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~ Heathen Stories and New Myths ~


Tooth Gift of Frey

 

In the days after the most terrible war between the Aesir and the Vanir, the Frost Jottun of Thrymsfell pressed hard into the lands of man and elf. It fell to the strong sons of earth to drive them back. In the lands of man stood Thor, and in the lands of Alfs stood Frey.

 

Arriving in Skidbladnir, his magic cloud ship, the fairest amongst the Vanir was well looked upon by the Alfar, the wights and faeries of the mystic Alfheim. Alone save for his golden boar Gullinbursti, he strode into the mountain passes to defend against the Frost Jottun, and the killing cold they brought into the verdant forests of the Alf. While the mighty elven hosts drew up at the forests edge in the hopes that Freyr’s mighty spear and shining sword would carry the day, there was one alfar who could not wait.

 

Young was Freyr, though mighty. Born of Nerthus the earth by mighty Njord of the waves, Frey was young and golden as the dawn, with the coltish grace of a young stallion, and the mischief of a kit fox. Unlike the sombre Uller and stern Tyr, the nature of Freyr was wild, passionate, and laughing. As he passed overhead in his cloudship Skidbladnir, the Faeries of the air gathered at his golden voice, taken by his boyish charm and long golden hair. Although Vanir and not Alf, his beauty touched them as no mortal could, for his was the strength of the earth, and the beauty of the shining sun. Alone among the Faeries and Sylphs of the air was one who heard his laughter, and the lusty challenges he sang to the Jottun guarded mountains, and was taken whole-heartedly with love. When Frey strode forth in his armed glory, this smallest of faery flew with him.

 

While the equal of Thor in battle skill, Freyr was young yet, and as the young often do, was driven by his passions beyond reason. As the Jottun strode in their icy mail down from the high mountains, ice axes and stone tipped spears in their huge fists, Gullinbursti the boar gave a grunting roar of rage and stormed into them. Laughing astride his raging boar, Freyr plied his spear with joy amongst the Jottun foe. Blow after blow he traded, but his joy overtook him, and he cast aside his stout shield to ply sword and spear together. Laughing in the wild joy of battle, Freyr was struck hard upon his cheek by a Jottun axe helve, and spilled from his golden steed.

 

The little faery’s heart nigh stopped to see the golden youth struck down, and she saw a tooth struck from his mouth to spill upon the stones and moss of the valley. Sweeping down in a blur of wings, she took up the tooth and hurled it in the Jottun’s eye. Frey rose roaring from the earth to ply his mighty spear, and laughed to see the Jottun so beset by the wee faery and his tooth. Laying the last of the Jottuns low, he bowed to the Faery and named her thus:

 

“Tooth Faery you are, and my tooth I give you. A gift for a gift is our way, so for this first of my teeth I will claim a kiss.”

 

Blushing, the faery kissed Freyr, and flew swift away to her kindred. High in the sky circled Hunnin and Munnin, watching what happened, and what was to come. As Frey set sail again for Asgard, the little Tooth Faery used the magic that was hers to weave of this tooth a hall for Freyr, that he would return to Alfheim and live among the Alf as their fair lord.
Weeping, the Tooth Faery fell, her magic spent, for only a sword-length of one wall formed no higher than Frey’s high boot top. As she lay spent and tired upon the ground, she swore to the gods that if she only had more teeth, she could make a hall fit for the golden Freyr, that he would dwell forever happily amongst the shining Alfs. The ravens Hunnin and Munnin heard the words, and wind-swift carried them back to their master Odin.

 

When Freyr returned to the halls of Asgard, he heard Thor boasting of his victory, of the Jottuns slain to defend the world of men. Aesir and Vanir pounded the table and shouted their praise at Thor’s victory. Baldur the blessed rose from his seat by Odin, and called out to Frey to tell his tale of battle and glory, Nanna his good wife swiftly charged Freyr’s horn with golden mead to loosen his tongue and speed his thoughts.

 

Freyr spoke of the victory, and laughed with the hall at his own foolishness at being felled by axe-helve in his haste. As he spoke of the Faery and her well struck tooth, Thor roared and raised his horn laughing at the bravery of the little alf. Upon his high seat did Odin brooding feed scraps to his ravens. In a voice cold as ice and deep as thunder he spoke.

 

“Lost you a tooth, the first of your life upon Alfheims field”, he spoke.

“Gift for a gift, did you tell your alf-friend, and a gift for a gift is my way. As you have given your tooth for the land, take this land as tooth-fee for your loss. Henceforth let Alfheim know Freyr as lord!”

 

Thus did Odin ward Alfheim’s north borders, thus did Odin bind Freyr to his cause. Thus did the peace between Alf, Aesir and Van be sealed with the fee of a tooth. Returning to Alfheim Freyr sought out his new friend, and saw the start of a hall. When he heard the wee Faery had spelled it from his tooth, the golden lord shouted his mirth.

 

“A hall raised for me from one little tooth? A hall from the Tooth Faery´s gift? If you would do this, first tooth of youth, then accept as a gift all such teeth.”

 

Lord of the growing and renewing earth, his gift reached the whole of nine worlds. To this day the Tooth Faery gathers her teeth, raising her hall for bright Freyr. A gift for a gift is the way of god and of alf, so a tooth-fee for all will she leave.


 

© John T Mainer         

 

This work by John T Mainer is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License.

 

The Freyr's Press of the Heathen Freehold Society of BC:
Kindertales and Kindertales 2 by John T Mainer et al.
 

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