Year 4 Day 81

zebra head, MorguefileThe gather is almost over for the year.

I keep telling myself, as the time for parting approaches, that they are clever animals, that their resemblance to my species is superficial, that I can have no real relationships with them.

I fool no one but myself, and I don’t do a very good job of that.

Meerkat, now plump again, has taken over the job of preparing my food and clothing. She is careful not to annoy me, but there are times, when she does not know I am watching her, that she looks strangely wistful. Did my refusal to accept her as an acolyte last year hurt her that much? She still has no real place with Rain Cloud’s group; they have taken her in because she has no place to go, but none of the males of that group would be willing to take her as a second mate. I am not sure why. Certainly her skills at cooking and clothing preparation are above average—far better than Songbird’s were when I first took her in, and even those were far better than mine. I suspect she is not willing to take second place.

I say were, because Songbird has learned a great deal from her mother since the days when she lived with me. Although Meerkat does most of the cooking, Songbird still prepares some of my favorites when she can coax me into bringing her the ingredients. Giraffe has become a good hunter, and is one of the few who seems able to work with Patches.

I will miss them, and the care they take of me.

Most of my writing work this past week has been reformatting and rereading my trilogy before sending it to my editor. I still like it, and might even start tweeting quotes from it–but not challenging people to name the context!