[P] Why Couldn't You Be Wooly?
  • Caballista: Help care for some of the communal animals - feed birds or livestock, brush horses, or help someone to care for their own animal! (brush the hoss)

[406] OOC: Hello! Theo's going to be looking after a couple of the horses if you'd like to help!

"Seriously, why couldn't you have been wooly like a sheep?" the coyote grumbled to his tall friend, whose only response was to lip his shoulder as Theo draped his poncho over Jed's back.  The stallion had grown his winter coat already, but since they had traveled from the southwest up to these more frigid climates, Jed still hadn't gotten quite used to the particular cold of these parts.  Not wanting to let his horse catch cold, Theo adorned the black saddler with his poncho like he would often do if it got a little too chilly outside, fitting it so it wouldn't rub or chafe against his mount's hairs.  Of course, Jed himself was only being so overly nice because he wanted the impromptu blanket, grateful for the extra warmth that it provided across his back.  Jed had a small saddle blanket for riding, but that alone could be considered laughably bad neglect if Theo stuck his nose up and said "that's it."  And besides, Theo had buildings that he could just walk inside if things got too frigid, but Jed had to make do with either these stables, or outdoors, and as nice as these stables were, the big baby needed a little extra for the season at least.

Some of the other gang's horses were perfectly acclimated to the weather, the great beasts that they were, and were perfectly fine to roam with some light shelter to sleep under.  It mostly made Theo suspicious that Jed was just a huge softy that preferred to be cozy as he liked during winter, but he dared not deny the mount lest he call foul on the coyote.  Making sure the poncho was nice and secure on top of his withers, Theo picked up a stiff grooming brush sitting on a stool near the front of the stall, combing the hairs along the flank of his neck down towards Jed's shoulders, with brisk, practiced motions as he murmured softly to his companion.  Those horses that were still stabled he would try and give a good grooming, checking if they need any feed or warm water thanks to the climate, before turning in for the day if he felt like it by then.  In the moment however, he kept his mind on his work, patting Jed over his emergency blankie as he drifted into the steady pace of his task.

[Image: FwhWcF2b_o.png]
"Need some help there, friend?"

It had been a few weeks now, but not entirely enough to mask her old scent. Del Cenere still was new to her, and she was new to them. It would not stop or break her spirit, however. Tallulah still had hoped she could settle here if given the chance. But if they, after a month, could still reject her... She would be on her way. There was no shortage of packs to integrate herself into, after all. Leaning against the stable door, she was propped up by her elbows. Her hands were on both cheeks, eyeing the coyote man with a lofty expression. Still, her blues were alert and twinkling.

"They don't have you doing all the work, do they?" she continued with a gentle smile of amusement that crossed her face. She only assumed he had to brush the rest of the horses as well. She had done the same thing prior. Catalina had been around to help though, thankfully. Back on the Colt Ranch, they had stable hands. Even then, Tallulah refused help from others. She was the one who offered to help people. Her blue eyes focused on the horse he was grooming. "he's a fine one" she complimented easily "is he your friend?" Because 'owning' a horse, who had a mind of its own, seemed a bit cruel.

Hence her saying 'friend' instead of 'yours'. Pushing off against the stable door, she opened it and entered. If he wasn't going to let her help, Tallulah could find another horse to brush. He didn't own all the work. She'd be bored stiff today if he did. There had been nothing to do really.

ooc; 282 words, tagging theo

Stopping after a full stroke of a brush, Theo craned his neck around to see the visage of what looked like a dog mix watching him, with her face being supported by both arms as she leaned into the stall door.  People would come and go often, as any who rode often would take care of the horses like he did, but most of the people he heard walking by didn't stop to talk.  Not unless he accosted them first that was.  Glancing from the stranger to Jed's face, the coyote scratched lightly under the stallion's chin, speaking in a calm voice that his new friend could easily hear as well.  "This old boy ain't too much of a handful, but no sense in stoppin' work from being done faster." he said in reply, as Theo had gotten used to others interacting with Jed more often as they grew accustomed to the pack.  Jed, however, still liked to be a bit choosey sometimes, and it wouldn't do for a first impression if he were to chomp at someone just because he didn't know them yet.

