"Hilda, do you like this new world?"
Bright and innocent, the young girl nodded in the face of the All Father.
"Yes, I like it, too." He said. "So, what say you? Shall we head down for a visit?"
Odin mounted his steed, taking Hilda with him. They soared down the Rainbow Bridge and through the heavens. The plains of the world appeared and they landed.
Early people had made a village upon the banks of a river. Between the thatched huts, men and women labored while their children laughed and played.
"You're a child, too, would you like to join them?" Odin asked.
Hilda smiled at the God, then ran into the village. All of the children stopped playing when they saw her. Hilda looked different - and she was. Those living in the settlement were all mere mortals; humans. Hilda was a young Goddess. Everything she did, looked and felt different.
One of the younger kids ran off to fetch his parent, scared by the newcomer. The strange faces they continued to make at Hilda made her upset, and the ran from the town. Surprised by this, Odin didn't see where the young girl had run off to. He dashed through the surrounding areas on Slepnir, calling her name out repeatedly.
But Hilda was far away. She had found a hollow tree stump deep in a wood, and was curled up there, crying.
Odin called upon the other Gods to help him in his search. Finally, Balder managed to seek her out.
"Hilda, why have you been hiding?" He asked calmly.
She shook her head, tears running down her cheeks.
"The people you met weren't scared or angry at you. You're just different."
"Who am I." She mumbled finally.
"You're a Goddess, Hilda. Here." Balder conjured a harp and handed it over. "Play this."
Hilda knew how to play the moment her fingers touched the strings. As a Goddess of Music, it all came naturally to her.
"You should walk in the woods." Balder suggested. "Creatures here have heard no music other than the quiet bird song. I think you'll find that you can make others happy."
Hilda walked for a long time, playing her new harp, but no animal stopped to listen. She soon grew tiresome, and angry that Balder had seemingly lied to her. So she stopped, and rested, and within time Odin caught up to her.
"Hilda, come back to Asgard. You aren't happy here."
Unfortunatly, returning to her place in the universe did not dry her tears. Hilda longed for a greater purpose. And as time passed, and she grew older, what to do became clearer and clearer.
"Father Odin," Hilda said to the Elder God. "I want to live as a human."
"Hilda, please." Odin replied with a slight chuckle. "The humans live pitiful lives. I guarentee each and every one of them would give up everything to live as you do now."
"But they live in peace and happiness."
"You have a happier, better life here in Asgard. You do not fall ill, you do not die, and you do not need to labor. You may just simply play music and live amongst the others."
"No..." Hilda disagreed.
"Very will Hilda. If you are so certain, I will grant you one human year on Earth." Odin said, raising his hand up. "But I promise you, by the end of the year, you will want nothing more than to return safetly to Asgard. As your loving All Father, I will bring you back of course."
He reached out to her, holding a blue jewel.
"Wear this." He instructed. "If you ever wish to come back, this will guide you."
"Thank you, Father Odin. I accept."
Hilda awoke in a deep forest. All she had was her harp and her jewel. Memories of Asgard were flying away faster than she'd prefer, and soon she was only a mortal. Hilda made her way of the woods, and soon came to a small farming village. The people did not gawk, but took her in. They fed her and brought her strength back. All Hilda could offer was song, so she would play for them.
But soon, the people needed help in the fields. The women of the village needed help milking cows, cooking super, sewing clothes and bathing their children. Hilda tried to remember what Odin had told her regarding the jewel around her neck, but the words were all too fleeting.
She left the village, angrily.
"These people work all day. They never have fun."
Soon, a small voice was following her.
"Why are you mad?" It asked.
Hilda stopped cold and turned around, only to find a squirrel.
"Miss, why are you so mad?" It asked again.
"The people in that village," Hilda said. "Work all day. They never stop."
"That's what people do." The squirrel said. "Where are you from?"
Hilda bit her lip. Her eyes welled up.
"I..." She stuttered. "I don't know at all."
"Do you have a name?"
"Hilda...that's pretty! I'm Chiro."
The squirrel walked with Hilda for a long time. She explained how people have to work in order to survive. After a while, Hilda realized that it wasn't so bad. So when the next village appeared, they both decided to live there, provided the people accepted them. Once they came, an elderly woman named Hjamva took them in.
"Child, where have you wandered from?" Hjamva asked.
"Far." Hilda said, ashamed to admit she didn't know.
"You're lucky to have survived. Come." The old woman kneeled down before an altar and gestured Hilda to follow.
"What's this?" Hilda asked. Hjamva looked awestruck.
"This is an altar; where we will thank the Gods for having spared you."
The jewel around Hilda's neck glittered for a moment.
"You're so uncivilized."
Hjamva taught Hilda all the customs of their religion. She learned to take mead on the solstice, and how to tell fortunes with Rune stones. She also began to work with the other housewives, and soon she learned that this life was rewarding and happy. And Hilda lived peacefully in the village for almost a year, until one day,...