FOLKLORE


[ P ] A Bushel and a Peck
#1


Macarons & Evening Tea



The young female was still fairly lost among the foliage, constantly going in loops of repetition in search for the Vista, not realizing the big bolder area had to be tunneled through to get to such a place she had only heard of. If she was ever to meet up with her best friend forever, she probably needed some directions which she didn't get from her other friend either, forgetting to ask after all the fun they had playing. Her umber ears flicking to the noises of water and she started to head toward it, knowing unless the water stopped abruptly by a dam or lake, it usually lead to a larger body of water that she could happily play in. It seemed even if she didn't like her father, his teaching followed her and guided her, injuring her pride a little since she wanted to be on her own so bad. To her, following someone else's advice was being codependent, slashing her goals in half.

Prancing forward, she came across both stone and a small river that lead into the mountain range, her baby blue gaze shifting up and down the ripping water. At least this time she didn't fall into it, it was so embarrassing last time when she went face first into a stream, at least that wolf that saw her was blind. Coming to a halt in front of the rushing water, her lips pulled into a smile as she looked at the water bugs skimming along the top and gliding under the surface, looking for whom knows what. The scent of brine was emanate down toward where the water traveled, likely the key to where the vista was but she didn't know if she could climb the structure laid out before her.

Her mind was too distracted to focus on that task, zoning in on some odd creature she had never seen before. She giggled as she watched its many legs scuttle sideways and the front two paws wiggled, opening and closing in a rather funny looking fashion. Tilting her head, she moved in closer and closer, her first thought was to pounce on it but it looked like it was wearing some odd armor. Leaning in, she slid open her jaws and went to snap it with her bright white fangs, the little creature moved far faster than her. In an instant, suddenly the thing latched onto her nose, snapping its larger claw as if in celebration. Letting out a loud yelp, she started to run frantically in circles, whimpering as she shook her head to try and get it off. "You won! You won! Get off! Off funny looking thing!" she whined, coming to a stop to lower her head and shake it back and forth in hope it were to fly off.


@Kylar

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#2


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"Oh—"

The syllable was pulled from her lips by the wind and held hostage. Black-tipped ears shivered as the sound of scuffle smothered what lingered of her voice. Paws crashed through the undergrowth and, at a short distance, she could hear pained concessions: You won! Get off! Off funny looking thing! Whilst vaguely nasally and garbled, the voice was feminine and high pitched. The "funny looking thing" was either an insult meant to describe her assailant or... something else. It was all rather odd and caused Kylar to still.

She had crouched near a river's edge, her lips poised above the water's choppy surface. While still affixed to the same spot, she was no longer thirsty. The crippled wolf was painfully alert, eyes scanning the trees at her back.

Then, all at once, a flurry of fur appeared. Upon the wolf's nose was a small crab, its claw a vice grip upon the tender flesh. Kylar winced instinctively before lurching forward a step.

"In water!" She called out, attempting to be heard over the feverish pleas. "I—" While unaccustomed to stressful situations, she found herself acclimating quickly. Snapping free of the shock, Kylar took several more, hobbled steps toward the distressed woman. "Put your nose in the water! It should let go!"

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#3


Macarons & Evening Tea



When she had spun in toward the body of water, it seemed she had almost went straight into another as she thrashed around in agitation to get the assailant off her carob nose. The bridge wrinkled and her brow pressed up against her crown, ears folded as she drew her lip up to show her pearl white teeth. It wasn't an expression normally seen on a being normally so vibrant and bubbly as her but it was one that stained her feature to the max as every muscle in her body lacked relaxation from the trauma her sweet little nose was going through right now. How did this hurt more than a bite from another wolf? It bewitched her so, confused and lost in lack of understanding that open flesh that did not harden with the elements were far more tender than other parts of her body. No one said she was smart.

A voice was barely heard, what they said going well over the young adult's head as her hearing impairment didn't help and second, she was nothing more than a flailing seal. It wasn't until the other bolted closer that she took better notice, periwinkles widening as something that didn't match the rest of the surroundings got closer and closer, squawking like a stressed pigeon trying to get away from a hungry predator. It didn't quite register as another she-wolf yelling at her, vision compromised by the claw snapping in her face and the sound of her own panting covering up half of what they had to say. It wasn't like the other was speaking gibberish but to the frazzled plushie, it sure sounded like they were babbling nonsensical words.

