81st Turn, Seventh Year, Twenty-Second Cycle, Skyday
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From the Journal of Aframos Longjourney, Pilgrim

With notes by Avos Torr, Scholar of Rheve Library

Skyday, Twenty-second Cycle, Seventh Year, 81st Turn

Sixty-Eighth Day in the Woods

Souja has left. We searched and called to her for an hour, but there was no sign of her. We knew we had to go.

When I knew that she had left, I felt something strange.

I had expected to feel sad. I had expected to feel lonely. And I do. I feel both of those things. But I feel something else much stronger. Pride.

Souja, whom I kept safe in my hands, is now strong. She is now become a huntress, and will find her own way. I do not need to worry for her any longer. I believe that she will be fine. She will thrive. And perhaps she will find others of her kind, and become a mother in time, like the one I so wrongly killed.

I remember when she was a baby, and could fit so easily in my hand. I remember the first rat she brought me. I remember how she would wrestle with my hand, and bite my fingers. I remember so many things about her.

I will miss her. Caring for her was difficult, but it made me happy. I enjoyed hearing her purring next to my head while she slept. I enjoyed her rubbing against my hand. I enjoyed watching her explore the forest around us. But it is best for her that she finds her own way. I cannot be too sad, knowing that she goes where she was meant to be.

Water on your journey, Souja. Stars to guide your steps.

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