This story and character were written to go along with a Fan Dragon species called the Oceanic SeaSong, created by Adopto66, a user on the SOD forums. The SOD thread is: "Oceanic SeaSong - Customizable Adoptables."
The New Mother Blues
Again. The baby was fussing again. Marit yawned mightily. The baby had been changed and fed, Gothi pronounced healthy, but his favorite activity was still crying. When not bawling for something he slept, but only for two or three hours before he was awake again. Such was the mature of infants.
Marit was a new mother, and doing fairly well, and thanked Freya for an untroubled birth, though it had been rather long. But she was so infinitely exhausted. If not awake on her own listening to every noise from the baby, then the baby woke her to be fed.
Her husband was out to sea for weeks on a fishing expedition. Her mother had passed away long since. Her grandmother and other matrons of the village tried to help and kept baby for awhile amongst tending their own chores. She napped some, but when he was hungry after two hours or so, she had to be awoken.
Her grandmother pushed a bowl of porridge toward her as she rocked her boy and shushed him. "You need to eat," the old grey-haired woman said. "Even if you don't want to," she added. Marit sighed. She had no appetite, but spooned in a few mouthfuls anyway. Grandmother pushed over a mug of herbal tea. "And drink this," she said.
Knowing it was something to relax her, Marit protested. "But I need to tend the house, Grandmama. The garden needs weeding. The yak needs to be milked. The food prepared. Chickens fed ..." Her Grandmother cut her off. "Nay, lass, I'm not so decrepit yet that I can't do some of that," she comforted. "And one of the Marjrkind boys milked the yak already." Grandmother paused, considering. "But the raspberries are ripe. We need to get some for us."
"I can do that," Marit pleaded. She felt so unhelpful, yet too exhausted to do much of anything.
Grandmother was quiet for a moment. Marit was pale and her eyes dark. Fresh air and sunlight might be a good idea. She nodded to Marit. "But don't rush. You are still healing."
Marit prepared to venture out. She placed her baby in one basket and took another empty one to gather berries in. She set off on a fine sunny day up the path to the top of the cliff where the raspberry bushes were. The air was clean and refreshing, but not enough to stifle a few yawns. Her heart skipped a beat a couple times, as she tripped up walking, but caught herself before the baby went flying. She used to be quite agile, but lately had been a bit of a klutz.
Marit arrived at the nearest raspberry bushes and started to pick. They were small, but very sweet. She popped a few in her mouth just to taste them, even though she wasn't particularly hungry. Her baby gurgled at her. "Oh, do you want to taste?" she asked. She pressed one so the juices dribbled on her finger and placed her finger to his lips. His expression froze for a moment, not sure what to think of this new sensation. Then he smiled. "You'll be eating berry pies in no time!" she told him. The troubles of rearing a baby all disappeared when they smiled like that.
Marit hummed a few ditties as she picked, and the baby remained peaceful for a time. She felt okay, but found herself not quite remembering where she had just picked. Was it just because it was such a meneal task, or was her head really so fatigued?
Not too long after, the baby started crying again. Marit sighed. Try to remember to smile, she told herself. She stood and too him over to a large boulder which offered just a little privacy and shade. She fed him and changed him, and settled him back down snug in the basket. Perhaps he would sleep awhile now. She decided to leave him in the shelter of the boulder, so she could wade into the bushes to reach more raspberries. It was only a very short distance, and the baby basket would only hinder her. No one was around.
The Baby rested for a short while, but his eyes fluttered back open. He lay still for a few more moments, then decided to dry. Not because he was hungry, or because he had relieved himself, but simply because he could. The air flowing into his lungs was still quite a new sensation, along with the flexing of his throat and the odd feel of sound to his ears. It was all very strange and fantastic. So he cried. His mother was a short distance away and didn't hear him, or more likely had just checked on him and tried not to stress about his fussing.
Not to long after he had begun his infant song, a large green object loomed into his vision. His sight was getting better and better with each day, and he made out two large eyes and two nostrils. They were not like his mother's. Warm air wuffled over his body and blankets, and blew his few strands of soft pale hair. The basket he was in shifted just a little. He cried more, though he was unsure if he should cry in earnest to raise alarm. He varied his pitch a little to practice.
But the green head swayed hypnotically in front of his vision, and a sweet melodious sound tickled his ears. As he listen he slacked off his wailing to hear better. His eyelids got droopy. The soothing song slid him gently to sleep.
Marit breathed in deep to try to keep herself awake. Yet again she had felt her eyelids droop heavily. She was so tired. Even to do something as simple as picking berries. Sleeping was supposed to be easy, but it eluded her. Her baby must have dosed back off, for she could no longer hear his cries. Instead she heard a soft music, like a bird some played on a flute. Marit was not familiar with what bird had that sound. It was very soothing and she felt even more sleepy.
