He hadn’t intended to be in the market for any more pets. His hands were full with the troop he had previously acquired; there was the house hunt and the job search to think about, too. Moving to the labs had been no mean feat. The finish line wouldn’t even be in sight for months, maybe years. He was passing the seller with his head in the clouds, not paying attention to what surrounded him, when he felt the blunt poke of a beak in his side.
The Chiryma had looked at him with round, curious eyes. Her antennae were drooping around her face. He’d been charmed from the second their gazes met, and was asking how much she was being sold for before he realised he was speaking at all.
100 credits later – it seemed a paltry amount, for a life – and she’d come home with him.
She was different to a lot of his other pets. Though wary of him, and liable to do her own thing rather than pay attention, she was gentle and affectionate; she would lean into his beak rubs as if she craved the attention. He was more than happy to give it. She'd spent the first night bedded down at his side, not touching but cherishing the company that she hadn't seemed to have for a long time. It suited him fine.
Jewel wanted to get to know her. From what he knew of the labs, trainers would take their creatures to the park to teach them things and strengthen a bond - and so that was what he was doing. Coaxing Rosie up and along towards a vacant plot with an apple held in one hand.
Thank goodness it wasn't in her nature to get frustrated with the lack of immediate response.
It was a beautiful day. Jewel could feel the warmth of the sun on his back, and it was barely midday - a hot one wouldn't be ideal for the more strenuous activity, but it was better than a downpour. The plot he'd chosen on his brief scouting mission the day before was one with a small pond and a copse of trees. Shade and water for the both of them if required.
He was feeling rather pleased with himself. What a sensible thing to do! He could mark himself down as sensible, now, who would have ever thought?
Waving the apple around in front of Rosie's face to keep her attention looked stupid, but he didn't want to use a tether with her. Once they were inside his contained plot, he wouldn't have to worry about her running off and getting lost; he just had to get her there. Just a little further...
"Come on, sweetie, just a bit further," Jewel cooed. Rosie looked like she was losing her patience - though he didn't believe she had a mean bone in her body, she probably didn't enjoy being harassed with an apple only to have it snatched away from her, and there was only so long she was going to take it for. "Here we go. Come on. Nearly there now!"
Rosie ruffled her small wings against her sides, the pink feathers fluttering in the breeze. Why was the boy being so stubborn about it? Just give her the treat and be done with it! She was hungry.
As soon as one three-toed foot had settled inside the plot, Jewel tossed the apple onto the grass. While the Chiryma was distracted and stumbled forwards, he made quick work of closing and latching the gate. Done. Unless she was capable of hopping fences, they were all set.
Rosie made quick work of the apple. Jewel hadn't considered whether it was safe or not for her to munch the core up like that, but it was too late - she'd gulped it down along with the skin and the stalk. Oh well. Judging by the deep cooing sound she was making, she didn't have any objections.
He just needed to set up quickly. The bag he was carrying got slung unceremoniously onto the ground, and he leaned down to inspect its contents to make sure everything was still in order. The bridle and saddle were wrapped up and ready to go once they'd gotten to that point, and the box of treats was still secure. It was fine.
Then, why did he feel so anxious? Perhaps because this was his first time trying to train anything. He had no frame of reference, even, other than the brief observations he'd made of other trainers at the park.
"Might as well start with the basics, huh?" Jewel mused. He'd mocked up a list of the commands he'd eventually like her to recognise - whether or not they could drill through it as fast as he'd like to was another question. "How about we go with your name? Start at the beginning and all. Sounds logical."
In a display that made the boy think she was getting lessons from Eilonwi, Rosie had turned her attention away from him and was poking at the ground with one foot. Of course. That Felusine was a rotten influence, and she'd have to stay out of the kennels.
"Rosie!" Not even the vaguest flicker of interest. Now he didn't have an apple to hand, she wasn't much troubled by his presence, but had no reason to pay attention. The dirt was more interesting. Jewel's exceptional vanity took offence to coming second. "Hey, Rosie! Rosie-roo!"
Huh. He shouldn't be expecting miracles, but he wasn't impressed that he already held such meagre authority with her. Darn it. Jewel shook his head, resting his hands on his hips. It would depend on him being creative. Plying her with treats straight away wasn't ideal - he wanted to hold off until they were working on 'no' or 'come', at least.
"Rosie! Roooosie. Hey, what's so interesting?" Obviously it couldn't hold a candle to his sparkling personality. "Did you go by a different name before? The seller didn't tell me so..."
To be fair, the seller hadn't told him much of anything. They'd handed her over without looking back... he supposed that was rather sad, but the Chiryma didn't appear to have any trauma relating to the situation, so that was something.
Oh, man. What was he doing? Even with a simple command, he felt hideously out of his depth.
"Rosie..." He tried once more, and exhaled through his teeth. The resulting whistle had Rosie's head turning, at last.
That hadn't been the intention. Jewel blinked at Rosie, and Rosie blinked back. At least she was looking at him now; the shrill sound he'd accidentally made had been enough to get her to pay attention, and that was the perfect opportunity.
"Yes! Rosie! Yes, good," He praised, tossing her a slice of apple from his bag as a reward. "There. You got it!"
The Chiryma was more than happy to gobble up what was offered. Her beak poked at the dirt where it had landed, seeking out any extra fragments, but there was nothing to be found. What a shame that was.
"Rosie! Rosie, girl!" She'd gone back to blanking him, and he wasn't willing to let her associate the word with a whistle. That was besides the whole point! Maybe if he tried speaking in that high pitched tone, she might recognise it easier? Hopefully no one would walk past and hear him squawking.
