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Here they come, my two intrepid explorers...
..Charlotte and Lokesh.
I'm their Great Aunt Lizzie, you see,
and I wonder which one is coming to see me today.
Ah, so it's Charlotte.
Hello, Great Aunt Lizzie.
Once upon a time, I travelled
the world, discovering treasures from long ago and far away,
and no end of stories to remind me.
But my most precious possession of all
is my extraordinary collection of teacups.
Here we are.
No time to count to the clouds.
Let's have a nice cup of tea and a story.
But first, we need the teacup.
But which one?
The Viking tweezers.
The Vikings used tweezers?
Yes. Without them, the Vikings might not have conquered as much
of the world as they did.
Because of tweezers?
Yes, because of tweezers.
Can I smell flapjack, Great Aunt Lizzie?
You'll have to wait and see.
So let me tell you the story of
Charlotte and the Adventure of the Viking Tweezers.
The story of how little things have great consequences.
And it all happened in the land of wild, forested mountains,
and shimmering fjords.
The rising sun was burning off the morning mist,
and all around was the soft, bright hum of spring...
when Charlotte began to hear what sounded like a disagreement.
-But it's a big day tomorrow, Osmund. A big day.
-Oh, I know.
-Come on, let me see it.
-It can't be that bad.
-Not that bad?
I'm supposed to lead King Harald Fairhair's army in the morning -
I can't pick up my sword and fight the enemy.
-Think about it, it's only a...
-It's only what, Einar?
Well, what are you going to do?
I don't know.
I'm the king's champion, and I can't even lift my sword.
Which seemed like a good moment for Charlotte to see
what all the fuss was.
The two warriors rose as big as giants.
But they weren't so scary as to frighten Charlotte.
HE CLEARS HIS THROAT
I was travelling to the sea, I noticed you complaining.
I don't complain. I'm King Harald's champion.
-You were shouting about your hand.
-No, no, no.
-But I thought...
-How is it nothing if you can't lift your sword?
-Just a splinter.
-A splinter? That's easy.
I can fix that with a pair of tweezers.
-I use them all the time.
-Oh, you're a shield maiden?
She can't be. A real shield maiden would have real Viking tweezers.
You can't fix the sword hand of Osmund the Brave with those.
He's very precious about his sword hand.
I've already told you, you've got to go to Svanhild, the shield maiden.
How would I get there? If anyone sees my splinter, they'll
think the gods are against us and disaster will be ours.
Then, Charlotte realised there was more than one way to help.
Why don't I go and ask her to come here?
That'd be very helpful, thank you.
I'll be as quick as quick as I can.
So off she went in search of the shield maiden
and the right kind of tweezers.
Charlotte came to another little house,
only to find a woman rushing out of the door.
Are you coming along to join the army, too, dearie?
No, it seems like a very good army, but I'm not sure I'd fit in.
Nonsense. You could be a shield maiden, like me.
You're the shield maiden?
Thank goodness. You see,
I've come because Osmund the Brave needs a shield maiden.
(He's got a splinter.)
And I suppose he won't come and see me himself
because if anyone sees his hand all bandaged up,
they'll think of the gods are against us?
Truth is, he can fight the terrifying Saxon hordes,
but is scared of a pair of tweezers.
He's not the first, I've heard it all before.
I tried to use these, but he said they were the wrong kind.
Let me see.
Well, I can't hang around for a man with a splinter,
and you seem to know what you're doing.
These are my old ones.
You take them,
because when you have these, you are a shield maiden.
They were certainly tweezers,
but so much clunkier than any she'd seen before.
And when Charlotte looked up,
Svanhild was gone.
But what IS a shield maiden?
None of that mattered now - Charlotte had
the right kind of tweezers,
so helping Osmond the Brave with his splinter would be a doddle.
I couldn't get the shield maiden,
but I got the right kind of tweezers.
He's not here. He said he needed to talk to the old gods beneath the
If you told me where he is, I could go and find him and...
And what? Hm?
Give him that hard stare of yours so he can sit all nice and sweetie pie
while you take out the splinter?
How on earth could she persuade the mightiest warrior
in the Viking world not to be scared
of a splinter and a pair of tweezers?
It wasn't quite lunchtime and, goodness, Charlotte was confused.
How's the flapjack?
Delicious. The thing is,
I don't understand why a mighty warrior would be afraid
of a splinter and a pair of tweezers.
Was it the splinter, or is it the tweezers?
I don't know. He's already got a splinter.
So I think he's afraid of the tweezers.
Even though he knows they'll make him better?
He thinks it'll hurt.
Well, he imagines it'll hurt.
Every time, he imagined it worse.
So he gets more and more frightened?
-If only he could stop imagining for a minute.
Charlotte already had the tweezers.
She would never give up without trying to help Osmund the Brave,
So off went Charlotte in her hat, bag and boots...
..along the forest footpath...
..and up the Misty Mountain Trail.
When she was almost out of breath...
..the path ran out.
Charlotte took a deep breath.
BATS SQUEAK AND FLUTTER
At last, Charlotte stood high on a rock,
towering over 100 snaking fjords.
But there was no time to stand and stare,
Charlotte had to find Osmund the Brave.
On the edge of a wooded hollow beneath the Misty Mountain,
she saw a woman eating.
Raspberries? Would you like some?
No, thank you. I'm looking for a man named Osmund.
He's very tall, and he had a bandage on his hand.
Oh, yeah? Why would a stranger be looking for the king's champion
on the eve of a battle?
(He's got a splinter, and he needs help.)
I'm not going to give him away to the first person who comes along
telling me what I already know. Why are you so special?
Do you have a special potion?
-I've got these.
-You're a shield maiden?
Why didn't you say?
I'm so sorry. What was I thinking?
The king's champion - of course.
He's down in the gorge over yonder,
looking for bees to bathe his hand in honey.
Does he think that'll help?
I told him he needs to get the splinter out first,
but he's stubborn.
You'll need more than a little persuasion for that one.
You could maybe try distraction?
By getting him to think about something else? But how?
No idea. But then, I'm not a shield maiden.
I'll think of something.
Though in her heart, she wasn't sure what.
-Thank you. Goodbye.
On went Charlotte...
..in her hat, bag and boots...
..to where the distant sound of a waterfall
mingled with the buzz of wild bees.
-Come on, bees!
I really need honey to make my hand better.
I've got these.
You're a real shield maiden now?
Well, yes, but I don't exactly know what a shield maiden is.
Can you tell me about them and what they do?
Yes. The shield maidens are some of the most important people
in our army. We'd have lost many a battle without the shield maidens
there to fix the wounded. They even join the fight if they have to.
I remember the Battle of Hafrsfjord.
You should have seen their army
pouring down to the sea to greet us
with their axes.
What? You did it. But I didn't feel a thing.
Not one thing.
Oh, my hand feels better already.
Thank you. Thank you, thank you.
The greatest shield maiden I have ever met.
You're very welcome.
And that was that - the whole kit and caboodle,
Charlotte and the Viking Tweezers.
I don't think I'd really like to be a shield maiden.
-Those Viking warriors would have been scary.
Especially with splinters.
Were they really frightened of splinters?
Yes. To row across the sea into battle, you'd need
strong hands. Keeping them healthy was as important as having water.
I suppose that meant the shield maidens were very important.
The Vikings couldn't have done without them.
Crikey, is that the time?!
We'd better get going. SHE LAUGHS
Well, who else are they for? Come on.
Now, how did that get there?
Home time, Charlotte.
Thanks, Great Aunt Lizzie.
-Cheery-bye, Charlotte. ALL: