Once Odin and Loke were traveling together. They came to a field where a herd of black-horned oxen were grazing. They were very hungry, so they killed one of the oxen.
But they tried in vain to cook the meat. It stayed raw in spite of the hottest fire they could make.
A huge eagle flew to a tree near them and called, “I will make the fire burn if you will share with me.”
The gods were very glad to do anything that would give them food. So they promised to share with the eagle.
In a short time the meat was cooked. The eagle flew down and laid hold of half of it.
Loke was angry and struck the eagle with a pole. To his surprise, the pole stuck fast, and he could not let it go.
He was dragged over rocks and bushes until he begged for mercy.
Then the eagle changed into the renowned giant, Thjasse. The giant said he would not let Loke go until he promised to deliver Idun and her apples into his hands.
Half dead with fright, Loke promised. But he did not know how he could keep his promise.
Idun kept the apples in a strong box. Every day she gave some of them to the gods.
When Loke returned he told her he had seen much finer apples than hers just outside of Asgard.
Idun wished to compare her apples with those Loke had seen. So she took the box and went with him.
As soon as they were outside Thjasse came in shape of an eagle. He carried Idun and her apples to Jotunheim.
Soon the gods found themselves growing old and gray because they had no apples to eat.
When they inquired, they found that Loke was at the bottom of the mischief as usual.
The gods threatened to kill Loke if he did not bring back Idun and her apples.
Loke was frightened. He borrowed Freyja’s falcon plumage and flew to Jotunheim.
Thjasse was out fishing. Loke changed Idun into a nut and flew back to Asgard with the nut between his claws.
Thjasse saw him and followed closely. The gods feared Loke would be overtaken. So they put chips on the walls of Asgard. The instant Loke was over they set fire to the chips.
Thjasse could not stop in time, and his eagle plumage was burned. He fell down into the streets of the city and was slain by the gods.