Completed The Jungle Is A Frightful Place [Job]

Tailyn attempts to collect baby parrots. All does not go as expected...

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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The Jungle Is A Frightful Place [Job]

Postby Tailyn on February 22nd, 2018, 9:04 pm

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Winter 60, 517
The Tidepool Bar

One of the biggest benefits of living in a settlement as small as Syka was that word tended to get around quickly. Tai had only been in Syka for a little over a tenday, but word had spread that an aspiring parrot trainer had settled into their small community. Maybe Randal was partially responsible. Tai hoped so.

She heard about parrots roaming the area from various people on a near daily basis. If Tai were less invested in her career, she might find the conversation she was dragged into fairly annoying. As it was, she nodded politely at the anecdotes people provided, and offered advice on how to deal with the wild birds if they were being malicious. It wasn’t until today that Tai had heard the first bit of information that drew her interest enough to invite action.

“They’re pretty noisy most of the time. I don’t mind it much. A few customers have complained, but what can you do about it? I heard you were looking for some of the little ones though, so I thought I’d let you know.”

Tai rather liked the owner of the Tidepool Bar. Stu was an easy-going and light hearted individual. Tai hadn’t had many opportunities to interact with Priests before. If they were all like Stu, she wouldn't mind meeting more of them.

Tai stared up into the cluster of trees just off the edge of the dock leading to the Tidepool bar. Through the thick of leaves Tai could just barely see a hollowed out cavity from which a furious chirping emanated. A single, bright red, wild parrot glared down at Tai from near the entrance to the nest, daring her to come closer.

“Thanks for letting me know Stu,” Tai said thoughtfully. “Any idea how old they are? I can’t see them very well from here.”

“All I know is that the noises started up maybe a tenday ago,” Stu replied.

“Their eyes should be open then,” Tai said excitedly, turning towards Stu with a grin. “That means I can imprint them! Assuming they aren’t too far enough along in their development.”

Stu smiled at Tai in an easy going way. “I’ll take your word for it, Tailyn.”

Blue, of course, had come along. Tai’s partner was sitting on her shoulder and had been eyeballing the parent bird since they had arrived. Frequent bribes had been necessary to keep the bird from launching off Tai’s shoulder to attack the ‘intruder'. Apparently all of Syka belonged to Blue now, and she was not tolerant of invaders in her territory. Blue would have her moment in a minute. First Tai had to survey the situation.

Tai noted with relief that the cavity was not too terribly high off the ground. Tai’s tailbone still twanged from her past climbing misadventure and she was not looking to repeat it. The tree in which the nest sat had rough bark and branches which should make it relatively simple to scale. Tai had learned from her previous mistake; she had brought her pair of climbing claws, as well as her grappling hook just in case.

(Words 518, Total 518)
Last edited by Tailyn on March 1st, 2018, 5:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Tailyn
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The Jungle Is A Frightful Place

Postby Tailyn on February 28th, 2018, 5:28 pm

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Tai carefully examined the base of the tree, running her hands across the tangled bark with a nod, and glanced up at the tree to plan her route.

“Did you know that parrots breed year round?” Tai said. She was half talking to Stu and half talking to herself. Talking helped her to concentrate on the task at hand.

“You do see babies pretty much all times of the year,” Stu agreed.

“The jungle doesn’t fluctuate in temperature very much,” Tai said. “If you look at birds in other regions, they have pretty regular breeding patterns based on the time of year. Babies are born when it’s warm to increase their chances of survival. But in the jungle it’s always warm. Females follow their own biological clock. You could have two parrot nests side by side, and one will have babies that are fledging, and the other will have eggs.”

Tai’s examination of the tree had the parent bird flustered. It had already started an aggression display, fanning out its tail and feathers standing on end with a beak clipping with a constant ‘snicksnicksnick'. It was no surprise to Tai when with a shriek the bird dived straight at her.

Tai immediately covered her face, but Blue, feathers standing on end, had been waiting for the parent bird to come close. The moment the red bird swooped close, Blue let out an identical shriek and launched into the air. Snapping and shrieking the two birds spun in the air, striking at each other with wings and claws.

The red parrot fought with the ferocity of defending its nest, but Blue had a size advantage. After several seconds of furious aerial combat, the red bird screeched and fled. Smugly, Blue fluttered back to Tai’s shoulder and began grooming her ruffled feathers.

Stu raised an enquiring eyebrow at Tai. The woman grinned back at him. “There aren’t many birds bigger than Blue,” Tai told the Priest. “I can usually rely on her to drive off angry parents.”

“Will you be taking all the babies?” Stu asked. His tone of voice was light, but Tai could sense an undercurrent of judgement thinly veiled underneath his innocuous words. Tai was quick to reassure him, blushing slightly under the implied criticism.

“If there’s two or three babies then I’ll only take one. If there’s just one then I’ll leave it. Taking multiple babies is actually helpful for the parents, much as they hate it. It’s easier to take care of one baby than it is two or three.”

