[P] The Running Stitch
P: Skylee
Out on her porch, Esther was sweeping. It was a nice cloudy day with a light breeze, making the weather quite comfortable. She knew the cats probably wished for sunbeams to lay in, but this suited her much better since it wasn’t too hot. Besides, they seemed to like it when she was more active because it made her more interesting to them.

They were especially interested in her pile of dust, which she never understood. It was the same every time she swept: she would create the pile five or six times before finally managing to sweep the dirt off the porch with them running through it. This time, the pile also contained fallen flower petals from the potted plants on her porch, and these only served to make the dirt that much more enticing. She only shook her head at them and continued to patiently and slowly finish her chore.

“Sorry, that’s the last of it,” she said to Sunshine who meowed in response. Esther knew only a little low speech and some of her cats knew some high speech, but none knew enough for conversations. So, Esther simply spoke to them as though they could understand her.

“What shall we do next?” Esther asked, leaning on the broom. Again, the response was a meow instead of words, and Esther shrugged her thin shoulders while smiling down at the feline. Then the cat’s head turned and the Elder followed her gaze to see someone approaching.
OOC: Sorry for the slow reply! [WC: 242]

The day was not as interesting as Skylee had hoped it would be, and the large pawed puppy had ended up spending most of her time roaming the streets of Thornbury for the umpteenth time, cursing her inability to shift. She really wanted to learn a few things, though most of them required hands, and she wasn't old enough for those. With a sigh, the wolf-dog continued her roaming, soon coming across the house of the pack's only elder, Esther, who seemed to own quite a few cats. Thinking that there was hardly anything better to do, the puppy headed towards the home's porch, slightly curled tail wagging behind her as she plodded up with her tongue lolling out of her mouth.

"Howdy!" she greeted, sky blue eyes (which were inherited from her mother) blinking up at the gray furred canine, a somewhat goofy grin spread across her face, which was mainly made up of puppy fat that she wouldn't loose for a couple more months. "Howeh're yu, miss?" she asked as politely as she could, sniffing around and seeing one of the elder's cats nearby, head moving forwards somewhat to sniff at the feline. Skylee was fairly sure that her parents owned a cat, though she didn't pay much attention to the spotted animal, mainly intent on wandering and getting herself and her somewhat innocent brother into trouble. "An' howeh're your kitties?" she continued, tail continuing to wag as she did.
"Hello, dear," Esther smiled down at Skylee. She'd had the pleasure of keeping an eye on Faolan while catching fireflies and playing with the cats, and she was happy to be able to do the same with his sister as well now. The was glad to see that they were being taught manners by their parents--not that she had expected anything different--but it was always nice to see.

"I'm doing well," the Elder replied with a smile. "And my kitties are being naughty. This is Sunshine," she gestured to the cat who was sitting next to her legs. "And I bet if you stick around, you'll see Whitey and maybe even Kittensworth." She had seen both of them pouncing off into the grass earlier into the day, probably to hunt for a meal for themselves. She guessed they would probably be back soon since it was getting to be nap time for them and they enjoyed sleeping in the wooden crates she had around her house.

Esther shuffled over to her rocking chair and slowly started to sit down. A few inches from the seat, she plopped down. While reaching for a piece of fabric from the basket next to her, Esther asked, "And how are you doing, turnip?" The fabric was yellow, and she was using gray thread to stitch her name into it. She grasped the needle between two shaky fingers and pulled it from the fabric where she had stuck it so that she didn't lose it. Luckily, it hadn't come unthreaded, either, so she could simply pick up where she had left off.

"What are you up to?" She asked as she fed the needle through the fabric. She wasn’t able to move her hands nearly as quickly as she used to, so sewing like this tended to take much longer, but she still enjoyed seeing the results.
sorry for the delay!

Skylee sniffed at the cat that Esther introduced as Sunshine, looking fairly interested in the animal as she had a sloppy grin spreading across her face after she'd sniffed at the feline. The wolfdog let out a tiny yip, tongue lolling out of her mouth as she pointed her hindquarters in the air, front legs bending somewhat and slightly curled tail wagging in the air. "She dun look nawty!" Skylee stated, nose twitching at the cat, ears pointed forwards. The large-pawed puppy jumped to the side a bit, and then back, and to the other side before hopping backwards and straightening up. "I thin' she's pretty cute," the girl commented, nodding upwards at the elder.

