How The Fenris Wolf Was Chained

      Komm, join the others at the table near the hearth, and listen to a tale that has been handed down o'er the ages . . .

      Fair as were the meads of Asgard, we have seen that the Asa folk were fond of wandering far afield in other regions. Most restless of all was Red Loki, that cunning fellow who was always bringing trouble upon himself or upon his kindred. And because he loved evil, he would often travel to the gloomy halls of Giantland and mingle with the wicked folk of that region.

      Now one day he met a hideous giantess named Angur-Boda. This creature had a heart of ice, and because he loved ugliness and evil she had a great attraction for him, and in the end he married her and they lived together in a horrible cave in Giantland.

      Three children were born to Loki and Angur-Boda in this dread abode, and they were even more terrible in appearance than their mother. The first was an immense wolf called Fenris, with a huge mouth filled with long white teeth which he was constantly gnashing together. The second was a wicked-looking serpent with a fiery-red tongue lolling from its mouth. The third was a hideous giantess, partly blue and partly flesh-colour, whose name was Hela.

      No sooner were these three terrible children born than all the wise men of the earth began to foretell the misery they would bring upon the Asa folk. In vain did Loki try to keep them hidden within the cave where their mother dwelt. They soon grew so immense in size that no dwelling would contain them, and all the world began to talk of their frightful appearance.

      It was not long before Odinn, from his high seat in Asgard, heard of the children of Loki. He said to the Asas: "Much evil will come upon us, O my children, from this giant brood if we defend not ourselves against them. For their mother will teach them wickedness and still more quickly will they learn the cunning wiles of their father. Fetch me them here, therefore, that I may deal with them forthwith."

      So, after somewhat of a struggle, the Asas captured the three giant children and brought them before Odinn's judgment seat.

      Then Odinn looked first at Hela, and when he saw her gloomy eyes full of misery and despair he was sorry, and dealt kindly with her, saying: "Thou art the bringer of Pain to man and Asgard is no place for such as thou. But I will make thee ruler of the Mist Home, and there shalt thou rule over the unlighted world, the Region of the Dead."

      Forthwith he sent her away over rough roads to the cold, dark region of the North called the Mist Home. And there did Hela rule over a grim crew, for all those who had done wickedness in the world above were imprisoned by her in those gloomy regions . . .

      Tale continues