Once upon a time three of the gods went on a journey.
One was Thor and one was Loki. Loki was ugly and mean.
The gods liked to walk over the hills and rocks. They could go very fast for they were so big.
The gods walked on and on.
At last they got very hungry. Then they came to a field with cattle.
Thor killed a big ox and put the pieces into a pot.
They made a big fire but the meat would not cook. They made the fire bigger and bigger, but the meat would not cook.
Then the gods were very cross.
Some one said, "Give me my share, and I will make the meat cook."
The gods looked to see who was talking. There in an oak tree was a big eagle.
The gods were so hungry that they said, "Well, we will."
The supper was ready in a minute.
Then the eagle flew down to get his share. He took the four legs and there was not much left but the ribs.
This made Loki cross for he was very hungry. He took a long pole to hit the eagle. But the pole stuck to the eagle's claws. The other end stuck to Loki.
Then the eagle flew away. He did not fly high. He flew just high enough for Loki to hit against the stones.
Loki said, "Please let me go! Oh, please let me go!"
But the eagle said, "No, you tried to kill me. I will not let you go."
And the eagle hit him against the stones.
Loki said again, "Please let me go!"
But the eagle said, "No, I have you now."
Then Loki knew the eagle was a giant and not a bird.
This giant had a suit of eagle's feathers. He was flying in his eagle suit when he saw Loki.
Now the gods lived in a city named Asgard.
In this city Idun kept the beautiful golden apples. When the gods felt they were growing old, they ate the apples and were young again.
The giant wanted to be like the gods. So he said to Loki, "I will let you go, if you will get me the apples of Idun."
But Loki said, "I can't do that."
So the eagle bumped him on the stones again.
Then Loki said, "I can't stand this. I will get the apples for you."
Loki and the eagle went to the city. The eagle stayed by the gate, but Loki went into the city. He went up to Idun. She was putting the apples into a beautiful golden box.
Loki said, "Good morning, Idun Those are beautiful apples."
And Idun said, "Yes, they are beautiful." "I saw some just like them, the other day," said Loki.
Idun knew there were no other apples like these, and she said, "That is strange. I would like to see them."
Loki said, "Come with me and I will show them to you. It is only a little way. Bring your apples with you."
As soon as Idun was out of the gates the eagle flew down. He picked her up in his claws. Then he flew away with her to his home.
Day after day passed and Idun did not come back. The gods did not have the golden apples to eat, so they began to get old.
At last they said, "Who let the apples go?"
Then Loki looked pale and the gods said, "Loki, you did it." And Loki said, "Yes, I did."
He did not tell a story that time.
Then Loki said, "I will get Idun and the apples back, if I may have the falcon suit."
The gods said, "You may have it, if you will bring the apples back."
Loki put on the falcon suit and flew away. He looked like a big bird flying.
When Loki came to the giant's home, he was glad the giant was not there. He changed Idun into a nut and then flew away with the nut.
When the giant came home, Idun was gone. The golden apples were gone, too.
Then the giant put on his eagle suit and flew after Loki.
Loki heard the eagle coming. Loki flew faster.
Poor Loki was all out of breath. The eagle flew faster and faster.
Then the gods got on the walls to look for Loki. They saw him coming and the eagle after him.
So they made fires on the walls. At last Loki flew over the walls.
Then the gods lighted the fires. The fires blazed up.
The eagle flew into the fire and was burned.
As soon as Loki put the nut down, it changed to Idun.
The gods ate the beautiful golden apples and were young again.