"I'll stick aroun'! I'd like ta see Whitey and Kittensworth," the girl stated with an eager nod of her head, sky blue eyes widening eagerly as she looked at the faded-colored d'Artisan. "Oh, I'm doin' good!" the puppy said after a moment's hesitation, plopping down into a sitting position, the action letting loose a small 'thump' noise.

Her head cocked to the left again when the older canine asked what she was up too, since Skylee honestly didn't know what she was doing ... er, no! She remembered! She was visiting Esther, and that was about all she'd thought about doing in the most recent hours. "I was visitin' yu!" she stated, her tail thumping against the porch as it wagged around fairly cutely.
OOC: ugh I am so slow.
Watching as Sunshine blinked at the puppy's playful antics, Esther wished Whitey was there to play with her. He enjoyed playing like a puppy, and had done so with Faolan. Sunshine liked to play as well, but she didn't use the canine body language like Whitey did.

"Oh yes, she is cute," Esther agreed, then continued with a wink, "It's why she gets away with being naughty." She gave a wobbly nod to Skylee's next statement and then glanced around, sure that the appropriately named white feline was close by. "They like making new friends. I'm sure they will be along soon." In fact, Esther was surprised that Whitey, at least, hadn't shown up already at the sound of Skylee's young voice.

"Well then, I'm glad you stopped by. I like getting visits from youngsters like you," Esther said while passing the needle through the cloth a few more times. She glanced up from her work at the thumping sound the puppy's tail was making and smiled. "And since you're here, I'd like your opinion. It's very important." The Elder landed forward and reached to hold out the cloth in her shaky hands for Skylee to see.

"What do you think of these colors together?" Esther asked. "I rather like yellow and grey."

Skylee giggled when Esther said that the reason Sunshine got away with being naughty was because she was so adorable -- that was probably why Lee got away with being bad whenever she was, the canine assumed. "Rwite, rwite," the girl said with exaggerated nods of her head, glancing over at Sunshine and twitching her nose at the feline. She wished she had a cat, since Moo-kitty was a cat she never payed much attention too. Skylee didn't know why she didn't pay attention to the bicolor cat, but she just didn't and she was perfectly okay with that.

"I'll visit more tehn!" the girl declared, puffing out her chest proudly and somewhat heroically as she did, glad to bring joy to at least one person besides her parents. Despite the fact that Esther was old and Skylee didn't have the best opinion of old people, she liked the lady's cats and the shakey canine seemed to be alright. "Impurtan'?" Skylee repeated, eyes widening. Finally, she got to do something important!

The chubby-built puppy watched as the elder of the pack held up the fabric, looking thoughtfully at the colors. "O, I like dose togewtr too!" she stated, which was her actual opinion and not her just trying to impress the adult. She did like the colors. "Whut're ya makin'?" the puppy asked, head tilting to the left a bit as she spoke, wondering what the canine was making this time. She seemed to be making things a lot, or Skylee just assumed that, but her assumptions were probably true.

it's ok! I'm slow a lot too :D +260 words

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"Oh, good," Esther smiled as she leaned back in her chair. It creaked as it rocked a bit from the movement before stilling once more. Esther looked down at the fabric again before adding a few more stitches. Grey always seemed to go with anything, but she was never quite sure anymore. "My eyesight isn't the best, you see, so sometimes I have trouble with colors." She pushed with her feet, causing the chair to rock and creak again before glancing up at Skylee.

"What was, that, dear?" She said after a moment. "Oh yes. I'm making a scarf. It will have my name stitched on it. That is what this pattern is." She showed it to Skylee once again tracing her thumb over the letters. They were a little bit crooked and some were taller than others, but it was easily read. When Esther was younger, her stitching was much more exact.

"I have an idea," the Elder decided, setting the fabric in her lap. "Why don't I make you something? You could have a scarf if you want, but I think a bandana would be better. You can wear it whenever you want, not just when it is cold." Her cloudy mismatched eyes brightened a little bit at the idea of making something for Skylee. "I could put your name on it, too. You can pick the colors."

