What's in a name

POSTED: Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:38 pm

Secui | Winterwynd (Ragna’s house) | Fore-dated: March 26th; Late morning
yNPCs: Skadi, Sindri, Steinarr
NPC: Glade (+1,273)

Puppies getting their names!

It had been three weeks since they had been born.

It was strange, really, when she realized that she had been counting. Before, she had only cared about time when it came to duties or missions. Since her children’s arrival though, the cold-hearted scout had found herself knowing exactly how many times the sun and risen and fallen since she had given birth to them.

They grew stronger with every passing day, and had grown in size as well. No longer were they these little, worming bodies that Ragna could have fit two in one hand. They had doubled in size, one of the boys perhaps even more so. Their legs were still small and still stubby, but, in the past week, they had begun to walk more steadily on them. They waddled around, still trying to figure out their body’s equilibrium. It was cute—a word that Ragna had never thought she’d use in her vocabulary that wasn’t said in a condescending way—to watch them shakily explore beyond the edges of the bedfurs.

Their eyes had opened a week before, all of them young and blue. One of them though, the little girl, looked to have eyes that were a shade lighter than the boys’. It made the mother wonder what color they would all turn, if they would be a glacier blue like her own, or, a bright gold like their father’s.

In the passing days, their coat colors had changed as well. None of them sported her dark, earthen hues save for in their accent markings. The largest of the litter, a boy, had become a warm grey. Of the children, his tawny colors were the brightest and boldest. The smaller boy had lighter, more silvery tones like Bastian’s had been. Their sister had been the darkest of them with a cool grey coloration. It was intriguing to see how unique each one of them had turned out for all having the same father.

Ragna picked her head up as the three puppies suddenly turned their attention from awkwardly playing with each other to her. They let out happy yips and little growls as they pawed up her chest and throat, trying to reach her mouth or ears. It was an easy game, and kept them entertained with minimal effort on her part.

The girl clambered up on top of her brothers, but, even at her new height, could not reach the prize that they sought. The Eklund hummed, the edges of her lips twitching upward in her amusement. She reached down with her nose, gently toppling over the puppy pyramid. This caused little squeals from her children as they launched their attack. While Ragna nosed her daughter’s belly in a tickling way, the two boys rose to her defense. Their little paws clawed up her snout and cheek, their small mouths trying to latch onto whatever loose skin they could find.

Their antics earned them a rumbled laugh from their mother as she felt their tiny milk teeth upon the bridge of her nose and on her ear. They would be little fighters, she liked to imagine, the best that could have ever come from a Boreas wolf of Zion and an ever-wandering Gypsy.

A sound of fast-moving, small footsteps caught her attention then. Her glacier eyes shifted to the doorway, finding her marten companion, Glade, climbing over the makeshift gate she had made with Jack’s saddle. He had a smoked fish in his jaws that smelt delicious to the mother.

The sound of his clawed feet hitting the floorboards caught the children’s attention. All three abandoned their attack on Ragna and wobbled towards the marten, happy cries and yips escaping their little mouths as they recognized their mother’s companion. Glade evaded them quickly and easily—it wasn’t hard, and they stumbled to try to keep up with his fast movement around their unsteady charge—depositing the fish at Ragna’s large paws.

“Thank you,” Ragna said. She had long since stopped asking where Glade had managed to find the food that he brought her. Sometimes, he had been given what he brought by a packmate that had caught on to the mustelid’s ways. Sometimes, he stole it, and Ragna inevitably had to apologize to the victim of his antics. She placed a paw on one of her children as they had come to investigate the smelly new food, halting them from even attempting to take a bite at it.

Glade skittered away from her, tackling the larger boy that had come to sniff at the smoked fish as well. The puppy let out a little growl as it turned on the marten, tumbling over as Glade came in for a second attack. Hearing their brother’s cries, the other two scampered over to their sibling to join in on the fun. This left the mother in peace to eat her meal, which she placed firmly between her two paws as she tore off delicious, tender flakes of the river fish’s flesh.

The children yipped and growled as they tried to overcome their ever-elusive, slender-bodied companion. Glade laughed, doing his best attempt at a growl—an angry chatter—which only made the puppies come after him more ferociously. He was agile though, twisting and turning on his own body to evade being caught by their teeth.

As they played, Ragna absently mentioned, “I picked out names for them today.”

This caused Glade to pause in his dodging and weaving. He was tackled by the girl and he let her take him to the ground. “Tell! Tell!” Glade chattered excitedly. He had been pestering her ever since they had been born about what their names would be. He had offered a few when Ragna had been purposely evasive about the matter, though, what he had suggested had been decidedly primitive and of the old ways; names after objects like “Craig” or “Birchwood” or “Ore.”

He let out a squeak of pain when one of the girl’s milk teeth managed to pinch him a little too hard.

Ragna smiled, licking her lips and savoring the smoky, salty flavor of the fish that lingered on them. “The girl will be ‘Skadi Eklund.’” For, she was the most ferocious out of her siblings. There was no doubt that she was Ragna’s daughter. She always seemed eager to bite and nip, not willing to let her brothers push her around.

Glacier eyes turned to the smaller of the two boys. Of the three children, he was the least aggressive, though, he was by no means against violence. Merely, he seemed to watch and learn, to consider before he acted. “He will be ‘Sindri Eklund.’” For, his coat was bright and silvery in hue.

The largest of the puppies watched the marten intently as he played with his siblings. His little tail was flagged high, and he looked ready to pounce the moment he thought the marten was too rough. “And he will be ‘Steinarr Niequist.’” For, he was built solidly like a stone, and, already, Ragna could sense a protective nature in him.

Glade managed to wiggle himself free of Skadi’s grip. His dark gaze focused on Steinarr, his eyes questioning, but whatever thoughts went through his mind upon hearing the boy’s family name went unasked.

There was no denying who Steinarr reminded Ragna of; a ghost from their past, one that they had long since tried to leave there.

Ragna went back to her eating as the puppies swarmed him.

Ragna Eklund

Mistfell Vale
Wolverthorne
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