She stood up from the raspberry bushes and stretched a kink from her back. She turned to the boulder sheltering her babe - and screamed.
Marit ran out of the berry shrubs, scraping her arms on the sharp branches, screaming "NO! NO!" She tripped and fell to her knees, got up, and continued running toward her baby.
There was a green-hued dragon, about the size of a Night Fury, next to her baby's basket. Its head was hovering dangerously close to the baby. Dragons were not known to eat infants, but who would leave the tiny tender human morsels with a carnivore anyway??
The dragon whipped her head around as the wild human approached, yelling and waving her arms about threateningly. The dragon roared at the human and carefully placed herself in front of the infant creature whom had been crying in distress.
Marit could not hear her baby crying. Some distant part of her mind also noted the lyrical music had stopped, too. But for her baby, was it too late already? she thought, panic-stricken. At the dragon's roar, however, her baby cried anew, startled from sleep at the loud scary noise.
Marit stopped in front of the dragon waving her arms. "Go away! Get away from my baby!" she screamed at the beast, looking for a way around. She had no care for being chomped or fried, only getting to her baby. She also pulled out a few small salted herring from a belt pouch and threw them weakly away from her. On berk these days, it paid to carry around a few fish treats. The dragon's eyes caught the movement of fish flying through the air, but didn't budge. The second of distraction was enough for Marit, and she tried to run around the dragon. The dragon angrily swished her finned tail and knocked the human down. Marit fell, still reaching out for her son. She was hysterical and tired and feared for her child's life. A few hot tears rolled down her cheeks, as the dragon's head drew close, no doubt to dispatch them both.
But the dragon did not bite. Most dragons are actually rather maternal beasts, and something within this one made a connection between the bawling human infant and the upset female human. Still growling, the green swirled dragon stepped back slowly, keeping her head low to strike at a moment's notice.
Marit crawled over to her babe, and leaning on the boulder, pulled him out of the basket and held him close. "You're alright. You're alright," she murmured, and rocked him in her arms.
Seeing that this adult human was not going to hurt the infant human, the dragon retreated further to the top of the boulder. The baby still cried, upset at whatever had just happened. The high-pitched wails of infants were designed to get the attention of adults, and mothers of most species were susceptible to their distressful cries.
After a moment more, the dragon began to sing again, to soothe the baby, the upset female, and her own nerves. The baby's cries became less strident, and eventually stopped as he slipped off to sleep. Marit, though the dragon still loomed, found herself utterly exhausted and her eyes drooped slowly. It seemed this dragon was the creature producing such a lyrical sound. It was like a gentle lullaby. Marit couldn't help it. Holding her babe, she fell asleep, too.
Marit's eyes fluttered open slowly. She felt cool rock on her back. Her baby was dozing in her arms. Why was she sleeping outside again? Oh yes! Dragon! She sat up abruptly. The green, swirly dragon was resting a few yards away in the grass, unmoving. She had evidently sung herself asleep, too. Marit and her baby were undisturbed. She glanced at the sky - judging by the position of the sun, Marit had slept for four hours. Four consecutive hours! These days, that was unheard of for her. The sleep had refreshed her mind, and though uneasy, was not as panicked about this wild dragon. It was certainly premature not to worry at all, but in retrospect, perhaps the dragon had been merely responding instinctively to the sounds of distress? Some creatures did do that ...
Marit gently slid her son back into his basket, stood, and slipped past the dragon quietly. She fished out the basket of raspberries from the bushes and went home.
"My your cheeks look a little rosier, my dear! Maybe you should make a habit of some walks, her Grandmother commented shortly after Marit arrived home.
"Yes, I ... I feel alittle refreshed," she replied. It was the truth, however she wasn't so sure she should mention the dragon incident to her grandmother. Being of a much older generation, she remembered most of her life having to fight off dragons, and the harm to life and property they were capable of. While she was rather tolerant of the new order in Berk, it was quite alot to ask her to completely forget her history and trust dragons.
At supper that evening, which included a tasty raspberry compote on mutton, Marit obliquely inquired about the dragon. "Grandmama, on the cliffs picking berries, I heard a very lovely singing. But I couldn't place what bird it came from. It was very soothing to hear."
Grandmother was quiet for a moment. "It was the SeaSong dragons! You'd best stay clear of them. They live on the sea cliffs and like to lure sailors in to crash on the rocks with their song. Maybe they think its funny. Maybe they want a little variety in their diet, who knows."
