Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Stories I Tell My Grandchildren - #2...... Thor and His Goats

Stories I Tell My Grandchildren - #2

Thor and His Goats

An Adaptation of Northern Lore For The Young

“Pop,” Mason asked, “Will you tell me another story about Thor?”  It was a rainy Sunday in Texas, and Northern Winds put a chill into the air. 
“Sure,” I said with a bit of caution.  The new Thor movie had just been released amid much fanfare and I was positive that the little guy had some questions.  I attempted to head off the questions with what I knew. 

“First things should always be first, Mason.  The real Thor has red hair and a bushy red beard, not blonde.  He is ruggedly handsome; Thor does not look like a clean-shaven, male fashion model.  Daddy Odin never kicked him out of Asgard and Sif is his loving wife, not a movie character who looks like a cross between Wonder Woman and Zina, Warrior Princess.  Plus, Sif is blonde!” 

“But Pop,” Mason strained, with a question stuck in this throat, “Why is the movie wrong?”   

“Well Mason, it’s not as much as the movie being wrong as it is about money.  The people who made the movie know what sells at the box-office.  They know that a blonde, clean-shaven guy appeals to more people than a big, red headed dude with a beard.  So, they put on the movie screen what people want to see.” 

“And they make more money?” 

“Yes Mason, a lot of money.”  

“So they make a lot of money by telling the wrong story?” 

“Well, they really make a lot of money by showing people what they want to see – the truth doesn’t matter.”    

The little guy had a puzzled look on his face; he’s only five years old.  When I told him that he would understand better when he was older, his puzzled look changed to a blank stare.  That did not last long. 

He laughed with delight as he said, “Thor really flies good with his hammer!” 

Again, I had to burst a movie-made bubble.  “Mason, Thor does not use his hammer to fly.  He uses his hammer to smash trolls and giants.  When he throws his hammer so it can do its’ work, it always comes back to him.” 

“But Pop, how does Thor fly?  Does he use an airplane?”  You just have to love five year olds. 

When I stopped smiling, I casually said, “When our friend Thor needs to fly, he uses his cart, pulled by his two goats.” 

“A cart and two goats?  Like the goats we saw at the neighbor’s farm?” 

“Thor’s goats are very special, Mason.  They are much bigger and stronger than what we saw the other day at the farm.  Well, they have to be if they lug Thor around the Multiverse in his cart!  And, they look more like mountain rams, with big, curled horns.” 

“Do Thor’s goats have names?”  
“Yes they do!  Thor calls them Toothnasher and Toothgrinder.  And, he is very protective of his magical goats.” 

“The goats are magical Pop?” 

“Absolutely Mason!  As I said before, they have to be magically strong so they can pull Thor around in his cart and take him where he needs to go.  And when he gets hungry, his goats help him.” 

“The goats go to Kroger and get stuff for Thor to eat?” 

“No Mason, but that would be a neat trick!  Let me tell you a story and you will understand.  Long ago, Thor was out and about within the Multiverse on Asgard business.  And of course, Toothgrinder and Toothnasher were with him, pulling his cart.  He stopped in Midgard for the night and was very hungry.  So, he ate one of his goats, and carefully laid out the bones, so he could bring it back to life in the morning; this was another way his goats help him.  Thor did this many times and always was successful bringing the goat back to life; they were perfect.  He just put his hammer over the bones, said a word or two, and there was his goat, healthy and sturdy as before.  But on that particular morning, things did not happen in the usual way.”  I paused to take a sip of my adult beverage. 

“What happened Pop?” 

When I put down my glass, I continued.  “As soon as his goat came back to life, Thor noticed that the goat was lame; the poor guy could hardly walk and running was out of the question.  Our big red-bearded guy was very angry; he knew that somebody messed around with the bones when he was sleeping.  Soon, Thor discovered that a little boy and girl had played with the bones – they were about your age!  So, he ate the goat again, laid out the bones in the proper manner, and brought the goat back to life.  His goat was perfect, as it was supposed to be.  Then, he scooped up the boy and girl, put them into his cart, and went to his home in Asgard.”  Again, another pause for a sip of my beverage; I knew what was coming. 

“Pop,” Mason asked, “Did Thor hurt the little boy and girl?” 

“No, but he wanted to teach them a lesson.  Thankfully for those two kids, Thor talked over his plan with his wife, Sif.  Sif thought that Thor’s plan was too harsh and convinced him to let her deal with the kids.  She put the boy and girl to work, doing some minor chores around their home in Asgard.  So tell me Mason, did you learn anything from this story?” 

“Ah…….not to play with stuff that’s not yours ‘cause you will get into trouble?”   

“Yes, that’s it.” 

“Pop, can you tell me a story about Sif, Thor’s wife?” 

“I have the perfect story for you but that will have to wait for another time.  Now, it’s nap time.”
“Awh Pop!”

Copyright @2013 Terry Unger



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