Tai was positive she had heard more than one tiny chirping voice coming from inside the tree. Chances of coming away from this with a baby were fairly high.

Stu nodded, and Tai could feel that buried judgement lift a bit. She didn’t quite have it in her to feel irritated. She loved all parrots, wild or tame. Leaving some wild in their natural environment was important after all. Tai picked up Blue, then with a quick gesture launched her into the branch of a nearby tree. With a smile, Tai put on her climbing claws, eyeballed her path up the tree one last time, then started climbing.

(Words 531, Total 1049)
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The Jungle Is A Frightful Place

Postby Tailyn on March 1st, 2018, 3:18 am

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Climbing with the climbing claws was considerably easier than free climbing a palm tree, and Tai silently kicked herself for having forgotten the damn things during her parrot training at the pool. Never again she told herself firmly. They were too useful to leave in her tent collecting moss. The feel of the claws sinking into the damp wood was highly satisfying. The only thing difficult about the climb was finding a place to brace her feet. The tiny knicks left by the claws afforded some purchase, but it was still some strain to keep her balance. Tai looked forward to when she would be able to scale a tree without sweating like a damn sailor.

After a few long minutes of straining, Tai reached a branch near to the parrot’s nest. Cautiously, Tai tested the weight of the branch, then satisfied settled herself down on it. Blue, sitting on the branch opposite to Tai, peered around the trunk of the tree at her curiously. The bird had never seen Tai sitting in a tree next to her, so it was no doubt an intriguing experience for the bird. Tai grinned at Blue.

“Am I a bird now too?” she asked Blue. Blue tilted her head and croaked an unintelligible reply. In a tree nearby, there came the irritated chatter of monkeys. Blue glanced at the creatures reproachfully and groomed her feathers.

Tai turned away from her bird and glanced towards the nest. The chirping coming from within had increased in intensity. “Silly little things,” Tai said, scooting on the branch closer to the hole and peering inside.

The interior of the tree’s hole was filled with tiny pieces of debris, sticks, leaves, and what Tai guessed was the remains of somebody’s bright red weave work. The bottom of the nest was dusted with a white powder both dried and wet that Tai knew was the result of the baby’s active digestion at work. Three tiny, half feathered half pink skinned monsters huddled in the corner of the nest, stared at Tai and screamed.

Tai was always struck by how horrifying baby parrots looked. They didn’t really get cute until they had all their feathers. These little monsters had patches of red, blue, and yellow feathers peeking up out of pink skin. They were terribly ugly, but Tai’s heart couldn’t help but soften. “There’s three of them up here!” Tai called down to Stu. The Priest squinted up at Tai against the light of the sun, on hand held up in a meager attempt to block it. “Wonderful! Take your pick then, I suppose!”

Tai glanced back into the nest, frowning as she consulted the babies. Ideally, she’d want to pick the one that looked like it was strong and healthy, but not the largest one either. The babies who were the largest were getting most of the food, which probably meant they were the most aggressive in the nest. On the other hand, Tai didn't want to take the weakest either. There was a good chance that if she took a runt it wouldn’t survive till maturity. Gods willing, if she took the second strongest one then the runt just might survive. If not...well that was just the way nature was.

(Words 542, Total 1591)
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The Jungle Is A Frightful Place [Job]

Postby Tailyn on March 1st, 2018, 3:42 am

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“Can you toss me my bag?” Tai called down. A moment later, her sack flew into the air. She caught it lightly and gave Stu a thumbs up, then turned back towards the tree hollow. She removed her climbing gloves then stashed them inside of the bag.

Tai focused intently, then finally made her choice. Gently, she reached into the nest and reached for a single particular baby. The little one was about middle sized compared to the other two, but had a bit of a belly on it and a petulant stare. When Tai reached forward the bird cowared against the side of the tree. “Come on now,” Tai told it. “We’re going to be friends. I promise.”

None of the three baby parrots were having any of it. Tai knew perfectly well that once the two of them spent time together and she filled the baby’s belly with a delicious mixture of squished up fruit that the two of them would quickly become fast friends. But right now, every inch of instinct pulsing through the birds tiny bodies was screaming ‘PREDATOR!’ at them, even as they loudly screamed their violent declarations to the world. Tai had to be more than a little careful. Even as babies, if one of those got their beak on her skin, they could ruin her hands, and she didn’t want to encourage biting already.

Finally she managed to corner the bird she had her eye on. “There there, it’s okay,” she told the baby, and she gently scootched in and swooped the little one up into her ungloved hand. The baby froze against her and gently scooped the baby out of the nest and cuddled it against her chest.

Under ordinary circumstances, all would have been well. But Tai hadn’t couldn’t on the unlikely bravery of the baby’s nest mates. Like a tiny omen of horror and death, the largest of the three babies let out an unholy hiss and charged Tai. The woman yelped and jerked her body backwards. She managed to keep balanced on the branch just barely. However, she watched with horror as the baby she had been holding tumbled to the ground, as well as the one in the nest who had charged her.