Marit chewed thoughtfully on her food. She hadn't felt compelled to go anywhere and ultimately it was like a soft lullaby to relax you with. Even the dragon herself fell asleep, it seemed. And Marit had slept well. Still no substitute for a full night, but it was refreshing. She thought she might have evening dreamed a little bit. And her some seemed more content. This was enough for Marit to consider going back, just ... just to look.
So the next day, Marit set out again with her baby and basket for raspberry picking. She also brought a little dagger tucked away in her skirts - just in case, and a few fish. This time it was dried cod.
Marit did pick some berries, a little nervously. Her baby was fussy, so she fed and changed him. He seemed to sense the familiarity of the place, there by the boulder, and looked around, or at least tried, as he wasn't very flexible yet. He was also a quick learner. In addition to exercizing his lungs, he wailed because good things usually happened when he did so. He liked the green head with the warm breath and sweet song. So he cried. Marit was there with him and rocked him, fascinated at his expressions. He cried, but she could tell he wasn't upset.
His half-hearted wail carried on for just a little while, but then Marit heard a rustling of wings from above. The green dragon was perched on the boulder above them, peering down. Marit took a deep breath to steady her nerves - she was much more nervous in general due to lack of sleep and stressing about her first born - and slowly tossed two fish as far as she could into the grass as she could from a sitting position. The dragon watched where the fish landed, sniffing the air, then looked back at the crying baby.
Clearly the sounds of a crying infant were disturbing to this dragon, or perhaps she had a strange curiosity. Marit wondered if SeaSong babies made similar sounds?
Marit stayed still and just held her baby. After a moment the dragon glided down to the grass and sniffed the air, keeping an eye on her. The dragon found a cod, sniffed some more, then finally ate it. She looked pleased. She found the other, closer to the humans, and ate that one. Marit's baby was still whining. The dragon paused, snout extended, sniffing and sniffing. Marit sat very still and hoped she looked relaxed and nonthreatening. The dragon stepped a little closer and sniffed. Marit could feel her warm breath. So did her son, who suddenly switched to a giggle. The dragon withdrew her head, slightly taken aback by the new noise. The baby frowned and wailed again. The SeaSong drew near again, sniffing at the baby and at Marit. She also detected the remaining fish in Marit's pouch. The baby reached out a little fist and touched the dragon's jaw. Oddly, this didn't startle the dragon at all. Marit couldn't resist either, though her emotions were quite jumbled with awe and curiosity and anxiety and a little fear. She slowly brought her fingers up and touched the dragon's snout. It was soft and velvety. The dragon allowed this for just a moment, then withdrew and sat down in the grass nearby. The baby started wailing again, this time very much in irritation.
But the SeaSong started singing her sweet lyrical melody, and soon all three were fast asleep.
"I'm going for a walk again today, Grandmama," Marit announced. Her grandmother looked at her skeptically for a moment. She had been going out quite a lot lately. The air was doing quite well for her granddaughter, though. Her cheeks had color in them and her appetite was better. Her eyes were still tired, but not a sunken and dark. Even the baby was just a little less fussy, and somehow satisfied. Something was going on, but whatever it was, was beneficial, it seemed. She's find out eventually.
"Yes dear, you take care," she replied.
Marit went to visit the SeaSong almost everyday. The dragon seemed to enjoy singing (and the cod of course) and she and the baby got some shut-eye and fresh air.
Slowly but surely the dragon grew accustomed to their noises and touch. Marit even tried to sing along a few times. Her voice wasn't so bad, but the dragon seemed affronted. She was the best singer, after all. Marit talked to her alot - when she wasn't falling asleep - about anything. Maybe she babbled a little too much, but the dragon didn't mind. Eventually Marit named the dragon - Lyric - for her lovely melodies. "The Dragon" was just not polite anymore.
Marit realized one day, as she sat with her back against Lyric's warm hide and her son resting in her arms, that she had trained a dragon. Or Lyric had trained her. Either way, it seemed these mothering creatures were bonded somehow, and all three were happy.
About the Oceanic Seasong
The SeaSong is a human wary breed that lives along the coastal cliffs. Males are adventurous, playful and full of surprises. While the females tend to be slightly aggressive and wary. In general these dragons are a medium size (Around Toothless) There are many color and pattern variants; each being it's own sub-species.
SeaSongs have siren-like voices and like to sing themselves and their young to sleep. The youth learn to swim and soar while very young and are often seen tackling each other into the water.
In conclusion they are lively and joyous dragons. Recently a group has become used to humans and have begun to become loyal to those they meet.
- Marit's grandmother has her own story at: Gerta the Grandmother.