Monday, October 28, 2013

Stories I Tell My Grandchildren #1

Stories I Tell My Grandchildren    #1

Thor and the Walls of Asgard

An Adaptation for the Young from the Northern Lore

Thor is a great guy and not a comic book character!  He has red, shaggy hair and beard and is one of our oldest ancestors.  That makes him a member of our family.  He has a mighty hammer and a belt of power that he wears around his waist.  Thor lives in a place called Asgard with his father Odin and more of our older ancestors or, relatives.  Just think of them as older brothers and sisters, or aunts and uncles!  Asgard is a large and very bright city surrounded by high walls.  These walls protect Asgard from its enemies, the mountain and frost giants.  And, Thor’s main job is to protect Asgard and our home Earth or, Midgard from these nasty giant’s violent forces. 

Unfortunately, like all families, a quarrel between our older family members happened very long ago.  Some of our older family members who lived in Asgard and some other family members, who lived just a little ways from Asgard in Vanaheim, quarreled, argued, and got into a big fight.  It was nasty.  Finally, father Odin realized that it was dumb for the family to fight and they all made up, and promised to never fight among themselves again!  But, there was much damage to Asgard. 

Most of Asgard’s walls were knocked down; that left Asgard almost unguarded from the giants.  As our relatives were discussing how to repair the walls, a stone mason, his cart, and his big black stallion arrived.  The mason offered to repair the walls in a short time but the price for his work was expensive.  If he finished on or before the agreed time, he would have beautiful Freya as his wife, and the Sun and Moon as his possessions!  If he did not complete the job, he received no pay!  Our family huddled together and thought that the mason’s offer was silly; no way could he finish the job.  One man, they thought, could not do all that work!  So, they took the mason up on his offer; Freya, the Sun, and the Moon were safe.  Or so they thought.  You see, the mason was a crafty mountain giant in disguise and he had a magical plan.  Thor was not at home.  He was off somewhere bashing ugly trolls.  The disguised giant began his work the very next morning. 

This giant was very tricky.  His big, black stallion was magical, and carried and pulled many more large stones than a normal horse; together, the giant and the horse moved and put into place the large stones with ease.  Soon, it was obvious to our relatives that the mason had tricked them and he would finish long before the deadline.  What should we do, they said to themselves?  Freya is lost to marriage and we really need our Sun and Moon!  But our relatives were not without their own magic! 

Loki, a tricky magician and a sometimes friend of our relatives, just happened to be visiting Asgard that day and had a plan.  He changed himself into a beautiful mare, a female horse, and ran out to play with the stallion.  The two horses ran and played together for days.  This prevented the giant mason from finishing his task on time.  The giant then knew that he had been tricked and became very angry.  In his anger, he changed into his true self – a mountain giant!  When our old relatives saw that the stone mason was really a mountain giant, they shouted out to Thor to come home. 

When Thor heard his family calling out to him, he stopped bashing trolls and quickly returned to Asgard.  Then Thor saw that the giant was about to fight with his family.  He threw his mighty hammer at the giant; it found its mark and returned to his hand.  The giant broke into smaller pieces of rock; that giant never bothered our relatives again!  Thanks to Thor, Freya, the Sun, and the Moon were saved! 

The next time that you see a pile of rocks in the forest, fields, or by the roadside, maybe that’s where Thor bashed a giant! 

                                           Copyright @2013 Terry Unger                  

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