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The True Tale of Rukky Garge

This is a fan fiction story by Tree_Climber. It is not considered canon, nor is it a policy or guideline.

"Death, death,
Conva and crew will bring death,
Death to your holt!
Vermin swarmed all around, slaying every beast in sight. Screams of dying otters was all that was heard, except the vermin chanting, "Pearls of Lutra! Pearls of Lutra!"
"Ahh!" Rukky awoke suddenly.
"Are you alright dear?" a fat ottermum asked as she bustled to Rukky's side.
"I'm fine, just had a bad dream, a very bad dream," she replied, as she crawled from the ledge were she had been sleeping. "What time is it mum?" Rukky asked, as she stood and streched.
"Far after noon, it's getting close to sundown," she answered, as she proceeded back to the cooking fires.
"Oh, okay. Well I guess I will start my evening chores," she replied, as she headed torwards the cave entrance.
Looking around the large cavern, she could see kindly ottermums working diligently around cooking fires. Lining the cave wall, was a thickly padded, moss covered legde, on is sat many old ones, widdling or playing cards. Then, postitioned in the middle of the cave, sat a huge, finely crafted, wooden table. Rukky loved her home, Holt Lutra. Though she was the only river otter there and knew that the sea otters who raised her weren't really her parents, she could care less. She was happy, and that was all that mattered.
When she reached the shore she could tell right off something was wrong.
"Um, hello, is everything okay?" Rukky asked, as she headed torwads a group of highly trained holt warriors, huttled together on the beach, talking in hushed tones.
As soon as Rukky spoke they went silent and turned to her. I rough looking male stepped forward, he seemed to be a season or two older than her. "That is none of you buisness. Get back to the cave maiden," he barked.
Rukky opened her mouth to protest, but before she could speak she heard a voice calling her from behind. "Rukky, Rukky Garge. Please help! My sister is giving birth!" a otter maid yelled, as she ran across the shore to Rukky.
"I will find out what’s going on!" Rukky hissed to the warrior, she then turned and followed the ottermaid into the cave.
"Zian, don't you think you were a little hard on her. We have to tell the Holt about that mysterious ship sometime," a fellow warrior stated.
"No, if we tell the holt that there could be an attack, then they will all panic, it is better this way," he replied, as he turned back to the sea, watching the big ship wadding in the shallows.
A few moments later, shouts could be heard coming from the cave. Zian was about to go see if all was alright, when Rukky and Gail, the otter maid who had called for Rukky came out of the cave entrance, and between them they carried, and young, pregnant otter.
"Out of our way, we must get to the ocean!" Rukky demanded.
"Now, now. It's alright Rana, we are almost to the water," Gail encouraged.
"We need the birthing pipe and a baby basket, Rukky ordered," as the reached the water edge. They layed Rana down in the shallows, and then both healer, and assistant jumped into the ocean. They grabbed Rana and pulled her into the deeper area. Gail and Rana dived down wile Rukky stated, "as soon as the supplies we requested are ready toss them into the water," and with that she was gone.
All the members of the Holt had gathered along the shore waiting.
"I won't stand for this. The ship will surly see them," Zian ranted, as be prepared to dive.
All the other warriors restrained him, "Zian, you know the birthing ritual, your father would banish you if you disturbed it," on of the warriors said.
"Fine," Zian replied, as he stomped back to the cave.
All was quiet and still, all those on the shore kept their eyes on the place where they had submerged.
There was a slight ripple on the surface of the water, then suddenly Gail’s hand shot from the calm sea and grabbed the birthing tube that was floating on the surface. The hand and tube disappeared, except the very tip. The birthing tube was only a long, hollowed-out stick, for the mother and her coaches to breath from. Then again, all was still.
Many moments passed, the anticipation began building, tension was rising. What was taking so long? Then, suddenly Rukky shot from the water and yelled, “We have a Girl, her name is Sayana!” She was carrying a small bundle; this bundle was the placed gently into the baby basket, which was floating not to far away. Rukky sat the baby down and kissed its head. Than again she was gone. A baby basket was merely a basket with it’s inside covered in waterproof clay, which was used as a cradle for new born babies, wile the healers tended to the mother. An otter mum, blindfolded, as the ceremony requires, jumped into the sea and retrieved the basket, as she walked to the cave all turned there head, not aloud to see the baby until the mother gave them permission to look upon her child’s face.
