Daily Archives: 10. Dezember 2014

Reading Together #4

To keep this one going you get another – this time belated, due to Laptop and Hobbit-reasons – instalment of Weltenwanderers and SchlunzenbüchersGemeinsam Lesen“ (Reading Together).

Each Tuesday one of them asks four questions, with the first three always being the same about the book one is currently reading and the fourth a new one by either of them. All questions below are obviously translated from yesterday’s German post.

1. Which Book are you currently reading and which page are you on?

I’m still reading „A Game of Thrones“ by George R.R. Martin, one of the books I had chosen as A book someone else picked for me for BiblioSmiles’s Summer Book Challenge.
I’m currently on page 515, so I managed to read about 300 pages since last Tuesday, by mostly reading in the bus and finishing the chapters I started afterwards and on occasion reading regardless of that.

2. What is the first sentence on your current page?

Jon was breaking fast on applecakes and blood sausage when Samwell Tarly plopped himself down on the bench.

or in German:

Jon frühstückte gerade Apfelkuchen und Blutwurst, als Samwell Tarly sich auf der Bank niederließ.

I didn’t continue to read until I published the post to make this a Jon-hat-trick, I just couldn’t resist and this way I wrote one of the last few stories for the Advent Calendar instead of reading in the bus.

3. What do you desperately need to tell about your current book? (Thoughts, Feelings, a Quote, whatever you want!)

I’m not sure if I like the way the tv-show changes stuff, but I mentioned that before. Besides, even if I know I should stop watching the episode after reading the chapters portrayed in it, I kind of can’t because it’s still interesting to watch. This series is just too damn captivating…
Story-wise did a lot happen in the past chapters and I’m quite certain that this was only the beginning. Neither of the Starks is in a very good situation, the Lannisters plot and maim as they see fit and the Targaryen’s have reached their destination.
I by the way really enjoy the portrayal of the characters in the book so far, especially Arya and Daenarys. I really liked how Ned handled the whole thing with Needle and I grinned while Dany gave her brother a piece of her mind upon their arrival in Vaes Dothrak.
On the other hand was I just as shocked as Catelyn when she met her sister again.
As for the men, I don’t know what to make of Tyrion.
He’s an interesting character, with good advise and clever lines, but he still seems a bit too superior to me at times. Even with his physical restraints he can do a lot of things with seemingly little effort. Of course his pain is mentioned, but it still feels a bit too much like „look at this character, he is an imp, but look how awesome he is“. Kind of like one of those imba-characters in games or role plays. I still enjoy the scenes he’s in though.
Jon on the other hand is one of those characters that I don’t want to like, due to a possible death, but still do. It’s great how he changed from lordling to tutor and protector of his Black Brothers.
I have noticed that the characters have a different view on peoples ages, but when I read Sansa’s comment on how old someone was who was closing in on twenty two I certainly had to take a moment to let this sink…
Sure she is eleven and a brat (my least favourite of the Stark-bunch by the way), but people can’t have high life expectancies if mid-thirties are considered close to death and mid-twenties regarded as old, but it does fit the context.

4. Are you reading books only once or are there books you read/re-read several times?

Generally I read books only once.
Though, when I was a teenager I re-read the first three books of the Harry Potter series a couple of times. I do believe it was something around 7-5-3 times, maybe more often, maybe the fourth one as well, I can’t say any more. I just didn’t want to leave that world and the next book was still far away…
With BiblioSmiles challenge I am going to re-read the first one again as childhood favourite.
When Fairy posted her review on Reaper Man for her Alphabet-Challenge I couldn’t help myself but to follow DEATH on his journey to understand mortality again, either.
There are also a couple of other books that I wouldn’t mind re-reading, simply because I can’t quite remember them (like Waywalkers and Timekeepers by Catherine Webb), but that wont be done quite soon I guess, as I still have a couple others on my list.

Additional thoughts

You can obviously participate in these questions by either using my translated or the original German version.
As you’ve probably noticed was this post a bit delayed, but with my Laptop being at the service and me getting some sleep before the Hobbit-midnight premier last night it wasn’t really possible for me to finish the post in time.
© For the cover, the quote and the banner belong to their rightful owners.

