Deep in the Tesznerov Forest, a short vignette from an old Giraffe Call (random Fic)

Written to [personal profile] thnidu‘s prompt from 2014. here. New setting. Might be part of something else.

The Forest of Tesznerov gave the impression of being a monolith of green and brown, a forbidding wall that slowed and even stopped progress.

But if you could get past the obstructions and into the forest itself, it was bright and sunny, with patches like meadows almost half an acre large. And if you got even further in, near the top of the hill called Thistle Mountain, you might encounter the Cheramia.

Oostely had been that – not lucky, to call it luck was an insult – skilled, the first in a century to get that far and (one hoped) live to tell about it. She perched on a stump and waited, listening, until a chermiach settled down in front of her.

It chirruped out a greeting. In return, Oostely bowed deeply and responded in her own tongue. The Cheramia were one of the truly foreign creatures to be found within the technical confines of the nation, but if she had to try to describe one, Oostely might do as her great-great-grandmother had done and say “a flying cat-snake with some sort of squirrel tail.” They might be as long as the distance between her ankle and hip, but they preferred to coil up like a spring, so they peeked at her through the fluff of their tail.

The chermiach whistle-popped a sound that could be a question, and then squeaked out what sounded like a human word. “Greeeeet,” it clucked.

“Greetings,” Oostely responded. She could not help but notice how sharp the chermiach’s teeth were, or how longs its claws were, or how close it was. But her great-great-grandmother had met one and lived to tell about it, so Oostely chirruped out what she hoped was the word for peace, and prayed it would work.

(the tip jar is a kitty for reasons)

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3 thoughts on “Deep in the Tesznerov Forest, a short vignette from an old Giraffe Call (random Fic)

  1. Sentient predator (human?) meets sentient (? or magic) predator! Sometimes predators can play well together (ferrets and dogs, from what I’ve heard, can understand each other’s play language, but I’ve not seen it in person), but it doesn’t always work out that way. Curious where this goes.

    • Humans and dogs! Having met both dogs and ferrets (but not seen them play together), weasel war dance and canine play bow look like they’d translate pretty well. Ferrets don’t vocalize much, though, nor do they express themselves with their tails the same way dogs do. Both are pretty smart critters, though, so they could probably learn. It’s not a good mix with all of them, though — one failure mode is (mostly larger) dogs that figure anything small and moving is prey. I’ve read that cats and ferrets can mix well, too, and ferret-y companionship is said to encourage cats to stay bouncy and kitten-like in their play behavior. I suspect this works best when they’re introduced as kits, given that cats learn what’s friend and what’s prey.

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