A Toad and a Dormouse lived very near to one another in two homes among the roots of a tree by a babbling stream. In the Spring it rained heavily, and both the Toad and the Dormouse barely escaped to higher ground as the stream rose and flooded both their homes. When the water fell, the Toad and the Dormouse returned together to survey the damage. They were shocked to see all their belongings in both their homes jumbled every which way by the flood waters. Everythng they owned was wet and covered in mud.
The Toad said to the Dormouse, "It is getting dark and we should rest. We have a lot of work to do tomorrow cleaning up both our homes. Let's find a comfortable place to sleep nearby." The Dormouse nodded and followed the Toad, but the whole time he kept looking back at his home and wringing his hands. "What will I do, what will I do? Such a mess, such a mess. I'll never get it cleaned up!"
The Toad led the Dormouse to a comfortable grassy spot, pulled some soft leaves over himself as a blanket, and fell promptly to sleep with a peaceful look upon his face. He had a deep and restful sleep throughout the night. But the Dormouse could not sit still. He paced back and forth, muttering and tittering complaints under his breath about the horrible mess in his house and all the work he must do the next day. He worried and fretted half the night before he collapsed into a fitfull sleep.
The Dormouse awoke late in the morning, and noticed that the Toad was gone from his makeshift bed. He climbed to his feet, rubbed his tired eyes, and went looking for his friend. He found the Toad quickly enough, sitting calming outside his home. He was smiling and enjoying the warmth of the sun. When the Toad saw the Dormouse approaching he said, "Ah, there you are my furry friend. While you were sleeping in late, I finished cleaning and straightening my home."
The Dormouse was surprised. "You're done cleaning up your home already? I was so worried and upset about my own home, that I couldn't sleep at all!"
The Toad smiled a big grin and clapped his Dormouse friend on the back. "Well no matter how much sleep you lose through fret and worry, your problems remain the same in the morning as they were the night before."
(Hávamál Stanza 23)
Mark Ludwig Stinson
Jotun's Bane Kindred
Temple of Our Heathen Gods