Again the Holt members waited. Much passed, some otters had sat down on the beach and were drawing pictures in the sand. The sun was begging to set and many were begging to worry that something had happened in the process of the birth.
“I am going in! Don’t try to stop me, they have been down there way to long,” a burly otter named Waverunner bellowed, unable to take the suspense any longer.
“I know Rana is your mate, but you can’t just go and disturb the ritual. Rukky and Gail will take fine care of her,” Lutra, the Holt Chieftain demanded, as he and his two children, Grath and Zian tried to restrain him. I was no use, Waverunner was already to the ocean, he crouched to jump, and wile in mid-air, Rukky, follow by Gail and Rana burst from the water!
Waverunner hit the water hard in an ocward bellydive.
“Sorry it took so long, but we have a boy! Waverunner, you’re a father of twins!” Rukky shouted, holding up another small bundle. All able bodied otter jumped into the water to congratulate the lucky parents. Sayana was then brought from the cave to her parents.
“Wonderful, happy day, cheers, cheers! Now lets all get our butts back into the cave!” Zian demanded, striding over to the water.
Rukky couldn’t take that sniveling brat anymore, she burst from the water and began to shout at him, “I know you are worried about the safety of our holt, and that’s fine, but, if that ship is going to attack, this won’t make a difference. You and your warriors have stood on the shore all day, if they saw us, they surly would have seen you! So be happy for someone else for a chance, not just your pathetic self!” Rukky, still dripping wet, stormed off along the coast.
“Well, I hope you happy son,” Lutra said, giving him a hurtful glance. “Please pay no head to my son, but it would be nice to head back to the cave to celebrate this wonderful miracle in peace, quite, and warmth.”
All those on the shore, except Rukky, proceeded back to the cavern. A great dinner was prepared for the fine occasion, by the hard working ottermums.
The new parents sat at the head of the table, one either side of Lutra Longfech. On the other end of the table sat Grath, Zain, and all the other young otters. Laid out on the table was cauldron after cauldron of shrimp and hot’ root soup, large bowls of hot’ root sunsalad, and beaker after beaker of sea beer.
It was a very festive time for all in the holt, all except Rukky, she sat on the shore alone, cold, tired, and upset. She simply watched the huge ship, floating, it seemed abandon, not a single living creature could be seen on the deck. Rukky didn’t worry. Pirates drifted by their coat all the time, never bothering them. She was mad at Zian, she secretly liked him, but he seemed to hate her, and any other person who spoke to him on one of his “bad days”.
Not too much later, Grath came out and sat by her friend. “Don’t let my brother trouble you so, he is just spoiled by being the chiefs son. I hope I never get that way, but he really does have a kind heart.”
“I know he does, but he never shows it to me, I always feel like a slave around him,” Rukky answered, looking to the sea.
“Don’t let my brother ruin your night, you did a great job delivering those babies, so come on back to the cave, most of the holt is asleep anyway,” Grath replied, helping Rukky up.
They both walked in silence, knowing that if they talked, they might wake up the others. They stole silently into the cavern, tiptoeing, to an open spot on the ledge. Grath settled under the woven, rush cover, and immediately fell asleep. Rukky how ever went to the other side of the cavern, to a small shelf-like structure, that served as a nursery for the kitts.
Grath gently picked up both twin to make sure that they were doing okay, suddenly something jerked her dress sharply.
It was little Tugger, a little dibbun, “Pissssst, miz Rukky, may eye’s please be a holden a Barbie?”
“No, not just yet, maybe when both you and they get a little older,” Rukky replied, smiling down at him. “Why are you up anyway?”
“Well, I wasn’t even a’ seep when yous and Grath came in, I was just pretend ‘in,” Tugger answered winking broadly.
“Well. It seems that only you, me and the night guard are still awa-” but Rukky never got to finish, for suddenly the guard came rushing in, screaming!
“Pirates are attacking! Awaken, pirates are att-!” he stopped suddenly, and arrow protruding from his chest.
Things became immediate chaos, pirates began charging in the cave entrance, otters awoke suddenly to the sounds of their family dieing. Rukky quickly grabbed up the twins, and grabbed Tuggers paw. She ran to the very back of the cave. Ignoring the screams, she did what she knew she had to do. She took a paw full of herbs from her satchel and spread them on the babies face, they went into a deep sleep. Then she lay then down on the floor of the cave to make it appear as if their necks were broken. The pirates were now almost to her. She then took her staff and swung it high, and brought it down hard on Tuggers head. Than she pulled a dagger from her healer’s belt and sliced small cut in the babies and Tugger, this was to make it appear is if they had been slashed. Looking around she saw all her friends and family being brutally murdered in front of her eyes, but she knew what she had to do. She ran along the ledge, trying to reach the nursery. An icy paw gripped her neck and swung her around. She was now face to face with an evil looking vermin pirate.
