HOW BROCK BROUGHT JUDGEMENT ON LOKI
T was then that Loki, with the wish of making the
Æsir and the Vanir friendly to him once more,
brought out the wonderful things he had gained from the
Dwarfs—the spear Gungnir and the boat Skidbladnir.
The Æsir and the Vanir marveled at things so
wonderful. Loki gave the spear as a gift to Odin, and
to Frey, who was chief of the Vanir, he gave the boat
All Asgard rejoiced that things so wonderful and so
helpful had been brought to them. And Loki, who had
made a great show in giving these gifts, said
 "None but the Dwarfs who work for me could make such
things. There are other Dwarfs, but they are as unhandy
as they are misshapen. The Dwarfs who are my servants
are the only ones who can make such wonders."
Now Loki in his boastfulness had said a foolish thing.
There were other Dwarfs besides those who had worked
for him, and one of these was there in Asgard. All
unknown to Loki he stood in the shadow of Odin's seat,
listening to what had been said. Now he went over to
Loki, his little, unshapely form trembling with
rage151;Brock, the most spiteful of all the Dwarfs.
"Ha, Loki, you boaster," he roared, "you lie in your
words. Sindri, my brother, who would scorn to serve
you, is the best smith in Svartheim."
The Æsir and the Vanir laughed to see Loki
outfaced by Brock the Dwarf in the middle of his
boastfulness. As they laughed Loki grew angry.
"Be silent, Dwarf," he said, "your brother will know
about smith's work when he goes to the Dwarfs who are
my friends, and learns something from them."
"He learn from the Dwarfs who are your friends! My
brother Sindri learn from the Dwarfs who are your
friends!" Brock roared, in a greater rage than before.
"The things you have brought out of Svartheim would not
be noticed by the Æsir and the Vanir if they were
put beside the things that my brother Sindri can make."
 "Sometime we will try your brother Sindri and see what
he can do," said Loki.
"Try now, try now," Brock shouted. "I'll wager my head
against yours, Loki, that his work will make the
Dwellers in Asgard laugh at your boasting."
"I will take your wager," said Loki. "My head against
yours. And glad will I be to see that ugly head of
yours off your misshapen shoulders."
"The Æsir will judge whether my brother's work is
not the best that ever came out of Svartheim. And they
will see to it that you will pay your wager, Loki, the
head off your shoulders. Will ye not sit in judgement, O
Dwellers in Asgard?"
"We will sit in judgement," said the Æsir. Then,
still full of rage, Brock the Dwarf went down to
Svartheim, and to the place where his brother Sindri
HERE was Sindri in his glowing forge, working with
bellows and anvil and hammers beside him, and around
him masses of metal—gold and silver, copper and
iron. Brock told his tale, how he had wagered his head
against Loki's that Sindri could make things more
wonderful than the spear and the boat that Loki had
brought into Asgard.
"You were right in what you said, my brother," said
Sindri, "and you shall not lose your head to Loki. But
the two of us must work at what I am going to forge. It
will be your work to keep the fire so that it will
neither blaze up nor die down for a
 single instant. If
you can keep the fire as I tell you, we will forge a
wonder. Now, brother, keep your hands upon the bellows,
and keep the fire under your control."
Then into the fire Sindri threw, not a piece of metal,
but a pig's skin. Brock kept his hands on the bellows
so that the fire neither died down nor blazed up for a
single instant. And in the glowing fire the pigskin
swelled itself into a strange shape.
But Brock was not left to work the bellows in peace. In
to the forge flew a gadfly. It lighted on Brock's hands
and stung them. The Dwarf screamed with pain, but his
hands still held the bellows, working to keep the fire
steady, for he knew that the gadfly was Loki, and that
Loki was striving to spoil Sindri's work. Again the
gadfly stung his hands, but Brock, although his hands
felt as if they were pierced with hot irons, still
worked the bellows so that the fire did not blaze up or
die down for a single instant.