Advent Calendar: Door/Türchen #10

© Babsi

© Babsi

Er mochte seine Arbeit als Händler.
Er konnte sich keine andere Aufgabe vorstellen und doch gab es Momente wie diesen an denen er am Liebsten einem anderen Beruf nachgehen würde.
Dick eingepackt in Felle und Decken saß er auf seinem Schlitten und wünschte sich einfach nur noch anzukommen.
Aber es lag noch ein weiter Weg vor ihm.
Im Sommer war es kaum ein Problem diese Strecke zu bewältigen, aber im Winter wurde er vor einige Hindernisse gestellt.
Eine dicke Schneeschicht bedeckte den Boden und die Pferde kamen nur langsam voran.
Im letzten Gasthof hatte er umständlich Ski an seinen Rädern befestigt, damit er nicht vollends im Schnee versackte.
Hinzu kam, dass sich kaum jemand in dieser Jahreszeit in diese Gegend wagte.
Die Wälder waren bewohnt von hungrigen Wölfen und sogar ein paar Bären.
Niemand wusste, ob und wann sie jemanden Anfallen würden.
Aber er wollte nach Hause und selbst im tiefsten Schnee war dies noch immer der kürzeste Weg.
Er hatte jede Menge Geschenke für seine Familie dabei und sie würden ein großes Fest feiern, wenn er heimkam.
Dieses kleine aber bedeutsame Wort stand ihm auch in diesem Jahr im Weg.
Er wusste seine Pferde waren gut trainiert und würden die Fahrt schaffen.
Solange es keinen Schneesturm oder Angriff gab, sprach nichts dagegen, dass er seine Reise beendete.
Die Kälte machte ihm zu schaffen und er glaubte schon ein Jaulen in der Ferne zu hören. Seine Ohren spielten ihm sicherlich nur einen Streich, aber dennoch trieb er seine Pferde an etwas schneller zu laufen.
Direkt vor ihnen erstreckte sich der Wald und um nicht die Spur zu verlieren musste er dicht daran vorbei fahren.
Doch je dichter er kam, umso lauter wurde das Jaulen.
Verängstigt beschleunigte er die Pferde weiter.
Die Wölfe schienen seine Witterung aufgenommen zu haben und bald würden sie ihn umzingeln, aber das würde er nicht zulassen.
Ein paar Meter hatte er bereits direkt neben dem Wald hinter sich gebracht als plötzlich etwas auf den Weg sprang.
Ein magerer, hungrig knurrender Wolf stand direkt vor seiner Kutsche.
Mit einem Ruck bremste der Händler sein Gefährt.
Er wollte das Tier nicht noch verärgern und dadurch einen noch grausameren Tod sterben.
Es knurrte erneut und die Pferde scheuten, konnten aber nicht fliehen, da sie fest im Geschirr eingespannt waren.
Der Mann schaffte es sie etwas zu beruhigen, bevor sie die Kutsche zu Fall brachten.
Der Wolf beobachtete sie noch immer.
„Bitte friss uns nicht! Meine Familie wartet auf mich!“ flehte er das Tier an, doch es rührte sich nicht.
„Hier, nimm etwas von meinem Essen!“
Der Mann kramte in seiner Tasche und stellte sich mit wackeligen Beinen auf den Kutschbock. In einem hohen Bogen warf er dem Wolf ein kleines Stück Schinken vor die Füße.
Kurz schnüffelte das Tier daran, dann nahm es das Fleisch zwischen die Fänge und senkte den Kopf als würde es sich verbeugen.
Sogleich kehrte der Wolf in den Wald zurück.
Erstaunt schaute der Händler auf die Stelle an dem das Tier eben noch gestanden hatte.
Er hatte überlebt.
Und der Wolf hatte ihm gedankt für die Speise.
Mit einem Lächeln setzte er sich wieder und trieb die Pferde weiter.
Er hatte soeben wahrlich ein Weihnachtswunder erlebt.
~~~~~~~ ❄ ~~~~~~~ ❄ ~~~~~~~ ❄ ~~~~~~~ ❄ ~~~~~~~ ❄ ~~~~~~~
He liked his work as merchant.
He couldn’t imagine himself in any different occupation, but there were still moments like this when he would yearn to have a different profession.
Thickly wrapped in blankets and furs he sat on his sleigh and just wished to arrive already.
But there was still a long way ahead of him.
During the summer the distance wasn’t hard to overcome, but in the winter there were a few obstacles.
A thick layer of snow covered the ground and the horses moved only rather slowly.
At the last inn he had painstakingly fastened skis to the wheels, so that they wouldn’t sink completely into the snow.
Additionally did barely anyone dare to cross this region during this time of the year.
The forests were inhabited by hungry wolves and even a few bears.
No one knew if or when they would attack someone.
But he wanted to go home and even in the deepest snow was this the shortest way to get there.
He had many presents for his family with him and they would have a great feast when he arrived.
This small but significant word stood in his way yet again.
He knew his horses were well trained and would manage the journey.
As long as there wouldn’t be a snow storm or an attack, there would be nothing stopping him.
The cold got to him and he believed to even hear howling in the distance. His ears certainly played tricks on him, yet he pressed the horses to run faster.
The forest lay directly in front of him and to not lose the trail he had to drive close to it.
Though the closer he got, the louder got the howling.
Frightened he accelerated the horses again.
The wolves seemed to have caught their sent and soon they would have him surrounded, but he would not let that happen.
He had covered a couple of meters beside the forest as something suddenly jumped onto the road.
A meagre, hungrily growling wolf stood directly in front of his cart.
With a jolt he stopped the vehicle.
He didn’t want to anger the animel and through this die an even more horrible death.
It growled again and the horses shied away, but could not flee as they were restrained in their harness.
The man managed to calm them a little before they would topple the cart.
The wolf still watched them.
„Pleas don’t eat me! My family is waiting for me!“ He pleaded with the animal, but it did not move.
„Here take some of my food!“
The man rummaged in his bag and shakily stood up on the coach box. In a high arch he threw a piece of ham in front of the wolves feet.
The animal smelled it briefly before he took it into its fangs and lowered his head as if he bowed.
Just like that the wolf returned into the forest.
The merchant looked in astonishment at the spot where the animal had just stood.
He had survived.
And the wolf had thanked him for the meal.
With a smile he sat down again and pushed the horses forward.
He certainly had witnessed a Christmas wonder just now.

Behind the Scenes

I hope you enjoyed the tenth story.
When I wrote the first notes for this story there was no mentioning of a wolf.
Only when I started writing did that part of the narrative come into my mind.
I’m not even sure why.
But maybe I’m associating winter forests with wolfs or in the back of my mind I remembered that I first met Babsi during our stay at the Powerwolf Fan-Camp at the Out&Loud.
Who knows…
© For the story by me and for the picture by Babsi. Do not use or repost either without my or her permission.