Once again, had circumstances been normal, this wouldn’t have been more than a brief scare. Tai would have been able to swoop down upon both babies, pocket the one she wanted to keep, and then return the second one to the nest. However, Tai’s unusual behavior had been closely observed by a group of highly curious monkeys in a neighboring tree. The moment the two baby birds went tumbling to the ground, they were ready. Two monkey’s launched themselves down to the forest floor, and grabbed one of the parrots each.

Tai let out a strangled noise and launched herself from the branch and onto the ground. The moment she touched down, the pair of monkey’s scattered. “Come back here!” Tai cried out. She wasn’t even sure which monkey had grabbed which parrot. She watched as one of them paused on a branch and eyeballed it’s squirming prize. Before Tai could react, the monkey lifted the chick to its mouth and bit off its head.

(540 Words, Total 2131)
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The Jungle Is A Frightful Place [Job]

Postby Tailyn on March 1st, 2018, 5:01 am

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Tai turned and stared at Stu, mouth agape in horror. The Priest's expression echoed Tai’s sentiment.

Tai let out an incoherent shriek of rage. She wasn’t thinking anything. All she could see was red. The woman reached into the bag and yanked out her short bow. She could distantly hear Blue’s cry of dismay echoing her own, but she had no mind to put to it. Tai leveled an arrow into her bow and scanned the nest of branches up above her. Perhaps a dozen monkeys hopped from branch to branch. At least one of them recognized the object in her hand and screeched its warning to the rest of the group. Tai ignored the frantic flush of white bodies leaping from branch to branch, and searched for one particular set of colors; pink, red, yellow and blue.

There. Tai’s eyes focused, zeroing in on her target. She steadied her breathing and felt her pulse beat in her ears. Even as it fled from branch to branch, even as it disappeared in the swarm of it’s fellows, Tai kept her target. Finally, she watched it come to a pause on the edge of the branch. It was only for a moment. But one moment was enough. Tai exhaled and released her bowstring, letting the arrow fly.

Tai knew the arrow would hit before she released it. It had always been like that. Her arrows didn’t always hit of course. She was still just a novice in the long run. But regardless of how many arrows strayed off their course because of unsteady hands or were snatched away by the wind, Tai could somehow always tell when the arrow would strike. Just as she predicted, the arrow flew free and true and buried itself into the monkey’s neck.

The creature shrieked and toppled off of its branch. All around her, monkeys were screaming their anger, but Tai had no time for them. She dropped the bow on the ground beside her and braved an assault of fruit, rocks and debris thrown from the branches and swooped down on the bleeding monkey.

Please be alive, oh please please…

Tai pried apart the creature’s weak hands and shivering in the creature’s grasp was the baby parrot. Alive. Still alive and unharmed, if terrified. Tai scooped the creature up into her hands and thrust the bird into her shirt. She turned back towards the monkey, and yanked the arrow out of it’s neck. It twitched for a moment before finally falling still. Under the monkey’s assault, Tai fled until she was out of range of the attack. Finally away Tai pulled the baby out of her shirt and paused to look at the trembling creature in her hands.

The baby was not the same parrot that she had loving selected out of the trio. This one was the larger, more aggressive of the three. Tai did not have it in her to be angry at it. The bird was completely and utterly helpless and had only just narrowly survived death.

“I’m calling you Lucky,” Tai said with a sigh. There would be no way to know if the bird was a male or a female until it reached sexual maturity. Gender neutral names were usually best. The woman returned to Stu’s side and repacked her bag with her bow, and arrows. Finally, Tai set Lucky down in the nest of belongings. Blue had emerged from out of the tree and settled down next to Tai’s bag. Tai lifted the bird back up onto her shoulder. In Blue’s absence the parent bird had returned back to its nest. It examined the interior of the nest, then stared at Tai with eyes full of judgement.

“Sorry…” Tai whispered. “Really sorry. It wasn’t what I...intended. At least you’ve still got one left.”

One weak baby who would be receiving the full attention of its parents and would have the chance to thrive. It was something right? Tai couldn’t quite manage to swallow her guilt.

“I think you did the best considering your...circumstances,” Stu told Tai with a gentle pat to her shoulder. Tai almost pushed his hand away but stopped herself. It wasn’t fair to lash out at him.

“Let me know if you find anymore,” Tai told Stu. The man nodded in agreement. “It should go better than planned next time,” she added. I hope, she thought silently.

(Words 732, Total 2863)
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The Jungle Is A Frightful Place [Job]

Postby Gossamer on March 24th, 2018, 10:35 pm



The Fates Have Spoken
Here is your thread grade!


Character: Tailyn
Experience Awarded: Teaching +3, Observation +4, Climbing +2, Leadership +2, Birdkeeping +4, Short Bow +1
Lores Awarded: Stu: Found Baby Parrots For Her, Monkeys: Feed On Baby Parrots, Monkeys: Act Aggressively, Monkeys: Attack By Throwing Things.

Notes: Great job thread. I enjoyed reading it.

As always PM me if you have issues.


Gossamer

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