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In the sleeping woods...
It wasn't often Mowgli didn't know where he was. He'd left man-village after man-village, through wood and jungle, and nothing at all seemed familiar, not even when he'd turned back to retrace his steps. He overheard the in last village a few buzzwords he couldn't place: Pentamerone, Sleeping Woods. He didn't stay long enough to talk; he headed for these 'sleeping woods.' He'd be more comfortable there anyway, he thought, traveling high above ground through the trees. It wasn't until he found himself deep in the wood, no villages in sight did he drop to the ground, and sat shirtless beneath a tree, pulling out a stick of dried rabbit meat to eat.

Tags: puss, mowgli

From: [info]carabas_cat Date: 02/02/2007 18:01:12  

The cat has been wandering in the sleepless woods for some time. He knew how to avoid the fae folk, winding through trees as if he had the very patten of their growth memorized. He was a clever cat, eyes always open. When he smelled someone new, some sort of mortal soul, he grinned like his old friend the Chesire cat.

He wound his way to the tree and the stranger who sat beneath it. "May I join you fair stranger," he said quietly, removing his hat in grand gesture and bowing low.
From: [info]man_cub Date: 02/02/2007 18:05:17  

Mowgli looked up at the voice. It was a cat. A small cat, not the large ones of the jungle like Bagheera or Shere Kahn. He spoke, and it was odd, because he seemed to speak more like man and less like beast. But Mowgli still managed to understand - the cat's intentions seemed clear enough. Mowgli nodded and gestured beside him, curious about this cat who walked, and talked like a man.
From: [info]carabas_cat Date: 02/02/2007 18:11:01  

"Thank you kind sir," the cat replied. He walked round the tree and then in a smaller circle near the man before he settled, laying completely on the ground. It was nice to have a rest from the constant walking. His boots had been tucked into his bag hours ago, his feet felt better bare after so much walking.
From: [info]man_cub Date: 02/02/2007 18:15:27  

The cat's behavior wasn't much different from larger cats, Mowgli noted. He idly wished he had a bowl of milk to offer. As it was all he had was dried meat. He looked at the boots the cat wore - that also seemed odd. Why would a cat need to wear boots? Mowgli's own feet were dirty and bare, heels off the ground as he sat crouched. He looked curiously at the cat. "Hungry?" Mowgli asked, wondering is the cat wanted any of his dried meat.
From: [info]carabas_cat Date: 02/02/2007 18:17:47  

"A touch," the cat replied. "I can offer you some fresh fruit I picked in the woods, and I have a skein of water there for refreshment. A shared meal is certainly better than our two halves alone."
From: [info]man_cub Date: 02/02/2007 18:22:29  

Mowgli blinked. The cat had said a lot, some words of which Mowgli just didn't know. Like what was a skein? He spoke slowly, taking a while between words. "I only have this meat. Fruit and water is good. We will share." Almost as an afterthought, he tapped his chest and said, "Mowgli."
From: [info]carabas_cat Date: 02/02/2007 18:29:43  

"A pleasure Mowgli," Puss said, taking an instant liking to this creature who spoke in gestures and broken English. "I am Puss de Carabas, though Puss is a much simpler greeting."

He sat up and dug into his bag with his front paws, using his hands to wrap around objects he wanted to pull out. He found some peaches, soft and velvety, surprisingly unbruised from his travels. He tossed one to his new friend and set one aside for himself. He passed the water skein to Mowgli as well. "The water in this wood is terribly refreshing. It could quench you for days on just one sip."
From: [info]man_cub Date: 02/02/2007 18:34:59  

Mowgli already liked this cat as well. He had no problems understanding Mowgli and that was always a plus where it came to the animal-minded human. "Puss," he repeated and dug out some more pices of meat in trade for fruit and water. One sip alone told Mowgli what Puss had meant. It felt as though he'd already drained the bag. Oh! Perhaps the bag the water was in, that was a skein? He nodded and smiled his thanks. Sharing meals was good, with one or maybe two others. If there were more people, Mowgli would get uncomfortable. More than one other animal, however, that was not a problem.
From: [info]carabas_cat Date: 02/02/2007 18:41:23  

Puss settled down and went to chewing on the meat. He always did prefer eating in the wild like an animal instead of using utensils. It was a nice quiet meal shared with a friendly companion. He saved his fruit for dessert and took a small sip of water to clean his palate.
From: [info]man_cub Date: 02/02/2007 18:59:07  

Mowgli smiled again, one of the few behaviors he picked up in the man-village. There the baring of teeth meant happiness, rather than a challenge. It finally gave Mowgli a way to express when he was feeling contentment. Like right now. It almost reminded him of the days he'd stretch out in the trees with Bagheera and scratched the large cat's stomach after they finished eating. He rather felt like reaching over to scratch Puss behind the ears now.
From: [info]carabas_cat Date: 02/02/2007 19:01:04  

Sated and satisfied, getting a little drowsy, Puss settled completely, curling into a little ball a lot closer to Mowgli than he had been moments ago. He purred rather loudly, as he did when he was comfortable and happy.
From: [info]man_cub Date: 02/02/2007 19:04:16  

Mowgli gave in and scratched behind the cat's ears. Maybe it had been a short meal, but it was no less good for the company. And best of all, the cat didn't chatter at him incessantly like some humans he'd met in villages past.
From: [info]carabas_cat Date: 02/02/2007 19:07:24  

Oh, that is the spot. He leaned into the scratches and purred even louder, which seemed impossible from such a small body. His fur sat up from his skin, raised in pleasure. You, good friend, are really too kind.
From: [info]man_cub Date: 02/02/2007 19:13:44  

Now that Mowgli understood perfectly. That he could speak. You shared food with me. And you too are kind. He scratched under Puss's chin, smiling again as the cat arched into his touch.
From: [info]carabas_cat Date: 02/02/2007 19:22:51  

Puss settled into a light nap, full of food and friendship enough to dream a pace in the sleeping woods. Usually he'd climb a tree to make such observances, though he often hated getting down. Tonight he lay near his new friend, content and feeling at peace.
Community: [info]pentamerone
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