I’m often reminded of the differences between the species at times like these.
I’m hauling back trimmed logs, one in each hand. The weight, probably several tons each. With my runes, it is quite the workout, but doable. The bearfolk children are riding on said logs, having fun balancing. Occasionally, I rotate one, and most of the time they don’t fall. It’s enjoyable for both me and them. Next to me, the dryadites are each carrying a log. Somehow the two of them are already strong enough to carry these trees, despite only being a few months old and less than 2 feet tall. Finally, the hume children are just starting to learn how to crawl.
The difference is extreme.
It follows that trend with eating too. The Dryadites, of course, don’t ‘eat,’ as it were. The bearfolk just started eating solid food recently. The hume children… Well, Dubhe has been complaining about how she has ‘never before realized how inferior and ridiculously weak humes are.’ Or something. Something about ‘Childcare shouldn’t be this hard’ too. I guess that’s why the bearfolk children are with me. She needs a break after all, and this does wonders for getting to know and enjoy my children.
Lillia and Dubhe still won’t let me name the children. I don’t think I’ll get to name them anyways. Melsy put her hands up in the air and shook her head when I asked for insider information. I know she talks to them. She doesn’t often give in to that type of requests for exclusive information, but she does give me confidence with vague, non-committal answers when she feels it’s in everyone’s best interest.
For instance, when I asked: “Do the girls think there is a concern with putting the orckin pen on the other side of Brendan’s house-prison-thing?”
“Uh, I don’t think that is the concern everyone has.”
Right… Now, to just figure out what that concern is…
That building was the first one built. Although that made Mika and Dubhe mad, I think Lillia convinced them it was the right choice, somehow. Now, though, we have a house for Mika, Otsu and Nanook; a house for Dubhe, the hume girl, and the children; and a house for Melsy and myself. I say a house, but really, they are large, single room huts. We also have a decent size wall around three sides of the ‘encampment,’ it does great at breaking the wind. That alone has warmed up the air around the houses enough so that it is reasonable to be outside without extra layers of clothing. It also has allowed us to grow some plants. We’ve come a far way from where we were.
I’ve recently started working on a bathhouse and pavilion combination. “Otsu! Put these up for me?” Otsu has become very good at notching the wood in a way that makes for nail-less construction. It’s like lincoln logs. He also gets Mika to cut the wood for us. She won’t do it for me.
I shake the wood side to side, and the bearfolk children get off. That’s their sign that the ride is over.
“Come on guys! Let’s go see what Mommy Melsy has for lunch!” A bearfolk boy rides on each leg, Nanook can’t help but play with my children at every opportunity. Careful with those claws though! They’re sharp like a young kitten’s. My bearfolk daughter, I carry. She is super cute and cuddly. The dryadites are talking about something in some other language, and head off in another direction. I don’t understand dryads. I’m not sure I ever will. Maybe they don’t understand us either? It’s something I think about often.
Last time those two disappeared, I found out from Melsy that they made the dryad equivalent of a solar array. It couldn’t be seen from the houses, just behind the first tree line to the south west. I didn’t know this before, but dryad’s primary bodies aren’t even the ones we see. They are underground, usually, out of sight. Although ‘primary body’ is a bit of a misnomer, I guess. The majority of their mass, is probably the right way to put it. Their roots might be a better term. Well, their roots are somewhat autonomous, so to make themselves have extra energy to do these strenuous tasks, the two of them basically built an organic solar array out of themselves, and visit there regularly to ‘recharge.’
Definitely a completely different paradigm of life. It makes sense, but takes a lot of thought power to consider in day-to-day life. Most of the time, even considering such racial differences, their mode of life doesn’t make sense to anyone here besides Lillia. (Editor’s Note: And who knows if that means it would make sense to other dryads.)
Approaching my hut, I call out. “Mommy Melsy, what’s for lunch?”
“Don’t yell through walls!” I’m reproached by an angry Dubhe. “Be a good example!” She herself…is yelling through walls at me though…
“Aye.” I sigh under my breath, making my way in the door to my hut. Maybe the houses are too close together.
“The young ones will have grilled suckling orckin from yesterday. The babes are with Dubhe for normal feeding time, and me and you get to have that delicious vegetable and nut soup you made a few days ago.” It is nice living next to a ‘glacier’ of sorts. Makes preserving food easy. Also a very nice source of water. For Lillia. Although, she still asks me frequently. I think it is her way of understanding that I still care for her.
“Oh, it is your day to eat with me, isn’t it?” Melsy only eats two days of every ten. It’s a compromise we came up with. Honestly, I think it’s growing on her.
The children hop off me, and chow down at a low sitting table. Sort of like a coffee table.
Melsy and I eat our food standing.
“Hmmmm” She closes her eyes and smiles, savoring the flavor. She is definitely getting used to this. I give her one year before she eats every day.
“I know, it’s delicious, just like you.” I put another spoonful to my mouth.
Then I sputter some ultra hot soup out on the ground.
“Be polite around the children or you won’t get to eat.”
Okay! Uncle! I get it! My tongue is now burned. I’m not going to be able to taste anything for a few days now.
Author’s Note: Thanks for the support! DungeonPalmz says that was rude of her. I think he got what he deserved! Discuss.