Saturday, March 25, 2006
“It will be harvest time soon, but first we have to get the leave and other scrapes ready to put on the soil.”
Verra had absolutely no idea what he meant by that, but she followed the old priest as he walked around the garden to a large hole in the ground at the back. He put the leave in the hole and Verra copied. “These will breakdown into new soil they just need a little help first,” Ranmaral tossed several worms and several handfuls of dirt on top of the leaves. They repeated this several times before the large pile of leaves they first jumped in was gone and into the hole.
The pair then wondered back into the home and cleaned with some hot water Ravelt provided them. “Come now you two breakfast will be served in a moment.” The pair wondered over to the table where Verra noticed four places set at the table. She wondered for a moment whom would be joining them. She sat down at the table and waited for further instructions. She was not sure of the meal rituals her new found friends followed.
It seemed like time passed very slowly at that point. She waited quietly next to Ranmaral, nothing was said during that time and finally Ravelt walked over to the table with a large hot pot. The pot was placed at the center of the table and all four bowls were filled with porridge like substance. Verra waited to see what was going on. For a moment nothing happened, then the front door opened and the forth member to the dinner party entered the room.
“Morning!” The young man said sitting across from Verra. Verra nodded to acknowledge is greeting.
“Verra this is Tandrel, he is my pupil. Tandrel this is Verra, she might be my new pupil.” Ranmaral introduced them. Verra looked at the young man, he was older than Verra but not by much. He was tall and lean, his face had not seen a razor in several days and his hair was brown and wavy. It lay on his shoulders comfortably.
“Come to join us have you?” Tandrel looked at Verra. “You will enjoy it here. I do.” Tandrel picked up a spoon. “Has he made you jump into the leaves yet?”
“Don’t worry too much; nothing they will have you do is more difficult than that.”
“For you perhaps,” Ravelt interjected. “I seem to remember it taking you three days before you jumped into the leaves.”
“Didn’t know if anything was in the leaves,” Tandrel looked suspiciously at Ranmaral.
“I never played any tricks on you. Not one worth that look.” Ranmaral retreated.
“No, you didn’t. But some of those missions….” Tandrel trailed off
“I told you exactly what you were facing, every time.”
“Yes you did…”
Verra felt here heart sink, what had she gotten herself into? She watched more than listen to the rest of the conversation. It seemed to be a sarcastic game of insults and jokes she did not yet understand. After a moment she contented herself with eating her porridge, which was not really porridge as much as sogged grains with fruit mixed in. When her food was gone she looked up, she wanted to know about the leaves. Was she suppose to learn from that. She new after listening to Ranmaral lengthy explanation that the leaves break down and turn into soil, and this new soil helped the garden grow. She wonder who figured that out and how. She put that into her mind as the second question she would as.
“Can I ask a question?” Verra looked at the people she was sitting with.
“You want to know about the leaves.” Tandrel was reading her mind, instead of Ranmaral.
Verra nodded cautiously.
“I wanted to see a few things,” Ranmaral said.
Verra squinted her eyes inquisitively. Tandrel smirked, “He never reveals his secrets, he teaches them.”
This, of course, left Verra more confused than she started. She shrugged and wondered onto her next question. “Where did you learn about the leave going turning to soil?” She looked at Ranmaral.
“From my mentor,” Ranmaral was blunt with the answer.
“How did he figure out that it happened?”
“When his mentor taught him? I think you are looking for a more in-depth question Verra.”
“I am sorry I am just trying to figure out how someone would come up with digging a hole and putting leaves in to see them converted to soil by worms it just seems like an odd thing to do, if you don’t know what happens. And I am curious how one would figure out that the new soil was good for the new plants in the spring.” Verra caught her self rambling and looked down at her bowl.
“It is okay to ask questions, we learn more stuff that way.” Tandrel smiled at the old priest. “I spent month thinking about that before I asked. I was a little shyer than your are. I wanted to figure it out for myself.”
Verra looked up and saw that everyone else was content and not offended by her onslaught of questions. She waited for someone to answer her questions.
“To be honest I don’t know exactly who it was that first developed this practice. I just know that it was discovered by watching nature. You see every fall the leaves fall to the ground and in the spring they are gone. Where did they go? Would be the first question. The answer would have come from experiments of one kind or another. I am sure it took several people to put the practice in to work.” Ranmaral finished his porridge and then started to clean up.
Tandrel took Verra to her new room. Like the one she spent the first night in, it was a simple decorated room with a small window and a bed. Except that the walls were a slight green in color one would probably mistake it as the same room.
“My room is across the hall, and Ranmaral and Ravelt are just beyond the guest room you stayed in last night.” Tandrel disappeared into his room a few short minutes later.
Verra had no idea what she as suppose to do in the room. She had nothing to put away and nothing to put on the walls. She wandered in and rested on the bed a moment. Near her pillow she found her old clothes, cleaned and stitched and grey robes. She took them and placed them in the dresser and wondered back to the kitchen. In the few short minutes she spent in her room the kitchen was cleaned and the dishes from breakfast had been cleaned.
“Did Tandrel follow you down?” Ravelt asked.
Verra shook her head. “He went to his room.”
A moment later Tandrel descended the stairs. Ranmaral smiled. “Tandrel, why don’t you take Verra to the river? We need water.”