In her sadness Frigga allowed images of the little girl to run through her mind. She was a wonderful child, so innocent and playful. She was always happy, and brought joy to all those around her. She shared what little she had with others, and never said a cross word to anyone. The only tears this young child ever shed were tears of joy. Frigga had to hold back her own tears as these images ran through her mind. This child must not die, she thought, and summoned the Goddess Eir.
Eir bowed before All - Mother as she entered her chamber. " Why have you summoned me Mother Frigga ", asked Eir with a curious tone in her voice. Frigga rose from her High - Seat and addressed the great physician. " I need you to go to Midgard. There is a little girl there named Hilda Sigurdsdottir who is gravely ill. I wish you to cure the child, for she is too precious a soul to lose. " Eir looked at her with surprise, and stuttered a little as she replied : " Great Mother Frigga, not even I, the best of all physicians, can change what the Norns have decreed. Surely you know this to be true ! " " Is there nothing that can be done ! " asked Frigga. Eir shook her head as she replied, " I am sorry All - Mother, her destiny has been written, and cannot be altered. Frigga said no more. With a wave of her hand she gestured for Eir to leave. Eir bowed again as she left, and though she knew certain things could not be changed, felt bad just the same.
Frigga decided to visit the little girl herself, an unprecedented move for the All- Mother. She silently made her way into the little girls room, and disappeared into the shadows of a corner, to remain unseen. The little girl Hilda was quiet, but suffering so, which distressed Frigga even further. Hilda's mother sat by her bed holding her hands and weeping gently, while her father was standing by the bed side asking the All - Father for his help. Frigga wanted desperately to end the agony of the little child that she had grown so fond of , but felt totally helpless. " You cannot change what the Norns have decreed. " ran through her head over and over again. Suddenly, Frigga felt a presence in the room that had not been there before ! She turned and looked into another dark corner of the room, and saw a shadowy figure. A pale head nodded to her , and in a voice that hissed like a snake it said, " Hello Frigga ! What are you doing here my dear. " Startled, Frigga answered slowly, " I am here to see this child. What are you doing here Hel ?" Hel smiled, a dead smile, and answered, " In a little while I will collect her soul. " Hel pointed a bony finger at the little girl as she spoke. Holding back her anger as best she could, Frigga said : " This child will not die, she is not yours to take ! " Hel replied with no emotion, " The Norns say differently All - Mother. The child is mine ! "
Just then the little girl began to tremble as she breathed her last breath. The mother started wailing, a terrible sound that was heard throughout the village. The father just sank down to his knees and cried quietly. Frigga could say or do nothing in her grief. Then unseen and unheard by the parents, the child's soul rose up, and looked back and forth at the two Goddesses that she could not see before. Hel put out her hand to the child, and motioned for her to follow. Hilda was frightened and recoiled at the sight of the skeletal hand. Hel then tried to grab Hilda's hand, but she curled up into a ball shivering from Hel's cold touch. Hel then went forward to grab the child again but Frigga stood between the two and blocked her path. With eyes that no longer showed compassion, Frigga said angrily, " I might not be able to stop what the Norns have weaved, but I can give this child a better afterlife than you Mistress of Niflheim ! " Startled, Hel stepped back a step, and in a bewildered tone replied : " But......but, Odin has said that all who die of sickness and old age are mine to keep. " With anger in her eyes, and a coarse voice, Frigga shot back : " From this day forward all the innocent children who die, for any reason, shall live with me in Fensalir, and shall be happy and carefree for eternity ! " Hel, looked Frigga in the eyes and shouted : " All - Father shall hear of this ! " To this Frigga smiled and said in a calm voice : " Yes, he will hear of this. " Hel then disappeared back into the shadows leaving Frigga and little Hilda alone. Hilda then looked up at Frigga, and in a small voice asked, " Who are you ? " Frigga smiled, a mother's smile, and said, " I am All - Mother Frigga, take my hand child, and lets go home.
Glenn Bergen - Copyright, 2011.