Who is eight-legged horse Sleipnir?

The saga begins with the gods needing Asgard to be protected while Thor was away. They decide to have a wall built around Asgard. A single man with his horse appeared and offered to do it. He wanted the hand of Freya in marriage, the sun and the moon as payment. The gods laughed at him but Loki saw the chance for some free labor so he convinced the gods to accept this man's offer but give him only one year to complete the wall.

The gods agreed that it was a good idea to get free labor and Freya was pissed. The man agreed to the terms and the gods thought they would get a years worth of labor for nothing. As the next few weeks went by, it became painfully apparent that this man had an incredible strength and his horse could drag the largest loads of stone from the quarry. The work on the wall was under way and making scary good progress.

As the weeks turned into months, the gods began to realize they may have made a mistake. He and his stallion toiled away day after day, bringing load after load of stone to the wall. His sled had dug deep trenches in the earth under the weight of the stone, but his stallion never tired. They gave this man an oath but thought he would fail for sure. When it came down to the last week of the deadline, Freya was beyond irate at Loki. The wall was close to being finished and it was obvious this man was going to be able to hold up his end of the bargain as he and his horse drug the largest stones from the quarry miles away like it was nothing.

The gods became angry at Loki, he was the one that convinced them to make an oath with this man. Freya was particularly pissed. Under the pressure of the other gods, he had to sabotage the wall building somehow.

On the last day of the year, the wall only lacked one more load of stones. The gods stood at the gate nervously watching, and Thor joined them fresh back from battle and eager to see what was going on.

The man whistled for his faithful stallion in order to get the last load, but the horse stood in the field and for the first time, disobeyed his master. The man, confused, whistled again and the horse just turned and faced the woods. There in the woods stood a beautiful mare. She was prancing around and showing off and had caught the undivided attention of the stallion. The stallion ignored his master and galloped off to explore the new girl in town, leaving the man to fail at his mission. The man was irate and accused the gods of cheating. This pissed Odin off of course as he realized a long time ago that the man could not have worked as hard as he had and been merely a man as he claimed.

The man revealed that he was a giant and had used magic to disguise himself and wanted his payment and for the gods to uphold their end of the oath. When Odin refused the giant charged and Thor stepped in and killed the giant. The stallion and mare were never seen again, but it was noted that Loki was gone. They were sure he probably had a hand in the distraction of the stallion but he didn't return after the giant was killed.

Many of the Gods thought Loki had disappeared waiting for the turmoil to pass, as he so often does, and they new he would be back eventually. And he did return. But it was 9 months later and he had a foul with him that would not leave Loki's side. The foul was beautiful and had 8 legs that could carry him faster than any other horse that ever existed. Loki presented the baby to Odin as a gift. All the gods had their suspicions on how the shape shifter Loki distracted the stallion and then returned with a 8 legged Sleipnir foul exactly 9 months later, but everyone knew not to question him to his face about it.

Written by Cherish Erin


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