Note: this story will not be updated until Ferretmaiden can get a hold of a copy of "Martin the Warrior" at her local library...
What if Celandine had a younger sister? What if Felldoh Loved the sister instead? these questions shall be answered..soon
Book One. Jax
The cart rolled along the rough path, bumping and jostling. Everyone strong enough to push or pull pitched in. they were going uphill after all, and needed all the help they could get. Jax was a pusher. She flinched as sharp pebbles dug into her tender young feet, but she kept on walking, straining against the wagon. The Rambling Rosehip Players where always traveling somewhere or another. Jax looked up, seeing her sister, Celandine, right next to her, pushing with all her dainty might. Who knew Celandine could push a wagon and walk at the same time? Jax grinned to herself, only to gasp as an especially sharp stone dug into her foot. Jax adored her older sister, but at the same time couldn’t stand her. Jax and Celandine where perfect opposites. Celandine wore lace, ribbons, sashes, and pretty dresses, Jax wore tunics and leather belts. Celandine flirted, Jax healed. Celandine was vain; Jax couldn’t have given a fig about how she looked. Celandine shirked, Jax pitched in whenever she could. Celandine danced and sang, Jax threw knives. It was just the way things where. Jax liked how she was, but sometime she wished she was as pretty as her sister. Suddenly the cart’s procession became less bumpy, and they were off the steep hill, then it stopped altogether. Rowanoak, the badger, who had been pulling, poked her head behind the wagon to check on the three pushers. “This looks like an okay camp spot. Jax, could you help me unload some of the tackle?” Jax nodded dumbly. She was tired, but they needed to unload the pots and pans for cooking. That was much more important than Jax resting, especially since they had Ballaw to feed. She started to follow Rowanoak, when Celandine’s voice startled her.
“Oh my gosh Jax! Your poor feet!”
Jax looked down at her feet and groaned. Her feet where covered in blood, and she still had some pebbles sticking in them. Rowanoak turned and bent down to examine Jax’s feet. She gave a grunt and gently pushed Jax into a sitting position. Normally Jax would have protested, saying she could do it herself, but she was too tired. Rowanoak carefully pulled pebbles and splinters from the young squirrelmaids feet. Rowanoak had found Jax and Celandine orphaned and homeless out in the woods and had taken them in as her own. Jax thought, that if she had a choice to switch mothers, she would keep Rowanoak. She hardly noticed Rowanoak bandaging her feet, until Rowanoak pulled her back up.
“There now, walk around see how that feels.”
Jax walked around then looked up at Rowanoak with a little smile.
“I feel much better Rowan! Thanks.” She began pulling a large cast iron pot out of the wagon. Jax wasn’t her real name. Her real name was Ceriah Katoria Jinx, but when Celandine and Jax’s real parents had been alive, Celandine had been too young to pronounce the name properly and had called her Jax, and the nickname had stuck.
This pot was particularly stubborn. She peered into the wagon and saw it was tangled by a string hanging on the poles keeping the wagon cover on. She clambered ungracefully into the cart, and pulled out one of her throwing knives. She began sawing at the string until it snapped. Tugging the pot out of the wagon was a more difficult task than Jax had realized when the pot finally got out of the cart it fell to the ground, unbalancing Jax. With a little squeak she fell out of the cart, face first. She jumped up and dusted herself off.
“Burr aye mizzie! That wurr a gurt narsty fall! Burr, let oi carry the pots. You’n unlowd um. Be a lot less strain on yurr good self.”
Jax smiled at Buckler, who had tugged his snout respectfully the whole time he had spoken. Buckler was Jax’s best friend, she loved his quaint mole speech .when she had been little she had tried to copy it whenever she was alone, so as not to make him think she was making fun of how he spoke.
“Alright Buckler... But be careful. That pot weighs a ton!”
“Hurr hurr hurr! Only to yurr pretty little pars Jarx!”
He picked up the pot, staggered, and tripped. Jax stuffed her fist in her mouth to silence her giggles. Buckler dusted himself off, his little button eyes twinkling.
“Hurr hurr, gezz oi need to tink’s before oi speak hurr…Burr aye that bees one ‘eavy pot!”
Jax burst out laughing.
The rain poored in large buckets over head..Jax sat in the cart with a little Squirrelbabe, named Tinny..the rain pattered against the canvas, and a litle drop of water fell on Jax's nose, she looked up to see a hole in the canvas. a little paw tugged on Jax tunic hem.
"Pwease, Ja, sing me somting."
the pitiful little voice of a dibbun terrified by The thunder and lightning, tugged at Jax's heart. Jax didn't think she could amount to anything when it came to singing and dancing, but that was untrue. Ballaw had often said to Rowanoak, that Jax refusal to sing was a waist of her talents, and they needed to help Jax boost her confidence more often..
Tinny was Jax adopted little sister. Jax had found her when a wild fire had struck, the little babe had beeen crying her mother's name. and something else. Fell...Fell..she'd been crying that as well. Jax could only guess that the little babes mother had fallen and been taken by the hungry flames.
a crack of thunder raored snapping Jax into reality. Tinny whimpered and clung to Jax. Jax obliged her wish.
Rain won't you tell her that i love her so
Rain in our hearts and let the lovers start to grow
Listen to the rythem of the falling rain,
telling me just what a fool I've been
the only one i cared about has gone away
lookin for a brand new start
Jax couldn't remember the rest. but that was enough. the little squirrel babe had calmed considerable.
"Ja, wha does the song mean?" Jax thought a moment before replying.
"well i supose it means that we need to treat others carefully, or yo may lose them forever." Tinny's eyes brimmed with tears.
"Fowever? how long is fowever?"
"a long time Tin..a long, long time."
"is my mummy gone fowever?"
Jax flinched and cuddeled Tinny.
"no, not forever..you'll see her again. one day. I promise.."
the little Babe fell asleep in Jax arms...
Felldoh strained to push the log in front of him as the hot sun burned his back.How was it that it could rain during the night and be hot and dusty in the day? He paused to wipe sweat from his brow, and was rewarded by a whip hitting his paw.
“Who told yer te stop ye mangy lay about?! Get pulling, or Badrang’ll have all our hides!”
Felldoh glared up with hatred at the weasel, but called politely:
“Yes Sir! I’ll get right to it Sir!” he tugged at the rope as hard as possible, sure his muscles would fail one day and he’d then have to really worry. The Weasel seemed pleased at being called sir, because Felldoh noticed out of the corner of his eye, that the vermin’s chest puffed up with pride. It was almost comical.
Loud cracks form a whip started Felldoh into turning his head to the sound and he froze. His father was on the ground being beaten viciously by a bad-tempered Hisk. Felldoh made a move towards them, ready to tear Hisk apart, but a young mouse had gotten there first. He had a hold of the whips end and was playing some sort of tug-of-war game with the weasel.