Sindri came and looked into the fire. Over the shape
that was rising there he said words of magic. The
gadfly had flown away, and Sindri bade his brother
cease working. He took out the thing that had been
shaped in the fire , and he worked over it with his
hammer. It was a wonder indeed—a boar, all golden,
that could fly through the air, and that shed light
from its bristles as it flew. Brock forgot the pain in
his hands and screamed with joy. "This is the greatest
of wonders," he said. "The Dwellers in Asgard will have
to give the judgement
 against Loki. I shall have Loki's
But Sindri said, "The boar Golden Bristle may not be
judged as great a wonder as the spear Gungnir or the
boat Skidbladnir. We must make something more wonderful
still. Work the bellows as before, brother, and do not
let the fire die down or blaze up for a single
Then Sindri took up a piece of gold that was so bright
it lightened up the dark cavern that the Dwarfs worked
in. He through the piece of gold into the fire. Then he
went to make ready something else and left Brock to
work the bellows.
The gadfly flew in again. Brock did not know it was
there until it lighted on the back of his neck. It
stung him till Brock felt the pain was wrenching him
apart. But still he kept his hands on the bellows,
working it so that the fire neither blazed up nor died
down for a single instant. When Sindri came to look
into the fire, Brock was not able to speak for pain.
Again Sindri said magic words over the gold that was
being smelted in the fire. He took it out of the glow
and worked it over on the main-anvil. Then in a whole
he showed Brock something that looked like the circle
of the sun. "A splendid arm-ring, my brother," he said.
"An arm-ring for a God's right arm. And this ring has
hidden wonders. Every ninth night eight rings like
itself will drop from this arm-ring, for this is
Draupnir, the Ring of Increase."
"To Odin, the Father of the Gods, the ring shall be
 said Brock. "And Odin will have to declare that
nothing so wonderful or so profitable to the Gods was
ever brought into Asgard. O Loki, cunning Loki, I shall
have thy head in spite of thy tricks."
"Be not too hasty, brother," said Sindri. "What we have
done so far is good. But better still must be the thing
that will make the Dwellers in Asgard give the judgement
that delivers Loki's head to thee. Work as before,
brother, and do not let the fire blaze up or die down
for a single instant."
This time Sindri threw into the fire a bar of iron.
Then he went away to fetch the hammer that would shape
it. Brock worked the bellows as before, but only his
hands were steady, for every other part of him was
trembling with expectation of the gadfly's sting.
He saw the gad-fly dart into the forge. He screamed as
it flew round and round him, searching out a place
where it might sting him most fearfully. It lighted
down on his forehead, just between his eyes. The first
sting it gave took the sight from his eyes. It stung
again and Brock felt the blood flowing down. Darkness
filled the cave. Brock tried to keep his hands steady
on the bellows, but he did not know whether the fire
was blazing up or dying down. He shouted and Sindri
Sindri said the magic words over the thing that was in
the fire. "An instant more," he said, "and it would
have been perfect. But because you let the fire die
down for an instant the work is not as good as it might
 been made." He took what was shaped in the fire to
the main-anvil and worked over it. Then when Brock's
eyesight came back to him he saw a great hammer, a
hammer all of iron. The handle did not seem to be long
enough to balance the head. This was because the fire
had died down for an instant while it was being formed.
"The hammer is Miölnir," said Sindri, "and it is
the greatest of the things that I am able to make. All
in Asgard must rejoice to see this hammer. Thor only
will be able to wield it. Now I am not afraid of the
judgement that the Dwellers in Asgard will give."
"The Dwellers in Asgard will have to give judgement for
us," Brock cried out. "They will have to give judgement
for us, and the head of Loki, my tormentor, will be
"No more wonderful or more profitable gifts than these
have ever been brought into Asgard," Sindri said. "Thy
head is saved, and thou wilt be able to take the head
of Loki who was insolent to us. Bring it here, and we
will throw it into the fire in the forge."
HE Æsir and the Vanir were seated in the Council
House of Asgard when a train of Dwarfs appeared before
them. Brock came at the head of the train, and he was
followed by a band of Dwarfs carrying things of great
weight. Brock and his attendants stood round the throne
of Odin, and harkened to the words of the Father of the
 "We know why you have come into Asgard from out of
Svartheim," Odin said. "You have brought things
wonderful and profitable to the Dwellers in Asgard. Let
what you have brought be seen, Brock. If they are more
wonderful and more useful than the things Loki has
brought out of Svartheim, the spear Gungnir and the
boat Skidbladnir, we will give judgement for you."