“I’ll only ask you once, were are the pearls?!” he screamed in her face, is rancid breath filling her nostrils.
“I won’t tell you!” she bellowed in rely.
He grabbled her shoulder, “You asked for it, otter! You dare defy Conva, you die!” he then took hold of her head to headbut her, but as his head began coming towards hers, she pushed her hands hard into his stomach, the impact of the blow from his head knocked her senseless.
She awoke to the squawking of sea gulls fishing for their morning breakfast. “Huhhh, my head,” Rukky moaned, raising up and looking around. At first she didn’t recall last nights events, then it dawned on her. She dropped to the floor and began to sob, a small coo from behind reminded her of her responsibilities. She turned and scooped up the two sleeping babies up in her arms and carried them out to the shore, laying them on the warm sand, being careful not to look down at the bodies of those she loved. She then picked up Tugger, and did the same for him.
Stowing away her emotions for a later time, she did what she knew had to be done. She went around to every dead otter and felt their pulse, to see if they were alive. None were, but one was missing, Grath. She hoped that she had made it away alive. After she finished this mournful task, Rukky proceed back to the beach. Then a feeling of horror struck over her, the ship was still there! She could see pirates on deck, organizing their newfound loot. If they saw her or the children, they would surly kill them. Rukky stole silently along the cliff in which the Holt was dug. Farther down, an area of the cliff face was thickly covered with leafs and brush. She pushed this aside to reveal a small cave. This cave was used to store fishing boats and rafts. Rukky selected a small, wooden raft. It was then pulled out of the cave and across the sand to the waters edge.
This was a small raft made of many logs tied together side by side. It was only about as long as Rukky was tall. Towards the back of the boat, a large hole was cut. Resting in this hole was a large basin for keeping fresh fish in.
Rukky tiptoed back across the sandy beach to Tugger and the babies. “Shhhhh, babies, be still, you will be safe soon,” Rukky said comfortingly, as she scooped up the twin and walked them over to the craft. She then sat them both down gently into the basin.:When she returned to were Tugger had been lying she found that he had awoken. “Tugger, be still and silent, ask no questions and do every thing I say,” Rukky whispered to him, as she guided him over to the raft. “Now, hold onto these two ore ports. I will be pulling the boat wile you sit here. If something happens to me just stay on the raft as long as you can, and then go find help, be good,”
With this Rukky clipped the towrope to her belt, and with on running jump she hit the water and began to swim away. Swimming hard and fast, she tried to slip past the pirates unnoticed. She succeeded, and continued heading west across the sea, not knowing what to do or were to go.
Tugger sat silently in the middle of the boat. He knew something bad had happened last night and that it was no time for games. Every once and a wile he would peek in at the babies to make sure they were okay. He didn’t know what was going on, just that it was something terrible.
Rukky rushed through the calm still waters. A fish swam right by her head, she snapped out her jaws and cot it. It was small, so she just gobbled it down as she swam. Not too much later another swam by and she got it as well, but instead of eating it she threw back her head and released it, it landed soundly next to Tugger.
She swam and swam and swam. So tired, mournful, confused and so many more emotions were going through her. She was so exhausted, she began to swim slower, it was getting harder and harder to keep her head up, she eventually stopped, the tow rope slacked as she came to a slow, and easy stop. Over whelmed with exhaustion, she began to loose conciseness, a figure was coming towards her, it seemed to be a big fish of some sort. Unable to hold up anymore, she fainted.
“Miz Rukky, wakey wakey, zeepy head!” Tugger cooed, as he leaned over Rukky.
“Huhhh, what happened?” Rukky asked, opening one eye. She was in a small, tent like room. One wall was stone, but the other three walls were curtains, as well as the ceiling.
“Yous went to zeepers while a tuggen, so Hawn came and brought us here!” Tugger exclaimed, jumping up and down on her.
“Ahhh, good ole hawn, so were is here?” Rukky asked, propping herself up on the rush mat, which she was laying on.
“Why, Holt Rudderwake, of course!” an old otterwife answered, as she peered around the curtain."Welcome to my husbands Holt, my name is Dormee, now

