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the dictionary of norse mythology

RIG


RIG The main character in rigsthula, an ancient poem, part of the poetic edda. The intro-duction to this poem in the surviving manuscripts says Rig is heimdall, but modern scholars agree that an editor of the manuscript made that assump-tion and addition.Rig-Heimdall and the Races of Men Heim-dall was the watchman of the gods. He seldom left his post on bifrost, the rainbow bridge. But one day, at odin's suggestion, Heimdall went down to midgard Middle Earth disguised as a mortal man. He left behind his horn, gialar, his sword, and his golden-topped steed, and took the name Rig.Rig wandered along the seashore at the edge of the world. When evening came he saw a rickety old hut. Rig knocked and the door creaked open. It was dark and smoky inside, but Rig-Heimdall with his keen eyes could see Ai and Edda Great-Grandfather and Great-Grandmother and gave them his golden smile. They shared their miserable meal with him. Rig was so courteous and friendly that they shared their bed, too, allowing the sweet-talking god to sleep warmly between their two thin bodies. He shared their food and their bed for three days and three nights, then went on his way.Nine months after the god's visit Edda gave birth to a son. His parents named him Thrall. The boy was sturdy and strong and grew to be very good at all the hard and heavy chores that laborers must do chop-ping wood, digging the earth, building huts, tending the pigs and goats, gathering food, burning peat. When Thrall grew up he married Esne, another hard worker, and their children and their children's chil-dren were the peasants and laborers of the world.The evening after leaving Ai and Edda, Rig came to a big farm where he found Afi and Amma Grand-father and Grandmother. Afi's beard was neatly trimmed and Amma's hair was smooth and silvery. They both wore clean and simple clothes. Rig gave them his golden smile. They shared their nourishing meal with him. Rig was so courteous and friendly that they shared their bed, too, allowing the sweet-talking god to sleep warmly between their sturdy bodies. He shared their food and their bed for three days and three nights, then went on his way.Nine months after the god's visit, Amma gave birth to a son. The parents named him Freeman. The boy was healthy and ruddy, and he grew to be very good at all the work that a proud farmer must do building fine houses and sturdy barns and learning the skills of the blacksmith, the reaper of corn, and the tender of fine animals. When Freeman grew up he married a strapping girl named Hussif. She knew how to spin and weave she sewed a fine seam and baked good bread. Their children and their children's children became the farmers, landholders, and crafts-men of the world.The evening after leaving Afi and Amma, Rig came to a great mansion where he found Father Squire and Mother Lady. Their clothes were rich and glitter-ing with jewels. Rig gave them his golden smile, and the handsome couple invited him to dinner. A long table was covered with a linen cloth and set with silver wine jugs and goblets and pewter platters. The servants brought in mounds of delicious meats and fruits. Rig was so courteous and friendly that Lady and Squire shared their luxurious bed with him, allowing the sweet-talking god to sleep warmly between their two shapely bodies. Rig shared their food and their bed for three days and three nights, then went on his way.Nine months after the god's visit, Lady gave birth to a son. The parents named him Earl. The boy was tall and handsome, with golden hair and a golden smile, and he grew to be a fine horseman, skilled with both spear and sword as well as with a bow and arrow. When Earl grew up he married a rich and graceful girl named Princess. Her skin was soft and her fingers long. She played beautifully on the lute and her voice was the envy of the nightingale. She made Earl very rich and happy. Their children and their children's children became the kings and queens of many lands of the world.Rig-Heimdall transported himself to the time when Earl was still a young lad. The god appeared before Earl in a forest grove, bringing with him some sticks with strangely carved markings on them. Rig taught Earl, his son, the secrets of the runes and much wisdom about the good and evil in the world so that Earl and his children and grandchildren could become fine and just rulers of their kingdoms.

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