Freya’s cats: Bygul and Trjegul

To start with the correction of a common misconception: Norse mythology is not strictly limited to Norway. The stories told originate in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and their overseas territories, among them the Faroe islands and Greenland: a rather large area referred to as the Nordic countries.
While reading the old tales in a new guise from the hand of master storyteller Neil Gaiman in his book ‘Norse Mythology’, I did not only get carried away by his narrative skills. The book also reminded me, that in the world of the gods anything is possible. Thus, goddess of fertility and love Freya is transported on a chariot pulled by cats. The goddess was not only gorgeous, but also combative: she would not pass by an opportunity to take part in battles. 
But would it be even possible for two pussies to transport a full-grown – although divine – woman? Perhaps aided by the touch of the hand of a god! Taken into consideration Frey was pulled along by a bore and Thor by goats, it doesn’t seem necessary to ponder about the issue for too long. 

Freya and her cats

According to a Russian tale, Freya’s cats were a gift of the god of thunder, Thor. After having fallen asleep while fishing, he had been roughly woken up by a horrible sound. It turned out to be the magical cat Bayun, who had been lulling his two kittens to sleep. After the mother had left to his own device with the little ones, he had been a single parent.  He asked Thor for his help, who came up with the idea of giving them to Freya. Bayun metamorphosed into a bird and flew away, the kittens came under the care of the goddess. They grew up to be the cats pulling her chariot: Bygul and Trjegul. 

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