Sami: The Chicken Smoothie Ethologist

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Sami: The Chicken Smoothie Ethologist

Postby Keladry » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:49 am

Sami: The Chicken Smoothie Ethologist

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Stray Kitten
Chapter 2: Etho-what?
Chapter 3: The Banishment of the People
Chapter 4: No Humans Allowed
Chapter 5: Did Someone Say Cat Treats?
Chapter 6: A Change of Plans
Chapter 7: No Time to Argue

Chapter 1: The Stray Kitten
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Sami and The Kitten

Samantha Jones, age 8, crawled through the bushes on her hands and knees. Her binoculars hung on a cord around her neck, bouncing against her legs. Her brown hair tangled with branches and her hands scratched against falling twigs. She didn't stop for anything. An orange cat tail had made an appearance from behind these bushes, and there was no question about it. Sami was going to find that cat.

Meow, called the cat. Then meow! again.

That was funny. Sami had followed lots of cats, and even caught one or two, but usually they just scratched her and ran away. This one sounded like it was crying.

Mraw? mraw? meow! The cat's mews were louder now, and it didn't stop. Sami was sure the cat was in trouble. She crawled as fast as she could.

"I'm coming!" Sami called. "I'm coming to help you. I'm a friend, okay? So you just have to wait, okay?"

Meow? said the cat. MRAW!

On the other side of the bushes was a huge forest of trees, with thick plants crowding the ground. A tiny opening between two bushes was just big enough for a cat-- or a small, brave girl. Sami pushed the branches aside as best she could and squeezed through.

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The crying cat was a tiny orange creature with a faint M on its forehead. It pulled and tugged at a prickly branch and mewed loudly at Sami.

"I'm coming to help you, so be nice!" Sami said, and inched forward carefully. The kitten's whole arm was stuck between a tangle of prickly vines. Its claws were sunk into the branch of the bush.

Hissssss, said the kitten when Sami got close.

"I said be nice," Sami scolded gently. She reached for the cat slowly.

The cat swiped at her arm.

"Ow!" Sami cried. "I'm trying to help you!"

The cat wasn't listening, but Sami had a solution. She sat up and dug in her pockets. She pulled out a dollar bill, a paperclip, a notepad with a purple pen, and just what she was looking for-- cat treats! She quickly pulled one out of the little bag.

The kitten with the M on its forehead sat up and perked its ears, nose twitching. Sami leaned forward. The cat sniffed the treat, then snatched it up. One gulp and the treat was gone.

"If you let me help you, I'll give you more," Sami said. The kitten didn't seem to hear her, but when Sami reached close again, there was no scratching. Sami pushed the vine carefully away, untangling it and pushing gently on the kitten's claws so it would let go. Almost... nearly... the cat was free!

Sami was sure the cat would run away, but instead it crept closer to Sami. As promised, Sami pulled another treat from her pocket and gave it to the cat. A rumbling began in the cat's belly. Purrrrrr, said the kitten, and it snuggled up close. Sami grinned.

A minute later, the cat ran off. "Wait up!" Sami cried after it. "Where are you going? Why did you leave?"

Sami ran through the trees, but stopped suddenly right in her tracks. The cat had stopped at the top of the hill ahead, but that wasn't what she was looking at anymore. Everything was different on this side of the trees, like nowhere she had ever been. The realization of what just happened hit her and she gasped. Sami had found a whole new world.
Last edited by Keladry on Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:08 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Sami: The Chicken Smoothie Ethologist

Postby Keladry » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:29 am

Chapter 2: Etho-what?

Sami followed the kitten to the top of the hill. Surprisingly, it didn't seem to want to run anymore. It looked up at her with big brown eyes, like it was waiting for her reaction.

The view from the top of the hill was amazing. Behind her were the trees she came from, a forest of bushes and vines, but ahead of her was a large valley. Fields of grass ripped in the wind like an ocean, spotted with purple and blue flowers. At the bottom of the hill were a few small, inviting buildings with picnic tables out front. Large signs declared "The Pound," "Store," and "Art Gallery." One building was more weird than all of them. It had a rounded roof and large windows, with green paint, and the sign said, "Chicken Smoothie." It must be someplace to eat, she thought, but would anyone really eat a chicken smoothie?

