Thor looked at the horn carefully. It did not strike him as being very big although it was a bit longer than a usual horn. The God of Thunder was very thirsty, and did not feel this to be a great difficulty for him. He brought the edge of the horn to his lips and began to drink in large gulps, and felt he would not need to tip the horn more than one time to finish it. When his breath failed him and he raised his head to see how much he had removed from the horn, he was surprised to see that it was only a little lower than it was when he was first handed it.
Utgard - Loki looked at Thor and said : " You drank well, but not too much ! I would never have believed it if I had been told that the Mighty Thor could not take a bigger drink. However, I know you will empty it on the second try . " Thor gave the king an angry look, but made no reply. Instead he put the horn to his lips with the intention of taking a much bigger drink this time. Once again as his breath ran out, he saw that the horn was barely tipped at all. When he took the horn from his mouth and looked into it it seemed to him that he had emptied even less than the first time. Actually the only evidence of his efforts was that there was a little space between the rim and the drink which allowed it to be carried without spilling the contents.
Utgard - Loki shook his head before saying : " What about it Thor ? Are you not leaving an awful lot for your final drink ? It seems to me that if you are going to empty the horn on your final try, that will have to be your biggest effort. If you cannot empty the horn you will not be considered so great a man here among us as you are with your fellow Aesir Gods. " Thor became furious when he heard such belittling words. Thor grabbed the horn, put it to his mouth, took a long and deep breath, and drank for a very long time, as hard as he could. When he looked at the horn this time he noticed only a slight difference in the level of the ale. He then gave the horn back to the king and drank no more.
Utgard - Loki looked at Thor and shook his head in disappointment as he commented to those in the hall : " It is evident that your strength is not as great as we had imagined. Do you want to make a contest of any other of your feats ? " Thor replied : " When I was home with the Aesir I would have not thought drinks like these to be called little. " Then he asked the king : " What do you propose for my next contest ? " Utgard - Loki thought for a moment before answering : " Youngsters have performed a feat that is not thought much of her in Utgard. I would never suggest such a small thing of Asa - Thor had I not seen with my own eyes that you are not as strong as I thought you were. " Utgard - Loki motioned to one of his retainers, and a grey cat was brought forward and placed on the floor before Thor. " The contest Thor is to lift the cat completely off of the floor. " said the king with a sly smile. Thor noticed that it was a rather large cat, but Thor stepped up confidently and placed his arms around the stomach of the cat and started to lift it off of the ground. The cat arched its back, but its legs did not raise off of the floor. Thor then called upon his divine strength and with all his might lifted again. This time when the cat raised its back it had to lift one leg off of the ground, but the cat remained anchored to the floor. Knowing that he had done his best Thor let the cat back down and stepped back.
The king, with a big smile on his face said to those in his hall : " This contest has gone exactly as I anticipated. It is rather a big cat and Thor is a short little man compared to those who sit here in my hall on these benches. " Thor in a fit of anger replied : " You can call me a little man if you so choose but I dare you to let anyone of these men wrestle me because if you do I will show you my strength now that I am angry ! " The king looked around him before telling Thor : " I do not see anyone here who would not feel it beneath him to wrestle with you Thor. " Then he added with a smirk : " Let me call my foster - mother, Elli , and old woman here to wrestle with you Thor. She has brought down men who strike me as being stronger than you ! "
Through the doorway came an aged crone who walked over and stood before Thor. With a nod of his head Utgard - Loki motioned for the contest to begin. Thor found her to be quite the opponent . The harder he exerted himself the firmer she stood in his grasp. Then to Thor's surprise the old woman began to use holds on Thor and he lost his balance, and before long the God of Thunder fell to one knee. Utgard - Loki raised his arms for them to stop wrestling. " There is no need for you to wrestle with any more of my retainers. You are no match for those who sit here in my hall ! "
Due to the lateness of the hour Utgard - Loki showed Thor and his companions where they could sit down on his benches, and eat and drink. They stayed the night, and were shown great hospitality.
Next : The Truth Be Told !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja' s love, and Thor's protection !