The villages cheese-making expanded rapidly with the addition of real cheesecloth and the cheesecloth loom. If that wasn't enough, somehow several wild cows made their way to the village and eventually, the village now had a large enough herd of cows to make cow's milk cheeses. The village Kheezemâcher's began turning out some wonderful Cheddars as well as other types of soft and hard milk cheeses. Of course, they also did a lot of experimentation with the different kinds of milk and came up with some wonderful cheeses.
One of the Kheezemâcher's decided to try and marry one of the hard Cheddars with one of their softer creamy Havarti's. He took a wheel of each cheese, a mould, and a cheese press and set to work. First, he used the wire cheese cutter to cut a very thin slice of Cheddar, he then laid a thin slice of Havarti on top of the Cheddar. He repeated the layering process until there was just enough room in the mould for one last slice. Somehow, it had worked out just right so that he could place a slice of Cheddar as the last piece. The Kheezemâcher then carefully placed the top on the mould, and then placed the mould into the press. He then turned the handle applying pressure until he felt a good amount of resistance. He noticed that only a tiny bit of whey had leaked out of the mould. He decided that it must have come from the Havarti. With the help of one of his assistants they carefully carried the press with the mould securely in place to their staging area for moulded cheeses.
A week later they loosened the press and very carefully unmoulded the cheese. With a very sharp cheese knife, the Kheezemâcher carefully removed a thin slice from the side of the wheel and tasted it. He was astounded as the flavour was exactly what he had hoped. The flavour was nutty, buttery and yet sharp and rich at the same time. The texture was creamy yet chewy at the same time. 'How much better will this new cheese be when we have some really aged extra sharp cheddar?' He wondered to himself determined to definitely find out. He had also decided to call the new cheese Chevarti!
As the days, months, and years passed, Tana grew bigger, and stronger. His speech improved as well, however, Aveena couldn't get any other name out of him other than Tana. Of course, he was so young when he was dropped at her feet by Horus. She still wasn't sure how she knew that her son's name was Tana, other than that it just appeared in her head. The only way that could have happened was that Horus had put it there, as strange as that seemed.
However, that wasn't the strangest thing she had to get used to, that was Tana's babysitters, and those he had plenty of. For not only did he have some of the village children and Granny Sadie, but he also had some of the village women that would stop by with their knitting and embroidery, and work on those while chatting with Tana. Those were the normal, and usual ones; however, they weren't the only ones. Aveena had finally come to the conclusion, that since Horus considered Tana his chick, she would have to get used to Tana's woodland creature babysitters as well. More times than she could count, she had come outside and found Horus rocking the crib and 'talking' to Tana.
One afternoon she had gone inside to get her and Tana's lunch, and when she returned, Horus was there along with what Aveena believed was a female Eagle. Tana must have heard her return as he started crying out,
She then heard him say,
As soon as she turned to look back, the slightly larger Golden War Eagle bowed her head in acknowledgement of her name. For only the second time in her life, Aveena experienced something incredible. She 'heard' the dulcet tones of a female in her head that said,
'I am Isis, mate of Horus, and I will help care and protect Horus' chick Tana,' with that Isis returned her attention to Tana.
Aveena stood there in shock, until Tana announced to the world that he was hungry,
Before she could respond Horus leaned over and began ruffling Tana's hair with his beak. Tana began cooing and giggling with glee. The sound of the giggles brought Aveena the rest of the way out of her trance. She then walked over and set her tray down on the stump next to Tana's crib.
Jack the Village Leader/Mayor had placed the stump there for just that purpose. Aveena was totally surprised when neither Horus nor Isis flinched or moved, when she got near. As she leaned into the crib to pick up Tana and feed him; both eagles bowed their heads and flew off. Tana started to frown, and looked like he was going to cry. Aveena spoke just one word,
Tana then reached for her, and began making cooing, and smacking sounds.
From that day on, any time there wasn't a village babysitter, there was either a War Eagle, a Doe Deer, a Doe Rabbit or other woodlands creature taking care of Tana.
Tana's world changed dramatically on a day nearly three years after his arrival in the village. By then he was crawling strongly, getting into things and causing other mischiefs. Jack and several of the other village men, had used twigs and branches to fence in a small play area for Tana, so he could crawl and play in, to his heart's content. The fence wasn't very strong, and Jack had promised to build a stronger one, when he had time. However, Draconis had other ideas, and she sent Horus to enforce her will. One day shortly after the fence was built, Aveena heard strange noises from outside where she had left Tana for a few moments. She carefully opened the window in the kitchen area, and looked outside. She quickly brought her head back inside and closed the window. She was trying very hard not to laugh out loud until she got the window closed.
