THE VIKING CATS: THE TALES OF HALE

The Poetic Song:

The Tales of Hale

In ancient lands of ice and fire
Was born a boy to roam the world

Old Conn was both his friend and sire
Long woven was his fate unfurled

For brothers true in danger shared
He had the faithful Viking Cats

As frontiers, monsters, ruins dared
They wandered far to come at last

To lands and climates they knew not
The Earth, the Sea, and Heaven’s Knot

As Conn’s Own Heart the boy first known
Explorer, Roamer, Viking son

Strong and tall he sprang, well-grown
To wander waves beneath the sun

Adventures deep and dangers dire
He chased full round the earth and seas

Disaster overtook his sire
As heir to father did accede

Of myths and legends many sing
The Tales of Hale heroic ring…

THE TALES OF HALE AND THE VIKING CATS

Continuing on with the Tales of Hale and the Viking Cats. More entries on this story can be found in category, The Viking Cats. This is the first-part of the poetic section of the novel I am writing, the Viking Cats. The book will be a children’s book aimed primarily at young boys, aged 7 to 13 or so.

The Book is about the boy Hale, who is the son of an Explorer/Merchant Viking (not the raping, burning, pillaging kind), and his adventures traveling the world with his newly converted Christian father Conn. (At least until his father is killed and Hale must assume leadership of his exploratory/trading expedition.)

Hale however is a very strange lad. He is preternaturally strong and uncannily intelligent and inquisitive and it is discovered later in the story that Conn’s father made a strange deal with God prior to Hale’s birth to give his son a unique Wyrd, which will follow him for the rest of his life and will fashion for him a peculiar and unforeseen fate.

Hale is also accompanied by three enchanted Viking Cats who are both his close companions and oftentimes his rescuers or guardians. Many other bizarre things will occur throughout the course of the book as Hale and his crew and cats wander the wide world.

The book will be divided into two sections. The first part will be the prose story, or the Proeric Tale. The second part will be the poetic section, and will be a poetic retelling of the prose story with certain variants in the storyline, and it will, of course, be presented in verse as a semi-Skaldic or Scopic song meant to be sung upon the lyre or the lute.

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THE VIKING CATS: CONN’S SON

The Poeric Tale:

Conn’s Son

In the lands to the North, long ago in the world, there came a little newborn boy. He cried when he was first born, as all children must, but not many times thereafter. For he was brave and firm and he would see many wonders in the world, but not so many that ever frightened him enough to cause him to doubt himself.

His mother was young, and confident, and pretty, and she bore him patiently and without complaint, with the aid of her helpful maid until the little boy drew his first breath and saw his first morn in the Earth. Then his mother, still tired, but happy, beautiful, and steady, as only new mothers can be, took the child and wrapped him in warm blankets, and washed his head with chill water to clean him and prepare him to sleep.

But his father, as stout as a young oak, as mighty as a bull who plows many fields a day, burst into the room and taking the boy from his wife held him aloft with arms like iron bands, into the light of the new dawn. And as his father looked at the boy the boy looked back at him, resolutely and unflinching with bright, observant eyes, wondering who this newcomer might be and into what world he had been delivered and into whose company.

So the father said, “Hello my son, I am Conn, your father and sire, and you now are my boy, and we shall wander the wide world and see what God has made that he still keeps secret from other men.” And his voice was like a clear river that meets with many other waters to crash towards the sea.

The baby then murmured aloud and caught his father’s thumb as he grasped him and looked over his father’s shoulder, and out the frosted window into the frigid, open world beyond. Even though, as everyone knows, most babes are nearly blind and speak only in cries and wails, and few ever look far beyond themselves.

“Ho!” shouted Conn, “he is strong indeed, and fearless, and well-made. He itches to explore the world, and I see bravery in his bright eyes and I feel a deep fate in his sure, steady heart. Now this is a good boy!”

Then Conn bent down and placed the boy back into his wife’s arms and she took the babe and wrapped him close to herself, to keep him safe and warm until he could grow and fend for himself. And Conn kissed his wife, and stroked her hair, and told her how proud he was of her and their child, and how he would protect him, and travel with him teach him all he knew of everything and anything. Told her how the boy would outgrow them both, and become a mighty man and true. And the mother believed him and smiled, and before the babe fell asleep, it seemed the boy smiled too.

Satisfied Conn turned to go, but his wife stopped him.

“Husband, what shall we call him? If he is to be great then he will need a name befitting his fate.”

“Why, Aersa my wife, do you not see? He has named himself.”

“How so?” Aersa asked.

“Hale,” said Conn. “The boy is to be Hale, his whole life long,” and with that he turned and left them both to sleep, and to dream their own dreams.

 

HAVE A JOYOUS CHRISTMAS EVE MY FRIENDS!

THE VIKING CATS – background, outline, and structure

The Viking Cats – I sat down and sketched out the chapters and the progression I had been working on in my mind for my novel.

Below are the Chapter titles.

The book will primarily be targeted at young boys, let’s say 7 to 13 or so. It will be somewhere between 120 to 140 pages long (my initial estimate), maybe longer.

The story is a mix of literary, historical, spiritual, and real life (for me) influences combined in a single story that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now.

In general format it will be similar to the White Stag, one of my very favorite children’s books of all time. But instead of Attila the Hun (and later Chieftain and King of the Huns) being led by a White Stag (overland) into the West the character Hale (a very common boy of no great background who nevertheless rises by merit and courage to become a great explorer and man) will be led by a series of Signs and Wonders and Adventures in which it will be difficult to tell the natural and mundane from the supernatural and the miraculous.