please, drink this. It will make you feel better," Dormee urged, pushing a bowl, of some sort of hot soup towards Rukky.

"I will, but first tell what is in it," Rukky replied, sniffing the


"A blend of herbs that I grow here in the island, sulfirte, flocain,

ratroot, hukan, all mixed with water," Dormee responded, seeming little confused by the question.

"Ahh, so this is an energy drink, because of the flocain, but I assume it

will also help me recover from the fainting with the hukan, and sulfirte," Rukky responded, gulping down the sweet broth.

"Why yes indeed mam, seems you are a healer your self," Dormee replied,


"Yes indeed, miss Dormee. So what and where exactly is Rudderwake?"
"Well, Rudderwake is, hey, how' bout I show ye instead," Dormee replied,

pulling back the curtain to reveal a small tent-like structure.

"Rudderwake, or Holt Rudderwake is and island, located inside the mountain

of Ruddaring. Our ancestors have lived here for longer than imaginable, no one has ever discovered our home, and we hope to keep it that way, yes?" Dormee hinted, bring a bundle of clean cloths over to Rukky.

"Indeed, I shall tell nary a soul. Now were are the babes? And why would you

so freely and willingly let me into your Holt without knowing me?" Rukky pondered, beginning to change.

"The babes are fine, they are asleep in the fields, under the watch of my

son. We let you in so easily because Hawn knows your people well, we trust his judgment," Rukky gave Dormee a confused look. "Well, you see, little Tugger told Hawn were you came from, that is how we knew." Fast facts: Rukky Human age:14 to 16

Tugger Human age: 3 to 5

Holt Lutra Existing: About from the book Salamandastron to Pearls of Lutra, Living Member: Rukky, Tugger, Sayanna and Rugger. ?Grath?

“Ahh, well, I am dressed and ready to see the island,” Rukky said, standing. She was wearing a long, flowing, ottermaid dress. The skirt was blue with green stripes, and the top was a white tank, with fluffy sleeves.