Alright, needs must. Jewel furrowed his brow and did his best to push the feeling of being utterly ridiculous to the back of his mind, because it wasn't going to help him, and the only thing holding him back was the thought of looking like a fool. Rosie wouldn't know any different. In fact, it might be a riveting addition to her day, considering the monotony of their life at the moment.
"Rooosie!" God, he sounded stupid, and startlingly girlish. No wonder people got a little mixed up with him on occasion. Still, it looked like it was going to work; the Chiryma's head twitched in his direction, bemused by the high pitch. "Rosie! Good girl! Rosie!"
Rosie looked at him. It actually worked! Jewel had to suspend his disbelief in favour of handing her another treat for her compliance. Maybe they'd get stuck in this situation with her only responding to her voice in a theatrical shrill squeal, but that could be smoothed out.
Jewel was so enraptured by his success and Rosie's continuing focus that he was oblivious to the trainers walking past and looking at him like he'd lost his mind. Maybe he had, just a little bit. Never in his life had he anticipated having a conversation with a giant bird. Circumstances had that funny way of changing dramatically with hardly any prior notice.
"Okay, my throat's getting sore now," He said, reaching up with one hand to rub at his neck. Ouch. He'd have to lay off that and see if he'd had any impact. "So... I probably messed this up really bad. Here goes."
The Chiryma 'bwark'ed to a woman passing by, and got a wave in response. Cool! It would be fun to go and see what was happening away from the boy. If she could just--
"Rosie!" That was different. He was saying that word, but not in the same voice... she peered at him. "Good job!"
What was next on the agenda? Jewel was bolstered by his minimal success with the Chiryma's name and was eager to press on, but had no idea what the logical path of continuation would be. Was it too soon after the praise to work on 'no'? Whether it was or not, it was an important thing for her to learn. If anyone was leading her into mischief - which was increasingly likely with his filling kennel - he wanted to know she would listen to him warning her.
'No' it was, then. But how?
He stood pondering for a moment or so, before rummaging in his bag for another apple. They had been effective for motivation thus far. The fruit was placed on the ground a few feet in front of Rosie, who took an interest nigh instantly. A treat for free? Sure, she would go for that--
Rosie was not to be put off by Jewel asking nicely. Nothing could come between her and these apples - they were the most delicious she'd had in at least a day or so! Her claws scraped at the dirt as she moved forward, her beak close to the ground. Just within reach! She could reach out and grab it--
"No. No, Rosie," The fae said, and nudged the apple back towards him with his boot. The Chiryma made an inquisitive sound, something between a coo and a squawk, and opened her mouth to snatch it up. Again, it was moved. "No."
She didn't understand! All she was trying to do was eat, and this messing around didn't make a lick of sense to her. She was practically starving! Her feathers rustled in her growing frustration, and she took a more determined step towards it, chasing it as closely as she could manage.
Jewel had to do his best to be stern. Rosie's perturbed expression was making him want to laugh, and that would be counterproductive, so he'd have to learn to hold his darn tongue lest he ruin the entirety of his hard work. Not that he'd been doing much hard work so far.
Then, she did the unexpected, what he'd never seen from her before - she pecked at his foot.
"Ow! No, Rosie!" It wasn't that it hurt; it was a sound to get her attention, to show that he was disappointed. Rosie 'bwark'ed indignantly back at him. "No. Bad. No."
Fine! She didn't want the apple anyway! In the Chiryma equivalent of a tantrum, she turned her head away and paced to the fence, pretending she wasn't glancing back periodically to see if the apple was still there. Seeing a giant bird skulk around like a scorned child was too amusing for words.
Jewel wasn't going to move it any more. He did his best to hide his smirk as he repositioned the apple - slightly bruised as it now was - and then stepped away, following her example and leaning on the fence. It could go catastrophically wrong and she'd march off with it, but it was worth a shot, even just to see her get annoyed.
At first, Rosie did nothing. Then, after staring Jewel out for a few moments to see if he'd interfere or not, she stalked over to the fruit. Even reaching down to pick it up was done in an overly cautious manner, which just looked awkward when being executed by a Chiryma.
"No. No, Rosie." The fae called out in a warning tone. Rosie looked like she was deliberating. What was stopping her? It was right there for the eating! As such, she hooked the tip of her beak around it, and.. "No! No!"
Twilight-Claw: I really, really love all the updates that have come~! <3
May 24, 2020 2:12:37 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: np!!! I hope y'all like it!
May 23, 2020 13:45:06 GMT -6
Riku: What an awesome update, staff! Thanks for that! <3
May 23, 2020 12:06:52 GMT -6
Jack: All have been found!
May 23, 2020 9:53:27 GMT -6
Jack: Might want to be on the lookout for anything... odd
May 22, 2020 23:51:22 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Yeah it’s definitely a coincidence but wow did it work out well for us! XD
May 22, 2020 6:43:27 GMT -6
Silver: I'm pretty sure that was just a coincidence, but it sure feels lucky!
May 22, 2020 2:07:09 GMT -6
Riku: So did you guys make this hosting switch perfectly RIGHT before pb broke? >.< Thaz crazy. It’s a huge relief and I’m very glad we’ve come to this. <3
May 22, 2020 1:41:01 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: It’s free up to a certain number of GB, which we haven’t hit yet.
May 21, 2020 6:46:33 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Is the site that is going to be used to host all those images also the type you'd need to pay for? (definitely noticed the broken images yeah. Photobucket feels like it is standing on its last legs. X3 )
May 21, 2020 0:13:57 GMT -6
Morgan: I'm just kinda nervous about them going down before things get moved over completely. It's prolly nothing to be worried about though. :3
May 20, 2020 22:13:15 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Thank goodness we're moving out of there? XD
May 20, 2020 21:59:22 GMT -6
Renathan: Ugh, photobucket has the images broke again. x3
May 20, 2020 21:18:53 GMT -6