Legends of Norseland

Legends of Norseland

by Anonymous

Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe) Publication Date: 24/08/2019


As Odin looked down from his home in Asgard and saw the people he had made from the ash and the elm trees, he sighed to himself and said, “These are my children. It is I who created them. They are innocent and pure and sweet.”

“But, alas, how little they know of life. By and by there will come to them danger and sorrow. The Ice King, the cruel tyrant, will breathe upon them, and the harvests will shrivel before their eyes; the rivers will be frozen, the trees will be bare, and there will be no food for them. As the years roll on, little children will come; these children will grow into manhood and womanhood, and other little children will follow. They are but mortals. Sickness and death will be their share; for I could not make them like the gods.”

And as Odin thought of all these things his heart grew sad. Almost he wished he had not made these helpless beings from the ash and the elm. He looked down into the sunny valley, where as yet no sorrow nor suffering had come. “Poor children!” he sighed. “What a world of wisdom Odin must possess to protect and guide and teach these earth-people that he has made.”

Just then Ask and Embla paused and looked up towards the shining city; for the sigh from Odin’s heart had been so deep and long that the leaves of Ygdrasil had rustled, and a faint echo of it had swept even across the valley below.

“What is it that sweeps sometimes across the valley, and moves the trees and the leaves, and so gently fans our cheeks?” asked Embla.

“I often wonder,” answered Ask. “It is very pleasant. Perhaps it is a message from the good Odin who made us and who gave us this sunny valley to play in.”

Then on they ran, hand in hand, happy children as they were, and in a moment had forgotten all about it.

But Odin had not forgotten. “Frigg,” said he to his goddess wife, “it is granted to us as gods to possess great wisdom. Still there remain many things we do not know. Below in the valley there have sprung into being a man and a woman. They are like us, Frigg, but they are not very wise. They need our care, even as our own dear Baldur needed our care when he was a very little child. I shall go to the Giant Memory, who guards the Well of Wisdom, and he shall give me a draught from the wonderful water. Then shall I be the all-wise, all-loving All-Father these children of the valley need.”

“O, but the price this cruel Giant will ask of you!” sobbed Frigg.

“I would give my life for them,” answered Odin tenderly. Then he turned from her, passed down the rainbow bridge to the valley, entered the great black, gaping cave and groped his way along the cold, dark passages that led to the Well of Wisdom.

Three times the sun rose, three times the sun set. Then, just as the earth and the shining Asgard lay bathed in the rich, golden sunset light, Odin came forth again, passed up the rainbow bridge, and entered the great hall of the gods. “It is Odin,” cried Frigg.

Yes, it is Odin, the same Odin. But with a face so joyous, so radiant, so happy! For Odin had drank from the Well of Wisdom. The way had been dark; the struggle with the great Giant had been hard. But Odin had conquered; and now the joy that belongs always to the wise was his forevermore.

Myth & legend told as fiction
Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe)
Publication Date:
Lighthouse Books for Translation and Publishing

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