Skylee nodded, feeling sorry for the elder with her poor eyesight. She must be getting old, or at least the Foxleigh pup assumed that. Normally, she also thought old people were just a burden and all, but Esther seemed to contribute a lot to the pack with her sewing and all, so Lee thought the canine was alright. "Realleh?" she said, looking at the pattern and nodding again. "I bet it'll be teh pretties' scarf!" the puppy commented with a small laugh afterwards. Most of the things the d'Artisan made looked very nice.

"An ideah?" Skylee said, leaning forwards to listen more, curious about what idea the canine had. "Realleh? I wuld like tha' a lot!" the wolfdog exclaimed, looking eager. A bandanna! She didn't really know too much about bandannas but they seemed cool. "Tanks yuh, miss Esther!" she continued, sky blue eyes wide and bright, and feathery textured tail wagging too. "Whut kinda culors?" Skylee asked, her head tilted to the side. One of her paws shifted position slightly, but other than that she sat quietly to listen. She was very excited to get a bandanna, since she wasn't actually able to wear any clothes like her ma and da yet, so it'd be nice to have a bandanna.

sorry for the wait! +211 words

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"I'm glad you think so," Esther replied sincerely. She always enjoyed when people liked the things that she made. Sure, they were functional and would keep her packmates warm, but liking how they looked was even better, in her opinion. It also let her know that she still had good taste in color choices. Most of the time, anyway. Although, sometimes she was quite sure her packmates were simply humoring her because she was old.

Esther's tail wagged a bit with Skylee's excitement about a bandana. "You are welcome." She smiled as she slowly set the scarf she was working on down. Skylee asked about colors and Esther looked up with another smile. "Well, my dear, you'll just have to come inside and pick them out." The Elder grasped her walking stick and used it to help her stand from the rocking chair. She left the door wide open as she shuffled inside and over to the cupboards that held her fabrics and threads. Certain fabrics would make a better bandana than others and she pulled those down. There were lots of different colors, and some had simple patterns: polka dots, stripes, and one even had zigzags. With the fabric pieces out, Esther opened a different cabinet and pulled out a basket of different color threads, all of which were on wooden or bone spools.

"Alright, turnip, take your pick," Esther said. The fabrics were piled on a chair and the basket of threads, Esther bent to set on the floor so that Skylee would be able to see them. A couple of cats trotted over to see what Esther had set down, probably hoping that it was food, and she used her cane to guide them out of Skylee's way so the puppy didn’t have to be jostled by cats while making her decision.

The wolfdog continued to grin at the lightly-furred elder, pure admiration showing in her light blue eyes. Of course, she still thought most other older wolves were stinky and useless, but she was going to have to make an exception for Esther. Skylee continued to listen attentively to the other d'Artisan speak, giving a twitch of her ear with the frail individual said that she was going to have to come into her house and pick out a fabric. "Okay!" Skylee said, jumping up onto her paws from where she had been sitting and giving her fur a small shake, wagging her tail enthusiastically as she followed after Esther.

Once she entered the house she took on a somewhat more cautious air, not wanting to break anything that the canine owned. She bet that the gray-furred coywolf would be especially disappointed if she did something like that. With a small sniff, she stayed close to the entrance, watching as the elder pulled out a basket and then set it on the ground. A few of the cats had also wandered in and were looking at the basket. The Foxleigh pup took a few hesitant steps forwards and then peered inside the basket. "Alright, turnip, take your pick," the elder had said.

Her brownish nose twitched as she leaned her head forwards and looked at the fabrics. "Uhh . . . jus' a plain blu one!" she stated, looking up at the adult. "If yah have a blu one, I like da color blu," Skylee continued, nodding her head briskly as she spoke, hoping that there was a plain blue one -- it seemed like there probably was, based on the amount of fabric Esther had tucked away into the basket. Skylee wondered where all of it had come from, and then decided that the coywolf had probably traded for most of it. That probably took a lot of trading, she thought.

Sorry for the wait! +318 words

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"I like blue, too," Esther replied. She turned and pulled two blue pieces of fabric out of the pile. She had several with patterns on them as well, but Skylee had wanted a plain blue one, so that was what her bandana would be made out of. Esther set the cloth down on a wooden chair so that Skylee could see them, then reached for the basket. The Elder's back cracked a bit as she straightened up, using her asking stick to help.

