Little: Chapter 2

Sit, sit, compulsion to sit… Little’s Duty was to sit on a cocoon, curve her whole body around it, and keep the young one inside nice and warm. Grow, grow, I will keep you warm to grow, Little scent-sang.

I am growing, replied the scent-song from inside the cocoon. I am growing, and I thank you and I love you…

Little felt their scent-clouds entwine and dance and she felt a deep inner peace and purpose. In two Sun Cycles Little’s fur had matured from grey to golden yellow and black. Her legs were no longer stiff. Little had also learned that all the nectar pots in the brood were the cocoons from which Sisters had hatched. Even her own empty cocoon was now used to store nectar.

There was a shadowy movement in the corner of the nest.

It was She-Who-Takes-The-Scentless.

She-Who-Takes-the-Scentless was dragging a lifeless body, a life that had ended. She would drag it out of the nest and toward the Sky-World, and then She-Who-Takes-The-Scentless would return on her own. Little did not know where these bodies go, and She-Who-Takes-The-Scentless would not tell her, although she told Little many things: scent-tales of being Mother’s first born, of the earliest sisters, tales of flying in the Sky-World. Little loved the stories of the endless colours and scents and nectars of the Sky World, the warm and the cold and the wind and the sun of the Sky World, and Little would drink these tales and never feel full. Little couldn’t wait to leave the dark of the nest in Root World.

Little noticed that She-Who-Takes-The-Scentless did not scent-sing to other Sisters like she did with her. Yet there were some mysteries that She-Who-Takes-The-Scentless would not share. Such as where do the Scentless go? How do they become Scentless, and would she become Scentless too? You are too young, my Little, she would sing. Later I will tell you.

Little confided to her, There was a scent. A terrifying scent. From a Sister. I don’t know who. She said to ‘get out, get out!’ Did you smell it too?

She-Who-Takes-The-Scentless smoothed her fur with her front legs. No, no I smelled no such thing. You are young and your antennae are still developing. They may play tricks on you until you are Called to go into Sky-World. It is there your antennae will mature and scents will become more clear.

Then why is it I can understand your scent-song, but not the one by the other sister?

Too many questions, young one, said She-Who-Takes-The-Scentless. Now we must help. Help Mother, help each other.

She-Who-Takes-The-Scentless squeezed up against Little and they sat on adjacent cocoons. Grow, grow…I will keep you warm to grow…Their scent clouds combined, and Little suddenly smelled a burst of scent from She-Who-Takes-The-Scentless that was meant only for her: You are loved, young one. I love you, love you so much, and you are special…

Little felt a warmth that stretched forever.

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