Other Children

                It was another hour still before Tora had completed their list of errands, and they turned back towards the central gates.


                She perked her ears a bit, clearly listening.

                “Why doesn’t mother have any more children?”

                The woman wasn’t sure how to answer the question, and she turned her head this way and that, contemplating it, “well, my pup, after you were born, your mother had such a longing to have a litter of her own, many more children. You filled her with so much joy! You should have seen the look on her face as I delivered you to her. But then after your sister, she had difficulties…shedoeslove your father ever much though, darling, it’s not to say that…. But it would seem that she is no longer…” she trailed off. “I’m sorry, little one, I ramble.”

                Pine was left a little confused, “I don’t understand.”

                Tora sighed, “perhaps when you are older, little one. You’ve not even seen your thirteenth summer, you need not ponder such things.”     

                “Oh, you mean it’s like a…” he blushed, and then gulped, “secret sort of…”

                Tora burst into laughter, and then nodded to the watchmen as they passed through the central gates. “No, child, it’s simply that your mother nearly passed on with the coming of your sister. She…stole the capacity for your dear mother to hold any more children within her. That is why.”

                “Idoknow how children are made, you don’t need to feed me any ‘when I’m older’ nonsense, Tora!”

                “Doyou?” Tora chuckled, amused.

                Pine opened his mouth to say something, but was instead defeated by the rush of blood to his face. “Hiro told me about it.”

                “Didhe?” the Cakumi was now even more entertained, for some reason.

                “Well, of course! You see, he’s even…well, I’m not supposed to…never mind!” He turned away, but something else was tugging at his mind. “But Tora, if she can’t hold any more children then how can they still…kiss?”

                Tora was now wrought with laughter, and in her peals she slowed her Ardock to a halt. Her pointed teeth gleamed brightly in the sunlight as she threw her head back. Small tears formed at the corners of her eyes and she clutched at her belly, incapable of controlling herself. Pine watched on with a frown.

                “What?” he huffed.

                Wiping tears, she grinned and pulled her animal beside his, giving him a quick embrace, “Oh, my dearest pup, you shall never cease to entertain me. Does your mother not kiss you in the eve?”

                Pine blushed, “well yes but not…”

                “What?” Tora smiled lightly.

                He shook his head violently, but Tora just stared at him expectantly, her ears and eyebrows perked at him. With a sigh, he tentatively stuck his tongue out.

                This was enough to send Tora into yet another fit. Pine spent the rest of the ride home sulking.

The End

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