Little Ladies. Back when I posted “Naproom,” art that features Michael reading bedtime stories to Lilya & a bunch of boys, someone asked if there were no female crossers at Stately House. There are! Fox and I had already been plotting a companion piece of sorts, with Ginkgo in the garden.
“Garden Girls” | art by FoxOfTwilight
. . .
From left to right: Be’el-garva, Ginkgo, Tawny, Mei, and Kyrie. Plus assorted kittens and Ephemera. (Who else has begun playing spot-the-nippet in Fox’s art?) Yes, Tawny is part lynx. And Mei’s Amaranthine parent is from one of the cozy clans. A chipmunk!
Tawny’s arrival at Stately House can be found in Lord Mettlebright’s Man, Ch55:
Argent appeared suddenly, as if he’d been leaning against the door this whole time. He relieved Adoona-soh of a tawny-tailed toddler who hissed and bared tiny fangs. “Desist,” he chided.
Like that would help.
She went limp.
Most of the time, the girls are mentioned alongside the boys, like in LMM, Ch83:
Gilen with his banded tail.
Tawny, the little feline with a big hiss.
Raife of the unfortunate hair.
Mori, whose eyes were far too old.
Mei, who clung to Mori and called him brother.
But where had Nonny gone?
But they’re sometimes singled out for special attention, like in LMM, Ch155:
Sansa and Isla paddled in the shallows, giving Annika and Mei a swimming lesson. How they’d pried Mei from Mori’s side was a mystery. Tsumiko sat close enough to the water that waves swished around her and a skittish Tawny. Poor kitten.
And naturally, when Kyrie & Lilya are reminiscing about home in Bk4, its their foster siblings they miss:
She could almost see Gilen’s banded tail disappearing high above, with Tawny in close pursuit. And hear Mori’s stern voice reminding everyone to stay with their buddy. Right now, she even missed Nonny, who was a terror and a tease with everyone except Uncle Jackie.
Kyrie stopped inspecting a cluster of mushrooms growing up the side of a tree like stairsteps to say, “Jarrah would call for a climbing contest.”
So true. She said, “Finnick would have lost his shoes by now.”
“Disa would beg to be carried.”
“And Raife would give in first.” Lilya tightened her grip. “I wish we could have brought everyone.”
With a wistful smile, Kyrie said, “We miss them because we love them. They are a part of us. Our family.”
Our little cobra-crosser is Be’el-garva, who also received a mention in Bk4. (She hasn’t yet arrived at Stately House in the current timeline of LMM.)
Mother asked him to be gentle and kind and patient. Give newcomers a chance to see past the red eyes and horns and scales, to see how much his other denmates liked and trusted him. And mother was wise, because that’s how it always worked out. Even the worst crybaby—which was Be’el-garva, a little half-cobra—would trail after Kyrie, wanting to hold hands.
Look forward to daily chapters of Lord Mettlebright’s Man in June. (It’s become a Pride Month tradition.)