Re: putting myself in the place of the oracle

POSTED: Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:41 pm

[WC: 205]

Her answer was sufficient enough, and Bennett smiled, pleased with his own cleverness. He had a sharp look to his face, something which hinted at wickedness. The way his markings accented his eyes and mouth seemed to enhance this, like a painted face.

Okay, he agreed quickly, wagging his bushy tail. This was his first winter and though his pelt had grown in it, and his size, betrayed his youth. He was still fluffy in some places and sleeker in others. Adolescence had been slow-going with his development, perhaps stalled by what he had endured as a young puppy. Though he could not remember those times, or how much his father had done to ensure he and his brother lived, Bennett endured the aftermath of these events.

Now he felt like he was trying to be an adult and relearn who he was all at once.

Ragna said she saw pigs the other day, Bennett informed Saga. He had been very proud of befriending (more or less) the stoic soldier and liked to brag about it. I'm not sure exactly where, but we could look for those. I know where some groundhogs live, he added with a flash of his pearly teeth. They're pretty fat!

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POSTED: Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:25 pm

210

A foxlike expression lit the boy's face, a self-satisfied smirk, and the Starkhelm was pleased to see some light in Bennett now. The nagging voice in the back of Saga's mind rose its voice again and she considered that perhaps if she managed to keep her children alive long enough to see them stand in front of her as Bennett was now, she could have some success with parenting. Naively she figured that it couldn't be that difficult, at least not for the first few months.

Dragging herself back into the present, verdant eyes refocused on Linden's son and his hawklike eyes. 'Pigs?' she echoed, curious at the suggestion. Saga couldn't place a location where she knew pigs could, or would, be, but between the two of them, she figured they could make a decent attempt at finding them. Groundhogs, his other suggestion, was even more plausible given that he knew the exact location. Choosing his own personal suggestion felt, again, like a wise decision, especially given the validity of it. Proudly his white teeth split his pale snout and Saga nodded in agreement, 'A groundhog hunt sounds promising.' Behind her, her tail wagged with pleasure. She was becoming fairly fond of the boy.
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POSTED: Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:01 pm

[WC: 237]

That's what Ragna said, Bennett repeated. A twinge of annoyance bled into his voice. He was terribly impatient, all things considered. Luckily, Saga was quick enough to decide and get them back in motion once more.

Cool, follow me! he barked, turning on his heels. Running was the best way to get anywhere, and he was eager to show how fast he was. Owing to his size, he was more nimble than he looked, and sprung over uneven ground and obstacles with quick-footed leaps that landed with surprising daintiness when they fell.

Though he followed along the same path he had been running on previously, Bennett soon diverted away from the river. He turned right and carried on over a narrow trail that might have been carved by deer or traveling horses. In some places the grass grew to such a height that he was practically swallowed by it, though his tail would flag up like a plume as he raced along.

As they neared the clearing, Bennett slowed. He was panting to cool himself and had bits of brush and grass stuck to his shaggy fur. Ahead of them a rolling field dotted with overgrown bushes spread. The grass here was equally tall, mostly flattened by snow, and the obvious signs of tracks had been left by the critters that lived in the area.

Breath steaming, Bennett turned to Saga. This is the place, he announced.

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POSTED: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:33 pm

204

She was momentarily taken aback by how sudden Bennett's departure was, verdant eyes blinking wildly after his foxish form as it darted away from her. Quickly enough she set to follow him, more or less keeping up with the young boy. While she herself was fast and agile, more than most others, the eagerness of youth was its own special brand of speed. The duo quickly carried themselves towards the direction the de l'Or boy had originally been taking, meandering away from the open expanse and into a grass flooded meadow where the pair all but disappeared. If it hadn't been for Bennett's bright coat, Saga swore she would have run the risk of losing sight of his as he led her to the place he knew groundhogs to be.

Foggy exhales danced in the cold air as the pair came to a stop, surrounded by tall grasses that before had swallowed them whole. and now laid flat. Here and there, little tracks betrayed their prey's presence to them. Entirely happy to allow Bennett to cease control of this hunt, emerald eyes searched for golden ones with a query of, 'How do you suggest we go about this then?'
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POSTED: Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:02 am

[WC: 376]

It was new, and kind of neat, to have someone who wasn't part of his family listening to him and really taking him seriously. Inspired by this development, Bennett was determined to kill at least one groundhog. He would be devastated if he went back empty-handed after hyping the place up.

