Friday, July 15, 2016


By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Author of Handy Mandy in Oz, Ozoplaning with the Wizard in Oz, and The Wish Express, etc.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, June 22, 1919.

Thor—the Great God of the North—who lived long and long ago, had many enemies among the Giant Folk. The giants of the Mountains and of the Forest were always seeking a way to get possession of Thor’s famous hammer—which none of them could withstand and without which Thor would have easily fallen into their power.

Once in a mysterious manner Thrym, one of the most powerful of the giants, stole the famous hammer and buried it deep, deep under the Kingdom of Jotunheim, which is the giants’ country. Thor sent Loki—another of the North Gods—to see whether or not the giant might not negotiate for its return. Thrym said that he was quite willing to send back the hammer on condition that Freya, Queen of Valhalla, become his bride. Freya had no desire to live with the Frost Giant King, and Thor was in a great quandary as to how he might regain his precious hammer.

Finally Loki suggest that Thor dress in Freya’s clothes and go to the Frost Giant’s palace himself as the bride. Heavily veiled Thor and Loki presented themselves at the giant’s castle and were warmly welcomed by the giant, who thought he had won the beautiful goddess for his wife. A great feast was prepared in their honor, but what was the amazement of Thrym when he beheld his bride devour a whole ox, eight salmon and a host of other delicacies, washing down the whole with three tons of mead.

He expressed his astonishment to Loki, who assured him that the bride had eaten nothing for eight days, so excited was she at the honor of becoming his wife. Flattered and pleased Thrym tried to push aside Freya’s veil, but started back in terror at the glistening eyes that confronted him. Again he appealed to Loki. Loki told him that the bride had not slept for eight nights, and the giant, quite satisfied, ordered the hammer to be brought and placed in the maiden’s lap.

No sooner did Thor feel his mighty hammer than he cast off his disguise and laid about him right and left, destroying Thrym and all of his retainers.

Once upon a time Thor set out on a journey to the giants’ country, accompanied by Loki and one servant. By nightfall they had reached an immense forest, so they searched on all sides to find a place to sleep. At last they came to what appeared to be a strange gray building, the like of which they had never seen before. Indeed, it was most curiously constructed. It was too dark to seek further, so they decided to take shelter inside in spite of its peculiar appearance.

About 12 o’clock they were awakened by a terrible earthquake, which tossed them about in the chamber of the building like so many loose pebbles. Thor’s two companions rushed into an adjoining chamber, but Thor stood in the huge doorway holding his hammer in readiness for whatever happened. But nothing else did happen, so they retired and disposed themselves for sleep. In several hours they were again awakened, this time by fearful groans, which rumbled in as loud tones as the thunder itself. Feeling that the daytime was best for investigating the cause of so great a disturbance, the three spent the rest of the night wide awake and issued forth at dawn in no small state of trepidation.

Lying near at hand was the hugest giant they had ever seen, his snores shaking the whole forest and causing the sounds they had taken for groans. So formidable appeared the giant that even Thor stood back and was afraid to try his mighty hammer. Just then the giant wakened up, and taking his courage in both hands Thor asked him his name. The giant appeared to be in an excellent humor and answered quite pleasantly that his name was Skrymir. “And YOU are the god Thor,” he announced, stretching. “But where is my glove?” He looked around carelessly, then snatched the building where Thor and his companions had passed the night and drew it on. Thor was not a little put out to think he had slept in the giant’s glove. As for the giant, he invited the three to accompany him to his castle, which they did and had many more strange adventures, which, perhaps, some day I shall tell you.

By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, August 15, 1920. 
Puzzle Corner

The Forgetful Poet still runs to rhymes. The missing creatures are not hard to find. What bird does he mean?

There once was a -----
In a water-proof suit
And the silly old waterfowl
Thought he looked -----

Why is an arithmetic book better furnished than other school books?

Three bodies of water are concealed in this verse. They may not be spelled exactly right, but they sound right:

Oh, when I don my swallow tail
I’m really quite superior,
But my old business suit’s more sane,
And really makes me cheerier!

[Answers next time.] 
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