Being a retelling of the legend of Sleipnir by a wandering talespinner of Midgard...

And so in those days there was a battle between the Aesir and the Jotun, and it was great and terrible. Thus it was that there was much ruin in the high places of Asgard near the end of battle, and everywhere were great things cast down and made broken. And the south wall around Valhalla was laid in pieces by the Jotun, and mighty was it in its time and thunderous was its fall. And the Aesir asked who had the strength to build again the wall, for it streched for 20 miles and rose 300 spans into the sky. And none save Thor had the power, but he had been wounded in battle. And so the wall of Valhalla laid desolate.

Then there came a traveler to Asgard from Mannheim, a large man, noted for his much strength. He rode upon a great steed, huge and gray and fell to look upon. And he offered to build again the wall around Valhalla in ten days, if the Aesir would yield him Freya to be his wife. Now there was much debate in the councils at that time, but at last Thor prevailed upon then, saying that none had his strength, and so this man could not succeed in ten days. Yet, Thor said, much good would he do in the attempt, and save the Aesir great labor. So it was agreed that the bargain should be struck, and the man began his labors.

Eight days did the man labor, and had nearly finished the wall, for his steed was tireless, and did haul stone from the farthest quarries. And the man did build the wall without rest, save for an hour of sleep each night. And Odin and Thor were angry that this was done, and on the ninth day, as the wall was close to done, they sat in thought. And they could in no way devise to stop the man from his task, nor keep him from Freya's hand. But Loki knew a way, and his mischief seemed good to Odin.

And so it was that on the ninth night, Loki became a great mare, beautiful to look upon, and while the man slept, Loki caught the attention of the man's steed, and they ran far across the plains of Asgard and rutted all the night long. And the man awoke, and found not his steed. And he searched far and wide until the dawn, but found him not. Then returned Loki with the steed, and the man looked and beheld that the mare was for a truth the god of mischief, and he was filled with rage. Then in his wrath his disguise slipped, and Thor and Odin saw that he was a fire giant of Muspellsheim. And Thor took up Mjollnir and slew the giant, and Odin captured the steed. And the next day was born to the mare-Loki a foal with eight legs, and his eyes were dark, and Odin claimed him, naming him Sleipnir.

And from that day Odin rode Sleipnir, and he was fearless, and swift, and did not tire.

Copyright 2002 SigmaVirus. Reproducible if a link to my E2 homenode is included.