The cow had nothing for her food but snow and ice. One day she was licking an icy stone, which tasted salty to her, when Ymir noticed that the more the cow licked it, the plainer became the outline of the shape. And when evening came Ymir saw a head of hair thrusting itself through the icy rock. Next day the cow went on with her meal, and at night-time a man’s head appeared above the rock. On the third day the cow licked away the ice till a man stepped forth, He was tall and powerful and handsome. This was someone who was good; and though he came from ice his heart was warm. He was the ancestor of the kind gods. Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve were his grandsons, and as soon as they were born they became enemies of the race of giants.

After a few giant years there was a great battle, for Odin and his brothers wished to keep only good living. They attacked the giant Ymir, first of all his race, and after hard fighting slew him. Ymir was so huge that when he died, a mighty river of blood flowed from the wounds which Odin had given him; it was a stream so large that it flooded all space. Now the frost-giants, his children and grandchildren, were drowned in it, except one who escaped with his wife in a chest. And but for the saving of these two, that would have been the end of the race of giants.

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