"Gah! A demon is after me too!" she denounced in delusion.

Instead of doing the logical thing of moving toward the side and away from the squawking thing that very well could be some kind of blight for all she knew, as well as heading away from the water's edge, she backpedaled right into the murky stream. Letting out one yelp, she slipped and plummeted into the water's current. Luckily it wasn't deep enough to drag her away and out to the currents to later get devoured by the ocean. Rather, all she had to do was sit up and she was only half submerged, ear twitching in frustration. Good thing: the crab came off. Bad thing: she looked like one heck of a fool right now as she laid there with barely her muzzle above the water. She rested there, looking quite pitiful as water trickled down her fur and weighed it down over her eyes, causing an illusion of wrinkles where the fur parted from one direction verse another.


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#4


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"A demon?" Mumbled words were pulled from Kylar's lips as the scrambling she-wolf cried out. Fear laced the stranger's words as painted paws carried the stranger in haphazard zigzags and curly-q's. So varied was the woman's flight that Kylar felt more inclined to lurch out of the way than linger by the water. Confusion knit her brow and it was for several wary seconds that she watched the wolf flail.

Pause poised on the riverbank and then, all at once, there was the sound of splashing as the wolf trotted backwards into the water. Pale paws slipped upon the algae and, all at once, the crazed wolf dropped into the depths. A startled yelp accompanied the theatrics.

Droplets coated Kylar's fur and caused the she-wolf to squint before roughly shaking out her coat.

Thankfully the current was weaker here. After a couple stumbles, the stranger found purchase on the riverbed. Sodden and dripping, she looked half the size of the storm-cloud that had zipped by earlier.

Kylar could only blink at the strange creature that now sulked within the river.

"You okay?" The crippled knight looked the stranger over. In truth, the question was not just about the wolf's physical health. Was she mentally healthy too?

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#5


Macarons & Evening Tea



She rests there for a long time, well as long as she possibly could till the need for oxygen outweighed that of desiring to hide her shame, staring at the stranger with beady eyes. It was apparent they weren't a demon now and quite frankly they looked pretty delicate, soft and plushy. If it wasn't for them both being covered in water she would bound over to them and cover them in hugs to feel the coziness of their pelt against her own, make them into a living teddy bear and snug it until the day was over. That of course didn't happen, she was in a long standing stalemate with her pity right now, feeling her lungs burning as she wasn't so much submerging her nose as she just kind of forgot she could breath since most of her was in fact under the surface. A brow raised at the other asking her a question, one she couldn't really hear over the water that took up most of her functioning hearing.

She had enough, she needed air and she needed it now. Quickly she jumped up and out of the water, legs splayed out as she took in long desperate pants to breath in air once more. Each pant made her ribs feel like they were cracking from the intensity in which she brought in air to her lungs, chest expanding and collapsing rapidly; dramatically. Her gaze flickered back and forth as she looked for anything that could make her feel less like an idiot, she came up empty. So instead she started to move toward the woman that stood little a ways from the bank, likely trying to avoid getting dragged into the water by her merwolf ways. Hehe me a merwolf. Her thoughts made her giggle to herself, imagining herself to have a big fish tail and gills, it would actually be kind of cool. Now she wanted to be part fish.

As she got extremely close to the golden woman, her nose not too far from hers as she looked at her with big innocent yet suspecting periwinkle eyes. "What did you say? I got bad hearing? Something about playing? I'd love to play!" she rather rather loudly, voice high pitched and childish as her tail swayed expectantly behind her, energy radiating from her whole body.


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#6


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As though one with the river, the stranger appeared most comfortable whilst half-submerged. The woman’s nose was but a tiny island straining against the current. So still was the creature that, for a moment, Kylar could only stare. Her gaze was dubious as she looked the wolf up and down. Her mind tried and failed to come up with a plausible excuse. A furrow had formed within the wolf’s brow and a frown had pinned her lips down. She might have felt a greater sense of urgency if this stranger was not so painfully—odd.

SPLASH!

