Ask and Embla

Ask and Embla, man and woman, named for ash and elm, were born in the first days of the world. They were born on opposite sides of the great divide, though, and so they spent their first lives each yearning for the other, unable to cross the roiling chaos that separated them. (This was no longer Ginungagap, you understand, but it was still far too broad a chasm for mere humans to cross.)

On the north side of the gap, Ask taught the mockingbird to sing in his voice. When the bird flew south, over the divide, he sang Ask’s love songs to Embla. Embla, for her part, taught the parrot to sing in her voice, and sent it north, to serenade Ask.

When the lovers died, never having touched, the Gods themselves saw what they had done, and between them, they closed the little Ginungagap that had kept them apart in life. They sewed it shut with an ash tree and an elm tree, winding the one around the other, and so, now, ever after, man and woman, Ask and Embla, are together.

Now go fetch me some mead. I’m thirsty.

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