“That is traditional wear for a formal audience with the chief,” Dormee explained, leading Rukky from the tent, which was really just an awning up against the mountain wall, with three sheets hanging down the sides.
“Amazing!” Rukky stood in aw, looking around at a beautiful tropical island. Trees baring many tropical fruits lined the slopes up the side of the mountain wall. They were inside a huge crater. When the steep slopes ended, the mountain wall went strait up, they went the way around in a perfect circle. To one side of the island a stream cut in, with a continuous flow. It was more of a pond for it didn’t flow into the island, only swirling around than exiting were it came in.
“This mountain rises high out of the sea, many otters live on this island, about two score. It was once in habited by evil monitor lizards, but our ancestors fought hard for Ruddaring, because we wanted it to be a place of peace,” Dormee explained, leading her and Tugger across the isle. “So what was taking you so far from your home?”
“All I shall say is Holt Lutra has fallen to the wrath of pirates and their greed, I wish not to speak of it,” Rukky answered, her voice becoming stone cold, and hard.
“Very well, we are here, now only speak when spoken to, and I shall speak with you later,” Dormee whispered to Rukky as they entered a large cave, dug into the side of the mountain.
This cavern was similar to that of Holt Lutra’s. It was the same size, and had many shelves built into the wall. The only furnishing was stone tables and chairs, with a large hearth and two clay ovens towards the back. In front of the hearth stood, an old, graying otter, with a long beard and a kindly face.
“Welcome to my holt, Rudderwake. I am Waylumm Trueflight, chieftain, and you are?” he asked.
“My name is Rukky Garge, of late Holt Lutra,” she replied, leaning down to the side and touching the tip of her Rudder to her chin, a sign of respect among otters.
“Well Rukky, shall you and your children be staying with us long?” Waylumm asked, a little taken aback by her politeness.
“I shall stay as long as I am welcome, sir. Those young otters with me aren’t my children, they are the left survivors of my Holt,” Rukky replied, bringing Tugger forward.
“You shall always be welcome, and what are these young ones named?” Waylumm asked, bring forth a bowl of soup for young Tugger.
“This little dibbun is Tugger, the baby girl is Sayanna and the boy is, um,” Rukky replied, embarrassed that she knew not of the boys name, for she was never at the naming feast.
“Hiz name be’s Rugger,” Tugger answered, saving his friend from humiliation.
“Ahh, well tis, far past lunch, dinner will be prepared soon for you all to eat, but for now let me wife show ye round my island,” Wayllumm responded, gesturing Dormee forward.
Dormee guided Rukky out of the cave back to the island. “You did very well, now lets get you changed into some comfortable clothes and I will show you the rest of the island,” Dormee complimented, leading Rukky back to the tent.
She changed into a bright red rob, long and flowing, yet very cool and breezy. “This is quite lovely, but, no other girl in the holt that I have seen wears cloths as such,” Rukky answered, dancing around the tent.
“I don’t know why they do. They were short, tight tunics, I don’t under stand it,” Dormee replied, pulling back the flap to the tent. They both proceeded back out into the open space, dimly lit with an orange tent, for the sun was setting.
“Neither do I, if any at our Holt had the option to were such fine clothes, we certainly would,” Rukky responded, following Dormee across to the water, were many young otter sat around talking.
“This is the newest member of our holt, Rukky. She has come from a holt on the shore, not to far from here, please welcome her in your group,” Dormee, spoke, gesturing towards Rukky.
“Hey Rukky, nice cloths,” a young otter maid teased, all the rest snickered.
“I know you are making fun of me because you think I am venerable being new and all, but don’t mess with me. I would love to all be friends, but not if that is your welcome gift to me. An insult,” Rukky replied when Dormee was out of hearing range.
“Sorry, Kala is just a little rude sometime,” another ottermaid spoke up. Turning to Kala she said “Be nice, she is new and has been through a lot, just give her a chance.”
“Wait, how do you know what I have been through?” Rukky asked, sitting down by the otter that had defended her.
“Us’n know a lot of things that go on around the holt, by the way Rukky, my name is Winniegold,” she replied, holding out her hand.
Rukky shook her hand and replied “Nice to meet you Winniegold, so what do you guys do around here?”
