Writing 2014-02-22



The second day of the Gather has ended, and the day after, prosaically called “Hangover Day” by the human has dawned.  The fox camp is a buzz of activity, as many of the foxes pack to leave.  Some will stay until tomorrow.  One will be staying much longer.

Aedaith repeats herself, “But who are you going with?”

She doesn’t understand Larrikan any more clearly when he tells her again, “I’m staying here.  I am not going with anyone.”

Aedaith, confused and hurt, replies, “I thought you liked me.”  The conclusion that Larrikan doesn’t like her is obvious to her.

Larrikan can understand it, too, as it makes perfect sense to a never-still fox.  That certainly describes Aedaith.  He tells her, “I do like you, Aed.  I have enjoyed traveling with you.  I am not going anywhere.  I will be staying here.”

“But you’ve seen here,” replies Aedaith, “and it will be boring!”

“I wont be bored, Aed,” Larrikan tells her, his eyes full of delight, “I am going to learn magic!”

Larrikan can tell from the droop of Aedaiths ears and the fall of her tail that this news only serves to confuse her more.  She says, softly, “I’m going to miss you.”

Larrikan gathers Aedaith into his arms, and rubs her ears until she relaxes.  He whispers, just for her, “I’m going to miss you too, Aedaith.”  A little louder, so her new friends can hear, he tells her, “You don’t want to stay here where it will be boring.  Go off to new places, see great things, and come back in six years and tell me about them.”

Aedaith sniffles, and says, “Six years.  Okay.  Don’t forget.  You have to be here!”

Larrikan promises, “I will.”  Aedaith’s new traveling companions finally claim her and head out.

Watching his friends, clan, and people leave is harder than Larrikan expected.  His heart aches and he wonders how long it will hurt, or if he will just have to learn to live with it.

The day after hangover day, Larrikan gets ready to go see Coldwillow at the appointed time.  Iorwen and Wyllow, traveling together again, with two different foxlings, check in on him, and bid him a serious but sincere good bye.

Three hours after dawn, or slightly before, Larrikan knocks on Coldwillow’s office door.  He is nearly crushed when there is no response, but settles in to wait.  Half an hour later, Coldwillow arrives, and is shocked to see Larrikan.  She says, “You came!”

“Yes, ma’am.  I said I would,” replies Larrikan.

Coldwillow looks about, and asks, “How many of your clan or people or whatever stayed with you?”

“None, ma’am,” Larrikan replies, “just me.”

“And you can stay for the whole six years?” asks the somewhat astonished professor.

“Yes, ma’am.  I’ll do anything to learn magic,” repeats Larrikan.

“I am beginning to believe that,” Coldwillow says, “Come!  We have much to do!”

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