Mama wants Stoick to mind his young brother, opposing his Papa’s instructions. WIP
|‘Twas Stoick’s seventh birthday, an occasion of note. Each birthday brought new things, but turning seven was huge. Seven was the year girls received their first woman’s things, and began to study cooking, sewing, and other grown skills. It was the year a child could truly learn the family trade or be apprenticed. You had more freedom and more responsibility, and you learned about being a real member of the Hooligan tribe.
Today Stoick began serious chieftain training.
His sister Brenna combed his unruly red hair; he wore his green tunic, the one Mama said matched his eyes, above grey leggings and freshly polished boots. Stoick entered his parent’s sleeping chamber and presented himself to Papa for inspection.
“What is it, lad?” Halvar Haddock addressed his son.
“Do I look acceptable, sir?” He stood as he had been taught: feet planted firm, spine straight, shoulders back.
“Aye, ye look fitting from top to toe. Well done.” Stoick let out his breath, not knowing he held it til then. “Did Brenna help with yer hair? ‘Tis less of a tangle than usual.” Papa enjoyed teasing, though it wasna cruel.
“She offered, and I didna want to look a mess. I did thank her.” Did it count against him, taking help? He hoped not.
“She shares in yer pleasure—‘twas only a couple of years back Brenna turned seven, and learned how grand it is.” Papa stood, rolled his shoulders, and walked alongside his son as they entered the great room together.
Dagmal was wonderful. Mama served all his favorites, even herring, and he was permitted to choose first. He drank a huge mugful of cider, instead of the little bit Mama allowed, and he received presents. His sister gave him a belt she made, and Flint, his little brother, gave him a good piece of flint. He laughed, but the gift was genuine, to help him light fires as needed. Mama provided him with a fur vest, a sign he was the heir to Berk.
Papa’s gift was a new training sword, made of iron. The Haddock clan crest was engraved into the hilt, as were the runes SHH, for Stoick Halvarsson Haddock. He ran his fingers over the etching, marveling it bore his initials and clan crest. This was a true weapon, one that was capable of real cuts and stabs. He would be trusted to risk hurting himself or others, to keep it clean and oiled, to leave it sheathed when not training. The gravity of the gift penetrated, and Stoick looked at Papa.
“This is truly mine, Papa? It is a fine thing, even for age seven. Are ye certain Coalie gave ye the correct one?”
Brenna giggled. “Stoick, you are worse than I was when I got my kitchen book. Find another Haddock with those initials, if you can.” Brenna shook her head. “Mama and Papa do not play tricks on us, brother.”