“Well what we defiantly don’t do is hang out with flat rudders (flat rudders: nerds, geeks, losers), let’s go guys,” Kala ordered, all the otter stood and followed her away from the pool.
Rukky and Winniegold were left sitting there alone. “We don’t need them to have, fun,” Winniegold encouraged, helping Rukky up.
“Well what do we do. Oh no, I better go check on the babe’s!” Rukky exclaimed heading across the island.
“Rukky! The babes are this way!” Winniegold shouted, pointing in the opposite direction Rukky was going.
“Oh, wups, here I come!” Rukky yelled, wheeling around, running after Winniegold. “I guess I don’t know the island yet!”
“Well, you have only been here less than a day, hey, here we are!” Winniegold called back to Rukky. They were standing in the middle of a melon garden. A young male otter was sitting not to far away, with the babies in his lap. “That’s my brother! Come on, let’s go say hi!” Winniegold yelled excitedly, as Rukky arrived next to her.
“Wow, she is so full of energy,” Rukky muttered to herself, walking over to her and the babes.
“Hey Rukky, I see you have met my sister,” the otter spoke, turning towards her. “My name is Inbar.”
“Hello Inbar, it seems news spreads fast around here. Are the babes okay?” Rukky asked, peering over his shoulder to take a peak at the sleeping Kitts.
“They are fine. An ottermum nursed them and then they went to sleep. Haven’t woken since,” Inbar replied, tickling Rugger’s nose.
“Thank you very much, Inbar for watching them, but I really must take them now,” Rukky stated, taking the babies from him.
“That’s fine, we will be having a feast for you and the little ones this evening, so I would go get them ready,” Inbar suggested, standing up.
“A Feast, for me. Why? I have done nothing to deserve such a wonderful thing,” Rukky inquired, a little shocked.
“We have never had a new member move into Ruddaring in my, or my fathers life. This is a historic moment for our Holts history. And you are the center of this great history in making. You are a great healer as well, or that is what my mum told me,” Inbar answers, also a little shocked, but because she didn’t know of her importance.
“Oh, I didn’t realize my coming here was such a big deal. But how does your mum know of my healing abilities, I haven’t healed any here?” Rukky pondered, beginning to walk to the tent.
Inbar and Winniegold followed. “It is written on the wall of the mountain, a prophesy says a great healer, which you told my mum you were, that brought four children, not of her blood, and twas cursed with the loss of her family. Also, this otter was of the rivers, not the ocean,” Inbar explained.
“I hope I can serve you as prophesized, but I really am just a normal ottermaid. No special abilities, or powers, I must go now friend. I shall see you both at dinner,” Rukky said in farewell, entering the healing tent with the three young ones. “Oh wait, were shall dinner be held?”
“I will just meet you here and take there when supper is ready,” Winniegold answered, heading back across the island to the cave.
“Well, I guess I will clean you little ones up, and then we will wait,” Rukky stated, looking around for some clean clothes and some rags.
She chose a small, bright green tunic, with a yellow belt for Tugger, as well as a beautiful, wooden tail ring. For the babes she took two pieces of beautiful green and blue silk, and rapped Rugger in the blue, and Sayanna in green. For herself she wore the red robe, which she had on, with a tail ring like Tugger, as well as a beautiful gold bracelet. For a final touch for each of their looks, Rukky took four shining blue stones, and fashioned them into broaches. She pinned one of them to each of the children, as well as one to herself. She went to all this trouble to look nice, for those were the cloths Dormee had left them, so she assumed it was a quite formal event.
Rukky then took the rags and wetted them in the basin of water, which was resting next to the rush mat were Rukky had slept earlier. She wiped the young otter’s faces free of dirt and grime. She scrubbed them till they shined. She then did the same for her face. When all was done Tugger and Rukky sat on the rush mat together, awaiting the arrival of Winniegold, whist the babies slept.
“Rukky,” Tugger said, “What really happened to our holt?”
“I will tell you when get older, no this is a happy time, enjoy it. Be happy that we are safe now, with a wonderful new home,” Rukky said comfortingly, holding him close and stroking his head. “So, what do you think of Holt Rudderwake?”
Tugger immediately perked up, “I love it!” he exclaimed. “There are so many nice otter, and I have already made a ton a friends! It’s great!”
