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The Tinker's Tools
by A. D. Barncord Doerr
Copyright © 1998

One night, while Thor was celebrating with his warriors, Loki, the trickster, stole his hammer. To vex the god of thunder, he placed the hammer in an indestructable box with a very devious lock. The next morning, when Thor awoke, Vahalla rang with his anger.

"Loki! You misbegotten scoundrel! I'll tear your limbs off and use you for target practice! Where's my hammer!" thundered Thor.

"O Great Thor. I wouldn't dream of stealing your hammer. I only placed it in a strong box to keep it safe. Here is its key." Loki handed Thor a key made of pure copper. As Thor grasped the key, his great strength crushed it, making it unusable. He looked at Loki, who was laughing so hard, that he fell to the ground. Thor's anger had no words and with one swift kick, he actually booted Loki out of Valhalla.

Thor then called his children, the Dwarves, to help him open the box. At that time the dwarves were only skilled at mining and weapon making. With other hammers and swords, they tried to pry open the box, but to no avail. The box would not yield to force and the lock was too intrincate for the dwarves to pick. One dwarf, at Thor's command, went out to search for the best locksmiths in the land. As the dwarf supped at an inn, he overheard talk of a tinker of great skill. He walked over to the diners and asked where he could find this tinker. When he located the tinker, the dwarf was surprised to find a man with only a pack and a few tools. He asked the tinker to fashion a clasp. The dwarf was delighted when he saw the fine workmanship. Immediately he brought the tinker to Vahalla.

Thor stared in disbelief as he watch the tinker pick the lock. The only thing that slowed the tinker down was the need to get one of his other tools. After his hammer was returned to him, Thor looked thoughtfully at the tinker.

"I see you like to travler light, Master Tinker. You also work fast. May I see your tools?"

The tinker handed his pack to the god. Thor looked inside and motioned one of the dwarves over. He whispered something to the dwarf, who immediately to the pack and left.

"Wait!" cried the tinker, "What are you planning to do to my tools!"

Thor smiled, "Do not worry, Master Tinker, they shall be returned to you. Let us now drink to your skill." After a few mugs of mead, the tinker had forgotten about his tools until dwarf returned with his pack. Inside, he found all his tool combined into a single one which he could carry on his belt. This was the gift of Thor.

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Copyright © 1998, Amanda D. Barncord Doerr