic Mead for his fee! O Giant as foolish as Gilling! O oaf of a Giant! Who could have done such work for you, and who would demand such a fee from you, but one of our ene[Pg 96]mies, the Æsir? Go from me now and never come to me again with talk of the Magic Mead."

Baugi went back to his house and told the Wanderer that Suttung would yield none of the Magic Mead. "I hold you to your bargain," said Vegtam the Wanderer, "and you will have to get me the fee I asked. Come with me now and help me to get it."

He made Baugi bring him to the place where the Magic Mead was hidden. The place was a cavern in the mountain. In front of that cavern was a great mass of stone.

"We cannot move that stone nor get through it," said Baugi. "I cannot help you to your fee."

The Wanderer drew an auger from his belt. "This will bore through the rock if there is strength behind it. You have the strength, Giant. Begin now and bore."

Baugi took the auger in his hands and bored with all his strength, and the Wanderer stood by leaning on his staff, calm and majestic in his cloak of blue.

"I have made a deep, deep hole. It goes through the rock," Baugi said, at last.

The Wanderer went to the hole and blew into it. The dust of the rock flew back into their faces.

"So that is your boasted strength, Giant," he said. "You have not bored half-way through the rock. Work again."

Then Baugi took the auger again and he bored deeper and deeper into the rock. And he blew into it, and lo! His breath went through. Then he looked at the Wanderer to see what he would do; his eyes had become fierce and he held the auger in his hand as if it were a stabbing knife.[Pg 97]


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