Loke was a mischievous fellow. He was always getting the other gods into trouble. Sometimes they shut him up. But they always let him out, because he was so cunning that he could help them to do things they could not do for themselves.
Once he crossed the rainbow bridge to Jotunheim, the land of the giants, and brought home a giantess for his wife.
Very strange children Loke had. One of them was the Fenris-wolf . He was named Fenrer. All the gods knew he was a wolf as soon as they saw him.
But he went about among the children, playing with them like a good-natured dog, and the gods thought there was no harm in him.
Fenrer grew larger and larger, and the gods began to look at him with distrust. They feared he might some day grow too strong for them.
But Fenrer always looked good-natured, and harmed no one. He did not even show that he had great strength. So the gods could not have the heart to kill him.
But they put it off too long. One day they found Fenrer had grown so strong that it was almost too late to do anything with him.
All the gods worked day and night until they had forged a chain they thought strong enough to hind the wolf.
Knowing they could not bind Fenrer against his will, all the gods came together for games. Thor crushed mountains with his hammer. The other gods showed their strength by lifting, and leaping, and wrestling.
Then they brought out the chain and told Fenrer to let them bind him with it, so that he might show his strength by breaking it.
Fenrer knew that he could break the chain, so he allowed himself to be bound. He only drew in a deep breath and the chain dropped into pieces.
Then the gods forged a chain twice as strong as the first. Fenrer saw that this chain would be hard to break. But breaking the first chain had made him stronger. So he allowed this one to he put on him.
This, too, he broke, and the gods were in despair. They knew they could never make a stronger chain, and they feared the wolf more than ever.
Odin took his horse, Sleipner, and went on a seven days’ journey to the home of the dwarfs. They lived deep down in the earth, and had charge of the gold and diamonds and all other precious things. They were the most cunning of blacksmiths.
When Odin told the little people what he wanted, they all cried, “Never fear, Father Odin! We can make a chain that will bind the wolf.”
When the chain was made it was as light and delicate as a spider’s web, but Odin knew it could never be broken.
As soon as Fenrer saw the chain, he was afraid of it. He knew if it were only a cobweb they never care to put it on him. would not allow himself to be bound unless a god’s hand was put into his mouth. At this the gods only looked at one another. After a little time, Tyr, the bravest of all the gods, put his hand into the wolf’s mouth.
The moment the chain touched Fenrer he knew he could never break it, and he bit off the god’s hand.
But the Fenris-wolf was bound forever.