The she-wolf emerged from the river and scrambled to the bank. Water streamed from milky fur and hugged her thin figure. Eyes of blue were bright whilst exaggerated gasps swelled her sodden ribs.

Kylar, meanwhile, had flinched back. Alarm burned in ruby eyes whilst dark-tipped ears were just beginning to perk up from her crown. A huff left her nostrils as she began to inch backwards.

Then, to her ire, the stranger turned those eyes on her. All of a sudden, the wolf was bounding forward in a sudden cloud of waterlogged fluff. Kylar reclined onto her haunches as the ebon’ nose loomed nearer. With their proximity, Kylar was hopeless to look at anything other than the wolf, and so she had witnessed the glare of burn marks along the woman’s side. She felt a flash of wariness that, depending on the stranger’s attitude, could turn into sympathy or fear.

"What did you say? I got bad hearing? Something about playing? I'd love to play!" gushed the girl.

“No!” Kylar snapped, lurching back a step. Though she was not often huffy, she felt bemused by this living ball of energy. Still, she swallowed her frustration as best she could. If allowed a minutia of personal space, she’d relent: “I just asked if you were okay.”

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#7


Macarons & Evening Tea



She watched the other move back as she lurched forward, cutting the space off faster than the other could retreat from the scene but in all honesty, she didn't comprehend they were actually trying to escape her. A big grin ran over her muzzle, mop of fur hanging from her cheeks and chest like a shepherd, excitement clearer than the sky. Though when a no erupted sharp and sudden as if desperately trying to get away from a monster, that excitement vanished in a second, energy deflated from every bit of her body and her expression became pained. Small fluffy ears dropped down to the sides of her head, eyes casting down but large, lip quivering. "You don't have to be so...so....mean about it," she whimpered, sadness almost visibly coming off of her. Hesitantly, she withdrew and made some space between them and her slightly bloodied nose wiggled upon a more stale familiar scent. A lip peeled back and she tried to remember where she had encountered it before, at first not thinking about anything recent as it actually was.

Suddenly her ears flung up, a whirlwind of shifting emotions flashing over her face; despair to happy to angry. A woman of monochrome flashed into her mind and her gears started to attempt to turn in her head, recalling how skittish the woman was when they first met but nearly as rude as this she-wolf currently in front of her. The girl with pearl eyes had mentioned her father being a jerk but was there others hurting her physically or mentally? Her eyes flashed with minor hostility as she looked up at red eyes. There had been things the other didn't want to talk about, making her promise not to force her to answer anything she didn't want to. What if it was stuff that was to protect herself? She was connecting dots that probably weren't meant to be connected at all but she wanted to protect her new friend if something like that were true.

"You smell like Pearly...er Aurelia. You better not be hurting her!" she growled, shaking her fur free of some water to allow it to bristle along her spine without it being bent back down by water weight.


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#8


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Mean?

Charcoal-tipped ears drew back and a furrow formed in Kylar’s brow. Her eyes widened before narrowing upon the theatrical stranger. From cheeky grin to teary-eyed pouting, the woman had the constitution of a toddler. Blue eyes were round with childlike innocence and—in concert with that—an utter lack of self-awareness. Though Kylar was often calm and easy-going, she did have a quiet temper. It rarely surfaced but did so now as annoyance muddled what was once confusion.

Still—who could hate a wolf with such round, blue eyes?

Sighing, Kylar pursed her lips and looked the fluffy—and partially burned—wolf over. “You startled me is all,” the crippled knight offered at last. She was a tad begrudging but, in the end, she had little cause to stay stand-offish. As odd as this wolf was, she seemed harmless.

With space between them, Kylar waited upon a stilted pause. The stranger seemed thoughtful and an excessively focused expression came over the stranger’s face. Then, like a sock-puppet that was being contorted into the most grandiose gasps, emotion rolled over the woman’s face. When the rollercoaster settled, all that was left was hostility and an accusation upon the tongue.

Offense and alarm scoured into Kylar’s features as her jaw hung slightly open. Then the words followed, albeit delayed from the look of flabergasted shock: “What!?”

An angry snort left Kylar as she glared at the uppity, deranged woman. “Do you have fluff in your brain and cotton in your ears? Who jumps to conclusions like that?”

