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The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 45

"Look up to the head of the rock," said the Wanderer. As Baugi looked up the Wanderer changed himself into a snake and glided into the hole in the rock. And Baugi struck at him with the auger, hoping to kill him, but the snake slipped through.

Behind the mighty rock there was a hollow place all lighted up by the shining crystals in the rock. And within the hollow place there was an ill-looking witch, with long teeth and sharp nails. But she sat there rocking herself and letting tears fall from her eyes. "O youth and beauty," she sang, "O sight of men and women, sad, sad for me it is that you are shut away, and that I have only this closed-in cavern and this horrible form."

A snake glided across the floor. "Oh, that you were deadly and that you might slay me," cried the witch. The snake glided past her. Then she heard a voice speak softly: "Gunnlöd, Gunnlöd!" She looked round, and there standing behind her was a majestic man, clad in a cloak of dark blue, Odin, the Eldest of the Gods.

"You have come to take the Magic Mead that my father has set me here to guard," she cried. "You shall not have it. Rather shall I spill it out on the thirsty earth of the cavern."

"Gunnlöd," he said, and he came to her. She looked at him and she felt the red blood of youth come back into her cheeks. She put her hands with their sharp nails over her breast, and she felt the nails drive into her flesh. "Save me from all this ugliness," she cried.

"I will save you," Odin said. He went to her. He took


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