My brother insisted we play games of epic proportion. He studied armies and battles like most other kids looked at comic books and sports. He had distinct
oaths for game playing.
Like the time we got caught in the creek, a couple of farms away, with the last of the jarred peaches, a bag of candy that was hidden behind the molasses and pearl barley in the tall cupboard over the fridge, a bunch of loose change that was kept in an old tin in the bottom drawer of Grandpa's desk, and a can of black olives.
I was wearing an old tin bucket with a piece of metal stabbed through it. The Biffster was wearing a fur dress which he insisted was a cloak but looked more like a skirt around his neck. He also had an an axe, a shield, and a sword that probably could kill ... with little effort ... like if you breathed heavily anywhere near it. Realism was everything to him.
He had ripped off the upper half of an old walking talking doll and nailed/wired it onto the front of the raft. He was "Thor" and I was "Hulga." He informed me I was a plain, completely unprincess, Viking. I did not have any input in the names. The only thing I got to decide was how I was going to die because all his games ended with me dying some horrible death because well .... "trust no-one . . . ever!" I think my brother confused all other human emotions with betrayal. If he was hungry - I had betrayed him. If he was frustrated because his fur
cloak got caught in the bushes - I had betrayed him. I knew it was inevitable that I was supposed
I think I feared he applied that to his whole life because I spent an awful amount of my childhood trying to convince him not to kill me. I did nice things for him, carried his sword, reported back on any suspicious activities I observed, and always was on his team. It is hard to carry a sword at Sunday School. At least if I was on his team, I had a chance of still being alive when the adults rescued us buy calling us in to supper.
We went out that day to conquer "new worlds." The game plan was to sneak up on neighbouring farms and to "plunder and pillage." I had no idea what we would want or need to steal but I was not part of the meeting that decided those details. When it was P&P time I was supposed to stay with the raft and let him know with the intricate bird whistle he had taught me, that danger was approaching. That's what the can of olives was for ... to keep me busy while he Vikinged. I love black olives.
Mostly our voyage involved a lot of him yelling out with a loud voice - at cows and frogs we passed, and also at me to push harder and warning me that if I was just going to be dead weight, he would throw me out right there and leave me to the blood suckers. So I stood at the back of the raft and used the huge pole he had given me to push us as quickly as I could, while he and the decapitated doll head occupied the front of the ship and had some kind of private thing going on that Vikings named Hulga were not privy to. I had wondered why I could not just be a guy - wasn't that the same thing as an "ugly girl" anyway? Hulga could never be a guy. HE made up the rules. He was only 9 and he was clear of the fact the men were more important than women and he was a man and therefore in charge of me. All he had to do was keep me from ever being a man. I think he probably broke some man rule by revealing that game plan to me. I would testify at a tribunal if anyone wanted to have one on him. I was subjected to so many war crimes. There should at least be a mini series on me.
We were caught that day because the bull got out and the neighbour's cows had to be rescued from his manly urges which of course, no men are ever responsible for on account of cows throw their udders around so seductively, they entice the innocent bull with their shameless sexual teasing. We came upon our grandfather and the other farmer arguing about fencing. I am not sure but I think my grandfather was suggesting his cows needed to be covered if they were going to prance around his field like that . . .the field next to the one his bull was in. The farmer was telling him something like his bull was bigger and could take him down with one horn tied behind his back. Then they saw us.
The amount of bulls bellowing in that field .. whew .. It is a wonder I or the cows survived.
My brother gave a good story on Vikings, the need to conquer new lands, etc. He admitted we took booty from the farm but we planned on returning home with more than what we took and of course we would have handed it all over to him. Oh, and also . . . . it was all my idea and he tried to talk me out of it but I was, as always, completely out of control ... just look what I did to the beautiful doll my grandfather had given me for my birthday.
Me and the bull were taken home. The bull was given a good rub down, comforting words and extra feed. I was sent to bed without dinner, minus some layers from my backside. My brother returned home the hero, No-one thought it strange that he knew exactly where everything went when he returned them to where they had been hidden. The next morning on the school bus my brother tried to convince me of the next escapade. He said that I had passed the test and not revealed anything to the enemy and that I could have a spoon to wear in my belt. My first Vikking weapon. I think he expected me to break out in wild clogging and thank him.
All I can say is he is darn luck he did not hand me the spoon then and there or he would have been found in a crumpled, spooned to death, heap in the middle of a corn field somewhere. I have mad spoon skills.
Don't ever underestimate the Viking heart of a really ugly Viking wench named Hulga. This one never set foot on Thor the Weiner's raft ship again and he never ever saw the great adventures that were once his, had he only recognized the princess like beauty of the Viking doing all the work.
I can buy my own olives whenever I want.
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