Beyond the stores were little villages, which looked even tinier because she was so far away. There was a huge lake with lily-pads and cat-tails, mountains so tall they touched the sky, and a huge sandy beach with cliffs on the edge of the lake.

Some things were so weird, she wasn't even sure if she believed they were real. Clouds hung low to the ground near the mountains, and if she looked very carefully, it almost looked like there was even a castle on top of them! Candy canes grew out of the ground in some places, almost as big as she was, with swirling red and white stripes the whole way down. A cabin in the distance was dark brown, and it almost looked normal, but she would have sworn it was actually, seriously, really made of chocolate.

All of it looked almost like paradise, except the forest trees seemed to grow everywhere, and she had the tickles on the back of her neck. There was definitely something dark hiding in the trees.

"Wow," Sami said.

"That's it?" said the kitten.

Sami jumped. "What?"

"I show you a whole new world, and you only say one word?" the kitten eyed Sami sideways and flicked its tail.

"I'm speechless," Sami said, staring.

"I know the feeling," said the cat with a yawn.

"You can talk?" she asked.

"Nope," said the cat.

"But I can hear you," Sami pointed out.

"Oh, yeah. I must have been lying. Can't trust a cat. Don't even try." It licked its paw once, then trotted off toward the town.

Sami ran after. "Wait! Where are you going?"

"You'll see," the cat called back over his shoulder.

"Who even are you?" Sami yelled as she ran.

"My name's Ozzy," said the kitten. "My Ma helps out at the pound. Who are you?"

"I'm Samantha Jones," she said as she ran, trying to look everywhere at once. "I'm an ethologist. But you can just call me Sami, if you want."

Ozzy stopped running to look back at her and flicked his tail. "You're an etho-what?"

"Ethologist!" Sami giggled. "When I grow up, I'm gonna study animals."

"Animals? What, like me?" Ozzy's nose wrinkled up. If he weren't a cat, he would have looked very confused.

"Yep! What animals eat, and where they live, and how they act, everything! Like Jane Goodall." Sami caught her breath and kept walking.

Ozzy fell into place beside her. "Who is Jane Goodall?"

"She studies chimpanzees," Sami explained. "She's my favorite person ever."

Ozzy laughed. It was a strange sound coming from a kitten, like a bunch of little mrrts. "Well, that's about to change! You haven't gotten to know me yet!"

With that, Ozzy darted off down the hill even faster than before, and Sami had to race to keep up. Maybe he was right. This was looking to be one great adventure.

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Re: Sami: The Chicken Smoothie Ethologist

Postby Keladry » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:29 am

Chapter 3: The Banishment of the People

At the bottom of the hill, Sami wanted to look inside every single store. They had beautiful window displays. The Pound window revealed a huge room with all sorts of mis-matched pets playing and trying to sleep. She wanted to linger to watch a tiny kitten pounce on the tail of a sleeping dog.

Ozzy didn't have time for all that. "Come on!" he said.

"Why are they all trapped inside like that? Can they talk too?" Sami asked as she ran faster to catch up.

"Well, sure," Ozzy said. "They're all waiting, pretty much."

"Waiting? For what?" Sami huffed. She was getting out of breath.

"For somebody to love them, I guess," Ozzy said. "Some of them got partnered with bad people, some of them were left there on purpose. Some of them just... don't have anywhere else to go. So they wait."

"People?" Sami asked, "You mean there are more people like me here?"

"Well, no," Ozzy said with a little mew.

"What do you mean?" asked Sami.

"Mama says there used to be people, before I was born," Ozzy explained, "But now we keep this place a big secret. Actually, I'm not supposed to bring you here at all, but you did save me."

"Won't your mama be mad? Why is it a secret?"

