The chime of hammer against the rough stone anvil woke the village. It always did. Jorri moved from under the covers and squeezed past his younger sisters. He threw on the foul smelling coat that his mother had said ready, but he could swear there was a pocket of flesh or sinew still there in the hide that touched his nose. Nevertheless it was his.
The weather outside the hut was still. The only light was from the forge starting to glow. A layer of snow on the ground a knuckle deep meant he could skip across to Thor quite quickly.
‘The master smith hammered again at the anvil, the metal beneath chimed and sang. Jorri wondered why no one else could hear it. But then he was supposed to be there.
‘I’ll get to the fire’ he said with an apology in his voice that met a recognition in the grunt from his master.
There was another chime.
‘Did I ever tell you’ Thor started to speak as he brought his hammer down again.
‘Tell me what?’ Jorri loved Thor’s stories. He grabbed a handful of oats and dried lingonberries from the bowl. He needed something in his twelve year old stomach, although it would only take a handful. Thor knew he stole a hand ful a day, he didn’t mind. He was always careful not to see.
‘Did I ever tell you my hammer’s name?’ He said, striking what was to become a sword for the chief of the village.
‘No’ the boy said, this was going to be a good one, the smith had probably been up since before dawn thinking up his tales. ‘what is its name?’
‘Not an it boy’ chime, ‘it is a he, all hammers’ are he.’
‘Sorry. What is his name?’
‘A long time ago’ he began, ‘my brother played an awful trick on my wife. I was enraged. I threatened to kill him, but then he said what if I got her some new hair.’
‘Go on’ said the boy, ‘tell me more.’