Anon - Cucumber legacy

Sep 21st, 2014
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  1. >Around the usual time for your nightly ritual once again, you wander outside.
  2. >It has been several months since you met the strange mare whom you've been helping learn how to talk.
  3. >She has been learning far faster than you could have imagined.
  4. >Then again, she hears speech all the time, and has all her life.
  5. >Now is just a matter of- well, anyway, it's still quite astonishing, her learning.
  6. >You've concluded that everyone thought she was just one of those moths who would never talk, and just moved on with things.
  7. >But she wanted to talk - oh, did she EVER want to learn how to say things.
  8. >Perhaps it's only since she met you that she's wanted to speak, and was happily silent all before then.
  9. >It may indeed have started with her pronouncing the name of a vegetable, but it's since expanded some.
  10. >She mostly still cares about nouns. Saying them. Understanding things about them.
  11. >Your sessions are nowadays less about learning to talk and more about answering the moth's questions as she asks them.
  12. >She gets practice forming sentences, and gets to hear how you respond to her own specific phrasing.
  13. >For your own convenience, you've tried to name her or have her give you her name, but like many of the silent moths around the village, she does not have a formal name, and may never have one.
  14. >After the stage where she was able to put a sentence or two together - for those who were patient enough to wait around for her to say all the words, as sometimes she got stuck on the consonants still - you had asked her what you should call her.
  15. >She would say "cucumber" in the standard fashion, starting with what sounded like a wall of violent static before chittering out the vowels and dropping in the consonants in the correct order.
  16. >However, when you would ask to confirm she wanted to be called that, she would shake her head avidly.
  17. >You are still not quite sure you understand this reaction, but it poses only a minor inconvenience, and will likely be explained in good time.
  19. >From all that you've read and heard, there should not truly be a need to check under leaves anymore for pest bugs.
  20. >However, you still need an excuse to still come out to the garden each night, not wanting to make the young mare feel like she's imposing on your time.
  21. >It also helps you to be at ease to just be doing something (or at least pretending to be doing something) in the periods of silence that come and go as this moth pony asks her questions, you think of a reasonable answer, and she takes some time to process your answer, before in turn taking time to - most often anyways - think of another question to ask you.
  22. >You "work" away in the now-extremely-dense set of vines, flowers, leaves, and stems... more or less just exploring, actually, and coming across the occasional spider or other benign or beneficial insect in your sweet little garden before letting them alone and moving on.
  23. >Birch and Minty have been extremely helpful in teaching you about local species.
  24. >Between the two of them, and plus the occasional in-depth aside from Waspy, they could write up an entire encyclopedia all about flora, fauna, fungi, and - perhaps most importantly - how they all interrelate.
  25. >You can visualize your past self calling your current self a tremendous nerd, if not even a tremendously-nerdy OLD MAN who likes boring things like growing plants.
  26. >You reassure yourself; you aren't all that old, really.
  27. "Doesccccc itphhf--f--f--f--f-ffepphppppppheeel kkkckkkkkoookeey when pp-ffff--phplants pbppphppphhhfffffhut outt phhhpphflowrctph?"
  28. >It takes her a moment to get it out still.
  29. "Does it feel okay when plants... put out flowers," you repeat to yourself out loud.
  31. >There is usually a lot of depth to her questions.
  32. >'Simple' questions which she in fact wants the FULL answers to.
  33. >Like the classic "where do babies come from?" that foals ask, only the mare's questions have more to do with what certain words are, or facts about plants.
  34. >A relief. You assume optimistically that she knows where babies came from already.
  35. "Oh, 'good.' I think you mean 'good,' not just 'okay.'"
  36. >She puffs her cheeks frustratedly.
  37. >You roll your eyes.
  38. "Well, what DO you mean?"
  39. >She shuts her eyes squintily as she usually does when fighting to get past the consonants.
  40. "Ckkckkkkckkkkkkkky-aaa-a-a-a-yuuu-u-kay!"
  41. >It clicks for you. It wouldn't have for others but it does for you, now.
  42. "*A*-okay."
  43. >She picks up the strangest words possible sometimes and likes to use them instead of more common phrases.
  44. >It's confusing but adorable.
  45. >You restate the question yet again.
  46. "Does it feel A-okay when plants bloom? Right? Put out flowers?"
  47. >She nods with enthusiasm.
  48. "I still think you mean 'good.'"
  49. >She cheekpuffs.
  50. >You surrender.
  51. "Fine."
  52. >You scratch your head. Even with 'good' substituted in, you are not quite sure what she means to get after.
  53. "Well, I enjoy seeing it, most of the time."
  54. >Her expression conveys you have not hit the head of the nail, as if you have mostly sidestepped the question.
  55. >You think.
  56. "... for the plants?"
  57. >Her face does not change, her gaze almost burning a hole in you.
  58. >You laugh awkwardly.
  59. "Well I don't really know, honey. I've never been a plant and bloomed."
  60. >She looks almost sad now. Acceptingly sad.
  61. >It's fucking with you pretty hard.
  62. >Accepting-sad is perhaps the most unbearable kind of sad to observe, you discover.
  63. "Erh. I mean. I don't think they would do it if they didn't enjoy it, right?"
  65. >Her expression lightened ever so slightly, thank god.
  66. >But you aren't there yet. It will surely sag back to a cutely-heartwrenching level if you didn't keep up momentum.
  67. "It's like..."
  68. >You are reaching at this point, but you'd probably say anything to take those creases off her brow.
  69. >You can't lie though. She knows when you're lying.
  70. >You must have some tell that she sees.
  71. >If you are the least bit opaque with her you lose points immediately and receive disapproving stares until you come clean.
  72. >It's uncanny how good she is at it.
  73. "It's like smiling, I think."
  74. >Sad acceptance, to sad optimism, and now on to mild confusion.
  75. "You wouldn't smile if you were sad, right?"
  76. >Dejected-looking, again. It's killing you. Damnit, you're losing her!
  77. >You go to her and brush a piece of her mane back from her face a little bit.
  78. >She turns her eyes to you reluctantly...
  79. >...that pouty lip. Jesus.
  80. >You try the only card you can think of playing next.
  81. "Baby, plants don't tell lies, do they?"
  82. >She thinks about this a while. You didn't expect this to slow her up but it does.
  83. >After a moment, you feel the speedy bobble of her antennae on your arm.
  84. >Your look back to her face.
  85. >She has that vague almost-smile of amused fascination on again, like she is still trying to figure out what your arm is made of by testing it with her antennae - even after many times of having done so before... as if the precise explanation for your existence will just befall her suddenly after she does enough inspection, and it will totally make sense then, all at once.
  87. >These moth ponies.
  88. >... Amused, though, like she had never been frowning in the first place from having to deal with new or difficult concepts.
  89. >She is very much back in the moment.
  90. >You take a sigh of relief.
  91. >As typical of most times, as you try to take your hand away, she places a forehoof on it commandingly to hold it still until she is finished inspecting it with her antennae.
  92. >You try to ignore the slightly-maddening tickle of it.
  93. >Eventually, she's finished.
  94. >You return to the bed. She stays in place. As usual, just sitting in that precisely same place on the boardwalk, an almost-measured four paces away from the low wall which holds the soil in.
  95. >She is at work on another question.
  96. >There is not a more beautiful thing.
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