Groundhogs, though, he knew he could catch. He had done it before, all by himself. It had been the most exciting thing he had ever killed, at least until he had gotten better with the bow. The arrows were more dangerous than his sharp little teeth, and he would never be as big as some of the wolves and even other dogs out there. His physical strength would want.

That was all right. Bennett could improvise.

He wagged his tail again as she joined him. It made him feel fast, beating people in these informal races from one place to another, even if he had a slight advantage (knowing where he was going). That didn't really factor into his perception of things. As far as he saw it, he was simply the fastest.

So usually I wait, Bennett explained, looking back to the field. And they pop out of the ground. They'll hang out by their holes for a little bit, so you gotta wait for them to get further away. If you go too soon, they just run back in. I tried digging into one but they go back pretty far. Oh, and they have big teeth! Like a big squirrel or, whatchya call it, those things that live in the water. Anyhow, he went on, fluffing his neck out importantly in an attempt to hide his slip up. We can do that, it'll work.

Then, feeling a little uncertain in his presumptions, Bennett spared the speckled she-wolf a glance.

Unless you wanna do something else, I guess, he added. His father usually provided other plans that replaced Bennett's (admittedly, sometimes ludicrous) suggestions. Linden was boring though, he never wanted to do anything cool or extreme even if was starting to let them practice with real weapons. That wasn't too bad. Not that waiting was terribly exciting, but it was the only way Bennett had managed to catch their target prey on his own.

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dig two graves

POSTED: Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:22 pm

314

She'd only treated the boy how she would've wanted adults to treat her as a child. And they had done that to an extent, at least once she'd made herself at home in Mistfell Vale. It was how she figured children should be treated, at least the ones that were smart enough to act in a way that signalled they were deserving of such an honour. She'd never heard much, if any complaint, about Bennett that didn't seem understandable given he was a young boy. If anything he was prone to being sulky, but Saga could hardly fault him for that. He had many reasons to sulk and if today was anything to go by, his mood improved easily when given an activity to focus on and someone to talk to.

The Starkhelm saw, too, the pride in his face and his happily wagging tail as he arrived in the grassy meadow before her. She smiled back, her own tail waving behind her. Bennett was quick to explain his hunting methods when prompted, puffing up like a proud pigeon. To Saga, though unused to hunting groundhogs, it seemed like a more or less solid plan of attack. Even if it hadn't been, Saga would have been happy to try it out. Nodding in agreement, Saga sounded out with, 'You're the groundhog expert here.' and settled in for the wait. As an adult, although scarcely so, she had no qualms with waiting. Unlike the young boy, patience had been instilled in her by time and with luck, so would it transpire for the young de l'Or boy. Sitting down, she shook her head as linden's son voiced his concerns, 'No, no. It's fine. We can try it this way.' Even if it didn't work, at least Bennett would have the chance to prove himself.
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POSTED: Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:33 pm

[WC: 363] Bennett: :D :D

Expert made him sound important. He liked that. It would be a silly thing to be an expert of, groundhogs, but food was food. Mastering something useful would make him more useful, and that would benefit the pack as a whole.

Even if he was forbidden from doing certain things.

Even if he wasn't supposed to let people get close.

Okay, he said, and peered out over his hunting grounds with a narrowed gaze. He seemed to be looking for their prey, or some other secret sign to guide him. Waiting was less a matter of skill and more one of patience, of which Bennett had (surprisingly) a decent amount when it came to something important like the task at hand.

He scooted forward a little, hunkering down in the frosty grass. Though much of his pelt was rust-colored, the sandy golden brown and darker saddle helped him blend in a little better. Stealth would never be his calling.

Ahead of them, finally, a brown head poked out of the earth. Slowly at first, then in a rolling burst of speed, the groundhog skittered off to feed. Bennett's pupils widened. He held his breath. Now was the time for him to impress Saga!

He coiled his muscles and sprung, rushing forward with the same speed he had earlier displayed. Where a true dog would have barked, Bennett had been raised by a wolf and a cat (if Walter had anything to say about it, which he did) and had learned silence was the best weapon one could have.

