On the day that all the boys are to catch their dragon's Gobber the Belch (the Viking in charge of initiation) tells the kids what's on the line if they should fail. He tells the boys
"I need not tell you . . . that if your return to this spot without a dragon, it is hardly worth coming back at all." (p9)
Each child is given a dragon basket and they all begin the climb up the dangerous wall. The majority of the boys of The Hairy Hooligan Tribe don't like Hiccup - in fact they call him Hiccup the Useless. When everyone comes back from catching their dragons they can't help but show them off. Everyone is in awe of Snoutlout and his Nightmare Dragon (only the Chief's son of the Chief can have a Nightmare Dragon). Fishlegs gets Hiccup into trouble when he says that only Hiccup can have Snoutlout's dragon, since after all he is the Chief's son. It doesn't help that Hiccup's dragon is the tiniest dragon around and he's tootless. The boys decide to give Hiccup a new name : Hiccup the Useless and his dragon Toothless.
Things don't get better. After his dragon Toothless wakes up from his dragon slumber, he begins to train him. The normal Viking way is to yell at a dragon as loud as you can - however Hiccup doesn't think that will work, so he speaks to Toothless in dragonese.
When the big day comes, all the boys assemble to show the tribe how they've trained their dragon. Any boy whose dragon is not trained will be BANISHED! The problem for Hiccup is that Toothless is a rather disobedient little thing. When Toothless gets all the dragons to fight - and disobey their masters - the tribe has no choice but to banish the boys. That is until the Sea Dragon Maximum decides to awaken from its slumber and begin to terrorize the village. The only hope for the Hairy Hooligan Tribe is Hiccup.
Ok. This is for all you Liberians out there and I know you'll love this. The book that the kids could read, if they wanted to know more about training their dragon was called "How to Train your Dragon", and inside the book was a little blurb about the library. It went as follows :
"Meathead Public Library. A note from the Hairy Scary Librarian: Please Return this book on or before the last date stamped or I will be VERY ANNOYED. I think you know what I mean". At the bottom of the page it says "DO NOT REMOVE THIS BOOK OR WE WILL BASH YOU!!" (p55) and get this the price of the book is 1 small chicken and 20 oysters!
This book was so funny and I could not stop laughing. I love how the names were always alliterated and how goofy the whole story was :) I was glad that both Hiccup and Toothless grew in stature and that they both learned their true potential.
I would recommend this book to any young boy. I think he'd get a kick out of it!
And know if I ever come across a dragon, I will know how to train it :)
How to Train your Dragon by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III. (Translated by Cressida Cowell) New York. (c) 2003