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There’s Nothing In This World I Wouldn’t Do; Pt. 17

20 Jul

Last time, a group from the Order of Whispers had witnessed the massacre of the bandit camp.  The decision was made that they would approach Shani and Abisayo.  But there was still a great deal which needed to be done, including taking the cub to Fort Salma.  The four elves had to talk to the matriarch of the household.

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
Someone’s in the kitchen I know
Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
Strumming on the old banjo, and singing

Fie, fi, fiddly I o
Fie, fi, fiddly I o
Fie, fi, fiddly I o
Strumming on the old banjo

lyrics from Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah, written by Nat King Cole

One does not just stroll into a city, town or village in Kryta carrying a Charr cub without some sort of commotion.

Word had spread quickly of the attack on the bandit camp. Pania was the one who fielded questions as Shani carried the cub who slept in her arms. Abisayo flanked her as she went to her house, and Wren put the horses back in the stable. She and Abisayo dealt with the supplies once they were back at home.

Inside the house, there would be no way to get Pania to field questions and divert attention away from Shani. Because Unia would be direct. One thing with elves, especially family; they have a keen insight to the truth. Unia knew exactly what had happened thanks to her maternal connection with Shani and Wren. Impressed with the actions? No, not really. The taking of a life, any life, is abhorent. Yet, in this matter it was necessary, especially for protecting the life of the cub.

Once Shani had told the story to her mother, Unia turned her attention to the cub.

“Let me see her,” Unia said as she stretched out her arms to take the cub. Shani shifted the baby and slipped her into her mother’s arms. Unia sat in the rocking chair and cradled the cub. Charr cubs looked very different from the more adult versions. Much more innocent and playful. The cub woke and looked up into Unia’s face. She giggled, smiled and began to purr. Obviously, the cub recognized something in Unia’s face that was similar to Shani’s.

By this time, the others had come into the house, sitting near Unia but making sure not to crowd around her. The cub made pleasant cooing sounds, after she’d sneezed three times in a row and Unia cleaned up her nose. Then Unia looked to Shani and said in a serious and stern voice. “Get a cloth and put it on the work table you have.” Shani sat stunned for a moment, then everyone realized why. “Now, please,” Unia said as she rose to her feet. The cub made a face and squirmed, then the usual aroma wafted through the room that is often familiar with babies. Of any species.

“I need a water bucket, fresh, clean cloths, some of that soap, and a trash bin,” Unia said as she laid the baby down on the work bench. “And Shani, you are going to watch very carefully.” Shani perked an eyebrow. “Oh yes, you will, daughter. You will watch this, then the second time I will help you, the third time I watch will you change the diaper, then it’s all your responsibility after that.”

“How… many times is I gonna need ta…”

“About six or seven times,” Unia said quickly, cutting off Shani’s question. She then looked directly at Shani. “A day.” Shani’s eyes grew a tad wide. “Oh, daughter of mine, you missed the best part of motherhood. The ten months of carrying a baby in your belly. The pain of pushing it out. And that’s if you manage to survive the process.” She managed to describe all of that, keep her daughter focused on the task, and keep a pleasant smile directed to the cub as she changed her. “Has she a name?”

“No, there weren’t no records ’bout her name,” Shani said. “Too much o’ the caravan was burned.”

Unia finished changing the cub’s diaper, gently picked her up and directed Shani to get a crib ready. Something makeshift for the time being for the cub’s first nap. “She’s probably going to have to sleep with you when you go to sleep, Shani,” Unia said.

“Why’s thet?” Shani asked as she watched the cub yawn and squirm in her new bed. She closed her eyes and began to drift off to sleep.

“She is still a feline,” Unia said with a quiet voice. “Feline’s either find security with their mother or with the other cubs in the litter. And eventually, she is going to have to go back to the Black Citadel.”

“I can talk ta one o’ the Magister’s at the Priory,” Pania suggested. “There’s a couple o’ Charr who have started b’comin’ a tad more tolerant o’ humans an’ such.”

Unia nodded. “That’s good. If you can invite one here, it would be most helpful.”

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Posted by on July 20, 2015 in Writing

 

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