For Little Earth
((This was my entry for Elementally Awesome
. As such it’s not part of Little Earth’s growing process, but I did want to put it here since it is part of her backstory.))
Study of the Sepia Past craned his neck, eagerly trying to catch a glimpse of the young Elemental filly. Incandescence’s announcement had sparked the inquisitive stallion’s curiosity and his mind was racing with queries.
“Fascinating, simply fascinating. An earth Elemental! I wonder how she perceives the world; can she feel the movements of the earth below? Or sense the difference between minerals? How does she..”
his companion reprimanded gently, “She is a child, not a… specimen.”
“I know that Dawning,”
Study sulked, “but the potential is simply staggering to think of!”
Dawning of a New Epoch shook her head indulgently. She’d grown accustomed to Study’s fits of exuberant curiosity, the two had been traveling together for several seasons as Study’s research took him far afield.
“She is looking for a new home…”
he considered,“Perhaps we could offer to take her in?”
Dawning hesitated, “Though I believe she and her guardian indicated an interest in stability and not traveling.”
“Surely not forever though!”
Study countered,“We could take her back to my library, and begin teaching her the basics of natural history and scientific inquiry! Teach her to read, and maybe write? And by that time I am sure she would be eager to be out and exploring!”
“Have you ever raised a foal?”
Study flicked his ear, “It can’t be that hard though, can it?”
“She does seem mature for her age,”
Dawning mused, “But she is to be raised as a tribal Elemental. What does that even mean?”
“Mostly wearing fancy jewelry, from what I’ve seen,”
Study replied absently.
“There must be more to it than that! Still, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to offer,”
Dawning conceded, “just don’t be disappointed if she chooses someone else. There are many others who are offering as well.”
Dawning nodded towards the numerous pairs and even single stallions and mares that had approached the filly.
“Yes, yes. Now let’s go,”
Study began striding towards the filly, head held high in confidence.
The young filly known as ‘Little Earth’ looked up as another pair of potential parents approached her. The tiny elemental was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the various bids for guardianship and was beginning to regret her decision.
The coppery stallion stopped in front of Little Earth and bowed his head graciously, “Ahem-hem. I am Study of the Sepia Past, and my companion Dawning of the New Epoch and I would like to offer you a home with us.”
The white and tan mare following close behind smiled warmly at Little Earth and laid down, bringing her closer to the filly’s height- a gesture the young Elemental quite appreciated, her neck getting quite sore from looking up. After a pointed glance from Dawning, the stallion soon mimicked her posture, albeit less gracefully.
“What is the name of your Song? And where is your territory?”
Little Earth asked, her voice soft and melodic.
The stallion stammer, clearly quite flustered as his ears twitched erratically.
“Study is not my mate,”
Dawning interrupted calmly, “We are simply very good friends. And we work together, traveling and exploring.”
Little Earth glanced from the mare to the stallion and back again. Though young, she could clearly sense there was more going on between these two than simple friendship. However she was not going to push the issue, Grownups can be silly about such things,
the filly thought to herself. Continuing aloud, “I’ve already been traveling for a long while with Father Flame. I am looking for someplace to ‘put down roots’ as it were.”
“That will not be problem,”
Study assured her, “I do have a home that will be more than sufficient for all of us. My library lies about three day’s journey to the north east.
Little Earth blinked in surprise.
“Well, half library and half workshop,”
Study corrected, puffing his chest slightly “but I am quite pleased with it.”
“Perhaps a little more explanation would be helpful,”
Dawning said dryly, “Study and I are naturalists, we study the world in order to better understand it. Study was trained by one of the Sharians, and it was she who helped set him up with a small building. I think it had originally been a potting shed?”
Study agreed, “With a few minor modifications it serves my needs quite nicely. I keep my journals and maps there, as well as a few tomes my mentor had gifted me. And of course my collection of rocks, and fossils and other natural oddities.”
Little Earth shook her head, no less confused. “Rocks I know, but what is a fossil? And what do you mean you study the world?”
Dawning smiled encouragingly, “We observe and record changes in the land, we might map stream courses or record the different plants which live in different regions. We’re curious about everything and by collecting information we can begin to see patterns and trends and formulate answers to the “why” of it all. And by reading what others have learned we can gain a wider understanding.”
the filly persisted.
“Fossils are the traces left by plants or animals which lived long, long ago. Have you ever seen a hoof print or a leaf print left in mud?”
at the filly’s nod Study continued, “Now imagine if that mud dried out, holding onto the shape of the leaf. Then over years, countless thousands of years that mud turned into stone. The leaf’s shape would be preserved. The same thing can occur with a shell or a tooth, or a bone.”
“That’s so neat!”
Little Earth cried, “And you’d teach me? About fossils and rivers and the land?”
“It truly would be our privilege and our pleasure,”
Study smiled, touched by the youngster’s exuberant response.
Little Earth cocked her head to the side, considering “What about magic? Neither of you are Elementals, or even Mystics. How will I learn about my powers?”
Study and Dawning exchanged a glance, not having considered that factor. “I... I’m not quite sure,”
Dawning admitted, “Perhaps we can find some books about magic? Or we might travel to find a teacher for you. But, we will figure it out together.”
Little Earth nodded, apparently content with that answer. “Thank you for your time and your offer. I have much to think about.”
Dawning smiled and nodded, recognizing a dismissal she got to her feet. Study hesitated a moment before blurting, “Little Earth- even… even if you choose someone else to look after you? We would still be pleased beyond measure to teach you.”
Study glanced towards Dawning who was nodding her agreement.
Little Earth whispered, her green eyes shining brightly.