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|Kanon's New Friend|
Book 1, Winter
October 6, 2012
Over a little time, She began to feel integrated, But although she wore the same clothes, did the same things, and for some reason spoke the same language they did, she couldn't shake the feeling she didn't belong.
The people of the village seemed nice enough. Sometimes she played with the young children. They were loud, but well meaning, and remarkably accurate shots when it came to snowball fights. Also, she often hung out with the other boys she met that first day, although the two of them seemed a little too serious. Henka always tried to get them to lighten up, but they seemed preoccupied by something. This was slightly worrying.
Everyone seemed afraid of the chief, which puzzled Naomi. Every time she saw him, he would smile, wink, and give her a sea prune. Sea prunes were totally disgusting. But she tried not to show she thought that; after all, he was only trying to be nice.
There were three water benders in the village, including Henka and his father, and two healers; Henka's grandmother was training one of the little girls. She was a spiritual lady, who seemed to know things about people. It was more than a little creepy, but she seemed okay. Naomi wondered at her accuracy. Was she really from the Earth Kingdom? Certainly, from what she had heard it was possible. Perhaps. Who knew.
Sometimes, Naomi would watch as the benders trained. She felt an itching in her fingers to give it a go, but she didn't know how, and felt it would be a bad idea to ask to learn. That was the worst thing about this place, she supposed. Though she still remembered little, she did know equal rights had a big place in her heart.
In the evenings, She and Henka would sneak off together, and he would tell her what he knew about the world. It seemed this was the only society where girls were forbidden to bend. It was just her luck, that she should find herself here, of all places. When she remarked upon this once, Henka replied that not everyone was a bender anyway. This was true, but it somehow seemed less important than the idea. When he noticed her thinking along those lines, Henka would hastily change the subject, or do something stupid, and she would forget all about it.
Kanon had also had a busy time. It had been difficult at first, to avoid being eaten, but eventually she too had been accepted, if reluctantly. There were no other rabbits in the vicinity, so she had been forced to spend time with that awful koala otter, RonRon. RonRon disgusted her. He was very rude; no manners at all. He snored, he burped, he slurped shellfish, and worst of all, he stared. He would gape at Kanon for minutes on end, as if he'd never seen a creature like her before. Kanon detested being stared at.
Kanon had decided. she much preferred the wolf. He was polite and kind, if a little effeminate. But that, she supposed, was still rather sweet.
When they first met, she had been rather frightened by him; after all, wolves usually ate creatures like her. But he was just a cub, and seemed disinterested in food. He'd flattened his ears and wiggled his tail, in a gesture of friendship and play. Kanon figured she'd no better way to kill time, so the two of them had played together under the bright full moon, the starlight twinkling in the crystalline snow. After a while, all the worries of being eaten disappeared. She knew she had made a friend.
Namecall Kanon. What is wolf namecall?
He considered the question for a while, head tilted to the side. After a time, he replied somewhat sheepishly,
"Wolf no namecall but wolf. Always and never."
"Okay, wolf. Kanon understand."
She wiggled her ears, took a step forward, and sunk deep into the snow. As quick as a flash, the wolf picked her up in his mouth. At first, the rabbit thought he was helping her up, but then he ran away across the snow, taking her with him. Kanon tried to struggle and kick, but he payed no attention. Perhaps he would have said something reassuring, but he couldn't speak with a mouth full of rabbit.
After a while, she saw the futility in trying to get free, and realized he was taking her somewhere. She tried to work out where, but it was impossible.
The scenery rushed by, and more and more trees appeared on the horizon. The area they were in soon became a forest, and the wolf found it necessary to duck and dodge the branches. Kanon felt a little sick at all the movement, but when she tried to tell the wolf, he didn't reply.
At long last, he put her down on the snow. They were now very deep in the forest. A cold wind brushed past the trees. It seemed almost ethereal, as though they were close to a special place. It was a very odd feeling. The wolf seemed to be acting differently too. There was some unspeakable joy, which was evident in the way he moved; a kind of suppressed anticipation.
"Where is this?"
The wolf just smiled. Which was odd, since usually, wolves can't. Kanon began to feel a little afraid. It was very cold, and they were far from the village. If this wolf ate her, or something bad happened, they would never find her. She was paralyzed.
All of a sudden, The wolf howled. It was a howl like no other- in fact, the sound was more like a human's singing voice. The little rabbit cowered in the snow, ears flat, and waited for the end.
It did not come.
When she next looked up, she was greeted by the face of a beautiful silver-white fox. The fox nudged her to her feet, not unkindly.
"This is wolf's mother. Mother, this friend, Kanon."
"It is very nice to meet you on this night. It is the best night of the month, don't you think?"
When she received no answer, she filled the silence by continuing:
"The full moon reminds me of home. The stars are my sisters, servants of the moon spirit, Tui. They watch over the skies whilst she is in this world."
The fox turned, jumped onto a tree stump, and settled down comfortably. As she turned, Her six tails became visible, swishing and shining in the moonlight. "So, you are a friend of my son? Oh I'm sorry- by the look on your face I can assume you've never met a spirit before. Well, my name is Arufa. I am a kitsune. I can assure you I mean you no harm. As a spirit, I have no need to eat."
Kanon struggled to compose herself. It was true; she had never met a spirit before in her life. Before that day, she had had no idea they really existed. She wondered briefly if the humans knew, and decided they probably did. She nudged the wolf and the fox gently with her nose, to show that she was no longer afraid, and that she was their friend. The wolf responded by wagging his tail again, before running off.
"He wants you to follow him."
Smiled Arufa, with a swish of her tails.
"There is much to see here. You and your human will always be welcome to visit this place, on the night of the full moon."
Kanon nodded, unsure of how Arufa knew of Naomi without being told. She eventually decided that Arufa must know everything, and made a mental note to ask how to open the store of food the chief had for RonRon, when she felt more comfortable in the presence of the kitsune.
With one final glance to the sky, Kanon turned tale and scampered after the wolf. Arufa shook her head sadly as she watched the two of them disappear out of sight. "My poor son." She sighed. "I am so sorry you must suffer as the child of two worlds."
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