How Thor got his hammer - Scott A. Mellor

How Thor got his hammer - Scott A. Mellor
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    Loki the mischief-maker, was writhing uncomfortably in Thor's iron grip.
    The previous night, while the rest of the gods slept, he'd snuck up on Thor's wife
    Sif and shorn off her beautiful hair.
    It'd seemed like a funny prank at the time,
    but now Thor was about to break every bone in his body.
    Loki had to think of some way to fix what he'd done.
    Yet who could replace Sif's matchless hair, golden like a field of summer wheat?
    The dwarves! – their legendary smiths could make anything.
    So Loki rushed to their realm, deep within the mountains of the earth.
    Even before he arrived, the wily Loki was already scheming
    how he would get the dwarves to do his bidding.
    He decided that his best bet was to pit two families against each other.
    He first visited the masterful sons of Ivaldi.
    He told them that their rivals, a pair of brothers named Brokk and Eitri,
    had claimed that they were the best craftsmen in the world
    and were determined to prove it in a competition.
    The rules were that each family had to create three gifts for the gods,
    including, for the Ivaldis, golden hair.
    Then Loki visited Brokk and Eitri, and told them the same thing,
    only now claiming that the sons of Ivaldi had issued the challenge.
    But Brokk and Eitri couldn't be fooled so easily,
    and only agreed to participate if Loki put his own head on the line.
    Literally—if Brokk and Eitri won, Loki would forfeit his head to them.
    Loki had no choice but to agree, and to save himself had to find a way
    to make sure the sons of Ivaldi emerged victorious.
    Both sets of dwarves got to work.
    Eitri set Brokk to man the bellows and told him not to stop for any reason,
    or the treasures would be ruined.
    Soon a strange black fly flew into the room.
    As a piece of pigskin was placed in the forge, the fly stung Brokk's hand,
    but he didn't flinch.
    Next, while Eitri worked a block of gold, the fly bit Brokk on the neck.
    The dwarf carried on.
    Finally, Eitri placed a piece of iron in the furnace.
    This time the fly landed right on Brokk's eyelid and bit as hard as it could.
    And for just a split second, Brokk's hand left the bellows.
    That's all it took; their final treasure hadn't stayed in the fire long enough.
    Loki now reappeared in his normal form, overjoyed by their failure,
    and accompanied the dwarves to present their treasures to the gods.
    First, Loki presented the treasures from the sons of Ivaldi.
    Their golden hair bound to Sif's head and continued to grow,
    leaving her even more radiant than before.
    Next, for Odin the all-father,
    a magnificent spear that could pierce through anything.
    And finally a small cloth that unfolded into a mighty ship built for Freyr,
    god of the harvest.
    Then Brokk presented the treasures made by him and his brother.
    For Freyr they'd forged a golden-bristled boar
    who'd pull Freyr's chariot across the sky faster than any mount.
    For Odin, a golden arm ring which would make eight more identical rings
    on every ninth night.
    And for Thor, a hammer called Mjolnir.
    Its handle was too short, and Loki smirked at the obvious defect.
    But then Brokk revealed its abilities.
    Mjolnir would never shatter, never miss its mark
    and always return to Thor's hand when thrown.
    Despite the short handle, the gods all agreed this was the finest gift of all.
    Remembering what was at stake, Loki tried to flee, but Thor reached him first.
    But before the dwarves could have their due,
    clever Loki pointed out that they had won the rights to his head, but not his neck,
    and thus had no right to cut it.
    All begrudgingly admitted the truth in that, but Brokk would have the last laugh.
    Taking his brother's awl, he pierced it through Loki's lips
    and sewed his mouth shut,
    so the trickster god could no longer spread his malicious deceit.
    Yet the irony was not lost on the gods.
    For it was Loki's deceit that had brought them these fine treasures
    and given Thor the hammer for which he's still known today.
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