"I'd watch out for his mouth, he can snort and snap with the worst of them, but meeting new people will often put him in a good mood." he offered as advice to the Ashen, who was still quite new to the pack by the smell of it.  Their unique blend of horse hide and woodsmoke wasn't as ingrained on her yet.  At her light joking, Theo could only give a doggish grin, smoothing out Jed's coat as he made another pass further down his neck.  "None that I don't bring on myself, fortunately.  Gotta have some time to kick up the paws, right?"  To tell the truth, Theo did his best to perform any task he happened upon, at least early on in the day.  He wanted to prove that he deserved to be here, and even if he wasn't actively bringing in large hauls of goods or contributing to pack food stores every day, that he had some worth at least.  On the other hand, Jed knew exactly what his worth was, if not a little self-inflated in his thick head.  The coyote's charcoal hands never waivered as he let out a loud snort of air through his nostrils, nodding with the newer Ashen's assessment, knowing how Jed would take such a compliment.  Indeed, the black horse stretched his neck out, lifting his chin as he softly wickered, sounding like he very much approved of the dog's taste in horses.

"He's been my friend most of our lives." was his only comment, giving the horse another reassuring pat on the shoulder as he checked his handiwork.  Glancing over as he heard the stall door swing open, Theo shuffled a little so Jed's new favorite for the day had room to move about comfortably, murmuring under his breath and keeping a steady hand on the broad neck of his traveling buddy, watchful for any sign that he was getting claustrophobic in the stall they stood in.  "If you want to do that side, I'll wash his face up with the rag." Theo suggested, in his roundabout way of both acceptance and thanks for the assistance.

[Image: FwhWcF2b_o.png]
"Aye? He looks like a right sweetheart, true" Tallulah remarked as she opened the stable door and entered. The woman smiled thinly at the warning, but she was far from insulted by it. She chuckled, turning her attention to the horse "but he's allowed to be picky. He's a handsome man" she smiled a bit more warmly "living a long, eventful life. He has to kick up his, ah, paws, too?" She approached carefully, cautiously but confident. Taught and raised around horses, the woman was both in awe of meeting new personalities and wary of insulting them.

The man remarked that he didn't bring much work on himself, or rather didn't let many piles upon him and him alone. "I have a great friend too," she said, reaching out only if it was okay with Jed. She paused, watching his mannerisms before giving him a soft and warm stroke "his name is Rusty. Big guy, but big of heart" maybe Jed and Rusty could hit it off one day "but my buddy is only a year older than me. He's got a long road ahead if I take care of him properly." Rusty did so much for her, it was only natural for her to provide the best care ever.

The man would allow her to help, and she took a brush she had seen outside the stall. "What's your name, handsome?" she asked the horse, glancing over at the other Luperci. While he wasn't bad-looking either, she did not have the chops to effortless flirt with a man. Her usage of 'handsome' was complimentary "I'm Tallulah. Just joined a few weeks ago. Nice to meet you both." As she began to brush the horse in fluid motion, she listened with one ear in the direction of the man. No sense in blocking him out; this was his stable.

ooc; 309 words, tagging theo
[000] OOC: Sorry I took so long to reply!  By this point Tallulah would've heard Theo's name as someone who knows Whisper, from the twins in our other thread as well!

Theo couldn't help but give a small bark of a laugh, causing Jed to give a short whinny and dance a little before the coyote calmed him back down.  True, the stallion could be considered sweet to some, but those were more often than not people that Jed liked, or at least people that the beast wanted to like him.  At least the new hand had a good head on her shoulders, and knew her way around a horse from the look of it.  The closest of Jed's large brown eyes regarded the female, watching her for any treachery, before giving a curt toss of the head not unlike a nod, seeming to have acclimated to the new stranger's presence.  The horse snorted as the Ashen spoke, especially when describing him as handsome.  Jed, so it appeared, had decided that he liked this newcomer.

