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The Adventures of Little Hiccup: Chapter One

03 Jan

“Hiccup, let’s go!” Stoick roared from the front door. Only a few seconds later a small, very pensive looking toddler trudged into the front room with his head lowered. Stoick noted the sniffle as he hugged the doorframe. “What’s taking you so long?”
“I… I can’t find my left sock,” Hiccup squeaked.
Stoick rolled his eyes and heaved a heavy, frustrated sigh. “That’s the third one this week, Hiccup. What are you doin’ with them all? Your mother won’t be happy when she comes home next month.”
“I’m sorry, Dad. I thought I left it on my chair,” he said, barely above a whisper.
“Stoick, lay off ‘im. Probly trolls got it. Let’s just go fishin’. What d’ya say?”
“Gobber, don’t encourage this! He needs to learn to put his things away.”
Now it was Gobber’s turn to roll his eyes. “Daylight’s burning. Just leave it and let’s go fishing. He’s got to have other socks, for Odin’s sake!”
“Fine. But next time, I swear to Thor he will learn his lesson. Just go get another sock, Hiccup.” Stoick waved an arm telling his son to leave. Hiccup scampered away obediently and came back a few minutes later.
Stoick stomped out of the house leaving Gobber and Hiccup to follow. Hiccup trudged after his father, still crying from the incident of the sock. As they walked, Gobber laid a hand on his shoulder.
“Don’t you worry, Hiccup. Them trolls are nasty creatures. Keep sneaking into my own house too. Now blow your nose,” he said, handing Hiccup a small rag. Hiccup took it and blew. After a few more sniffles he handed the rag back to Gobber.
“Thanks Gobber. Why do trolls keep coming and taking my socks?”
“I d’know. Maybe yours are just smellier than others. If they keep comin’ they have to live close by.”
“Maybe I could find them and get my socks back!”
“Aye, maybe you could. Maybe you could.”
“Don’t encourage him!” Stoick roared from the front. Gobber looked down at Hiccup and winked. Hiccup giggled. “We’re here,” continued Stoick. “Now Hiccup, first thing to do is find some good worms for bait. There was rain last night, so check the muddy areas first.”
Hiccup had fun playing in the mud, and soon a whole can of worms was sitting in between them all. “And now just put the worm on the hook and throw it in the water.”
“But it’s so slimy. It keeps falling off my fingers!” Hiccup focused on slipping the worm into the hook, but each time the worm slipped through his grasp just as it hit the sharp point.
Eventually, Stoick sighed, threw down his own pole, and grabbed Hiccup’s hook. He threaded the worm with ease and handed it back. “That’s how it’s done.” Hiccup didn’t say anything. He just slumped down and held onto his pole.
Dad doesn’t like me, he thought. I can’t do anything right. Nobody likes me. Even the trolls pick on me. Then another thought struck him. Maybe if I found the trolls and got back my socks, Dad would like me better! I’ll show him. I’ll show him I can do stuff right!
He slowly glanced up at Stoick. He and Gobber were engaged in a conversation that Hiccup didn’t understand. Something about “dragon” and “nest”. Hiccup didn’t really care what it was they were talking about, only that now was his time to get away.
Hiccup carefully set his fishing pole beside him and slowly lifted himself off the ground. He snuck around the two men and scampered into the tall reeds where no one could see him. He laughed to himself. Sneaking around kinda felt good. Time to find those trolls.
What do they look like? Hiccup never even stopped to think about it. After a second of deep thought, he shrugged. He’d know them when he saw them. Plus they’d have his socks.
He moved quietly through the reeds until he came out about a quarter of a mile from where he’d started. The reeds stopped, leaving him exposed, but no one was around to see anyway.
What was that noise? Hiccup whirled his head around to look behind him, his hair losing any neatness it had maintained through the reeds. There was nothing there.
But that had to be something! Hiccup whipped his head back the other way. Still nothing. But he was sure he’d heard something. A mischievous chuckle. Rustling grass.
“Come out, little trolls. I won’t hurt you, I just want my socks back. You don’t mind, right? Just three socks. They’re really little too. I’ll bet you don’t care if I take them back, right?” He got no answer. “I know you’re there. Just come out. Please? I just want my socks.”
Hiccup scurried from one potential hiding place to the next, still finding no trace of any trolls. But he was sure he kept hearing that chuckle. Tired and frustrated, Hiccup sat down hard on the dirt and crossed his arms poutingly. “I don’t see why you can’t just give me back my socks. I know you’re there.”
After a few seconds of disappointing silence, Hiccup threw his head onto the dirt as well. The sun was beginning to sink on the horizon. About an hour till dinner. “Fine. Stay put for all I care. I’ll get my socks back anyway. I will, you just wait! I’ll get them back and then Dad will like me!”
He really should get back up and keep looking. But just a few minutes lying on the dirt couldn’t hurt, so Hiccup stayed where he was. Surely closing his eyes for a little while was ok too. He wouldn’t fall asleep. Big Vikings like him didn’t need naps anymore.
Hiccup shut his eyes and was snoring away a few seconds later. He curled up in his sleep so that his knees hugged his chest and his arms lay next to his head. He never saw the three chuckling little creatures run merrily off, each one holding a little hand knit sock.
“Hiccup! What in Odin’s name do you think you are doing?” Stoick roared, vigorously shaking Hiccup awake. The sun was blocked off by Stoick’s head. Looking up to it with his still blurry vision, Hiccup could instantly see that this time his father was truly angry.
Still rubbing his eyes, he stuttered. “I was… I was trying to find the trolls. The trolls who took my socks.” His eyes were still blurry, but not from sleep anymore. He’d set out to make his father proud. Now Stoick was mad at him instead. Hiccup started to cry.
“Crying now? Do you have to cry over every little thing?” Stoick continued to shout. “You can’t even fish without running off and getting lost? You’ve been gone since yesterday, Hiccup!”
Hiccup couldn’t answer right away. The lump in his throat had gotten so large it was choking him. “I’m… I’m sorry,” he managed to squeak before bursting out into sobs.
“More crying? After I just told you not to? Hiccup, what’s wrong with you?” Stoick stared off into the ocean, but Hiccup barely noticed. He was too busy crying his eyes out. Not only did his father not like him, he thought there was something wrong with him.
Why was I born, Hiccup thought. Why can’t I be better? If I were better then maybe Dad would like me. Why did Odin have to make me so small and stupid? Dad’s right not to like me. I can’t do anything right.
“That’s enough of that. Just get up and let’s start walking home. What got into you, scampering off into the blue? You were gone, what was I supposed to think?” Hiccup rose, albeit unsteadily, and followed Stoick home, his gaze always on his boots. He wiped his nose with the back of his hand and didn’t try to wipe away the tear stains. He wished Mom was home. Mom would always hug him whenever he cried and tell him she was happy to have him for her son. But she was gone a lot.
When they got home, Hiccup was sent straight to his room without breakfast. His stomach growled and he realized he hadn’t eaten since yesterday’s lunch. But there was nothing he could do about it, so he plopped down onto his bed and did the same thing he always did when he was bored and upset.
He made up little things in his head. A lot of times he’d make it so that the other kids liked him and would play with him. In those stories, Astrid would actually talk to him and say she liked him and what a real Viking he was. He liked those.
The one he made up this time was better. First, Mom walked in and he’d run up to her. She’d pick him up and hug him tight, and then Dad would come and join in too. Mom was there and Dad really did like him. That was his favorite thing to make believe. He fell asleep thinking about that hug and how warm and fuzzy it made him feel.

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