Millicent really just needed a confidence boost, Morgan noted, so they decided to go it slow. They stood up, and waved their arms around, 'flapping' them like a weird facsimile of a bird. The harachiu twitched an ear, and then laughed. Apparently, she found this funny. Morgan felt stupid, but hey, they'd made sure to be as far away from other people as possible out here in the park, so no one but Millicent was watching.
"Come on, Millicent, flap your wings. I 'ent got any wings to flap." Morgan said, continuing to 'flap'. They needed to work on Millicent's flight muscles, at least.
The harachiu was hesitant, feeling pretty silly, but if Morgan could start looking silly, than so could she? She at least wasn't alone, and that made her feel much better! Milicent flapped her wings slowly at first, watching Morgan hop around and flap, and then began copying Morgan.
This became their 'thing' every day for a week. Morgan would put on some music (more upbeat than their usual fare, but hey, they didn't mind making concessions to keep the harachiu kid happy) and the pair of them would 'dance'. Morgan was NOT a good dancer, but it would seem that the harachiu had a bit of a natural feel for beat, and Morgan couldn't help but do the whole 'oh dang, I'mma have to beat the harachiu lads and lasses off with a stick when she's older' parental panic attack over it. However, Millicent was happy, and they were building her flight muscles regardless. Morgan had been doing research to make sure that her flight muscles were properly strengthened to start trying this.
A week later, they were back at the park. Millicent had slowly began picking up the grammar of common naturally by speaking with Morgan, and she really was acting a lot happier than she had been before learning how to speak.
Now that the harachiu was doing more exercises, her muscles were starting to fill out. It was obvious to Morgan that it would probably be a good idea to help her exercise more regularly, to keep her in good shape. For now, however, it was time to hone that practice into something more tangible. "Alrighty Millicent, time to do the flying basics. Morgan had found them a book, a PICTURE BOOK thank goodness, detailing how harachiu flight works. It had been a difficult find, the human had actually had to go to a library and really dig for it. They hated going to the public library, but they had managed to borrow the book.
The human opens it up to a page showing a harachiu standing, and then the pair looks over the book, with Morgan explaining how it worked while showing Millicent the pictures and pointing out the important parts of it. Apparently, the book said it was partially 'magickal', but Morgan thought that was bologna (but didn't say anything about it).
They went over this for about thirty minutes before Morgan and Millicent were both sure that Millicent had the idea of it at least down pat. Millicent ran her fingers over the pictures of the other harachiu, asking loads of questions about them. She didn't currently live with any other harachiu, and Morgan tried to answer her questions the best that they could with what little knowledge they have. The dreaded 'where do babies come from' questions came in the form of 'do baby harachiu really just show up in flowers?' which Morgan was totally unprepared to answer. The answer came in the form of 'we can do some research as soon as you can read' which was immediately met with 'I can learn to read?'
Not yet, Morgan thought. First things first, give her some mobility and make sure that she is able to correctly communicate with others first, and then they'd work on that.
One of the first things that Morgan needed to get down with the harachiu was the idea of a word that specifically means to do something. Morgan generally taught their family how to do things to commands, but it felt especially pointless to do so with the harachiu. It wasn't like she would EVER need to fight, at least not anything Morgan wasn't effectively fighting for her, but that brought up the dreaded concern that the poor individual might need to protect theirself against something someday.
Horrifying. They weren't going to work on that quite yet. "Alright, so Millicent. The word we're gonna look for that means to fly, is well, Fly." There was no need to try to teach her whistled signals, Morgan knew. She was so small, Morgan didn't want her going out on her own too often outside of the grounds.
"Okey." Millicent said, finally starting to get confident and interested in flying.
That was good, at least. Morgan was still nervous. Truth be told, they had almost invested in a catcher's mitt to make sure that they could catch her if she fell out of the air during any of this. However, it was time to get started if they were going to start at all. "Alright Millicent. Fly!" At this, Millicent seemed to gather herself up for a moment, remembering all the things they just went over, and then she sort of buzzed her wings partially, looking to Morgan for confidence, and when she saw that Morgan was scarcely holding back a chuckle, she got a little angry- and that made her fiery and determined.
"Fly, Millicent, Fly!" Morgan said, and Millicent really flapped those wings. Nothing happened, at first, and then after a moment of frustrated kicking at the ground, Millicent tripped- and caught herself in a quick flutter. Morgan saw it, she was very clearly, for just a second or two, flying of her own power.
Morgan was -stoked-. That was great! "Millicent, you did it!" They said, pumping their fists in excitement. For some reason, it was super cool to see a flying creature's first faltering, not-quite-falling, flight. Millicent crossed her arms and harrumphed. "Butbut, I didn't see it!" She grumbled. "I trip't." She mumbled. Morgan, however, was stoked enough that it was apparently very infectious to see. Soon enough, another impromptu harachiu dance party had started. Morgan had been just as excited to see the tat-lungs make their first flights, but they seemed to make it look so easy that it was just cool to see a being like this preteen harachiu really earning her wings. A rite of passage, if Morgan ever did see one.
However, this was just the start. Morgan and Millicent worked on that fruitlessly the rest of the day, and then went home for the day.
They came back every day for a week, working on the 'cue word' as Morgan put it, and Millicent's flight skills. The first couple of days the most they got done where a few more little technical looks at the book, more working on Millicent's speech, and some much better flaps from Millicent's wings during their little impromptu dance parties. They kept working on it the best they could, but nothing exciting happened until that Friday. Finally, after much work, Millicent was fluttering off of the ground a little bit, this time on her own accord. They went out for some ice-cream that night, Morgan being super pleased with her performance. They really weren't super close to being done with it yet, but she was aflutter with questions as well. That Saturday, Morgan decided to move them on to the part that they dreaded the most- the glide.