The coyote himself gave a small smile, sagely nodding to what his fellow Del Ceneren had to say.  "Exactly.  Some might even say he spends most of his time relaxing, an' has to be reminded that exercise is important for a healthy guy." he prodded, knowing full well that Jed would understand that Theo was mocking him in his own friendly way, and essentially flat out telling him to go out more.  Jed, once again, made the decision not to flatten one of Theo's paws in retaliation, and instead butted him with his head.  The rider in turn ignored the assault, listening to their companion as she spoke more.  She too had a horse for a friend, and they were close by the sound of it.  He smiled thinly as she spoke of the long life her friend Rusty would live, thinking about how horses back home could live for two or three generations before they too died of old age.  It wasn't something he often liked to think about with Jed.

"Yeah.  What'cha think of that, big guy?  One day you might even outlive me." he said in a somber tone, rubbing the flank of Jed's neck.  The black horse, uncharacteristically, didn't entirely respond to the statement, only flicking his ears back and forth as if swatting a fly.  Theo just patted his back, leaving the quiet alone for a moment before their new friend broke the silence once more, asking for the stallion's name and introducing herself properly.  With a slightly devilish grin, hidden from Tallulah on the other side of Jed, Theo sidled a couple steps to pick up a rag, dipped it in cooling water, before he started to wipe around Jed's eyes, mouth, and nostrils.  "Name's Theo, an' this here's Jed." he said as straightfaced as he could, glancing in the corner of his eye to see how she might've reacted.  The coyote knew that she was talking to the horse, but after such a dour moment he couldn't help himself, he had to try and change the mood to a lighter one.

"It's good to meet you, Tallulah.  Is Rusty in one of these stalls as well?" he said, casually changing the subject back to her horse friend.  He glanced down the rows of stalls in the large Del Cenere stable, seeing a few of the other horses here that belonged to the pack, though many of them were probably outside having been used to the cold, as a herd.  Jed and Theo haven't been in the pack too long themselves, enough to know some of the faces and the land, but not to a great deal.  If Jed met Rusty, he might be able to get used to being around many horses after all.

[Image: FwhWcF2b_o.png]
Jed the horse, Theo the coyote. Got it. "Nah, Rusty is back at my campsite" she shook her head, blonde locks thankfully tame enough to withstand the shake "I staked a claim just outside of Charmingtown. Like it just fine, even if it can be chilly" she smirked "until I can get a place of me own, I'll stick there. Don't sit right with me to live rent-free. Nah, I'll earn my keep. Trade and such for food and drink when I need it. Hunt and scavenge the other times." She finished brushing Jed, giving him one last affectionate pat before turning to Theo.

"I only store Rusty here if it's too cold for him at night" she explained "the big guy likes to wander at his own pace, otherwise" and Rusty liked being close to his long-time Luperci friend, just in case. Though he could never vocally express this, being of Low Speech, he was protective of Tallulah. He had been protective and caring toward all the Colts, considering they had raised him from a foal. "but ya can't miss him, otherwise." She chuckled with good humor. He was much taller than she was or ever would be. She even raised a hand above her head to display this -

And it wasn't even close to how big the Clydesdale was. "Yanno" she added thoughtfully "I went to this place called The Rest Stop. Your name sounds familiar, actually. One of the folks there mentioned you know a woman named Whisper" she paused, letting that sink in before "I have another friend at the camp, a gyrfalcon. He's healing but still unable to fly. Whisper's brothers told me to contact her, but I ain't seeing her around. I don't know what she looks like... Do ya think... you could ask Whisper to take a look at the bird I found?" She felt it was a long shot, but how many other women were named Whisper in one pack?

ooc; 328 words, tagging theo
Theo glanced at his new acquaintance with newfound respect, hearing that she chose to camp out on her own instead of accepting the easy way out with the Trailside Inn.  Since they were inside the pack borders, staking a claim for a campsite was far less dangerous than if it had been out in a neutral region, but it was still a much rougher way of life, where help at a moments notice turns into help that you need to send a runner for.  Pretty gutsy for a newcomer, and not to mention the reasoning, something that added an entirely different layer of respectability.  A self-sustaining lifestyle and an eagerness to be of help to one's fellow canine were high marks to aim for.