After plopping the basket on the table, she rummaged through it until she found two shades of blue thread as well. "Alright, dear, I was thinking the dark blue fabric with light blue thread," Esther set the thread on the fabric. "Or, the light blue fabric with dark thread." She set that one down as well so that Skylee could choose.

Once the puppy had made her decision, Esther found herself another sewing needle and picked up the chosen fabric and thread. Some of the cats followed her as she shuffled over to the rocking chair she kept in the house. It rocked as she sat and leaned back before setting about the difficult task of threading the needle with shaking hands. After several tries, she finally got it. As she unwound the amount of thread she thought she would need, Esther put together in her mind the letters that would make up Skylee's name.

Just as Esther started sewing, a pair of cats tumbled in through the front door, playfully trying to pounce at each other. She paused to look at them with a stern expression on her face as their play took them towards Skylee.

"They may play with you, if you would like," Esther told Skylee. Turning to her with a smile. At the Elder's voice, both cats looked up, and the male, Whitey, starts walking towards Skylee, sniffing the whole time.
The puppy wandered forwards to look at the fabrics, admiring the lighter blue one a bit more than the other. "Light blu wif da darker blu thread, please, miss!" she said with a smile, thinking that maybe the lighter blue would go with her eyes or something along those lines. She watched closely as Esther picked up the thread and then headed over towards her rocking chair, ears twitching as the creak it made with the gray furred canine sat down in it. The Foxleigh pup was about to head over towards the elder, before she said something about playing with the cats. "Okay," she said with a nod of her head, turning to look at the cats.

One of them had its nose twitching as it wandered over, and Skylee leaned her head forwards cautiously. "Yah, I smell funneh," the wolfdog told the cat, wondering if that was why she was sniffing at her. Maybe it was trying to figure out who she was, too, because that's what Skylee normally did when she went around smelling things. "Dis one is Whitey, right?" she asked, turning to look at Esther for a moment, trying to recall the cat's name. The pup glanced at the lightly colored cat again, waiting to see if she'd gotten his name right.
OOC: feel free to play the cats playing with Skylee! Whitey learned to play using puppy body language. Kittensworth plays like a cat normally would.

As she sewed, Esther's attention was torn between her little project and making sure the puppy and cats didn't end up too rough with each other if they decided to play. They had played fine with Faolan, so she guessed Skylee would be the same, but she seemed a bit more outgoing than her brother, so the Elder watched just to make sure. She wanted it to be a good experience for all of them so that they would be friends in the future.

"Yes, he's very friendly and playful. The one with the stripes is Kittensworth, and this lady here," she gave a wobbly nod towards an orange cat that had taken a seat on the floor next to Esther's rocking chair, "Is Sunrise." Sunrise probably wouldn't play, but Whitey was ready to go as he bent his front end down with his tail in the air, like he had learned from playing with other puppies.

The bandana was a simple project, and the letters were carefully stitched into it, from the corner that would be opposite the tied ends and up the side a little bit. Esther went along the stitching several times to help Skylee’s name stand out even more. When that was done, Esther tied off the thread and then opened up the square piece of fabric so that she could fold over a small amount of each side. She put a single line of stitches around the perimeter as a hem so that it wouldn’t start fraying if she wore it often. Esther hoped she did; she enjoyed when her packmates wore the things she made for them, even if she didn’t always remember making them right away. Once she was finished, she set the needle in a basket that sat next to her rocking chair. It contained some yarn, but it would hold the needle for now and she could put it away later.

“Okay, my dear,” Esther said, holding up the bandana for Skylee to see. The cats stopped what they were doing and looked at her, hoping they would be getting attention. “Do you like how the letters look?” She figured Skylee couldn’t read yet, but the Elder couldn’t read too well either. Letters still formed pretty shapes, in her opinion.
The white cat that Skylee had first seen when she came to the elder's porch seemed more canine than not as it took on a stance that Skylee soon copied, giving a quiet yip and jumping to the side. She straightened up for a moment or so to look at the other felines that Esther introduced, admiring the orange cat who sat by Esther, named Sunrise. Skylee honestly thought she was prettier than the other cats although seemed more comfortable sitting by the elder so the Foxleigh pup didn't go up and try to bother the cat or anything of the sorts. Instead, she turned back to Whitey and Kittensworth, wagging her tail and yipping quietly again.