By the time the groundhog noticed him, it was too late. The wolfdog launched himself after it, overtaking a desperate scurry and snapping down with the intent of breaking the fat little thing's back. His first bite did not land a solid grip, but it forced the groundhog to face him. To its credit, the rodent tried to fight off Bennett valiantly, squeaking, clawing and biting, but the eager boy was relentless.

A final dying squeak and great shake saw the end of the groundhog. Bits of blood stained Bennett's face. He looked excitedly towards Saga, hoping she had seen how awesome that had been.

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POSTED: Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:39 pm

282

Following Bennett's lead, Saga too hunkered down in the tall grass. She was not so easily camouflaged as he with his rusty pelt, but the white spotting against her dark coat broke up her shape and served well despite the abstract colouring. She fell into silence easily, verdant eyes trained first upon the burrow entrances for signs of their inhabitants and then the auburn form of her hunting companion. Her gaze had been trained on the hole when a little earthen face pop out, she could hear Bennett's body twitching slightly as he waited a moment longer, just long enough for the groundhog to emerge fully and make haste to find a dinner he would never get a chance to eat. In a flash, her eyes moved towards Bennett, just in time to see his young, lean body charge forward in pursuit of his prey. He moved with impressive speed and acceleration, a worthy match for her own if not more.

The battle was short and, as if there had been any doubt in it, the boy had come out victorious. The groundhog dangling limply from his bloodstained maw and hawkish eyes looked back at her, proud and excitable. The Starkhelm smiled broadly, rising from her lying position and making the short journey forward to address him closer, easily avoiding the open entrances to the burrows as she did. 'Impressive.' she praised, but verdant eyes soon turned to the ground. 'Do you think that's scared them off for a while or what?' She was eager to try her hand at the hunt, but she would understand if there would be a further wait while the groundhogs regained their courage.
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POSTED: Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:52 pm

[WC: 270] We could wrap with your post or another round? :o I'm otherwise down for a future thread~

Yeah, it was impressive he thought – he did it fast and without fuss, the way it ought to be done. Luck had as much to do with his success as his timing, though Bennett was too proud to admit as much. He was basking in the praise and attention. Someone else, someone who wasn't his family or someone close to him, she had seen his worth and his value.

It was all the more important that she was someone of importance. Now the people who mattered could talk about him for more than all the times he was out where he should have been or accidentally biting someone too hard. He didn't mean to do that, but when he got frustrated or too excited it was just...ahh, he liked biting things! Especially things like the groundhog, which was hard and soft and squishy and felt so good in his mouth.

He was getting excited about it all over again.

I mean maybe for a little, but we can wait. If we go where they can't smell us and wait they'll come back again. They're really dumb, he showed his bloody teeth in a grin. And they can't see too good! We can look nearby too, there's probably more around. I think I'm gonna eat this, I'm kinda hungry, so I'll move, he bent his neck to pick up the fat rodent, and paraded as well as he could away from the open field. He couldn't carry it very far this way, and dropped it unceremoniously a few times on his haphazard route towards cover. His earlier grace seemed spent.

when the wind blows, the grass bends
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POSTED: Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:19 pm

303

There was rarely a bad reason to praise youngsters, Saga had decided. Even if such reasons for praise were relatively small and insignificant, the Starkhelm always figured such things were in the eye of the beholder. Where children saw great victories, parents saw only small change. Saga was at that position in life that gave her insight into both sides of the coin and gladly used her aged to manoeuver through situations such as these. It gave her joy to see the thrill of praise sparkle in Bennett's golden eyes, for she knew he was feeling a feeling that meant more than it's weight in gold to young souls just beginning to make their first independent steps in the world. She stifled a smirk and a laugh as she recounted the whispers she'd heard of Linden's boys, especially from Posey. Though, since they'd largely come from the joyful Denmother, Saga had heard little in the way of rumours that could be construed in an ill manner.

Verdant eyes watched as the boy snuck off to eat his catch. Growing boys needed constant feeding, she knew this from the amount of food her brother's had managed to get into their mouths as children. It had been in equal parts disgusting and fascinating and the Starkhelm was glad to see that Bennett had the sense and manners to sneaky away to fill his stomach voraciously. She returned his bloodstained grin before letting him scamper off. Once he was clear, Saga herself settled down into the grass, silently lying in wait, her ears twitching in case she caught the sound of Bennett's snacking. She didn't blame him and his appetite. They would need to keep their strength up if they were going to catch more groundhogs after all.
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