Hiccup conceives of chairs that can be stored and assembled at need.
Hiccup tied twine around the sword hilt, marking completed work. The smithy had no new orders, Gobber was sipping on his mead, and the cold kept many in the Hooligan tribe inside.
“Gobber?” He practiced this approach for three days. His dad said planning counted for a lot when you need to do a task, and Stoick the Vast didn’t lie. “I have a question. You told me to imagine something I can make when I’m better at smithing. I have an idea, a good one.”
“Alright, let’s hear it.”
Phew. Hiccup was made to take apart his spear shooter, and the forge still reeked from the trap explosion, but this would go well.
“Dad has a chair in Mead Hall, right? There’s benches, but he has a huge throne, because benches are too small.” Most things were too small for his father. Stoick the Vast was seven feet tall, and three times wider than Hiccup.
“The Chief always has a throne, Hiccup, no matter what his size. You’ll have one someday, though it’ll be a lot smaller.”
“He has a separate seat because he’s the Chief, but if he was ordinary, he’d have to use a bench.” He doesn’t fit on a bench unless he shoves it way out, and no one else sitting there can reach the table.”
“True enough. What’s this have to do with your good idea, lad?” He’s listening. Don’t muck this up.
“Mead Hall needs more chairs.” Gobber looked at him askance. “Sometimes other people don’t fit on benches. Ruff and Tuff’s mom is huge in front, and the twins say her back hurts all the time. She sticks out to here,” Hiccup measured a cubit’s worth of distance, “right now. She has to stand or sit away from everyone. It’s not fair, Gobber, not when her back hurts.”
“So you want to smith Gerda a chair? The notions sound, I’ll give you that. You don’t have the skills, not at two years into your apprenticeship. Most of our metal goes for weapons, you know that. Sorry, Hiccup.”
“I don’t want to smith a chair. The carpenters can make them out of wood. If they come apart, the pieces can sit in a room until we need them. Then people who are sick or expecting can sit in Mead Hall, instead of being alone.”
Gobber traded his mug prosthetic for the brush one, and combed one side of his moustache. He sometimes did that to think. “Huh. It’s possible. There’s enough room to store the pieces if we stack them.” He began combing the other side. “Give me another reason it’s worth doing.”
“Um, I think it shows,” Hiccup scrambled for an idea, “the tribe cares about everyone. Sick people get medicine, and when homes get burned, we help rebuild them. Some folks need another place to sit, and chairs help them. We’re Hooligans, and our tribe looks out for everyone.”
“You won’t get credit for the idea, y’know. Building furniture isn’t smithy work, and the carpenters will get the thanks, or your dad.”
“Like that’s new. You and Dad will know, and Magnus Iverson.” A few years back, Magnus crafted Hiccup a stool small enough to fit him, and they’d gotten along since then. “I asked him about it, and he’s making a little one to show me.”
“That’s called a prototype, lad. I’ve got to say, you prepared well, and made a decent argument. Now find one more thing to support your notion, and sort out what problems you have to solve. I will back you on this, apprentice.”
“Really? Thanks, Gobber. A lot, I mean. Thanks a lot.” Hiccup bounced in place, excited. It was a good idea this time.