Writing Prompt : Leaving Home

He hadn’t had many pupils over the years. Most clans trained their own, which he had always thought to be an odd way of going about things. If the endgame of such training was to become an ambassador one would think that instruction would come from a creature not of one’s own type. That wasn’t how it worked though, not normally.

The turkey had only ever worked with those of his feathered kind as a result of that perplexing backwards practice, the younger fowl birthed by his friends and kin. There were so many over the years that he had lost count, though their gifts only went so far. This marten would be different though, he could feel it. Not only because she was the first of her clan in a generation. She was bright, eager, and innately talented in a way he had never seen from his own young ones. She would do well- six tongues at least, maybe more. He was the only fowl he knew to best even four.

He told her from their first meeting that he would be only the first stepping stone in her training path. He could teach her the etiquette, the fundamentals, the flow of it all. He could serve as a sounding board and partner for her practice. But step two was coming, and it was arriving swifter than he hoped. She was proficient enough in Fowl, in Squirrel, in her native tongue. Her Canine was improving and was better than his ever was, necessitating a helpful fox kit for extra tutoring. He felt she had more in her- Bear perhaps, Feline, Seabird, Songbird, Eagle? It was said only the ravens could master all of the voices of the forest, but maybe this marten would be the exception.

He didn’t want to get his hopes up.

Summer was approaching. The ice on the bay was receding and the skies twinged with true colors again. The grey was beaten back for another year. The city grew in the winter months when all of those furred and feathered congregated to the warmth, the food, the shelter of the concrete and steel. When spring came and cut the freeze the town emptied again; the birds would return to island life, the smaller mammals took shelter again among newly grown leaves. Only a few stayed in the city year round, the martens among them. His student had never been far beyond the borders, but she would have to make the trek now. All Speakers were expected to travel, to immerse and journey and learn.

The turkey was running out of things to teach her. With the summer approaching he knew she would have to go. Step two would begin and she would need to leave home.