“Well, I’m glad you like it. I like it too, though, not all the otters are that nice. But most are, and it is a lovely place to live,” Rukky replied, glad that Tugger was so happy, and that the babies would grow up in a nice home.
A few moments’ later footsteps could be heard coming along the island path. “Roooooooky! Were here!” Winniegold called through the curtains.
“Up you go Tugger, time to go,” Rukky chimed, helping Tugger to his feet. “We’re coming,” Rukky called, scooping up the twin in her arms.
The four otters proceeded out of the tent, to come face to face with Inbar and Winniegold, who were dress similar to them. “Come on, you don’t want to be late for your own feast you four,” Inbar said, taking Rugger from Rukky.
“T’would be quite embarrassing,” Winniegold giggled, taking Sayanna from Rukky. :“Now, stand tall, be kind, and say little, that’s the key to honorary feasts,” Inbar advised. :They proceeded silently across, the island; orange light from the setting sun illuminated the path. Not too much later they arrived at the location of the feast. Large woven, rush mats and quilts were spread all across the ground next to the beautiful, clear pond of salt water, twinkling in the last rays of the days setting sun. Unlit bamboo tiki-torches lined the perimeter
“Our guest-, I mean holt members of honor have arrived!” Wayllum shouted standing. Two handsome otters came forward and each took one of Rukky’s arms, escorting her to a rush mat, right in front of the pond. Two gorgeous ottermaids did the same for Tugger. Then, Winniegold and Inbar came forward, they lay each babe on the rush mat, turned, and bowed to their father, than sat.
Looking around, Rukky noticed no others her or the Trueflight sibling age were wearing anything so extravagant, or beautiful. The girls wore short, tight, small, brown dresses. None of the boys wore shirts, just dull colored wraps around their waist.
“I am proud to welcome to you the newest members of our holt, Rukky Garge, Tugger, Sayanna, and Rugger,” Wayllum cried, gesturing to where Rukky sat. The sudden applause snapped Rukky out of her concentrated thinking.
She hurriedly stood and bowed, Tugger followed her example and did the same. Wayllum nodded to them and they sat. “I hope you all enjoy the wonderful array of food, prepared by our diligent, and hard working ottermaids and mums!” Waylumm cried, he then sat and nodded to the cooks, they pulled a blanket off of what Rukky thought was a pile of rocks or dirt to reveal an amazing buffet of delicious, and mouth-watering food. All were Holt Rudderwake specials. Mostly consisting of shellfish soups and magnificent melon dishes. Wayllum’s family, along with Rukky and Tugger, were the first to be dismissed to get their food. This food was of the highest quantity and quality, savory soups, and juicy melon salads; overwhelming aromas of these exquisite dishes filled the air. Rukky went along through the line, putting a little bit of everything on her plate, and sampling as she went. When she was done going through she had three plates and four bowls, loaded to the brim with the island cuisine.
She balanced all these by stacking them up in the hands, then holding the top bowl firmly still with her chin, and supporting the middle section with her rudder. She and Tugger then proceeded back to the rush mat. Not but a few moments later Winniegold, Inbar, and Grud, Tuggers friend joined them.
“How do you plan to fit all that food into that tiny stomach or yours?” Winniegold joked. “You know it will still be there later right?”
“I know I’m no hare, but you’d be surprised at how much tuck I can fit in me tum,” Rukky replied, joining in the fun. “And I know it will all still be there, but it just looks soooooo good!”
“Yeah, and how does it taste? Good right!” Inbar asked, beginning to munch on a sea loaf.
“Excellent! Tugger, you and Grud probably don’t want to hear us rambling on, so you may go and sit with the other little’uns,” Rukky said, turning to the two dibbuns seated at the corner of the mat.
“S’hanks Rukky! Come on, lets go sit with Silsy!” Tugger exclaimed, leaping. The two then ran over and joined a small group of dibbuns farther down the bank.
“So, what is the deal with the cloths thing?” Rukky asked, dobbing a roll in her soup.
“Oh, you mean the ways we dress,” Winniegold replyed, “and the way they dress,” she continued, cocking her head in the directing of a group of young, snooty otters.
“Yeah, they all seem so high class and snobby, yet they were clothes that look like potato sacks,” Rukky answered.
“Well, they have the option to wear the same clothes as us, but they choose not to. Their group, run by Keyla, all wear promiscuous and skimpy outfits. They all want to impress the opposite gender, but me and Inbar don’t really care about our populartity,” Winniegold explained.