Inside Tana's play area were Horus & Isis, and they were teaching Tana not to mess with or shake the fence. Every time that Tana got near the fence, he got his hair yanked, or got smacked with a wing. None of the smacks, or hair-pulling were meant to hurt; that is until the time that Tana said,
And then tried to knock Horus' beak away from his head. Horus responded quickly by batting Tana hard enough to knock him head over heels. When Tana righted himself, he sat there, completely stunned, no one had ever done anything like that to him before. Horus began chirping and squawking to Tana, who soon lowered his head. Aveena, muttered a quick prayer of thanksgiving to Draconis, as she finished pulling the window closed. Just before she closed the window, she could have sworn that she heard Tana muttering,
"Sowwy Dada," to Horus.
Horus, and Isis, then moved over and began preening Tana's hair. From that day forward Tana never went near the fence, except when it was time for Aveena to pick him up and take him inside. The only other times that he would go near the fence was to 'talk' to his woodland friends when they came to visit him. However, at no time would he ever touch the fence.
What no one knew was Tana was really talking to Horus, Isis, and his other woodland friends, they wouldn't learn that truth for a few more years. They only person that actually thought it might be true, was Granny Sadie.
Luckily for all concerned Jack and his friends had fenced Tana's play area around the large tree in the front yard of Aveena's cottage. Jack wanted to give Tana some shade while he was playing. However, what Jack had forgotten or not known was that was the tree that Horus and Isis perched in when they were keeping their eyes on Tana. One afternoon about four months after Tana's play area had been created; Aveena headed outside to check on Tana, and see if he needed clean clothes, or was thirsty. She wasn't surprised to see Tana sound asleep in his favourite position leaning against the tree. What surprised her though was his sleeping companion. Nestled onto Tana's chest and under one arm, was a mottled brown and white eaglet, of nearly Tana's size. While Aveena was looking at the bucolic scene she was wondering, what the eaglet's name was and who was supposed to take care of it? While she was pondering those questions, Tana stirred, and muttered,
Aveena, hadn't realized that she had spoken out loud, so she was amazed when the eaglet opened its eyes and nodded its beak at her. Sarcastically, Aveena asked the air while looking at the eaglet and her son,
"So, I suppose that you are going to move in with us and sleep with Tana, and I suppose that you will want a perch in his room as well?"
So, she nearly fell over when she 'heard' something that sounded like,
She just shook her head muttering,
Aveena then decided to head into the center of the village to see if she could find Jack.
Within a day Jack had built a perch near the window, in Tana's bedroom, for Horus and Isis to use. Granny Sadie, had also made a set of curtains to keep out the flying nasties, since the window was now left open. That very next afternoon Aveena was showing Horus and Isis, how to part the curtains, so they could enter Tana's bedroom. To make it easier for them and Tutankhamen to get into Tana's bedroom, when the door to the cottage was closed, Jack had constructed a ladder consisting of branches, attached to a rough-hewn plank. The ladder must have worked, as Tutu was found in Tana's bed most mornings. In fact, the ladder worked so well that Tana's rabbit and squirrel friends used it to visit Tana, and spend the night. It completely amazed Aveena the first morning that she found a rabbit and Tutu snuggled in with Tana snoring away. Several months later Tutu had started flapping his wings while perched on Tana's fence, Tana started shrieking with glee. In fact, he was making so much noise that Aveena rushed out to see what was going on; she witnessed Tutu flapping his wings and looking like he wanted to fly. Tana saw Aveena and cried,
"Mama Ladda perch Tutu Dada says."
She thought Tana was trying to say that Tutu needed a ladder for his perch, in Tana's bedroom. Suddenly she got a very brief flash in her head of the ladder beneath Tana's window, and the perch in his bedroom, she thought she understood. That is she thought she understood what Tana was trying to say, as she was still getting over the shock of Tana calling her 'Mama'. Aveena then spoke to both of her sons,
"Tana and Tutu, I'll go find Jack and ask him to attach a ladder to Tutu's perch. But I can't le…" just as Aveena was about to tell her sons that she couldn't leave them alone; one of Tana's friends and protectors a magnificent 12 Point stag sauntered up, nodded to Aveena. Enki, then snorted, belated, and grunted a hello to Tanner and Tutu, he then turned back to Aveena grunted and shook his head towards the village. Aveena knew that Tanner was perfectly safe with Enki guarding him. She also knew that both Tutankhamen and Enki, could call Horus for help if needed. Aveena looked at Enki, and then told Tutu and Tana,
"I'll be back with Jack as soon as I can, so, be good for in Enki and mind him."
