Lovable Viking was sitting by the shores of the sea. It was a very warm summer day. There was a slight breeze coming off the sea but it wasn’t enough to make a difference. Even the seagulls were having a difficult time with the heat. They were lined up along the beach, their beaks wide open, panting.
Lovable Viking was contemplating on life and he felt the sudden need to go on a raid. It had been months since the last raid they went on. He stood up from the shore and walked back toward Tara, the village he lived in. He saw Benjamin, his best friend and crew-mate, walking toward him.
“Marcus,” said Benjamin. “It sure is a hot summer day.”
“It sure is,” said Lovable Viking. “Let’s grab a cold drink.”
Benjamin followed Lovable Viking to his home. As soon as Lovable Viking opened the door, a blast of heat smacked them in the face. Lovable Viking grabbed two wooden mugs and filled them to the top with cold, frothy ale.
Lovable Viking downed his and he poured himself another one. Benjamin preferred to sip his very slowly.
“I think we need to go on another raid,” said Lovable Viking. “It is perfect weather for one.”
“I agree,” said Benjamin. “Besides, summer raids are the best.”
“Let’s get the crew together and get that ship sailing,” said Lovable Viking. “We set sail in three days.”
“So,” said Benjamin. “What changed your mind about wanting to go on a raid? The last raid we went on, you told us we were never going on another one.”
“I know I said that,” said Lovable Viking. “I still don’t want any women or children hurt but I do miss the thrill and excitement of going on a raid.”
“I know Franklin and the rest of the crew will love it,” said Benjamin. “They have been stir crazy since the beginning of summer.”
Lovable Viking and the crew worked hard for the next two days, getting the ship ready to sail. On the third morning, they were ready to go.
“Just remember,” said Lovable Viking. “We hurt no woman or child or we sail straight back home.”
“Yes boss,” screamed the crew.
The crew untied the ship from the dock and soon they were sailing in the open sea. Everyone aboard the ship had smiles on their faces and a twinkle in their eyes. They were so happy to set sail.
They sailed northwest and within a few days they came across a small island.
“This is where we are going to do our summer raid,” said Lovable Viking. “We need an oath, something we say before a raid.”
“We raid, we loot but no woman or child will ever get the boot,” said Franklin, holding his right hand over his heart and lifting his left hand in the air.
“That is perfect,” said Lovable Viking. “Let’s get this summer raid underway.”
Benjamin stood on the deck of the ship looking out over the island that they landed on.
“This is a pretty small island,” said Benjamin. “Is there going to be many riches here or is it going to be a waste of time?”
“My dear friend Benjamin,” said Lovable Viking. “You know I would not take you anywhere if I didn’t think there would be lots of riches for us. Look over to the very far left. Now, tell me you think this is a waste of time.”
Benjamin looked to the far left and he couldn’t believe what he saw. He saw gold and jewels on the roof of several of the buildings.
“I take back what I said,” said Benjamin. “This island is paradise.”
Lovable Viking and the crew raided the island. They got lots of gold and jewels that were worth a fortune. They carried it all back to the ship.
As they were sorting it all out, a little girl came over to the ship. She stood on the sandy beach and screamed at the top of her lungs.
“What is the matter?” asked Lovable Viking. “Why are you screaming?”
“I lost my puppy,” said the little girl. “He was right here a minute ago, but he saw one of your men and followed him.”
The little girl started to cry.
“Don’t cry,” said Lovable Viking. “I will find him for you. What is your name?”
“My name is Anna,” said the little girl. “How come you are so nice? All the other Vikings I have ever seen have been mean to us. You and your men have been really nice.”
“I am Lovable Viking,” said Lovable Viking. “My crew and I don’t want to see women or children get hurt. Now, you go back to your home and I will bring your puppy to you when I find him. What is his name?”
“His name is Fluffy,” said Anna.
Anna went back to her house and Lovable Viking went to find his crew. He saw Benjamin and Franklin on the deck of the ship.
“There is a little girl back there that is missing her puppy,” said Lovable Viking. “She started crying until I told her I would find him.”
“We saw a little puppy following us out of the village,” said Benjamin. “We shooed him away though.”
“This raid is now over until the puppy is found,” said Lovable Viking. “So drop what you have in your hands and find the puppy.”
Benjamin and Franklin dropped their goods and went to look for the missing puppy. They looked everywhere for him but they couldn’t find him. It was getting dark so they went back to the ship to tell Lovable Viking.
“We can’t find the puppy,” said Benjamin. “We looked everywhere.”
“We don’t sail for home until we find the puppy,” said Lovable Viking. “Get all the men off the ship and go find him.”
All the crew left the ship to search for the puppy. They weren’t happy about it but they knew they weren’t going to leave until the puppy was found.
Minutes after the crew left, Anna showed up on the beach with the fluffiest puppy in her arms.
“Fluffy showed up,” said Anna.
“Thank goodness,” said Lovable Viking. “My men said they shooed him away when he followed them. He must have went home.”
“He must have,” said Anna.
Anna went home and Lovable Viking had a nap until the crew showed up a few hours later.
“We searched every inch of this island,” said Benjamin. “We did not see that puppy.”
“The puppy was found,” said Lovable Viking. “He went back home after you shooed him away.”
“So,” said Benjamin. “We can sail home now.”
“No yet,” said Lovable Viking. “Go to the kitchen and get me one of those soup bones.”
Benjamin had no idea what Lovable Viking wanted a soup bone for but he went and got him one.
Lovable Viking took the soup bone into the village. He found Anna and Fluffy.
“I brought a bone for Fluffy,” said Lovable Viking.
“That is very kind of you,” said Anna. “Fluffy will love it.”
Anna gave Lovable Viking a big hug. Lovable Viking went back to the ship.
“Well,” he said. “What are you waiting for? Let’s get this ship home. That was a very successful summer raid.”
“Will we go on another one?” asked Benjamin. “Summer is only half over.”
“Yes,” said Lovable Viking. “Maybe we will.”