01 1.5 The Binding of the Wolf2As time passes, Odin observes Fenrir on the island, romping and playing with all the exuberance you’d expect of a young pup. He spends his mornings catching salmon in the Don River. In the bright afternoons he silently stalks the luminous butterflies of the prairie lands, unaware of how undignified this is for a pup of his massive size. Fenrir appears innocent enough and Odin tries to persuade himself the warning was one of Winds many tricks. Still, he feels unsettled as Fenrir grows larger and more powerful day by day.

One day Odin stands on his terrace entertaining guests as they watch the sun drift over the Black Sea painting the sky in bloody red. Fenrir naps lazily far below in the long shade of a majestic oak when from the edge of the forest, a massive boar streaks after a hare. Fenrir lifts his head upon hearing the boar, and in a mighty bound takes the chase. The boar is a large beast, covered in mud, with prickles of black hair standing every which way. With his thick, curved ivory tusks bent to the ground he continues his raging pursuit, unmindful of Fenrir. The hare slips into the hollow of a log which the boar immediately pummels, rolling it over and down a slope.

Odin and the lesser Gods watch this in amusement, as the day has been rather long and the entertainment uninspiring.

Fenrir, thinking it a game, runs to the log and snatches it up in his enormous jaw, shaking the entire trunk to and fro. The boar, finally taking note of Fenrir, is less than thrilled with his new playmate. He turns to him and gives his stiff legged posture, grunting and groaning in warning. Fenrir just shakes the log all the more, attempting to entice the boar into wrestling for it. The boar, thoroughly enraged now, opens his foaming mouth and dips his head low to the ground, ready to attack. Fenrir drops the log and executes a similar bow, sticking his rump in the air and wagging his tail. Unable to handle this final indignity, the boar charges.

The boar, large as he is, is nothing compared to the size of Fenrir. The mighty wolf pup leaps over the boar in an easy bound, landing on the other side, still swishing his tail irreverently.

This display greatly amuses Odin’s guests and the merry chime of laughter surrounds him. Some of the more boisterous guests wager on the outcome of the exchange.

Meanwhile, the infuriated boar turns, and with a burst of speed lunges at Fenrir again. Fenrir leaps to the side, giving a low playful growl as if to taunt, “Catch me if you can!” By now, the boar is insane with fury. Foam pours from his mouth as he shakes his head from side to side, eyes squinting at his target. He storms Fenrir once more attempting to impale him with his deadly tusks. Fenrir leaps up this time and lands on the boar, rolling him over. He keeps his paws on the boar’s chest and not knowing his own strength, he crushes the boar’s rib cage.

The boar squeals in anguish and Fenrir, who understands the sound of pain, licks his new playmate’s face, trying to comfort him. Alas, it is just a few minutes before the boar takes his last breath and leaves the island of Asgard forever. Fenrir, much saddened at the loss of his new playmate, sits next to the boar and howls his grief at the moon.

Odin’s guests, still highly entertained, applaud loudly as though they have just watched a game of sport. They exchange notes for their wagers and settle back down for more wine and dull music. But Odin runs his fingers through his great white beard and struggles against the feeling of foreboding. A friend who doesn’t know his own strength, he thinks, is worse than an enemy who does. Something must be done.

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