"You ask too many questions," Ozzy said. "We're almost there."

"Almost where?!" Sami shouted, but as she looked out over the hills ahead of her, she realized. Ozzy had led her to a shady place with tall trees and falling petals. To one side she could see the rolling hills, which seemed so tall now that she was at the bottom. To the other side were more trees, so many trees it looked like they went on forever.

Tucked in the bottom of one tree was a little door, which was only big enough for a cat-- or a small girl. Ozzy nudged the door open and slipped right in, and Sami followed.

Inside the tree was much bigger than Sami could have ever imagined. The tree was tall and ancient, and was hollow almost halfway up. Giant mushrooms of all sorts of different colors lined the walls, and Sami found that they were strong enough to sit on and very soft. Ozzy wove delicately around bits of string and fake mice. In the back of the room, which was so large that three Sami's could have laid down in it head-to-toe, was a nest made of large, soft, green leaves. Sleeping on the leaves was a large mama cat and more of her babies. They were mostly orange like Ozzy, but none of them had the M in the middle of their foreheads the way he did. One of them had a little bit of brown on his ear. Sami assumed they were Ozzy's brothers and sisters.

"Mama! Mama, wake up!" Ozzy cried, then pounced on her, purring and massaging her belly.

The large mama cat shifted and stretched, reaching two front paws way out in front of her. Three little kittens wiggled and readjusted themselves. The mama cat opened her eyes. And she stared right at Sami.

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Re: Sami: The Chicken Smoothie Ethologist

Postby Keladry » Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:49 pm

Chapter 4: No Humans Allowed
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Mama


Mreaow! exclaimed the cat.

"She already knows we talk," said Ozzy.

"Ozzy!" cried the mama cat. "What's gotten into you? Take that poor girl back home this instant!" Ozzy's mom lifted her head and half sat up, still twisted so Ozzy's sleeping brothers and sisters wouldn't be disturbed. Her ears flicked forward, and she kept eyeing Sami like she would steal something.

Sami was blushing furiously. She mumbled something, but it was hard to tell exactly what. Nobody seemed to notice.

Luckily, Ozzy spoke up instead. "She saved my life, Mama!"

"What?" said Mama. "What happened? Are you all right?" She stood up carefully, but trotted swiftly to Ozzy to lick him all over, checking him for any sign of injury. Her tongue and keen nose found the scratches on his arm. She turned and hissed at Sami. "You did this. How dare you?"

"I-- I-- I didn't do anything," Sami protested. "I swear, I was only trying to help." She pulled her binoculars close and fidgeted with them. She ran her thumb over the scratches on her own hand, hiding them so Ozzy's mama wouldn't see.

"Mooom!" Ozzy whined, trotting around to sit between Ozzy's mom and Sami. "I told you, she saved me!"

"She is a human," the mama cat said. "You know our rules." The cat approached Sami slowly, sniffing cautiously.

Sami held very, very still. This cat was intimidating, and she was amazed it hadn't actually tried to scratch her yet. It hadn't even run away.

"Mama?" This voice was softer, sweeter than Ozzy's. Another small orange kitten wandered near, though it hid behind the mama. "Mama, what's she doing here? Is she a person?"

"Yes," cooed the mama cat, and twisted to give the little one a quick lick. "But hush, go back to sleep. I need to talk to your brother."

"Is he in trouble?" the little kitten said.

"We'll see," said the mama. Then, in her sniffing around Sami, she reached up, sitting on her hind legs, and used her front two paws to grab Sami's hand and pull it down. When the cat stood on her back feet like that, she was almost half Sami's height. If the mama cat got mad, Sami wouldn't stand a chance. Sami held very still. The cat licked one of Sami's scratches.

"Ouch!" Sami said, pulling back quick. She stepped back so quickly that the mama cat's fur bristled, afraid of Sami's big steps.

"You're hurt," said the mama cat. "Explain," she added to Ozzy.

