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Main > Norway folktales > Fairy tale "The Epic of Siegfried"

The Epic of Siegfried

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Lots being cast, it fell to Loki to fetch the treasure. When he was loosened from the cords, he donned his magic shoes that had carried him over land and sea from the farthest bounds of the mid-world, and hastened away. He knew that his only chance was to capture from Andvari, the cunning dwarf king, the legendary treasure in his possession known as the Glittering Hoard. Yet this he could do only with the help of a magic net owned by the covetous queen of the ocean deep, Queen Ran.

Loki's magi shoes carried him over the water in search of the ocean-queen. He had not gone far when his sharp eyes spied her, lurking near a rocky shore against which the breakers dashed with frightful fury. Queen Ran had met Loki once before when he was a guest in her husband's gold-lit halls. When he asked the queen, however, to borrow her magic net for a special purpose, she flatly refused. "Should I do so," said she, "I might lose the richest prize that has ever come into my husband's kingdom. For three days now, a gold-rigged ship, bearing a princely crew with rich armor and abundant wealth, has been sailing carelessly over these seas. Tomorrow I shall send my daughters and the bewitching mermaids to decoy the vessel among the rocks. And into my net the ship, and the brave warriors, and all their armor and gold, shall fall. A rich prize it shall be. No, I cannot part with my net, even for a single hour."

But Loki knew the power of flattering words.

"Beautiful queen," said he, "there is no one on earth, nor even in Asgaard, who can equal you in wisdom and foresight. Yet I promise you that if you will but lend me your net until the morning dawns, the ship and the crew of which you speak shall be yours, and all their golden treasures shall deck your azure halls in the deep sea."

Then Queen Ran carefully folded the net and gave it to Loki.

"Remember your promise," was all that she said.

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