The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 47

For long Odin stayed in that silent place communing with his silent son, with Vidar, who with his brother would live beyond the lives of the Dwellers of Asgard and who would bring into another day and another world the memory of the Æsir and the Vanir. For long Odin spoke with him, and then he went across the wilderness where the grass and the bushes grew and where that horse grazed in readiness for the sudden journey. He went toward the seashore where the Æsir and the Vanir were now gathered for the feast that old Ægir, the Giant King of the Sea, had offered them.

[Pg 102]


All but a few of the Dwellers of Asgard had come to the feast offered by Ægir the Old, the Giant King of the Sea. Frigga, the queenly wife of Odin, was there, and Frey and Freya; Iduna, who guarded the Apples of Youth, and Bragi, her husband; Tyr, the great swordsman, and Niörd, the God of the Sea, Skadi, who wedded Niörd and whose hatred for Loki was fierce, and Sif, whose golden hair was once shorn off by Loki the mischievous. Thor and Loki were there. The Dwellers of Asgard, gathered together in the hall of Ægir, waited for Odin.

Before Odin came Loki made the company merry by the tales that he told in mockery of Thor. Loki long since had his lips unloosed from the thong that the Dwarf Brock had sewn them with. And Thor had forgotten the wrong[Pg 103] that he had done to Sif. Loki had been with Thor in his wanderings through Jötunheim, and about these wanderings he now told mocking tales.

He told how he had seen Thor in his chariot of brass drawn by two goats go across Bifröst, the Rainbow Bridge. None of the Æsir or the Vanir knew on what adventure Thor was bent. But Loki followed him and Thor kept him in his company.

As they traveled on in the brass chariot drawn by the two goats, Thor told Loki of the adventure on which he was bent. He would go into Jötunheim, even into Utgard, the Giants' City, and he would try his strength against the Giants. He was not afraid of aught that might happen, for he carried Miölnir, his hammer, with him.

Their way was through Midgard, the World of Men. Once, as they were traveling on, night came upon them as they were hungry and in need of shelter. They saw a peasant's hut and they drove the chariot toward it. Unyoking the goats and leaving them standing in a hollow beside the chariot, the two, looking not like Dwellers in Asgard, but like men traveling through the country, knocked at the door of the hut and asked for food and shelter.

They could have shelter, the peasant and his wife told them, but they could not have food. There was little in that place, and what little there had been they had eaten for supper. The peasant showed them the inside of the hut: it was poor and bare, and there was nothing there to give anyone. In the morning, the peasant said, he would go down to the river and catch some fish for a meal.[Pg 104]