Ozzy told the whole story, about how he had crept out of the safe zone but gotten stuck in the briers, and had mewed for ages before Sami had come and saved him. Ozzy's little sister sat and curled around the mama cat's leg. Her eyes were wide as she listened to the story. Ozzy was a natural storyteller, his voice dramatic. He swore he hadn't broken any rules, except inviting Sami into the world of Chicken Smoothie, he had been very careful not to talk to her before he was sure it was safe.

The mama cat swished and flicked her tail, studying Sami. "You can stay the night," she said at last. "You're only a kitten, poor thing. You'll go back in the morning and wake up from this dream. Come, lie down here. Call me Mama. Everyone does."

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Re: Sami: The Chicken Smoothie Ethologist

Postby Keladry » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:27 am

Chapter 5: Did Someone Say Cat Treats?

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"Oh, no, that's okay," Sami said. "My dad says I'm not allowed to stay out after dark." She looked around the cozy space. It was interesting how there were no windows, and she was sure the door had been shut behind her, but she could actually see the whole tree very well. She looked up, and found the source of the light: tiny strings, like spider silk, hung from the ceiling. At the end of each string was a source of glowing light. Looking up in the darkness, it looked almost like stars. She couldn't believe how they were giving off enough light to keep the whole room bright, but she discovered that sitting on some of the pink and orange mushroom shelves were glowing jars. She couldn't figure out what exactly they had in them, but whatever it was was also very bright. Despite how beautiful and inviting the glowing cavern was, she knew it would be against the rules. She had to say no. Besides, even though the hollow in the tree was huge for a tree, it was not very big in terms of people-houses. The nest took up so much space. Where would she sleep?

Mama didn't seem to be bothered with that question. "You will at least stay for tea," she said. "You'll insult my good friend Alice if you don't-- she'll be delighted to serve you. Let me just call her on over. And old Max. Oh! And Funi. In fact, why don't you just stay for dinner and you'll get to meet everyone."

Sami opened her mouth to answer, but at that moment, something in her pocket moved. Sami jumped, and twisted to see. Ozzy's little sister had her paw in Sami's pocket-- the exact same pocket as the cat treats. Ozzy himself was nowhere to be seen. "Hey!" she said.

"Camille," Mama scolded. "If you want her treats, you ask nicely."

The little cat's ears went down and her eyes went wide, and she draped herself over Sami's feet. Meoow? said the little cat. Sami giggled. She reached down to pet Camille. The cat started purring immediately. Sami couldn't resist pulling the treats from her pocket, and offering a couple to the kitten. Camille licked them quick off Sami's hand and rolled onto her back. Sami gave her a couple more treats. After all, why did she have them, but for giving them to cats?

While Sami wasn't looking, Mama leaped on different mushrooms growing from the walls, and exited through a tiny hole on an upper branch of the tree. Sami assumed she was off to find her friends for dinner. Sami hadn't even had a chance to say no!

"Told you I'd get you something good, sis," Ozzy smirked as he came out of hiding.

"That's why you brought me here?" Sami asked, incredulous.

Ozzy shrugged. "Oh, you know. Sure. Also because you're my hero now, and you're pretty, and all that girly stuff."

"Really? You think so?" Sami blushed from the compliment.

Ozzy smirked again-- and how a cat can smirk, Sami wasn't quite sure. But his expression was very clearly smirky as he said, "Believe whatever you want. I already told you not to trust me. You're here now, and looks like Mama's not letting you go anyway. You might as well hang around and enjoy it."

Sami wasn't quite sure what to think about that, but she had to admit-- he did have a point.

