Búri : The Beginning Of The Golden Age
Búri lifted the horn and drained it for a moment before continuing. " Where were we ? " he said to himself trying to remember where he left off. Frigga looked up from her spinning, and said matter - of - factly : " The next morning the four of you set about building a small wing onto your dwelling for your son and new daughter in law. " she told him. Búri looked over at his granddaughter and gave her a knowing smile. The patriarch of the family was not fooled by Frigga' s half - hearted spinning. He knew that she had been listening intently, but more important was the fact that he knew why she was listening so closely to every word that he said. And this was why Búri wanted to make absolutely sure that he told the story correctly, and did not leave out any important details. " Thank You ! " he told Frigga with a wink.
" It took us about one cycle of the moon to build the addition onto our dwelling house. Apparently my son, and new daughter, did not wait until it was finished to start their family though ! " he said with a wicked grin. Bestla looked up from her mead horn in shock ! " Father ! " she exclaimed. Frigga laughed. " Yes grandfather, please remember the children. " she told him. Búri gave them both a cross look, and then muttered under his breath : " Well, they certainly did not make their children out of their sweat like Ymir did ! " Bestla frowned at her father in law. " What was that father ? " she asked. " Oh, sorry ! I forgot about the children. " he told her. The boys did not fully understand, but giggled none the less.
" Well......, Odin was first to be born. I like to say that he inherited his physic from his father in law Bolthorn, but received his great intelligence from me ! " Búri told them with a chuckle. " Even as a child Odin was often in deep thought, and he was always asking questions. His quest for knowledge and wisdom was unquenchable ...... and still is ! " he explained as he looked out to the fields. " The second child to bless the house of Borr and Bestla was Vili. He was the mischievous one ! Finally there came Vé, and as the youngest he always felt neglected, and became an angry child. He could never find his place with his brothers. " Búri told them.
" By the time they had grown to be young adults they had heard hundreds of times how the first being, Ymir, had ordered my family's death, because we had mixed Aesir blood with Jotun blood. Secretly the three brothers formed a Triad to avenge the death of their grandmother..... Oh, how I wish I could remember her name ! " Búri exclaimed out of frustration. Bestla reached over and placed her hand on her father in law's shoulder. " It is all right father. It was a long time ago ! " she told him. Búri stroked his beard as he glanced over at Frigga. " Yes, so very long ago ! " he repeated.
" I am told it was Vili who came up with the idea of killing Ymir, but your father would know that better than I . " he told the boys as he pointed to Odin out in the fields. Thor then asked Frigga : " Why weren't Vili and Vé invited to our feast mother ? " Frigga looked up from her spinning, and answered in a quiet tone : " Your father had a bit of a falling out with his brothers Thor . " she replied. Búri quickly cut in to change the subject, for which Frigga was grateful. " This " Holy Triad " went on a sacred mission to Jotunheim to search for their grandmother' s killer. They could not find Bergelmir, however, and were about to leave Jotunheim when they came upon Ymir. The ancient Jotun threatened the boys, my grandchildren, but Odin, Vili and Vé were more than a match for the eldest of Jotuns. With spears and swords they stabbed and hacked away at the ancient Jotun' s body until he fell. So much blood poured out from the Jotun' s wounds that it flooded all of Jotunheim and killed almost every Jotun. Only Bergelmir, who was near the top of the highest mountain in all of Jotunheim, was saved when he climbed onto his cart to escape the rising blood. " he told them. " All of today's Jotun's are descended from that lucky bastard ! " Búri said in disgust. Frigga and Bestla both gave Búri a surprised look. When he realized his mistake he replied : " Oh, sorry boys ! " Thor and Balder giggled at their great grandfather's mistake.