Morgan didn't plan on teaching her the fluttering and the gliding separate. It was all part of the flying, as far as Morgan was concerned. The first few attempts at liftoff lead to Morgan anxiously catching her from free-falls.
Of course, Millicent was only taking off from the table-top, which at her size was good enough, so she didn't have far to fall and Morgan was more than happy to help her out some by catching her. It vaguely reminded Morgan of teaching a child how to ride a bike, not that it was ultra common to do that any more. But that got Morgan thinking, as they continued to practice getting the little gal to fly, that it might be cool to teach her how to ride a mount. Morgan would have to buy her a suitably sized mount, perhaps a faeron? That sounded like a great idea.
A birthday present for the future, Morgan thought. They worked on the gliding part with the cue word for the next week, and after the first few days, Millicent finally stopped having to be caught by Morgan. She was super proud of herself too, telling anyone that would listen at the estate about her flights.
Things got even better as the spring swung on. Millicent went from shakey to confident with her glides, and Morgan knew that it was finally time to get her to put them together. "You've g-g-got this, Millicent!" Morgan said to her, as she stood on the table-top of the picnic table in the park again. She looked so determined, and Morgan just had a hunch that today was the day. "Now fly!" Morgan said, watching her with the infectious excitement plastered all over their face. Morgan wasn't usually in this good of a mood, but for some reason having Millicent around had really began to help them out, in their head.
Millicent started off with a couple of flaps, and took off shakily, her glide flowing smoothly, and finally, it came time for her to catch the air again. She flapped her wings, and suddenly, she was flying.
They danced for a while, and then Morgan took her to other places in the park, to let her learn how to stick landings. She had a hard time at it, at first, and Morgan was glad she was young so that her poor joints wouldn't be too jarred by it. She was still just bendy enough not to cause any issues with it. It took them another three days to get the harachiu to land properly, and finally, finally, she was flying as she was meant to. Morgan couldn't help but feel accomplished, this was the first time they had taught anything how to fly that had wings, let alone a little person! It was weird, being a 'parent'.
Or perhaps it was more like an older sibling. That at least made Morgan feel much more confident in it. Yeah, older sibling, not quite parent. They went out to get ice-cream, and called that, well, that. Millicent had gotten fly down pretty well, and to the 'cue word', too.
They weren't quite out of the woods yet, when it came to her speech. Millicent was growing in confidence and picking up words like a wildfire, but Morgan knew that they would need to keep working on it, lest she become rusty again, or her vocabulary remain low. The human also knew that she would continue to have a lower vocabulary if Morgan didn't teach her to read, but that would be super far out. She needed to get the basics down in speech before Morgan showed her even the most simple books. However, they knew that she would need it, and so would the tats. Maybe they would teach her alongside Seimei and Ryuusei eventually?
Today was 'dance day' Morgan decided. Millicent was very good at finding a beat, and connecting a word to it wouldn't be too difficult, they figured. Then maybe Morgan would teach her something else today, too.
"Millicent." Morgan said, to get her attention. The harachiu had been bent over on the grass, watching a butterfly from not too far off. Morgan had already taught her most of the names for bugs and general animals that she might find, including going through a picture book of Labs-created species for her so that she would know the names. "Yeah?" She answered, still not paying a lot of attention. "I want to teach you to dance today." Now that got her attention!
Millicent stood up, dusted the pollen and dirt from her clothes, and then crossed her arms at Morgan. "I dance better than you!" She said, proudly. Ah, she was learning quickly!
"You do, you do. However, I figure we aught to get you taught to do it to cue." Morgan said.
Millicent was beginning to understand that this was something that was done for 'animals' and that bothered her. However, Morgan didn't treat her that way.
"Come on Millicent, we can make it a party." Morgan said, enticingly.
That had already become their 'thing', their sibling thing, the dance parties. Morgan always did it when Millicent was feeling glum, and it was getting to where Millicent would do it too whenever Morgan was feeling glum. She was noticing more and more that Morgan was glum 'A LOT, like, a lot lot.' as she put it. Millicent's new favorite phrase (she had a new one every week) was 'what gives?' Morgan was surprised she hadn't said it to them yet today.
"Alright, you know the drill. The word is Dance- I'm sure you've got that down pat already." It felt a little patronizing, at this point. She was, after all, a sentient being. Then again, she was still a child, and that did make it just a little more tolerable to them both.
"Okey." She answered. Then, Morgan turned on the music box they had brought, and they turned it to her favorite song before calling out- "Alright Millicent, let's dance!"
The dance party continued for some time, with Morgan and Millicent making a bit of a game out of it. Every once in a while Morgan would stop the music, and then Millicent would stop (Morgan wasn't about to try to teach that yet- not to a Harachiu!) and then Morgan would start the music again and she would stay still until Morgan called out "Dance Dance Dance!" Millicent got a kick out of this, like a lot of kids did out of games like 'stoplight'. Perhaps that was what games were really for, Morgan thought. Teaching children how to deal with social cues and the rules of language and stuff. The parenting books suggested introducing jokes to children in order to teach them that words can sometimes have two meanings, puns and the like.
Morgan continued to play the 'dance-stop' game with Millicent for a while, until she was just beat. There was a nice lemonade stand in the park nearby, so they decided to move the dance party there.
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