Odin's Eyes :
A Story Of Hugin And Munin
Odin never quite knew what to expect to hear from Hugin and Munin each morning, but he definitely did not anticipate being told that the harts had tried to kill his most valuable pets. Although this information was shocking to listen to, Odin merely raised an eyebrow, and continued to sip his mead while his ravens had their say.
Valfather listened patiently as the ravens told him of what was taking place on Midgard. He was especially interested, and pleased, to hear how well Gormr, the new king of Ranrike , was faring. Odin smiled as they described in great detail the wonderful peace and prosperity that had covered the whole of southern Norway like a comforting blanket. He was very satisfied that the human he had personally chosen to rule had turned out to be such a wonderful leader.
Odin's smile quickly turned into a downward grimace, however, when he was told by his black scouts that they had spotted the Frost Giants bringing in more weapons to the village they had built near the porthole that lead to the realm of Midgard. He became even more annoyed when he heard that Farbauti had come to visit the settlement. Hugin proudly told its master that despite the King of the Frost Giants being disguised it had recognized Farbauti, and followed his every move from a small cliff overlooking the village.
Munin, not wanting to be left out, added that Farbauti seemed to be going in and out of each of the ice huts as though he were inspecting what was contained within. Munin also informed the Lord of Asgard that Alsvart, one of Farbauti's top commanders, accompanied the Frost Giant King everywhere he went.
When his ravens had finished Odin commanded them to stay in Asgard, and not to leave until he personally told them it was safe to resume their flights.
" However, I will still expect you here tomorrow at breakfast ! " Odin told his ravens.
Hugin and Munin could not have been happier ! They flew through the open window out the golden hall, and soared up into the skies of Asgard. The two playful ravens spent the entire day riding the powerful thermals high over the golden realm. Once they reached a great height they folded their wings, and dove straight down at the ground with tremendous speed, only to catch another powerful thermal current at the lower altitude that returned them high above the great halls and spires of Asgard.
Odin, unlike his pets, did not have time for fun and games. Odin climbed to the top of his great hall, chanted a magical spell, and leaped off. Within the blink of an eye Valfather was no longer in his God - form, but had transformed into a great golden eagle. As he flapped his massive wings, and headed for the World Tree, he recalled the last time had had reason to take on the eagle form. That had been a wild adventure ! To escape the Giant Suttung, who he had just stolen the mead of poetry from, he had turned himself into eagle form, and flown back to Asgard as fast as he could. Odin remembered with great fondness how his Asgardian children came out with great barrels for him to spit the valuable mead into. He could not laugh as an eagle, but he let out a high pitched screech when he thought about just how close Suttung came to catching him !
As Odin approached Yggdrasil's top branch, he saw perched there, as it always was, the great Eagle that watched over the branches and roots that connected the World Tree to the nine worlds. Many had often asked him why this eagle had no name. His answer was always the same :
" The Eagle came into being when Yggdrasil, and the universe, were very young. The Eagle was the first of its kind and therefore its name was " Eagle " . When others of the same species came into being they were given names to distinguish themselves from the Eagle, but retained the name " eagle " to identify them from other bird species.
Odin flapped his great wings hard, and landed gently on a strong branch just below, and to the left of the great Eagle.
" Greetings my old friend ! " Odin said after he had changed his head back into God - form.
Odin kept his lower body in eagle - form to better hold onto the branch. Even for a God as powerful as himself the fall from such a great height as this would surely be deadly.
" And greetings to you Lord of Asgard ! " Eagle replied in the form of a series of screeches.
" It has been a while ! What brings the Raven God all the way to the top of the World Tree this time ? " Eagle asked.
Odin looked between the eyes of Eagle to where Vedrfolnir sat, and then returned his gaze to his old friend.
" What I have to say is for you ears alone ! " Odin replied sternly.
Eagle stretched forth its left wing and flicked the hawk off of its head. Vedrfolnir was not accustomed to being disturbed in such a fashion, and fell several hundred yards before catching a breeze under its wings and returning back to the top of the World Tree.
" I apologize Vedrfolnir, but great Odin wishes to speak to me privately, so be a good hawk and give us a moment alone . " Eagle screeched at its constant companion.
Vedrfolnir blinked its yellow eyes, and folded its wings. Like a flash of lightning it dove towards the ground, and was soon gone from sight.
Odin quickly came to the point.
" What do you know about the attack on my ravens ? ! " Odin inquired.
Eagle gazed down upon the branches where it had witnessed the shocking attack earlier that day.
" It was a most curious thing to watch ! The harts climbed to such a great height in the World Tree. Higher than I ever saw them climb before . The shoots are more tender up here, but they are not nearly as plentiful. Not enough to feed four full grown harts ! " Eagle explained.
Odin followed Eagle's gaze down to the branches below where they were perched before asking :
" So you believe that the harts climbed up here for the sole purpose of attacking my ravens ? "
Eagle looked Odin in the eyes.
" I can see no other reason for them to have risked a fall to their deaths from this great height. " Eagle replied.
Odin nodded his head up and down.
" Then I must go and make preparations for the protection of my feathered pets ! " Odin said more to himself than to Eagle.
Eagle nodded in agreement.
" Yes ! It would be wise for you to take every precaution Great Raven God ! " Eagle replied.
Before Odin returned to full eagle form he added :
" Do not tell Vedrfolnir the subject of our conversation. I do not trust that sly little hawk ! " Odin told his old friend before flying off.
After leaving Odin and Eagle, Vedrfolnir had flown straight down to the lower branches. The great hawk pulled out of its free fall above the feeding harts just in time to make a perfect landing on Dvalar's antlers.
" Do you know who has come to see Eagle this day my four legged friends ? " the hawk asked to no hart in particular.
Dvalar looked over at his comrades, and then shook its antlers from side to side throwing the hawk into the air. Angry, Vedrfolnir circled around and landed on a smaller branch just above the harts.
" I am not amused by your silly games Dvalar ! " the hawk cried out angrily.
Dain walked closer to the overhanging branch, and looked up at the pale colored bird.
" My friend and I have had a very bad day, and we have no time for your nonsense ! " he explained to Vedrfolnir.
The hawk jumped up, and using its wings turned in midair, landing on the same branch with its back to the harts.
" Then I guess that you are not interested in the fact that Odin is speaking to Eagle right now ! " the hawk said sarcastically.
The harts collectively gasped in horror !
" What ?! Odin is meeting with Eagle ! Then the ravens have told the Lord of Asgard of our evil deed ! All is lost !! Valfather will kill all of us for sure !!! " the harts replied in such rapid succession that Vedrfolnir could not tell who had said what.
Just then Eagle, with a loud screech, called for Vedrfolnir to return.
" I must go now, but I would suggest that you quickly travel down to the lowest branches and make yourselves hidden from the all - seeing eye of Odin ! " he told the terrified harts.
As the hawk began to ascend to the top of Yggdrasil, the harts began to make their way down towards the roots of the World Tree where they could more easily hide among the thick foliage that grows there.
Just as Dain, who was last in line, followed his brother harts to the next lower branch, a great shadow appeared over its head. Dain had barely enough time to look over its shoulder, and duck, before the eagle swooped down and tried to knock it off of the World Tree.
As the God - eagle flew away the harts all stared back at Dain in horror. But it was the bruised and battered Duneyr who summed it up best :
" We have been warned ! " Duneyr told its friends.
- End Chapter 4
- Next Chapter 5 : The Sly Serpents
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2016.