Búri cleared his throat, and composed himself before continuing. " Ymir was so large that the Triad of brothers did not want his body to go to waste. The brothers carried Ymir's body into the middle of Ginnugagap and made the world we now know as Midgard from his flesh. The Giant' s blood, which continued to flow, became the lakes and the oceans. Trees and plants were made from his hair, and even his bones were used to raise up mountains. From his teeth they formed the rocks and the pebbles. The sky was fashioned from his skull, and the rain making clouds were formed from his brain. Originally the brothers employed four dwarves, ........ I think their names were Austri, Vestri, Nordri, and Sudri, ...... yes...., that sounds right, to hold up the four corners of the sky, but I do not believe that they stand at their posts any more. " Búri told them as he searched his memory.
Búri was growing tired and took a drink from his horn before telling the rest of his story. " The brothers then gathered up the many burning embers that blew out of Muspellheim, and threw them into the middle of Gunningagap to give light to the heavens, and to illuminate the earth below. Some of the stars remained in place in the night sky, but the ones that moved freely through the heavens were given their paths to follow by my grandchildren. I believe that from that point, till the present time, this is how we figure the days, the months, and the years. " Búri explained. The oldest Aesir yawned hard before taking another drink of his mead. Bestla, who was watching her father in law carefully, spoke up out of concern. " Maybe you should rest now father ! You look very tired ! " she told him politely. " NO ! " Búri shouted, as he gave Bestla an angry look. " I am almost finished ! " he told his daughter emphatically. Bestla was surprised by her father's anger, and nodded. " Sorry father . Please go on. " she said apologetically. Before continuing Búri glanced over to Frigga who nodded her approval as well.
" My grandson' s made the earth, as I have said, from Ymir's body, and the seas from his blood. The three brothers then gave lands to the Jotuns, and then separated it from Midgard by a stronghold that they made from Ymir's eyebrows." he explained. Thor looked up at his great grandfather. " Why did my father need to build a stronghold between the Jotun lands and Midgard ? " Thor asked. " It was because the Jotuns were now very angry at the Aesir, who had of course killed their patriarch, and made the earth from his body. " he told Thor.
Búri took a deep breath before moving on. " On the way back to Asgard the Triad followed the coast. While they were walking along the shore Odin, Vili and Vé came upon two feeble trees which had no fate between them. The brothers picked up these trees, and with powers that they previously did not know they possessed, created a man and a woman from them. Odin gave his life's breath to these first humans. Vili gave them the ability to think, and to understand, while Vé endowed them with speech, hearing, sight and fairness of face. Seeing them naked the brothers gave them clothes to wear, and named their creations Ask and Embla. It is their descendants that now roam Midgard. " Búri explained as he yawned once again.
"Maybe you are right daughter, I am feeling rather weary. I believe I will rest now ! " he told Bestla. Frigga stopped spinning for a moment. " Boys, your great grandfather needs rest ! Go and see what is keeping your father, and grandfather, in the fields so long. " she told them. Before Thor and Balder slid off of their great grandfather's knees the eldest Aesir kissed both of them on the forehead. Búri glanced over at Frigga, and stared at her for a long moment. Then he winked at her, before closing his eyes. Frigga nodded sadly that she understood. " I think we should go inside for a while, and leave grandfather alone to rest. " Frigga told Bestla.
A short while later, as the sun was setting, and the plowing was finished, Odin and Borr came in from the fields followed playfully by Thor and Balder. As they approached the front of the hall Borr called to Bestla. " Yes, my dear ! " Bestla answered as she exited the hall. Borr gave his wife a stern look. " Please take the children inside for a moment ! " he told her. " Come on in boys, I will make you a snack. " she told Thor and Balder, as she gave Borr a concerned look. As Balder passed great grandfather he mentioned to Thor : " Great grandfather must have been very tired ! He is still sleeping ! "
Borr and Odin were kneeling in front of Búri when Frigga slowly came out of the hall. " Grandfather has left us ! " Odin told his wife sadly. Frigga nodded to her husband. " He let me know he was leaving ! " she replied in a trembling whisper.
End Chapter 3
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.
Next : Epilogue : A Burial Most Sacred