Neil Gaiman by Odd;the Frost Giants

Neil Gaiman by Odd;the Frost Giants

Author:Odd;the Frost Giants
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
Tags: Children: Grades 3-4, Legends, Fiction, Myths, Magic, Giants, Fables, Fairy Tales & Folklore - General, Thor (Norse deity), Science Fiction, Ages 9-12 Fiction, Heroes, Animals, Odin (Norse deity), Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy & Magic, Mythology, Loki (Norse deity), Norse, Children's Books, General, Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Folklore, & Fables - Norse
ISBN: 9780061671739
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 2009-09-08T07:00:00+00:00

It was twilight by the time the bear brought back the largest trout Odd had ever seen. The boy gutted it with his knife (the fox devoured the raw guts enthusiastically), then he speared it through with a long stick, cut two forked sticks to make an improvised spit and he roasted it over the fire, turning it every few minutes to ensure it did not burn.

When the fish was cooked, the eagle took the head, and the other three divided the meat between them, the bear eating more than the other two put together.

The twilight edged imperceptibly into night, and a huge, dark-yellow moon began to rise on the horizon, achingly slowly.

When they had finished eating, the fox went to sleep beside the fire, and the eagle flapped heavily off into a dead pine to sleep. Odd took the leftover fish and pushed it into a drift of snow, to keep it fresh, as his mother had taught him.

The bear looked at Odd. Then it said casually, “You must be thirsty. Come on. Let’s look for some water.”

Odd climbed onto the bear’s broad back, and held tight as it lumbered off into the darkness of the forest.

It didn’t feel like they were looking for anything, though. It felt like the bear knew exactly where he was going, that he was heading somewhere. Up a ridge and down into a small gorge and through a copse of trees, magical in its stillness, and then they were pushing through scratchy gorse, and now they were in a small clearing, in the center of which was a pool of liquid water.

“Careful,” said the bear, quietly. “It goes down a long way.”

Odd stared. The yellow moonlight was deceptive, but still…

“There are shapes moving in the water,” he said.

“Nothing in there that will hurt you,” said the bear. “They’re just reflections, really. It’s safe to drink. I give you my word.”

Odd untied his wooden cup from his belt. He dipped it into the water, and he drank. The water was refreshing and strangely sweet. He had not realized how thirsty he had been, and he filled and emptied his wooden cup four times.

And then he yawned. “Feel so sleepy.”

“It’s all the travelling,” said the bear. “Here. Let me.” It pulled over several fallen fir branches at the edge of the clearing with its teeth. “Curl up on these.”

“But the others…” said Odd.

“I’ll tell them you fell asleep in the woods,” said the bear. “Just don’t go wandering off. For now, just rest.”

And the bear lay down on the branches, crushing them under its bulk. The boy lay beside the animal, smelling the deep bearish scent of it, pushing against the fur and feeling the softness and the warmth.

The world was comfortable and quiet and warm. He was safe, and everything was enclosed by the dark…

When he opened his eyes once more, he was cold, and he was alone, and the moon was huge and white and high in the sky. More than twice as


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