The Fenris Wolf and The Midgard Serpent.
From the old Norse mythology.
Loke was living among the Ases, the old Danish gods, but he came from the world of Giants, and the Giants were enemies of the gods. The gods tried to compete with Loke, but they never tried to kill him. They knew that the evil always is a part of the world.
Loke had many offspring, most of them with women giants. And except the horse of Odin, the eight-legged horse, called Sleipner, they were all monsters.
The best known of Loke’s offspring is the Midgard snake (se below), a snake bigger than a sea serpent. At first it was a little worm, but the gods threw it into the ocean, and it grew and grew, until it was so big, that it surrounded the whole world of gods and men. It is lying around the world and locking up gods and men, biting itself in its tail.
And the old Danish story tells, that the Midgard snake is still there - and shall be there, until Ragnarok, the Danish name of Armageddon.
But worst of all Loke offspring is the Fenris Wolf. At first of course it is a lovely little wolf cub, and the gods played games with it, especially the god Tyr. He is a horned god, and his name means Bull. A lot of villages in Denmark still bear his name. And the day Tuesday has its name from him. The same day in Danish is called Tirsdag. I Sweden they say Tisdag.
But the wolf cub grew and grew, until it was so big, that is was able to swallow the world of gods and men.
Of course the gods were very frightened, so they did exactly, what we should have done. They made a chain to hold the wolf. The gods went with the chain to the wolf and asked, "Do you want to play a game?"
- Oh, yes, the wolf said. What is the idea?
- We simply put the chain around your neck, and you must try to break it.
- Okay, the wolf said, and the gods placed the chain around its neck.
Of course it was broken in a second. The gods now were trembling with fear, and although they didn't know the word measurable, because the word is connected with our modern world of science, they went round their world and collected all measurable materials and melted them to a new chain.
Everything, which you can measure and weigh, was in that chain.
Science divides the world in two parts. The first part they call "That, which is" and that is everything to be seen, with the eye or under microscope. And the other part is "That, which is not". And that part describes everything; science is not able to see - gods for example.
But the Danish gods didn't know anything about science.
- There must be a life before science, they simply thought and therefore they acted without any investigation. And they made the biggest chain ever seen from everything belonging to the science world of "That, which is".
With this second chain they went forward to the Fenris Wolf. It took days to drag the heavy chain, and far away the gods could hear the Fenris Wolf laughing and shouting: - If you once reach me, it will be an honour to break that chain.
After some days the gods succeeded and placed the chain around the neck of the wolf, but again the chain was broken in a second.
Now a cold sweat of fear hit the gods, and they went to a strange place, strange for gods.
They went to the dwarfs in the hills. Perhaps you know that the dwarfs at that time always were in the sanitary business as plumbers and blacksmiths.
So the gods asked the dwarfs to make a third chain, and they got the strangest chain you ever heard of. It was invisible and called Gleiphir.
It was soft and flabby and made from such strange raw materials as Women beard, Birds spittle, The breath of fish and The sound of cats paws.
With this odd chain the gods for the third time went to the Fenris Wolf.
But this time it was not ready to play the game. - I think, there is magic power in this chain, the Fenris Wolf said.
But on one condition you can put it around my neck. One of you gods must put an arm into my mouth at the same time. As a matter of fact the wolf did not have a mouth, but a gap as big as an opening from a firth to the North Sea.
The gods didn't like the proposal. They looked at each other, and one could see from their faces, that they didn't want a group work on the subject.
But then the god Tyr, who had played with the wolf, when it was a cub, stepped forward and promised to put his arm into the mouth of the monster.
And so he did, while the gods placed the chain, made from Women beard, Birds spittle, the sinews of a bear, the roots of a mountain, The breath of fish and The sound of cats paws, around the wolf's neck.
Now the old Danish mythology says very beautifully: - The chain was not broken. That gave the gods a big laugh. But not Tyr. He was an arm shorter.
What the old Danish story says is an experience from life. Experiences just opposite modern science. The old Danish people knew, that the real strength in life does not come from the world of "That, which is", but from "That, which is not" - from what, you cannot measure or weigh. The real strength in life comes from, what you'll never find under a microscope, such as love, attitude, belief, feeling and hope.
Science has never made that discovery. But the old Norse people did it. They didn't use the words "That, which is not", but they found other words to explain their way of thinking.
Women beard, Birds spittle, the sinews of a bear, the roots of a mountain, The breath of fish and The sound of cats paws are other words for the same thinking, so strong that the old Danish people had to tell an unforgettable story about this truth of life.
You've just heard it.
It is said that during the mythical battle of Ragnorok, Fenrir will break free of the chain and will devour everything, including Odin, the king of the gods. However, Fenrir dies after killing Odin, as his son Vidar stabs him
The Midgard Serpent, also known as Jormangund, was a monster of Norse mythology. Jormangund was the second of three children of Loki and the giantess Angraboda. The first was Fenris, the third was Hel. The Midgard Serpent (sometimes called Midgardsorm) was said to circle the Norse world, with its tail in its mouth, an easily recognizable symbol of eternity. This serpent was an antagonistic figure in the myths. On a couple of occasions, Thor attempts to kill the serpent, and aids some sailors and fishermen when they get into trouble with the beast. The fact that The Thunder god Thor was a great enemy with this beast plays prominently into the Norse myth of Ragnorok, the twilight of the Gods -- the end of the world. In this gigantic battle, the Midgard Serpent comes from the ocean to join in the battle. The beast and Thor fight bitterly, finally the beast is killed, but not before the venom of the beast overcomes Thor and he dies.
It was soft and flabby and made from such strange raw materials as Women beard, Birds spittle, The breath of fish and The sound of cats paws. With this odd chain the gods for the third time went to the Fenris Wolf.