Classic Myths

Page: 5

"In another palace of gold in this beautiful city of the northern sky were Woden's wife and family. This palace was called Fensalir. Woden's wife was Frigga and his eldest son was Thor. I must tell you about this son. Thor owned three precious things. Can you guess what they were?

"One was a red-hot iron hammer. When he threw it at a mountain the rocks split open wide and all the Frost Giants who lived within the rocks and upon the mountain were killed.

"The second thing was a wonderful belt. When he put it on he was twice as strong as before.

"The third was a pair of iron gloves. When he put these on he could throw his hammer twice as far.

"There is a story told of how Thor once threw his hammer so far that it could not return as it had always done. It fell near an immense giant who seized it and hid it half a mile deep under the rocks. Thor sent the God of Fire to win it back, but the cruel giant would not give it up unless Thor would bring Freya, the loveliest of the goddesses, to marry him. But Freya refused to go and live with a fierce giant.

"Thor wanted his hammer. At last the God of Fire, who had seen this giant, told Thor to dress himself like Freya and to put on a heavy veil. He did this and the two gods rode far away, on the rays of the setting sun, to recover the lost hammer.

"When the giant saw them he took them to his house. At supper time he wondered how a goddess could eat so much, for Thor devoured eight great salmon and a whole roasted ox. Then he wondered how she could drink so much, for Thor drank three hogsheads of honey wine. Then the giant pulled the heavy veil aside and wondered what made her eyes like fireballs. The God of Fire explained everything, for Thor would not speak. Then the hammer was asked for. It was laid in the mock bride's lap. As soon as Thor had it in his hand he stood up, slew all the giants and utterly destroyed the wicked town. Then he went back to Fensalir and told Frigga, his mother, how he had recovered his hammer.

"Frigga was as powerful as Woden or Thor. All things which Woden had made obeyed her, nor dared harm anything when she forbade them. It may be she did not know of the lost hammer or she would have saved Thor his long journey.

"Frigga was one of the most beautiful creatures the world has ever known. No picture was ever so perfect and beautiful as she. Her robes were lovelier than those of any other goddess. Sometimes they were of gold and scarlet, sometimes of purest white, and many times of modest green. She loved to spin, and no spider ever spun so fine a thread as she on her spinning wheel. She worked so faithfully that Woden changed the wheel into shining stars, and when you look up at Orion again remember that the Norse people called that constellation Frigga's distaff.