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A Gift From Frigga






Source: Asgard Stories Tales From Norse Mythology

Long years ago there lived a peasant and his wife, who led a quiet, busy
life on their little farm at the foot of a mountain. While the wife was
busy indoors with her housework, her husband watched his flocks in the
fields, or sometimes wandered up the mountain-side to hunt for game,
which he would carry home for dinner.

One day he had strayed farther than usual, and found himself on the top
of the mountain, where the ground was covered with ice and snow. All at
once he came upon a high arched doorway opening into a great glacier,
and he passed through to see whither it might lead.

The passageway widened out into a wonderful cavern, like a broad hall,
sparkling with precious stones, and long, shining stalactites, that
looked like icicles of marble. In the midst stood a beautiful goddess,
surrounded by fair maidens, all dressed in silvery robes, and crowned
with flowers.

The shepherd was so overcome by the wonder of this sight that he sank
upon his knees. Then the goddess stretched forth her hands and gave him
her blessing, telling him to choose whatever he wished, to carry home
from the cavern. The man was no longer afraid when he heard her kind
voice speaking to him, so he looked about, and at last humbly asked to
have the pretty blue flowers which the fair one held in her hand.

The lovely goddess Frigga, or Holda, as the German people called her,
smiled kindly, and told the poor shepherd he had made a wise choice. She
gave him her bunch of blue flowers, with a measure of seed, saying to
him, "You will live and be prosperous so long as the flowers do not
fade."

The peasant bowed thankfully before the goddess, and when he rose she
had vanished, and he was alone on the mountain-side, just as usual, with
no cavern, no sparkling stones, and no fair maidens to be seen. If it
had not been for the pretty blue flowers and the measure of seed in his
hand, he would have thought it all a dream.

He hurried homeward to tell his wife, who was angry when she heard the
story, for she thought he had made such a foolish choice. "How much
better it would have been," said she, "if you had brought home some of
those precious stones you tell about, which are worth money, instead of
these good-for-nothing flowers!"

The poor man bore her angry words quietly, and made the best of what he
had. He went to work at once to sow his seeds, which he found, to his
surprise, were enough to plant several fields.

Every morning before he led his flock to pasture, and on his way home at
night, he watched the little green shoots growing in his fields. Even
his wife was pleased when she saw the lovely blue blossoms of the flax
opening; then, after they had withered and fallen, the seeds formed.
Sometimes it seemed to the good man, as he stood in the twilight looking
over his field, that he saw a misty form, like the beautiful goddess,
stretching out her hands over the field of flax, to give it her
blessing.

When at length the seeds had ripened, Frigga came again to show the
peasant how to gather his harvest of flax, and to teach his wife to spin
and weave it into fine linen, which she bleached in the sun. The people
came from far and near to buy the linen, and the peasant and his wife
found themselves busy and happy, with money enough and to spare.

When they had lived many years, and were growing old among their
children and grandchildren, the peasant noticed one day that the bunch
of blue flowers, given to him so many years before, and which had always
kept bright, were beginning to fade; then he knew he had not much longer
to stay.

He climbed slowly up the mountain-side, and found the door of the cavern
open. A second time he went in, and the kind goddess Frigga took the
peasant by the hand, and led him away to stay with her, where she always
took care of him.

Frigga was the queen of the gods, and she helped her husband, Odin,
govern the world. It was her part to look after the children, and help
the mothers take care of their families.





Next: The Stealing Of Iduna

Previous: How Thor Lost His Hammer



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