“That’s odd. Back at Holt Lutra there were none more popular than others, and we certainly didn’t worry ‘bout boyfriend and girlfriends that much. But, Holt Lurta was only half the size of Holt Rudderwake,” Rukky stated, beginning to realize how the social status worked around Ruddaring.
They sat in silence for a while, listing to the otter band play and watching performers dance around the pond, then Rukky asked “So how do you get fresh water to make this soup, I see no spring?”
“We don’t, we grow our melons with salt water, then, we take the meat of them and use it in dishes. Then we drain the remaining juice into a barrel and stick it in the cellar. We use this to drink and cook with,” Inbar explained, “Does the soup not have a fruit like taste to it?”
“Now that you say that, it kinda does. But I am confused, what cellars? All I have that is remotely close to a cellar is the main Holt’s cave,” Rukky inquired, still learning the ways of the island.
“I assume you have seen the huge apple tree in the center of the island, yes? Well, there is a hole between two roots that goes straight down into the ground. Well, if you go through there you will find a small, cool, dimly lit cavern, with dirt wall and a stream running through it. Well, we roll the barrels of juice into here then we wade them in the stream so they stay cool,” Winniegold explained, sipping her apple juice.
“But were does this stream come from and how do the barrels not float away?” Rukky questioned, quite confused.
“We will show you after supper, but the stream come from this pond. At the bottom of this pond is a small hole about the size of me,” Inbar explained. “Water drains into it and flow through an underground tunnel to the cellars. From the cellars it continues on and branches into two smaller streams that head to underneath each of the melon gardens. Our ancestor dug that huge tunnel and it wasn’t completed until about two hundred seasons after it was started. Oh, now back to the cellars, we tie a rope to each of the barrels and then tie the other end to a stake on the bank,”
“Wow, that’s amazing! What an intricate system, I assume you also you it for tranportation?” Rukky questioned further.
“Well, we-” Winniegold began, but was unable to finish because her father had stood to make an announcement.
He began banging his rudderdrum to restore order. When all was quite he began to speak in a very regal manner, “Members of Holt Rudderwake, we all know of our new member’s. Now it is time for them to fulfill their role!” Every otter, except Keyla stood and cheered. Rukky was quickly bustled to Wayllum’s side. She stood quite confused, looking upon the faces of many nacreous otters. “Now my wife will say a few words,” Wayllum proclaimed, gestering Dormee forward.
“All of you here have known me as Dormee the healer, and the chieftains wife. No longer will you call me healer, I hand this title over to my dear friend Rukky Garge!” Dormee exclaimed, opening her arms wide, and bringing Rukky forward.
She was completely stunned, she had lived there less for a day an was already healer. All the otter were applauding, cheering, and whooping. Soon they began chanted “Speech! Speech! Speech! Speech!”
“Go one now, don’t be shy,” Dormee whispered to Rukky.
She stepped forward, cleared her throat, then began to speak, “Well, I, I, I don’t know what to say. I do not deserve such a title, especially because I have only lived her for less than one meal. But, I promise I will serve you to the best of my abilities, and I asked you Dormee to coach me in your islands unique herbs and healing methods. I will care for any and all, so worry not to come to me, for I shall never deny ye,” Rukky stated, all the otter clapped and whooped and whistled. Rukky then proceeded back to Wayllums side.
“Very good young’un,” Wayllum complimented, patting her on the back. “I wish to see you later this evening if you will,”
“Of course sir,”
“Now to the housing arrangements,” Waylumm announced, stepping forward once more. “As you all well know, we all sleep in the Holt Cave together, some occasionally decide to sleep under the stars, but for the most part we only sleep in the cavern. The only time any others who have lived here that ever slept in a separate structure was the island healers. Most healers choose to sleep in the cavern with the others, but on occasion they reside in the healers tent, as my mother did, so Rukky, were would you like to be housed?”
“Well sir, since I am raising three children on my own, it would be nice to have my own home,” Rukky replied sheepishly.
“The tent it is, now please, everyone enjoy this nights festivities!” Waylumm boomed.

TO BE CONTINUED..............

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