Skylee didn't really know how to play with a cat so she just smacked her paw on the ground once and continued to wag her tail, tongue lolling out of her mouth for a little bit before rolling back inside. The pup straightened up and trotted up towards Kittensworth, sniffing curiously at the cat. Sky wanted to know who all of Esther's cats were and a lot of them probably looked similar, or she guessed that, so Skylee decided to just figure out what their scents were because that was what post people would do. After sniffing at the cat she trotted off, and then whipped around and darted back up towards the cat, who jumped backwards. "Yur funneh," she told Kittensworth, even though she was fairly sure the feline wouldn't understand what she was saying.

As soon as Esther spoke up again she turned to look at the gray-furred canine with an anxious look spread across her face, very excited to see the bandanna. Sky wandered up towards the older canine, looking up at the bandanna with a glimmer in her sky blue eyes. "Its bea-ti-ful!" she said with emphasis on the 'beautiful' part. "I love it! Thanks yu!" she said, tail wagging. Skylee was fairly sure she couldn't get it on by herself, and decided that she would ask Esther to tie it around her neck, since she wanted to go show off her new bandanna to pretty much everyone. "Culd ya help me get it on?" she asked, tail still wagging excitedly.
As Skylee approached, Esther lowered the bandana a bit to make it easier for her to examine int. She grinned at the puppy’s reaction and her tail wagged as well in response, though not as rapidly. She was old, after all. The cats quickly lost interest in the bandana since it didn’t have anything to do with them and Whitey pounced at Kittensworth and they dashed off across the room.

“Of course, turnip,” Esther nodded. She folded the fabric over once, making a triangle so that her name was at a corner. Then she took the other two corners and tied it around her neck, somewhat loosely, but tight enough that it would stay on her as she ran around. If she ducked her head and wiggled a bit, it would probably come off. Esther tried to make sure the knot itself was good and tight so that Skylee could slip it back on more easily.

“There you are,” the Elder leaned back, causing the chair to creak as it rocked once as she looked over her work, then she got an idea. “It goes very nicely with your eyes. Do you want to see?” She stood up and slowly shuffled across the room to her bedroom, beckoning Skylee to follow. It was a bright room, with the shades over the windows open. A cat slept on her blanket and woke up as she came inside, lifting his head to watch the canines. Just inside was an old, cracked full-length mirror. The stain had long ago worn off the wooden frame, and it was dirty as well, but not too dirty to see a reflection in. Esther tugged on it several times, turning it so that it faced the doorway so Skylee could have a look.

“There you are,” she said, lowering her shaky hand back to her side. The cat on the bed looked from her to Skylee and meowed, as if approving the bandana.
Sorry for the wait! I think a couple more posts and this'll be done :3

The wolfdog pup waited patiently for Esther to finish tying the bandanna around her neck, obviously excited. She was even more excited to rush home and show her ma and brother Faolan, but wanted to wait until Esther said it was okay for her to go since she didn't want to be rude. She grinned broadly at the gray-furred elder, ears twitching forwards as she listened to her speak. "Thanks yu," she said with a slight tip of her head, trying to keep the bandanna from coming off, although she still wanted to be somewhat polite, considering Esther had changed her opinion of elderly people quite a bit. "Oh, I'd love ta see it!" she continued as soon as Esther asked, bouncing up and down for a moment before she calmed herself and headed after the elder, who retrieved a weathered mirror and faced it towards Skylee, who had followed Esther closely, glancing momentarily at the cat located in the canine's room, head tilting to the left for a moment before straightening up as she turned to look at the mirror.

Although it was stained and dirty Skylee could still see her reflection, which was somewhat unclear although distinguishable as herself. Skylee hadn't really gotten a good look at herself before and thus spent a few moments in silence as she eyes her bright blue eyes and mottled fur -- the brown legs and curled tail -- for a moment, before her attention turned down to the blue bandanna around her neck. Although the stitching wasn't perfect, it was showed a lot of skill, which explained why the members of d'Arte seemed to think so highly of the elder's sewing. It was blue, perfect blue, and matched her eyes just like Esther said. Obviously, from the time Skylee had spent looking at the mirror, she liked the bandanna quite a bit and was still anxious to show her family.

