Joseph Jacobs There was once upon a time a poor widow who had an only son named Jack, and a cow named Milky-white. And all they had to live on was the milk the cow gave every morning, which they carried to the market and sold. But one m... Read more of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK at Children Stories.caInformational Site Network Informational
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Skadi






Source: Asgard Stories Tales From Norse Mythology

While Iduna's friends were still crowding about her, all joyful and glad
at getting her home again, they spied some one afar off, coming toward
Asgard.

As the figure drew nearer, they saw it was Skadi, the tall daughter of
the frost giant Thiassi, who had chased Iduna; she was dressed all in
white fur, and carried a shining hunting-spear and arrows. Slung over
her shoulder were snowshoes and skates, for Skadi had come from her
mountain home in the icy north. Very angry about the loss of her father,
she had come to ask the Aesir why they had been so cruel to him.

Father Odin spoke kindly to her, saying, "We will do honor to your
father by putting his eyes in the sky, where they will always shine as
two bright stars, and the people in Midgard will remember Thiassi
whenever they look up at night and see the two twinkling lights. Besides
this, we will also give you gold and silver." But Skadi, thinking money
could never repay her for the loss of her father, was still angry.

Loki looked at her stern face, and he said to himself, "If we can only
make Skadi laugh, she will be more ready to agree to the plan," and he
began to think of some way to amuse her. Taking a long cord he tied it
to a goat; it was an invisible cord, which no one could see, and Loki
himself held the other end of it. Then he began to dance and caper
about, and the goat had to do just what Loki did. It really was such a
funny sight, that all the gods shouted with laughter, and even poor,
sorrowful Skadi had to smile.

When the Aesir saw this, they proposed another plan: Skadi might choose
one of the gods for her husband, but she must choose, from seeing only
his bare feet. The giantess looked at them all, as they stood before
her, and when she saw the bright face of Baldur, more beautiful than all
the rest, she agreed to their plan, saying to herself, "It might be that
I should choose him, and then I should surely be happy."

The gods then stood in a row behind a curtain, so that Skadi could see
nothing but their bare feet. She looked carefully at them all, and at
last chose the pair of feet which seemed to her the whitest, and of the
finest shape, thinking those must be Baldur's; but when the curtain was
taken away, she was surprised and sorry to find she had chosen Niord,
the god of the seashore.

The wedding took place at Asgard, and when the feasting was over, Skadi
and Niord went to dwell in his home by the sea. At first they were very
happy, for Niord was kind to his giant bride; but how could you expect
one of the Aesir to live happily very long with a frost giantess for his
wife?

Skadi did not like the roar of the waves, and hated the cries of the
sea-gulls and the murmur of gentle summer winds. She longed for her
frozen home, far away in the north, amid ice and snow.

And so they finally agreed that, for nine months of the year, Niord
should live with Skadi among her snowy mountains, where she found
happiness in hunting over the white hills and valleys on her snowshoes,
with her hunting dogs at her side, or skating on the ice-bound rivers
and lakes. Then for the three short months of summer Skadi must live
with Niord in his palace by the sea, while he calmed the stormy ocean
waves, and helped the busy fishermen to have good sailing for their
boats.



Niord loved to wander along the shore, his jacket trimmed with a
fringe of lovely seaweeds and his belt made of the prettiest shells on
the beach, with the friendly little sandpipers running before him, and
beautiful gulls and other sea birds sailing in the air above his head.
Sometimes he loved to sit on the rocks by the shore, watching the seals
play in the sunshine, or feeding the beautiful swans, his favorite
birds.

There is a kind of sponge, which the people in the north still call
Niord's glove, in memory of this old Norse god.





Next: Baldur

Previous: The Stealing Of Iduna



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