“Come in!” said the kind voice of Frigga, and Loki lifted the latch.
Now when Frigga saw, from the other end of the hall, a little, bent, crippled old woman come hobbling up her crystal floor, she got up with true queenliness and met her halfway, holding out her hand and saying in the kindest manner, “Pray sit down, my poor old friend; for it seems to me that you have come from a great distance.”
“That I have, indeed,” answered Loki in a tremulous, squeaking voice.
“And did you happen to see anything of the gods,” asked Frigga, “as you came?”
“Just now I passed by the Peacestead and saw them at play.”
“What were they doing?”
“Shooting at Baldur.”
Then Frigga bent over her work with a pleased smile on her face. “And nothing hurt him?”
“Nothing,” answered Loki, looking keenly at her.
“No, no thing,” murmured Frigga, still looking down and speaking half musingly to herself; “for all things have sworn to me that they will not.”
“Sworn!” exclaimed Loki, eagerly; “what is that you say? Has everything sworn then?”
“Everything,” answered she, “excepting the little shrub mistletoe, which grows, you know, on the west side of Valhalla, and to which I said nothing, because I thought it was too young to swear.”
“Excellent!” thought Loki, and then he got up.
“You’re not going yet, are you?” said Frigga, stretching out her hand and looking up at last into the eyes of the old woman.
“I’m quite rested now, thank you,” answered Loki in his squeaky voice, and then he hobbled out at the door, which clapped after him, and sent a cold gust into the room. Frigga shuddered, and thought that a serpent was gliding down the back of her neck.
When Loki had left the presence of Frigga, he changed himself back to his proper shape and went straight to the west side of Valhalla, where the mistletoe grew. Then he opened his knife and cut off a large bunch, saying these words, “Too young for Frigga’s oaths, but not too weak for Loki’s work.” After which he set off for the Peacestead once more, the mistletoe in his hand. When he got there he found that the gods were still at their sport, standing round, taking aim, and talking eagerly, and Baldur did not seem tired.