Skai's Marriage

From the medieval Icelandic tales of Snorri Sturluson, (1178-1241), translated by Éamonn Morris, Waterford City, Ireland.

After the gods had killed Jaza the giant, his daughter Skai took

her helmet, mailcoat and weapons, and went to Asgar to avenge his death.

The gods wished to make settlement. They offered Skai the compensation

that she might choose for herself a husband from among them; but she

might only make her choice from seeing their feet, and no other part of

their bodies. At this moment she saw one man’s feet which were

exceedingly fair, and said: ‘I choose this one, for there can be little

ugly about Baldri’. But these were not Baldri’s feet: they belonged to

Njörer, the sea-god. His feet were always very clean from his living in

the ocean—the ‘shipkennel’.

In those mountains that are known as Thunderhome, Skai had a

dwelling that her father had owned. But Njörer wished to dwell in the

sea. They settled for this, that they should be nine nights on

Thunderhome, and the other nine nights in the shipkennel. When Njörer

came back to the sea from the mountains, he recited this:

Hateful are the mountains

Nine nights I was in them.

Evil is wolf’s howling

Compared with sea bird’s song.

And Skai recited this:

No rest on the sea bed

With screaming of seabirds.

Seagulls every morning

Woke me with sea crying.

Then Skai went up to the mountains along, and settled in

Thunderhome. She went skiing much with her bow and shot deer. She is

now called the Ski-Goddess.

Contributor

Snorri Sturluson

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