Then Brock commanded the Dwarfs who waited on him to
show the Dwellers in Asgard the first of the wonders
that Sindri had mad. They brought out the boar, Golden
Bristle. Round and round the Council House the boar
flew, leaving a track of brightness. The Dwellers in
Asgard said one to the other that this was a wonder
indeed. But none would say that the boar was a better
thing to have in Asgard than the spear that would hit
the mark no matter how badly it was flung, or the boat
Skidbladnir that would sail on any sea, and that could
be folded up so small that it would fit in any one's
pocket: non would say that Golden Bristle was better
than these wonders.
To Frey, who was Chief of the Vanir, Brock gave the
Then the attending Dwarfs showed the arm-ring that was
as bright as the circle of the Sun. All admired the
noble ring. And when it was told how every ninth night
this ring dropped eight rings of gold that were like
itself, the Dwellers in Asgard spoke aloud, all saying
that Draupnir, the Ring of Increase, was a wonder
indeed. Hearing their voices raised, Brock looked
 triumphantly at Loki who was standing there with his
lips drawn closely together.
To Odin, the Father of the Gods, Brock gave the noble
Then he commanded the Attending Dwarfs to lay before
Thor the hammer Miölnir. Thor took the hammer up
and swung it around his head. As he did so he uttered a
great cry. And the eyes of the Dwellers in Asgard
lightened up when they saw Thor with the hammer
Miölnir in his hands; their eyes lightened up and
from their lips came the cry, "This is a wonder, a
wonder indeed! With this hammer in his hand none can
withstand Thor, our Champion. No greater thing has ever
come into Asgard than the hammer Milnir."
Then Odin, the Father of the Gods, spoke from his
throne, giving judgement. "The hammer Miölnir that
the Dwarf Brock has brought into Asgard is a thing
wonderful indeed and profitable to the Gods. In Thor's
hands it can crush mountains, and hurl the Giant race
from the ramparts of Asgard. Sindri the Dwarf has
forged a greater thing than the spear Gungnir and the
boat Skidbladnir. There can be no other judgement."
Brock looked at Loki , showing his gnarled teeth. "Now,
Loki, yield your head, yield your head," he cried.
"Do not ask such a thing," said Odin. "Put any other
penalty on Loki for mocking you and tormenting you.
Make him yield to you the greatest thing that is in his
power to give."
"Not so, not so," screamed Brock. "You Dwellers in
Asgard would shield one another. But what of me? Loki
 taken my head had I lost the wager. Loki has
lost his head to me. Let him kneel down now till I cut
Loki came forward, smiling with closed lips. "I kneel
before you, Dwarf," he said. "Take off my head. But be
careful. Do not touch my neck. I did not bargain that
you should touch my neck. If you do, I shall call upon
the Dwellers in Asgard to punish you."
Brock drew back with a snarl. "Is this the judgement of
the Gods?" he asked.
"The bargain you made, Brock," said Odin, "was an evil
one, and all it's evil consequences you must bear."
Brock, in a rage, looked upon Loki, and he saw that his
lips were smiling. He stamped his feet and raged. Then
he went up to Loki and said, "I may not take your head,
but I can do something with your lips that mock me."
"What would you do, Dwarf?" asked Thor.
"Sew Loki's lips together,' said Brock, "so that he can
do no more mischief with his talk. You Dwellers in
Asgard cannot forbid me to do this. Down, Loki, on your
knees before me."
Loki looked round on the Dwellers in Asgard and he saw
that their judgement was that he must kneel before the
Dwarf. He knelt down with a frown upon his brow. "Draw
your lips together, Loki," said Brock. Loki drew his
lips together while his eyes flashed fire. With an awl
that he took from his belt Brock pierced Loki's lips.
He took out a thong and tightened them together. Then
in triumph the Dwarf looked on Loki.
 "O Loki," he said, "you boasted that the Dwarfs who
worked for you were better craftsman than Sindri, my
brother. You words have been shown to be lies. And now
you cannot boast for a while."
Then Brock the Dwarf, with great majesty, walked out of
the Council House of Asgard, and the attending Dwarfs
marched behind him in procession. Down the passages in
the earth the Dwarfs went, singing the song of Brock's
triumph over Loki. And in Svartheim it was told forever
after how Sindri and Brock had prevailed.
In Asgard, now that Loki's lips were closed, there was
peace and respite from mischief. No one amongst the
AElig;sir or the Vanir were sorry when Loki had to walk
about in silence with his head bent low.