Stoick is given a journal, and writes of his struggles. For I Write.
|My name is Stoick Halvarsson Haddock. Yesterday I turned seven, and Papa gave me this book to write in. He said all the Haddock Chieftains and their Heirs had a journal, and it was time to start mine. |
Papa’s name is Halvar the Unflinching, and he is the best Chief Berk has ever had. He is very tall and wide across, and smart besides. He says some Vikings use their muscles too much and their brains not enough, but we won’t make that mistake, because thinking is important.
I did not mean to write ‘won’t.’ It is improper, and I must always use will not. Mama says proper language matters. I do not if it is matters as much as thinking.
I must stop now. Mama is calling me for nattmal, and does not like me to be late.
I am Stoick, the Hope and Heir of the Hairy Hooligan tribe. Papa said other people will read my words one day, so I am making sure certain the people who read this know who I am. Papa showed me inside his journal. The book is big, but his writing is small and neat. My runes are bigger and still sloppy, but if I practice, he says I will get better.
I did not write about my birthday. Turning seven is a special singular time. Girls get needles and thread and a kitchen book for women’s studies. Boys can become apprentices. I am following Papa as Chief, so I am a proper heir now. Papa gave me a real sword, made of iron, so I I can train to fight. Mama gave me a fur vest. Papa wears a fur cape because he’s the Chief, and now I can wear the vest, because I’m I am a proper Heir.
I trained with my sword today. I have rules to follow. I can use only my training space to practice, and when I go, I have to stretch first, then run in circles ten times. After that, I practice my footwork pattern on firm ground, before I can use the sword. Papa gave me a pole shaped like a man, and I have to strike the legs. Papa says to stand solid on the ground, and pay attention to where I plan to hit, so my body learns how to move.
I cannot write more. Mama is going out and says I must come. I still need to finish my figuring and go practice with my sword. I hope this does not make me late for training.
I need to do my book learning, but Mama left and told me to mind my brother Flint. Flint is four-and-more. He does not listen to me and makes a commotion, even when he is supposed to behave. I cannot pay attention to my lessons, but I will not play with him, so I am writing in my journal. I hope I am doing a right thing. Papa never said I could write about my brother, but if I am wrong, he will tell me.
I hope Mama comes home. I have not practiced my Latin, or completed my history and figuring. Shirking my tasks is not allowed, but I cannot pursue schooling and watch my brother.
In front if everyone, Mama said I was the Heir heir and would have new work. This is only one day of minding Flint, so I will work faster once Mama is here. Tomorrow I will not need to hurry, because Mama will have the brat.
I am stopping now, Flint is grabbing for this book.
I am in the smithy. Papa told Brenna and Flint to take a long walk, and sent me here. I do not think I am in trouble with Papa, but Flint is. Mama does not care if my brother tells lies to make me wrong. He is a bad liar, but his mama thinks he tells the truth.
Papa came home and Mama told him I was his son and Flint was hers. She does not doesna love Papa’s son, only the baby. Papa pushed and pushed until Flint told all his wrongdoings. For more than a week, he treated me cruelly, and Papa said I didna trust him or want to be with him.
Papa gave Flint a bad punishing. ‘Twas fair, but the sprout messed up too many times, and ‘tis a lot to take.
I dinna care one scrap.
The chieftess is unhappy her boy had a nasty punishment. She gave up on me to spoil him, when she isna supposed to chase any of us away. All her care is for her son, and she hates me.
I hate her back.
The vest is on the ground. I stamped on it, but I couldna ruin it. I dinna like anything from her, and the vest, I liked the vest, but she hates me and I hate the vest. Master Blacksmith Borkeson took the vest and hung it on a hook, then told me to be careful of it. He grabbed my ear and said it belongs to the heir and he will get upset with me if I wreck it. My ear still hurts.
I will damage her. Her name is chieftess or mother, not mama. I wilna be proper in my writing. She canna keep me home or give me work, because my duty is to the tribe, and that comes first. I will use ordinary words, words I like. When I am around her, I will be proper. Around her, I will be extra proper. My manners will be impeccable good. I will fancy up my speech, using long words. The chieftess an have all the things she wants, but she wilna have me, ever.
Coalie, I mean Master Blacksmith Borkeson, says I need to get off my rump and get to work. I mustna make him wait. Papa will fetch me later, but I have to follow Master Borkeson rules. Breaking them only brings trouble.
Stoick Halvarsson Haddock