The Thunder-God And His Brother
A Norse Legend
Tiu, Ziu, or Tyr, were three names for one of Woden's sons. Tiu was the brother of Thor, and his mother, Frigga, was always proud of his courage in war and of his skill and strength in battle. The soldiers of the Northland cried to him for help as often as they did to his father, Woden.
Tiu's sign was a sword, and the brave old kings of Norway and their followers used to engrave his name upon their bright steel blades that they might please the great warrior who lived in Asgard. It was thought that if Tiu saw his name written in the strange Runic letters he would give his help to the man who honored that name and keep his good sword sharp.
Thor and Tiu went, in the olden time, to the house of a giant to secure a large kettle which was in the giant's house.
Thor's goats drew with magic swiftness the chariot in which the two rode, and Thor and Tiu arrived at the house in a few moments.
The giant's wife hid the two huge visitors under one of the many caldrons she had in her kitchen. When her husband came he broke all the kettles but one by just glancing at them. He welcomed his visitors in a very grim way and ordered them to be seated at the table with him. Thor ate so much that the giant grew angry, but Thor told him he would repay all by bringing him fish from the sea the next day.
Thor caught two whales and carried them to the giant's house, as he had promised. The giant laughingly said that he would give him one of the kettles if he could carry it. Tiu tried twice and failed, but Thor, putting on his magic belt, lifted the kettle and set it on his head like a cap.
Then the goats took the two sons of Woden back to their home in Asgard.
If anyone should tell you that the giant was winter, and his kettles the strangely shaped icebergs of the arctic North, would you believe it? Thor was the god of thunder riding in the clouds with his brother, the god of bravery and of the strong winds.
Tiu's name has been given to the day before Woden's day, and when Tuesday comes, try to be as true, brave, and swift as Tiu, the son of Woden.
Sources And Further Reading
Project Gutenberg Classic Myths Retold by Mary Catherine Judd with drawings entirely from classic sources