As Aveena headed to the village, she could have sworn that she heard Enki snort a laugh, right along with Tana's chuckles and giggles.
As Tutu started taking more, and more small hops, Aveena realized that her sons were growing up. Tana was beginning to walk more than crawl; he was also beginning to talk more. However, most of it was in the clicks, bleats and chirps of his forest friends, she was worried that Tana might climb over the fence and fall. Jack had already added another rail, after he saw Tana pull himself upright using a rail of the fence. Jack was having lunch with Aveena while watching Tana and his friends play together. Aveena offhandedly mentioned to Jack that at least Isis and Horus continued to feed Tutu; as she was barely able to keep Tana fed and clothed. Luckily for her, Tana usually only wore a pair of shorts or a loincloth.
Aveena's fear about Tanaclimbing over the fence and falling, came to an abrupt end one afternoon. She was in the kitchen finishing up the lunch dishes when she heard what sounded like a thump and then heard Tana cry. She started to run outside, however; she realized that wasn't Tana's I'm hurt cry, but that it was his shocked cry. She carefully and quietly headed outside to see what had happened. Just as she could see the fence, she saw Tana begin to climb the fence; she also saw that Enki was standing next to the fence with what Aveena swore was a very bemused look on his face. Just as Tana's head peeked over the top rail Enki nudged Tana's forehead hard enough with his snout to send Tana tumbling to the ground. Tana landed with her thumb, however this time without a sound other than a slight woof when his tush made contact with the ground. Tana quickly got up again, with a very determined look in his eyes, started towards the fence again, he had only taken a step when there was a large tawny flash beautifully clearing the fence with ease. Tana's friend Sheeba the neighbourhood mountain lioness, landed next to Tana. Sheeba growled, and yipped at Tana, and then with a surprisingly soft swipe of her paw knocked Tana to the ground. She then snarled and growled at him, as she stood over him staring directly into Tana's eyes. Poor Tana was so shocked because two of his best, and biggest friends had hit him. He finally realized that he had to stay away from the fence. Just as he started to snarl something to Sheeba, she leaned down and began grooming him just like Horus and Isis. Sheeba then lifted her head and looked toward the forest, made a few hips and growls. Moments later Tana was joined by Sheeba's three rambunctious cubs. Sheeba quickly turned and leapt back over the fence and then butted heads with Enki. She then padded over to a stunned Aveena and rubbed her head against Aveena's legs, and then abruptly dropped the ground curled up and want to sleep. Aveena didn't dare even breathe let alone move; she then thought she heard,
"Sheeba friend," in her head.
Meanwhile, back in Tana's play area, there was a royal mêlée going on; three mountain lion cubs, and a human youngling were trying their best to pin each other to the ground. It became absolutely hilarious when Tutu hopped down off the fence, and then hopped over to try to help his friend Tana. Tutu tried helping, by nipping the tail of one of the cubs with a partially closed beak. While that did take one of the cubs momentarily out of the fray, Tutu was strongly reminded of one of the cardinal rules of battle and hunting. That rule is, never take your eye off the enemy, and always keep your eye peeled for more prey. For the next thing that Tutu knew, he was smacked across the shoulders, by an expertly wielded tail, not only did he let loose of his prize, he was also sent beak over talons. Tutu, slowly got up ruffled his feathers a bit and returned to the fray. The five friends played like that for about twenty-five minutes more, before they wore each other out. Tana started yawning, and then carefully eased out the squirming pile, and then toddled over to his tree. He plopped down to the ground, leaned back, closed his eyes, and instantly began snoring. His four friends soon missed him, and when they saw him asleep against the tree, they headed over to join him. They all snuggled up next to Tana and soon joined him in slumber. In his sleep, Tana reached out and pulled Tutu tightly against his side. As soon as he had done that a slight smile and a very peaceful look appeared on his face. It was such a beautiful and peaceful sight that even Draconis was awed, her trumpeted paen of joy rang out across Draconis.
From that day forward Aveena never worried about Tana's safety, in fact, a few weeks later Jack took down the fence and built Tutankhamen a new outside perch from the pieces of the fence. Once the fence had been removed Tana and Tut, (Tana had told Aveena one day that Tut wasn't a baby anymore.) had even more wildlife friends to play with, as some of them just plain didn't like the fence. If Tana did try to wander too far away from his play area, either one of the adult animals or one of the fledgling animals herded him back to safety.