Letting the warm, damp cloth fall away from Jed's face, Theo gave a nod of approval to Tallulah, flipping the washrag over his shoulder.  "You've sound like you got the right mindset.  Not many new faces would try so hard to be a benefit to the pack, and not even those who've been around for a minute longer like me." he complimented, accenting that last bit with a laugh.  Camping was fun and all, being under the stars and out in the open air, but the safety a building provided helped ease his worn nerves after so many years traveling the wilds.  Maybe when he felt more comfortable living here, he might try his hand at camping out in the wilderness again.  "And I can understand that well enough.  Jed here would be much the same, though he insists that any point in winter is too cold for his hide.  I think he just likes the easy access to food, honestly.  Less foraging for something to graze on if its dumped in a trough for ya."  The horse snorted in his face, his leathery nose jutting out to bump Theo square in the face, reminding the coyote that he was still present and currently staring at the far smaller, more fragile creature.  That's how Theo interpreted it at least.

Ignoring the testy stallion, the horseman glanced back over to Tallulah, who was in the midst of explaining how large her friend Rusty was.  From the example that she was giving, the horse was ginormous, even going a couple lengths above Jed at the shoulder, to the grumpy horses snorting annoyance and silent dismay.  In a moment of disbelief, Theo looked Tallulah up and down, before bluntly saying "Scuse me for askin', but how do you even ride a horse so big?  Do ya get a runnin' start to hop on his back?" he asked, only partly joking at that.  It was only with a good amount of practice that the Reeves man could reliably mount Jed, who was a big fella in his own right, but a horse even larger than him sounded a little daunting if he was to be honest.  It was a good thing that Rusty sounded like a sweetheart, Theo could only imagine the amount of carnage a horse like that could do if it was ever struck with Jed's temperament.

The newly Ashen suddenly changed the subject though, as she beat around the bush a bit before coming out and asking about Whisper, sounding for the world that she was in desperate need of help for this falcon friend of hers.  With a knowing nod, Theo shrugged as if Tallulah had just caught him in the act of some shifty act.  "Yup, I know the Greyfire boys.  Spent some time with them and their family, before coming here.  I actually talked Whisper into coming here with me.  They seemed like decent men, though they were a little strange.  But yes, Whisper's a fair healer, and she's supposed to work real good with birds and the like.  She lives in the room next to mine at the Trailside, an' I can always introduce you if ya'd like." he offered, trying to be helpful.  Theo was often one for joking and having a good time, but when it came to the well-being of animals, especially those too weak or injured to look after themselves, he was all business.

[Image: FwhWcF2b_o.png]
She felt herself shrug. "I don't rest on me laurels" was all she could say of that. Modest to a fault, she took the compliment but didn't giggle and flutter her lashes "Pa raised me right, ya can thank him for that" Del Cenere appreciated hard work and diligence. She couldn't be the only one doing work during winter, even if she noticed Charmingtown was almost quietly dead while other Luperci shacked up inside. She glanced at Jed again, chuckling warmly "some of us are the same way" she remarked, giving the horse a gentle pat "some prefer to sit and let others do the work for 'em" she shook her head, smirking "Jed's lucky he don't have to worry bout rank and title."

She couldn't help but laugh though. "My stirrups are a bit longer than average" Tallulah would say to Theo "I adjust 'em before I ride, so they don't droop down too much" Rusty put up with the constant adjustments, like the good-natured beast he was "I ain't that short!" She didn't need someone to help her into the saddle, that's for sure "I'll show ya one day, if I'm ever allowed outside of Charmingtown" Theo would know what she meant by that, considering she was Unkindled and new. Suspicion existed, and she was content to wait her turn "oh?" her head tilted, having not found Uriah and Besekel strange "strange how?" she was curious, but it wouldn't change her positive opinion.

But he did offer to introduce her one day to Whisper. "Thanks" she sighed with relief "it's me first time tending to a wild bird. Chickens are fine" she added "but they're not feral or temperamental if ya know how to handle 'em."

ooc; idc words, tagging theo

Forum Jump: