Coming of Age
“Hal - look what your Father has brought for you! Come out here, you wastrel"
"And who carried that great load of kindling for you, ready for The Great Feasting we've been looking forward to for days? Did you see anyone else staggering under their load?"
But his wide smile soon turned to a serious stare as he saw what was fastened on a nearby sapling. "Goodness, just look at that shield! Do you mean it will really be mine after the Initiation Ceremony?"
"Indeed it will, though you won't be wielding it in battle for a good many years yet, my son. Twelve summers are not enough for such a trial! The Warrior Brotherhood must teach you all their skills before your life, and maybe ours, will truly be within your hands."
“Oh! Look at the details... They are the most wonderful I’ve ever seen – they’re sending a tingling feeling all up my arm as I touch them."
"The Carver was paid many pelts to make you this shield. He told your Father the metal studs took days to perfect, let alone the boss... and the design he created especially is meant to ward off evil spirits. No wonder you can sense its power!"
“Mother, I never thanked you for this cloak and clasp you left by my bed. It must have taken many moons for you and my sisters to spin and weave enough wool. It’s so thick and warm – come, let me show youu !” And he whirled its folds around his mother, as he hugged her.
“Enough of your silliness! Get you gone and help your Father and the others with the livestock. It’s going to be a very busy day…”
“Yes Mother right away Mother.” He gave a mock salute and ran to join the men. Today, he would be welcomed as one of them.