"I loves it, Miss Esther!" she exclaimed for the second time, finally turning away from the cracked surface of the mirror to look up at the shakey elder, grinning even more broadly than she had before. "I can't wait ta show mah ma and mah da and mah bruber Faolan, he'll be supa jealous 'cause he don't got a nice bandanna like I du!" she blabbered. She very much believed that Faolan would be jealous of her bandanna, even though he might think it was girly or something along those lines. "Thanks yu thanks yu!" she repeated with an even larger amount of excitement, tail wagging enough to knock something over.
OOC: No worries, and I agree! :D

While Skylee looked at herself in the mirror, Esther waited patiently, smiling at her and leaning on her walking stick. Whitey came up and pawed at Esther’s ankle and she bent to scratch gently behind his ear. The Elder knew the mirror was a bit of a luxury, which was why she kept it so far into her house, to try to keep it from being broken more than it already was. At some point, she knew she should clean it, but again the fear of it breaking more kept her from doing much with it.

“I’m glad you like it,” Esther replied, straightening up with the help of her walking stick. Whitey watched Skylee’s tail wag back and forth and his own started to twitch. Esther edged her cane in front of him so he wouldn’t surprise Skylee by pouncing at her tail. Whitey looked up at Esther and then sat down, clearly getting the message.

She laughed quietly as Skylee mentioned that her brother might be jealous of the bandana. If he wanted one, Esther would make him one as well. She had many colored fabrics, and maybe he would like a nice red or dark green one. Or maybe he wouldn’t want one at all. Esther didn’t mind either way.

“You are very welcome, turnip,” Esther said then turned the mirror back to its usual position. She swore it got heavier every time she wanted to move it. Given, that wasn’t very often, but she was still sure that was the case. Clasping one hand over the other on the walking stick, the Elder looked back down at Skylee. “Would you like to go show your family, then?” She suggested, figuring she was probably excited to do so since she had mentioned them. As she spoke, Esther shuffled back across the main room and started cleaning up some of the extra fabric she had gotten out.
OOC: went ahead and wrapped this up I guess >.<
With a broad grin spread across her face still, the wolfdog looked back into the grimy mirror for a moment or so more, admiring the bandanna still. Sky was obviously impressed by the elder's stitching and overall she really appreciated the fact that one of her pack-mates had bothered to make something for her. Finally tearing her attention away from the reflective surface for the second time, she looked up at Esther, who seemed so much taller than she was since Skylee wasn't full-grown yet and she'd still be shorter than most Luperci canines who were in their optime forms.

"Oh yea, I'ma go show dem, they're gunna be sooo impressed by yur sewin', miss!" she said with another smile, genuine and large and innocent. Skylee hobbled out towards the door, watching Esther as she picked up some of the fabric she had gotten out. Skylee tipped her head in goodbye to one of the nearby cats and then continued off towards the door, preparing to shout a goodbye at the gray-furred canine. "Bye miss Esther!" she called out, even though she was still in the house, and then she nudged the door open and trotted off so that she could show her parents and brother her new bandanna.
“I hope they are,” Esther smiled at Skylee, very happy that the youngster liked her new bandana. Hopefully it would help keep her a little warmer once it started getting cold as well, although she guessed the puppy would be able to shift by then. Either way, Esther hoped she still liked it as she grew older. It was always nice when the things she made for people continued to be used for a long time.

“Bye, Skylee,” Esther called back to the puppy. Several of the cats looked the direction she had gone with wide eyes, mainly because they weren’t used to such loud noises in the house. Esther was generally quiet, and the only sounds were play-fights and sometimes. Whitey trotted towards the door making a trilling sound and stood watching his playmate leave, a slightly disappointed look on his face and in the rest of his body language.

“She’ll be back sometime,” the Elder reassured him as he sat down and looked back at her with a meow. The rest of the cats settled back into their naps and Esther continued putting away the cloth and other supplies before going about the rest of her day.

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