In this way it will parallel the Biblical story of the Exodus.

It will also show, throughout the progression of the story the influences of Nordic, Greek, Roman, and finally Judeo-Christian culture and religion upon Hale’s development, and by extension how these Four Strains of Culture and Religion interweave, like threads of a tapestry, to create a Western Man. So the book will obviously be filled throughout with important cultural, historical linguistic, literary, and religious allusions.

It will also describe the boy’s life, from his birth to age 28-29, when he disappears from the story by sailing into the Far West with his surviving clan, friends, and animal companions.

So it is additionally the story of a boy’s growth into manhood.

Each chapter will begin with a section of a fairly long poem called, “The Viking Cats.” The verse tale will ostensibly be about Hale’s adventures with his Viking Cats as explained by the Prose sections of the story.

But the poem will really be a Riddle in verse about the Four Strains of Culture and Religion shaping Western Man, how a boy actually grows into a man, the supernatural influence of God and miracles upon the development of a kid’s soul and his Wyrd, and what attributes (such as self-sacrifice and courage) and virtues (such as justice and mercy) a boy should practice to become a strong and true man.

At the end of the book, in the afterwards, will appear the entire Poem of “The Viking Cats” presented as a Skaldic Song.

My intention in writing the book is to give young children a good and exciting adventure story, to teach them about their culture, history, languages, and religious background, and to give young boys (especially young) a pattern-story for how to grow into a man, unifying both Secular Duties with Sacred Virtues to produce a True Western Man. I want to move very far away from the effeminized boy and man of modern culture and return to the better and older model of the Strong and Courageous and adventurous Boy and Man of the West who is nevertheless open to being tamed, to becoming a gentleman, and eventually Christianized without the loss of his essential manhood. That is I want to portray Hale as all boy becoming all man while nevertheless becoming Christianized and civilized without becoming weak and effeminate (as our modern culture stresses far too much). I’ve been wanting to do this kind of book, as well as feeling it is essential and necessary in America to have such books for young boys to read, for a very long time. Now, I feel, is a good time to write this.

I do not want to come right out and say these things in the story, not pedantically of course, but if the story implies these things and children pick up on this, then I will have achieved my True Aims. In others words I don’t want to preach these subjects, as I think boys don’t like that, instead I want to ‘adventurise and enterprise’ these subjects through exciting action tales that parallel tales of Romance and Chivalry, but not as tales of nobility but as everyman/everyboy tales that kids can emulate in their own lives.

I will be posting more on the Viking Cats later, along with some excerpts from the novel…

CHAPTERS

Conn’s Son
The White Cross Cloud
The Skald, the Würm, and the Wyrd
(birth to 7)

The Hound of Geatland
The Bear in Winter
The Southern Stars
(8 to 14)

The Spear that Shattered (The Hunter and the Boar’s Hide)
Hale and Well Met
Sea-Fire
(15 to 21)

The Burning of the Red Drake (The Man that Burned)
The Great Fortune of the Wondrous Sword (+Ulfberh+t)
The Eagle of the Lake Lady
(21 to 28)

The West Beyond

Afterwards: Song of the Boy – A Riddle in Verse

THE CONDEMNATION OF HOMOSTYLUS and THE TYRANNY OF BASELESS LOVE

Taking a hot bath after working out I had an interesting idea. Or set of them. I am thinking of writing two lengthy but sub-epical poems, one to be called The Condemnation of Homostylus (the condemnation of the Self-Styled Man), and the other to be called The Tyranny of Baseless Love, about the misguided modern form of supposedly Christian love that eschews all judgments in favor of the toleration of all things no matter the Real Nature of those things.

The Condemnation of Homostylus will be in an ancient form and technique and will describe the story of a young man who is self-reliant and self-styled (that is he does not desire to be what his society wishes him to be) but his society and culture will not tolerate his individuality and uniqueness, eventually driving him to exile, where his ingenuity assists other cultures. Then learning of his brilliance his original culture seeks him out again and convinces him to return to work for them. Upon returning his society tolerates his individuality for a while to profit from his work, then seeks to oppress him again and eventually he is driven to his death by them. But not before he unleashes his ultimate vengeance, The Condemnation of Homostylus.

The Tyranny of Baseless Love will describe the destructions and damnations wrought by the misguided modern theological idea that Jesus implored everyone to judge nothing and to tolerate everything (an obvious and evident misreading of Jesus and what he plainly said in scripture). That Grace and Love are licentious licenses rather than responsibilities and obligations we owe to God, ourselves, and others. It will involve a young man (maybe a priest, maybe not) who travels from town to town (each town name will give a clue to the wrong at play and tolerated) in an imaginary Europe witnessing firsthand the corrupting influence of such a concept of Love, because in each town will be evident examples of how unfettered and irresponsible and pretentious and deceptive forms of love and tolerance breed decadence, decay, damnation, sin, and death. It will be written in a Gothic style since to me that is the literary form that most closely resembles this Gnostic and cobbled together theological miasma of supposedly Christian Love. I will try to touch upon toleration of all of the crimes and vices, as well as the mortal and diseased sins like rape and murder and abortion and terrorism.

But first and for this month (November) I must return to and finish my novel the Viking Cats.

So for now I am just sketching out the ideas for these poems and possibly developing a few fragments and plotlines. Until then this will have to go into my files for future development.