Aveena was so, happy about this, that one night while Granny Sadie was sitting with both Tana and Tut; Aveena just happened to mention, Tana's wildlife friends and sitters, just a wee bit loudly as she and Jack were having dinner and a few pints in the Village Pub. A few of the women that just happened to overhear Aveena, had lately been finding it harder, and harder to get their weaving, and knitting finished. It seems that their younglings were around Tana's age, and were constantly underfoot, and even the female younglings would sit still, and hold skeins of yarn for their mothers. Two of the women told Aveena on their way out, that they would see her on the morrow. As they wanted to see Tana's friends and sitters with their own eyes. Aveena was able to mutter an 'okay', before she went back to eating her dinner.
Three women instead of the aforementioned two showed up just after breakfast with their brood of younglings. Still, she took them over near the play area, and again it was Enki, and Sheeba's turn as babysitters. Isis was also there as she had just brought Tut his breakfast, and a snack for Sheeba's cubs as well. When most of Tana's friends, either saw or sensed the strange adults, they started to slink away. However, they were stopped in their tracks by a bugle from Enki, and a simultaneous growl from Sheeba, and shriek from Isis. Aveena tried to calm the situation by announcing,
"Tana and Tut, here are some more younglings for you to play with."
Tut replied with a shriek, and a whistle while hopping up and down. Nevertheless, the new younglings were frozen in place.
Enki, and Sheeba decided to take matters in their own hands so to speak, Enki clicked, and grunted something, and then Sheeba yipped, and snarled something. Moments later one of the cutest and shyest of the fawns that Enki had sired; slowly pranced over to one of the female younglings. The fawn pushed her head softly into the female youngling's stomach. The youngling instinctively petted the top of the fawn's head; and then without thinking followed the fawn back to Tana, when the fawn turned around and headed back to Tana. The other female younglings soon followed when they saw some of Tana's bunny friends moving toward them. The male younglings were still standing there not moving, only now they were looking and talking to each other. Pumba decided to be a bit bold and as silly as his name suggested, and took advantage of the male younglings' inattentiveness. He pounced over behind the nearest male youngling and head-butted him several times; until he got the message and began slowly moving over to Tana and his sister. Pumba, then padded stealthily over behind the second male youngling and repeated the process, with exactly the same results. When Pumba turned to attack the remaining male youngling, he got a surprise as that youngling had dropped to a knee and was waiting for Pumba. Pumba went over and instead of head butting the youngling, he began rubbing up against the youngling and let the male pet him for a few minutes, before turning around and heading back to his friend Tana. He had only gone a few steps before he stopped, and looked back at the youngling. Pumba, then gave a few growls, and when he saw the youngling stand, Pumba then continued back to Tana and his friends. By the time the last of the youngling arrived sat the play area, all the rest were engaged playing with their newfound friends.
Enki then took control again as he looked over at Aveena and the other women, he then let out a small bugle and then nodded his head toward the cottage, as if saying,
Tana was now accepted by the entire village younglings, and now had a lot more friends. What they didn't realize was the fact that they also had some very tough new babysitters. Over the next few months, all the village younglings and a lot of the adults had been adopted by Tana and his wildlife friends.
The only fly in the ointment occurred one afternoon when Jack told Tana to put his toys away. Tana replied with,
"No!!! Jack, not Dada, Horus Dada!"
Tana then went and threw himself on his bed.
I hope that you enjoyed this little trip back to the beginning of the Dragon Earl Universe. While it is definitely one of the shortest chapters that I have ever written, I got to the point that was a perfect stopping point. Also, while this is technically Chapter Three of the Horus and Tana Story, it is also Chapter Four of Dragon Earl Book One Revised. The next chapter will complete the tying in of this story to the main storyline.
I can’t wait for chapter four now, and we’ll see how this all fits into DEBOR, but I feel you’ve laid a solid foundation for both stories now.
Good work as usual.
Pontificate, Pontificate, Pontificate, Ok, I loved the way you handled all of Tana's Wildlife friends being his watchful friends. I do believe this is the shortest actual chapter you have ever sent me to edit. Some of your poems have been this short, but not any chapters that I can remember. Are you sure you don't need another thousand or so words you forgot to add? grin. Did I mention that I loved the story? I loved the story, and am glad to see it joined into the main storyline.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher