The Punishment Of Loki

: Folk-lore And Legends Scandinavian

The gods were so angry with Loki that he had to run away and hide

himself in the mountains, and there he built a house which had four

doors, so that he could see around him on every side. He would often in

the day-time change himself into a salmon and hide in the water called

Franangursfors, and he thought over what trick the gods might devise to

capture him there. One day while he sat in his house, he took flax and

n, and with it made meshes like those of a net, a fire burning in

front of him. Then he became aware that the gods were near at hand, for

Odin had seen out of Hlidskjalf where he was. Loki sprang up, threw his

work into the fire, and went to the river. When the gods came to the

house, the first that entered was Kvasir, who was the most acute of them

all. In the hot embers he saw the ashes of a net, such as is used in

fishing, and he told the gods of it, and they made a net like that which

they saw in the ashes. When it was ready they went to the river and cast

the net in, Thor holding one end and the rest of the gods the other, and

so they drew it. Loki travelled in front of it and lay down between two

stones so that the net went over him, but the gods felt that something

living had been against the net. Then they cast the net a second time,

binding up in it a weight so that nothing could pass under it. Loki

travelled before it till he saw the sea in front of him. Then he leapt

over the top of the net and again made his way up the stream. The gods

saw this, so they once more dragged the stream, while Thor waded in the

middle of it. So they went to the sea.

Then Loki saw in what a dangerous situation he was. He must risk his

life if he swam out to sea. The only other alternative was to leap over

the net. That he did, jumping as quickly as he could over the top cord.

Thor snatched at him, and tried to hold him, but he slipped through his

hand, and would have escaped, but for his tail, and this is the reason

why salmon have their tails so thin.

Loki being captured, they took him to a certain cavern, and they took

three rocks, through each of which they bored a hole. Then they took

Loki's sons Vali and Nari, and having changed Vali into a wolf, he tore

his brother Nari into pieces. Then the gods took his intestines and

bound Loki with them to the three stones, and they changed the cord into

bands of iron. Skadi then took a serpent and suspended it over Loki's

head so that the venom drops from it on to his face. Siguna, Loki's

wife, stands near him, and holds a dish receiving the venom as it falls,

and when the dish is full she goes out and pours its contents away.

While she is doing this, however, the venom falls on Loki, and causes

him such intense pain that he writhes so that the earth is shaken as if

by an earthquake.

There he lies till Ragnaroek (the twilight of the gods).