Tiw’s Day

He was the first God, The Tyr of Hanged Men, for He was The Judge. Then came the migrations, and the new peoples worshiped Odin, and they called him Tiw. From The One God to a Demigod, still he served Asgard.

When Loki and the Giantess gave birth to the evil pup, Fenrir, only he would look after the unkillable beast. They had something of a bond, that reached across the divide between good and evil, between feeder and fed. Of course Fenrir outgrew its cage, and any cages, and grew to the kind monster the prophesies had foretold: The Wolf who would kill Odin.

Nothing could bind him. They tricked it into chains, which The Wolf broke through as though they were water. So the Æsir called on the dwarves to build a chain made of Gleipnir, made from the sound of a cat’s footfall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a mountain, the sinews of a bear, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird.

They taunted Fenrir, “Great Wolf! Can you break this chain?” Fenrir was suspicious, but acted disdainful. “It is too thin. There is no challenge. I will only test it if one of you places his hand in my mouth.”

The Æsir protested, all too fearful to strike that bargain. Cowards. Still Tyr served Asgard. He stepped forward and placed his hand in his old pet’s mouth. Whether The Beast licked his fingers in hunger or in some wicked form of affection, Tyr could not determine.

The string held, the beast was trapped, and Tyr lost his hand.

“That is the last time I shall feed you, pup,” said Tyr, grimacing.

“Yes,” laughed the Father of Wolves, “Next I shall feed on your master, Odin.”And they bound Fenrir to a great rock underground, with a sword in His mouth.

Now, just as Odin had one eye to see, Tyr had one hand, for Justice.

–Dan Kilian

Editor’s Note: This was the program from my solo show at The Sidewalk the other Tuesday.

Steve’s Video and Pat’s Video

The Magic Banjo

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