“If only I had Sindri’s awl,” sighed the dwarf, and instantly his brother’s awl was in his hand. Swiftly it pierced the lips of the mischief-maker, and swiftly Brok sewed them together and broke off the thread at the end of the sewing.
Then the gods gave presents for the dwarfs in return for their wonderful things, and Brok returned to his cave. As for Loki, it was not long before he loosed his lips and returned to his mischief-making.
THE PUNISHMENT OF LOKI
ADAPTED FROM A. AND E. KEARY’S VERSION
After the death of Baldur, Loki never again ventured to intrude himself into the presence of the gods. He knew well enough that he had now done what could never be forgiven him, and that, for the future, he must bend all his cunning and vigilance to the task of hiding himself from the gaze of those whom he had so injured, and escaping the just punishment he had brought upon himself.
“The world is large, and I am very clever,” said Loki to himself, as he turned his back upon Asgard, and wandered out into Manheim; “there is no end to the thick woods, and no measure for the deep waters; neither is there any possibility of counting the various forms under which I shall disguise myself. Odin will never be able to find me; I have no cause to fear.” But though Loki repeated this over and over again to himself, he was afraid.
He wandered far into the thick woods, and covered himself with the deep waters; he climbed to the tops of misty hills, and crouched in the dark of hollow caves; but above the wood, and through the water, and down into the darkness, a single ray of calm, clear light seemed always to follow him, and he knew that it came from the eye of Odin who was watching him from Air Throne.
Then he tried to escape the watchful eye by disguising himself under various shapes. Sometimes he was an eagle on a lonely mountain-crag; sometimes he hid himself as one among a troop of timid reindeer; sometimes he lay in the nest of a wood-pigeon; sometimes he swam, a bright-spotted fish, in the sea; but, wherever he was, among living creatures, or alone with dead nature, everything seemed to know him, and to find a voice in which to say to him, “You are Loki, and you have killed Baldur.” Air, earth, or water, there was no rest for him anywhere.
Tired at last of seeking what he could nowhere find, Loki built himself a house near a narrow, glittering river which, lower down flashed from a high rock into the sea below. He took care that his house should have four doors in it, that he might look out on every side and catch the first glimpse of the gods when they came, as he knew they would come, to take him away. Here his wife, Siguna, and his two sons, Ali and Nari, came to live with him.
Siguna was a kind woman, far too good and kind for Loki. She felt sorry for him now that she saw he was in great fear, and that every living thing had turned against him, and she would have hidden him from the just anger of the gods if she could; but the two sons cared little about their father’s dread and danger; they spent all their time in quarreling with each other; and their loud, angry voices, sounding above the waterfall, would speedily have betrayed the hiding-place, even if Odin’s piercing eye had not already found it out.