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The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 60

Then Hrymer, who knew Thor and knew the force of Thor's hammer, drew back. "Now that you are in my house, Asa Thor," he said, "I will not quarrel with you. Make supper ready for Asa Thor and your son and myself," said he to the Giant woman.

A plentiful supper was spread and Hrymer and Thor and the Giant youth sat down to three whole roast oxen. Thor ate the whole of one ox. Hrymer, who had eaten nearly two himself, leaving only small cuts for his wife and his youthful kinsman, grumbled at Thor's appetite. "You'll clear my fields, Asa Thor," he said, "if you stay long with me."

"Do not grumble, Hrymer," Thor said. "Tomorrow I'll go fishing and I'll bring you back the weight of what I ate."

"Then instead of hunting I'll go fishing with you tomorrow, Asa Thor," said Hrymer. "And don't be frightened if I take you out on a rough sea."

Hrymer was first out of bed the next morning. He came with the pole and the ropes in his hand to where Thor was sleeping. "Time to start earning your meal, Asa Thor," said he.

Thor got out of bed, and when they were both in the courtyard the Giant said, "You'll have to provide a bait[Pg 129] for yourself. Mind that you take a bait large enough. It is not where the little fishes are, the place where I'm going to take you. If you never saw monsters before you'll see them now. I'm glad, Asa Thor, that you spoke of going fishing."

"Will this bait be big enough?" said Thor, laying his hands on the horns of the bull that Hrymer had captured and brought home, the bull with the mighty head of horns that was called "Heaven-breaking." "Will this bait be big enough, do you think?"

"Yes, if you're big enough to handle it," said the Giant.

Thor said nothing, but he struck the bull full in the middle of the forehead with his fist. The great creature fell down dead. Thor then twisted the bull's head off. "I have my bait and I'm ready to go with you, Hrymer," he said.

Hrymer had turned away to hide the rage he was in at seeing Thor do such a feat. He walked down to the boat without speaking. "You may row for the first few strokes," said Hrymer, when they were in the boat, "but when we come to where the ocean is rough, why I'll take the oars from you."

Without saying a word Thor made a few strokes that took the boat out into the middle of the ocean. Hrymer was in a rage to think that he could not show himself greater than Thor. He let out his line and began to fish. Soon he felt something huge on his hook. The boat rocked and rocked till Thor steadied it. Then Hrymer drew into the boat the largest whale that was in these seas.[Pg 130]


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