Stoick tells four year old Hiccup he’s beginning school
|Stoick was tired. The day had been long and the problems arrived nonstop. A simple day would have involved checking on repairs to the baker’s and several halls damaged in the last dragon raid, a discussion about the fishing fleet with several of the fishermen, and examining the island of Berk for unnoticed natural hazards that could injure someone. Unfortunately, the citizens of Berk believed Stoick the Vast was there to solve every squabble, whether it was his job or not. Being Chief was a constant struggle to look after Berk while contending with quarreling neighbors, escaped sheep, and the problems chronic complainers assaulted him with. Why could these people not settle their own squabbles? Certainly he had enough to do already.
Stoick looked across the table at his boy Hiccup. “Yes, son?”
“Did you want a block of ice? You know, for your head?”
Apparently, Stoick’s face spoke volumes. He grimaced and asked Hiccup, “Do I look like I need ice, son?”
“Yeah, Daddy, you have a look that comes before you ask me for ice. I’ll bring you some now.” Hiccup hopped down to fetch the block for Stoick.
“I have a look for ice and my four year old son recognizes it. My boy is looking after me. That’s backwards, Stoick mused. He took the block from Hiccup, asking, “How long have I had a look for ice, son?”
“Well, I don’t know. But you had it when someone stole the eggs and hid them in a tree.”
Ah, yes. It was Autumn then, and it happened three days in a row. He suspected the Larsson boy of that stunt but lacked evidence. So, seven months ago.
“Well, Hiccup, thank you. You’re a help to your Dad tonight. Your mother would be proud. Now,” Stoick continued, “I have news for you. You’ve shown you’re old enough to pay attention and learn, so I’m setting you up to start schooling. Once I find you a teacher, “ Stoick smiled, “You can begin on runes and numbers.”
Hiccup gaped, his green eyes alight with excitement. The joy on his face was startlingly fierce, and his eyes burned with intensity. Stoick had never seen such a young child look that way; the passion in the boy’s eyes existed on the faces of warriors, not youngsters. Hiccup looked prepared to fight a dragon and win.
Hiccup lifted his chin. “I will work hard at my lessons,” he stated firmly, “and learn everything. I will make you proud, Dad.”
Before Stoick, his lad was standing straight and pledging to fight and conquer this challenge. Not mere pleasure to learn, but the determination to excel, radiated from his small frame. The resolve in Hiccup was palpable and powerful, and Stoick was affected to witness it.
“My son,” Stoick responded,” I am proud already.”