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#9


Macarons & Evening Tea



She might have been inclined to take the explanation as a apology but for once she was stuck there staring at the other, able to taste the concealed animosity in the air as if it was an object rather than a feeling. Why was it so hard to like this wolf when she seemed so, how could she put it, like she could tell the woman was nice normally but wasn't right now. Ears twitched as she was starting to wonder if it was her fault the other was so distant, that she was the one snapping when it had been the other that bleated no as if a banshee had just been in her face. Nope, the naïve woman didn't take that as an answer, she hadn't done anything wrong unless being friendly was wrong. Maybe it was. Maybe she should be closed off like so many others and hold a guard up that would be comparable to some pack leader. It wasn't in her nature though, she could pretend but as much as she liked to play pretend, she didn't think that kind of pretend would be very fun.

As she bristled about, tossing around her miscalculated assumptions based on little to no facts, the other showed a face she couldn't help but find funny. To see a wolf with their mouth agape was quite a sight to see and the way her facial features spread out in frustrated alarm, the cream she-wolf was close to just laughing instead of keeping her puffed up appearance. It was difficult for the little bundle of energy but she managed to keep her face for the most part stern and her mind focused on protecting her dear new friend she had only just made the day before. Ears flicked up and back down as the other finally managed to speak anything at all, once again bleating like a goat a single word, the immediate shock starting to wear off a little to just pure anger.

Then came more so insults, chipping away at the shield she had in front of her in the worst way possible, feeling like her family was standing before her mocking her. It was the worst feeling she knew and the reason she ran away from her natal pack, she was tired of being bullied especially when she didn't understand what the other meant by it. That growl contorted back to a whimper, not sure what it meant to be a fluff brain but by how it was said, it sure didn't sound like something positive. As for cotton in her ears, she took it rather literal. "I did say I was mostly deaf," she addressed again, this time more directly than the last. Maybe they didn't get what she meant when she said she had bad hearing? She couldn't be sure. Wasn't like she could read minds, though that would be cool.

She started feeling like only a child under the woman's agitated glare. It reminded her of her father, making her feel extremely inferior. "I'm sorry I'm a failure, like always," repeated on impulse from the many times she spoke it to him. Slowly she took a couple more steps back and took on a posture that was more submissive, tail tucking a little under her. "Sissy Aurelia seemed scared of something...she made me promise not to ask anything that could make her uncomfortable though. So...umm....er...maybe I made a mistake but I just care about her, okay!? She's so strong and cool, I don't want her to be anything but happy," a mixture of anxious chirping and mumbling to express her concerns.


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#10


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Kylar had no aspirations to become a mother, but if she needed further affirmation, this wolf provided it. Still a cocktail of emotion, the stranger seemed to shift from anger to sadness with utter finesse. Capricious by design, the burned she-wolf had a way of turning a growl into a whimper. Needless to say, the tawny knight was astonished. As the seconds slipped by, however, Kylar began to calm. Vague understanding that this wolf was childlike helped to soothe the general wariness and dislike—if only slightly.

“I did say I was mostly deaf,” the stranger whined.

Kylar pressed her tongue against the roof of her mouth so that she did not speak. As sympathetic as she was to disability, she was equally annoyed. Her insults had been in poor taste and hadn’t helped the situation any, but Mahin’s accusations were equally culpable of such crimes. They were in a tango that neither seemed to appreciate, and Kylar was keen on breaking the cycle.

Suddenly, with a voice that struck Kylar as sulky, the stranger attempted a weak grab for pity. "I'm sorry I'm a failure, like always," lamented the creamy wolf. Several steps drew the girl back until a more docile stance was adopted. A story ensued, one about Aurelia and the trauma that she had endured. Kylar’s lips pursed before, finally, a small sigh slipped free of her lips.

There was no point in being mad anymore.

“You failed to ask any questions,” Kylar began, “But that doesn’t make you a failure.” As a vote of confidence, Kylar too relaxed and settled upon her haunches.

“Aurelia is my niece. I’ve been taking care of her in the Pine Forest with a few friends of mine.” Her chin tilted as she regarded the woman. “She is strong and cool, and she’s been through a lot. She deserves happiness more than anyone.” That much, at least, they could agree on.

“My name is Kylar, by the way.”

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