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Re: Sami: The Chicken Smoothie Ethologist

Postby Ranger of the North » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:08 am

Hehe this is great! A really good idea, and you wrote it well! :D I can't wait to see more of this :D <3
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xxxxxAutumn, when leaves fall from the trees in blazing infernos of red and orange; when the wind grasps your hair and dances away with it over the hills. The days when tending livestock turns into hunts for feijoas and walnuts; when warm sunlight gives way to cosy fires and soft blankets, hot chocolate singeing your fingers while crisp winds carol outdoors.xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx
xxxxxAutumn. The season of cold and warm, light and dark.
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Re: Sami: The Chicken Smoothie Ethologist

Postby shush » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:55 pm

This is super cute!
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Lia- she/her
LotR/plants/currently learning Quenya
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Re: Sami: The Chicken Smoothie Ethologist

Postby obsceneSymphony » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:58 am

I love this, how adorable! It's such a vivid world 😍
Back at CS again!
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Re: Sami: The Chicken Smoothie Ethologist

Postby Keladry » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:04 pm

You guys are the best. I haven't been around here for a while, but I come back to all these kind compliments! I guess I'd really better keep this going, then, huh?

Chapter 6: A Change of Plans

When Mama returned, her long orange tail was drooping and her head was bent. Ozzy jumped right up. "Mama! Who did this! What did they do? I'll scratch them up for you, I will!"

"Now, now, Ozzy," Mama said. "That won't be necessary. But I don't think we'll be having tea tonight after all. Sami, there's someone who wants to talk to you."

"Me?" Sami exclaimed, "But I'm just-- I mean--" Sami couldn't find the right words. How could anybody want to meet her? Nobody even knew her yet! But a few steps behind Mama, there was another creature-- a huge brown dog with a balloon tied to its tail. The dog was so big Sami could have ridden on its back! Well, except that there was... was that... whipped cream? It seemed to be covered in sprinkles, whipped cream, and cherries.

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An Important Dog.


Whoever it was, they must have been very important. Ozzy scurried quick to hide behind a mushroom, and Camille leaped up to a sneaky place above their heads. Sami eyed Camille-- it looked for a moment like the orange kitten was about to pounce on the important dog, but a sideways glance from Mama made Camille sit very still. Then Mama lifted one paw toward Sami in gesture, and began washing herself.

"I-I-I'm Sami," she said.

The big dog bowed to her. Stunned, Sami bowed back. Then the dog spoke. "Good fortune, Miss Sami. I am Adeline, one of the elders. I heard there was a human in our land."

"Elder?" Sami said, baffled. "Does that mean you're just really old? How old are you, anyway?"

Adeline frowned. "I am ten years old. Nearly eleven, now. I have been here since the very beginning."

"You're only ten? That's two years older than me!" Sami grinned. "You're not old at all!"

Adeline smiled ruefully. "Dog years, my dear. I believe I would be nearly seventy, if I were human."

"Oh," said Sami, and she ran her fingers through her hair. "Who's Lexi?"

Adeline's face fell for a moment before she smiled again at Sami. "My, all these questions," she said instead of answering. "Perhaps if you stay, I will tell you one day. But first, I believe you need to decide whether or not you are staying. If you do stay, I must admit we could truly use your help. But I would understand if you must return home."

"My help? What do you mean? What can I do?" Sami's voice wavered with uncertainty. Ozzy was still hiding. She wished he would come stand with her. The big dog made her nervous.

"Our land is falling apart. We're being forgotten. Our people are meant to be pets, meant to have owners, meant to be loved and cared for. Instead, all our owners have left us behind. Perhaps you could find a way to get our owners back? Remind them that we're here?" Adeline's voice was strange for a grown-up's. It was sort of... hopeless.

"How do I do that?" Sami asked.

Adeline shook her head. "I don't know. Mama mentioned you were an ethologist. Would you come write about us? Tell our stories? We can't risk this place being exposed to the wrong people, but if you could find our missing owners, everything would be put right again. Will you stay and help?"

Sami thought for a long moment. Or maybe several long moments. She wasn't supposed to stay up past bedtime, and her own mother would be worried sick. But if Sami could help her new friends, Ozzy and everybody, then maybe... maybe that would be worth it. Sami made up her mind and looked Adeline directly in the eye.

"I'll stay."

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Re: Sami: The Chicken Smoothie Ethologist

Postby Ranger of the North » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:59 pm

Ooh, the plot thickens! c:
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