You were told that there were high rocks looking over the sea near Loki’s house. One of these, higher than the rest, had midway four projecting stones, and to these the gods resolved to bind Loki so that he should never again be able to torment the inhabitants of Manheim or Asgard by his evil-doings. Thor proposed to return to Asgard, to bring a chain with which to bind the prisoner; but Odin assured him that he had no need to take such a journey. “Loki,” he said, “has already forged for himself a chain stronger than any you can make. While we have been occupied in catching him, his two sons, Ali and Nari, transformed into wolves by their evil passions, have fought with and destroyed each other. With their sinews we must make a chain to bind their father, and from that he can never escape.”
It was done as Asa Odin said. A rope was made of the dead wolves’ sinews, and as soon as it touched Loki’s body it turned into bands of iron and bound him immovably to the rock. Secured in this manner the gods left him.
[Illustration: The punishment of Loki.]
But his punishment did not end here. A snake, whose fangs dropped poison, glided to the top of the rock and leaned his head over to peer at Loki. The eyes of the two met and fixed each other. The serpent could never move away afterwards; but every moment a burning drop from his tongue fell down on Loki’s shuddering face.
In all the world there was only one who pitied him. His kind wife ever afterwards stood beside him and held a cup over his head to catch the poison. When the cup was full, she was obliged to turn away to empty it, and the deadly drops fell again on Loki’s face. He shuddered and shrank from them, and the whole earth trembled. So will he lie bound till the Twilight of the Gods be here.
MYTHS OF INDIA
THE BLIND MAN, THE DEAF MAN, AND THE DONKEY
ADAPTED BY M. FRERE
A Blind Man and a Deaf Man once entered into partnership. The Deaf Man was to see for the Blind Man, and the Blind Man was to hear for the Deaf Man.
One day they went together to an entertainment where there was music and dancing. The Deaf Man said: “The dancing is very good, but the music is not worth listening to”; and the Blind Man said: “On the contrary, I think the music very good, but the dancing is not worth looking at.”
After this they went together for a walk in the jungle, and there found a washerman’s Donkey that had strayed away from its owner, and a great big kettle (such as washermen boil clothes in), which the Donkey was carrying with him.