Stoick receives his first journal, and describes his life with his family. Draft two.
|Author’s Note: Thus is a work of fanfiction. The rights to How to Train Your Dragon remain with Cressida Cowell and Dreamworks. Only the plot and original characters are mine. |
I’m sorry, but it’s true.
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My name is Stoick Halvarsson Haddock, and I am the Hope and Air to the Hairy Hooligen tribe on Berk. Papa gave me this book to write down my thoughts. He said all the Haddock Chiefs and their Airs had a journal and it was time to start mine.
Papa’s name is Halvar Who-Does-Not-Back-Away, 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 theyr noggin not enough, but we won’t make that mistake, because thinking is important.
Mama’s name is Veronika. She is tall too, but thin. She wears a braid because she is a wife. Her braid is odd, because she was born in the Meathead tribe, and wife braids there are not like the ones on Berk. Mama said she will read this journal, because proper speaking and writing matters. I do not know if it matters as much as thinking. I will ask Papa.
I must go, Mama wants me to come eat.
I forgot to write in this journal for three days. Papa asked to see it, and showed me the inside of his journal. The book is big, but his writing is small and neat. He says other people will read my words one day, so I am making my runes tidy.
I will write about my birthday. Turning seven is a special time. Girls get needles and thread and a kitchen book so they can learn women’s duties. Boys can become aprentaces. Girls and boys can work in their family jobs. I am going to be Chief after Papa, and that is my family job.
On my birthday, Papa gave me this journal and a new sword. The sword is made of iron, and can make real cuts and stabs. He did not buy it made, but had Master Borkeson smith it. Master Borkeson cut my initials into the sword, and gave me a sheath for my birthday present.
Mama gave me The Vest. It is made of bear fur, like Papa’s cape. The Vest is the mark of the Heir, and I must use it always, like Papa does the Chief’s Cape. I have it because I am seven, and the heir gets his Vest then. My Vest is as grand as my sword, and maybe better than my journal.
Papa took me to my training place today, and taught me to stretch my body and run in a big circle. I must start with this when I train, and run the circle ten times. Then he did a footwork pattern, and I followed the steps. He said I fared well for my first time. We will come back tomorrow and practice again.
Mama looked at my journal, and taught me how to spell Hooligan and Heir. She said Papa is called Halvar the Unflinching. Mama wanted me to make a black space to cover my wrong spelling, but Papa says drawing a line across the word is neater. I am using Papa’s idea. I hope Mama does not mind when she reads my journal.
I cannot write more. Mama is going out and says I must come. She says when we come back, I need to learn better words and practice my spelling. I still must finish my figuring and go stretch and run. I hope going with Mama does not make me late.
Papa trained with me for six days. He told me now I have trained enough with him, I can do it alone. He will watch me sometimes, but I do not have to wait for him. Picking a time to train is my job. I picked doing lessons in the morning, and training midday.
I need to do my book learning, but Mama went out after dagmal, and left Flint behind for Brenna and me to watch. Brenna is my big sister and Flint my little brother. Flint has no work except for behaving and helping out. He did not behave until Brenna stuck him in a corner. When she left for her lessons, I had to tend him alone.
He does not listen or play by himself, but makes a fuss, with shouts and running in the house. He wants me to play with him. I cannot study with him here, but I will not play with such a pest, and am writing in my journal. That is a duty, like book learning and serving the tribe, so I can do one part of my work.
I have not practiced my Latin, or done all of my History and figuring. Shirking my tasks is not allowed, but I cannot pursue my lessons and watch my brother.
On my birthday, Mama smiled and said I was the Heir heir and would have new work. Minding Flint is old work, but I never did it by myself before. Maybe this makes it new work. Mrs. Iverson watches Flint when Mama cannot, so she must be sick. But it is only one day of tending him, and I can work faster when Mama gets home. Tomorrow I will not need to hurry, because Mama will have the brat my brother.
Mama expects me to use better words, so I wrote Shirking and Pursue in one sentence to make her smile. She has a pretty smile.
Flint has Brenna’s sewing needles and is stabbing them into the table. I am stopping now.
At dagmal, Flint was told to say sorry to Brenna about breaking her needles. I got a much worse punishment for hiding them when I was four-and-more, and my sister did not forgive me for three days. She has the same memory, and kept looking at me. I said Flint acted wrongly, and Mama said she is in charge, not Stoick. Then she said the word for acting wrongly is misbehaving, and made me spell it out loud six times. I left after dagmal to serve the tribe.
I served the tribe by foraging for Mrs. Larssen, who has family visiting. She was happy for the cloudberries and garlic. She thanked me, and said she would tell Papa and Mama I helped her. I said I would go again if she wanted.
I went home to lessons. Mama scolded me for calling Flint a pest and a brat in my journal, even if I crossed out brat later. She said nothing about my better words, and didn’tdid not smile at me. Brenna would not let Flint near her or her things, so he wanted to play with me. I told him I had lessons to do, and work after that. Mama said after I am done with my lessons, I would take him on my work.
I was going to see the lead shipright with questions, but the docks are too slippery for a boy of four. Mama said to do something in the village. I cannot work, because working for the tradesmen means lifting and cleaning and carrying heavy things, and Flint will pester me and get in the way. I went to the smithy and tried to ask about using my sword, but Flint tugged on my clothes and whinged like a tiny one. Master Borkeson gave a large scowl at Flint acting tiny, and I had to drag him home before he got in trouble. Being in trouble with Master Borkeson is nasty.
Maybe I will let him misbehave next time.
Flint is too old to beg or expect treats from the baker, but told Mama I got him no sweets. I had no coin, and told Mama all that happened, and she gave him a tiny scolding. Annoying Master Borkeson is more than tiny scolding trouble, but Flint did not even get put in a corner.
In two days, Flint will be four-and-more, and can get into trouble with Papa. Papa is firmer, with keeping silent and giving chores and other hard things. Papa will make him obey, and he won’twill not like it.
Papa says if I work hard at my studies and do not shirk my duty, he will take me on his work. I want to go with him, but Flint does not let me study. What Papa asks questions, I will have no answers, and be in trouble. I cannot criticize Mama, so I am stuck.
I am weary of Flint and it is harder to like him today. I hope he goes to bed early and sleeps all of tomorrow, so I can be left alone.
I hope Mama does not read this, because she will scold me again.
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Four and more means four-and-a-half.
The Vikings had two daily meals. Dagmal, or “day meal” is breakfast, and nattmal, meaning “night meal,” is the evening meal.