Clemnilshala as a Baby

The sun was warmer than usual in the early autumnal season in which one Clemnilshala was born. It was a windy day that shook the dry tallgrasses of a little village outside of Uluur, the capital city of most eynnil kind. A clean ordeal, free of sweat and pain, Hashala would say as her daughter would sometimes ask while she played on the floor. Clemnilshala was half the size of a bag of pepperspice and the weight of a bucket of cooking oil, standard and healthy for a baby. Blonde and round and scrunched up in her mothers lap it seemed to all the little world of the Eynnil that her lambing would provide her a life as stable and strict as anyone else’s.
To her mother, Hashala, Clemnilshala gripped tight as she nursed in her lap and cried so rarely that she sometimes worried that she would grow to become mute. Though these worries were only quelled the bigger her baby grew. Her home was well kept and always had plenty of guests. Dirt floors and rugs abound with tatting at their edges. The home was two floors and was made up of two rooms. The Space, where there was a lounging bench, and a medicine cupboard with a table and chairs wherin scrolls with stories printed on them were also stored. There too was the cookery, the kitchen, consisting of a fireplace with its oven overtop. The oven’s iron door was the crowning jewel with the family jewels embedded in its iron. Inside of this, the most fragrant breads were baked. Then the stable upstairs a single room where all the family, and guests, slept. The house that Clemnilshala grew up within was shaped like a circle
Safe behind the wire screen that mothers placed ahead of their babies while they did the cooking with oil that splattered like fireworks and gave children frights, Clemnilshala kicked her legs forth and back again while she pulled away at the petals of a blossom somehow a stinging insect had gotten lost in there and decided to take its rest on her arm. Now, being an unlearned baby, and knowing only the flavors that her mother’s food gave her mother’s milk, Clemnilshala took the insect by its wings and rose it up to her mother’s mouth in an attempt to feed her mother whatever it was that gave her a fat tummy. The insect was none too pleased with being grabbed so rough and jutted forth its stinger, that by the time Hashala had looked to see the fruit of Clemnilshala’s work, she’d expected to see the stamen of a blossom, the insect buzzed with all its might and caught her by surprise.
Hashala dropped her spoon into the frying oil with a great splash and grabbed a hold of her jaw and cried aloud. She sunk to the floor and forgot for a moment that she had a small lamb. She cursed in her split eynnil voice a chaotic song that rattled the curtains over the window while her hooves put deep scratches in the dirt floor. She burned the vegetables she’d been cooking for a meal, though the pain of a stinging insect’s venom overtook her better judgment while she, unwittingly, taught her lamb angered words about a living creature. Hashala squashed the insect into the side of the fireplace, spooking her lamb with such a fright that she too cried.
This incident, the strength of her mother, seemed to change baby Clemnilshala. She became more vocal, bleating out in frustration when she was being carried and would have much rather made her attempts to move on her own. Frustration when she played with her toys, stone figurines with wood and sheep hair. Dolls made to look like her father Selmnilor with whom she played a fun game where she would make these frustrated bleats when her dolls wouldn’t do whatever she had imagined they would, and Selmnilor would rise from the lounge bench and hunch forward. Clemnilshala bleated again and he took a step forward, holding his hands toward his core. At the third bleat he would rush forth and pick up his lamb daughter and lift her so high in the air that her budding horns would touch the wooden ceiling and, for moments she would fly amongst spiderwebs. Bleats of frustration would turn to bleats of joy and fun.
Hashala, as Clemnilshala learned to walk in the following years, would laugh so much as her daughter tested boundaries by headbutting her. She would hold Hashala’s fingers and push straight up and crane her head for a playful “clack” of her tiny horns against her mother’s. She had a game for her mother when she set to work outside, hanging laundry, or seeing neighbors and their own lambs in their own homes while guests staying at her house could sleep soundly in the stable or bathe themselves in the irrigation river. Clemnilshala would hide in the tallgrass rustling around, making like a grasscat, and would lead her neighbors’ lambs on great adventures while they too learned to walk. They found boulders and flipped rocks to find insects. Stinging insects and centipedes, spiders and worms, that they would bring back to their mothers respectively.
Clemnilshala took joy in squishing the bugs much to the disapproval of the other mothers who were in attendance of these visits. They made sure to teach their own children that to kill anything that does not deserve it is wrong and is an affront to the Weilvog. Weilvog and Anghniel, these words did not mean anything to Clemnilshala who had yet to figure out how to have her babbling and bleating understood by the grown does around her. She would take part, in her own way, in the sorrowful songs and funerals for the small bugs that she killed. Rituals the mothers would hold and ask forgiveness for the lamb and ask that these cruelties do not hold onto her for long. She went back to figuring out just how one went from walking on hands and hooves, crawling about like the milking cows, to walking on two hooves like everyone who towered over her.
She became surefooted, she took to running around once she learned that one hoof goes in front of the other, and that she could get places sooner by moving her chunky little legs faster. As she learned to walk she learned more of the other people who sometimes lived at the house. They too helped teach the lamb under Hashala’s tawny gaze.
The others at the house, were never the same past a few days, and were only there when Selmnilor was not home. They had dark tattoos, markings on their skin, most often swollen from when they were placed not long before they’d arrived at the house. Hashala cared for them while Clemnilshala seemed more than pleased to trace her fingers over the setting moon shapes inside of which their names were emblazoned. Exile meant nothing to baby Clemnilshala. She would bleat at them, bidding them to play her father’s game in her lamb language. Though, bull or doe, they never reached for her for fear of tainting the pristine, clean, skin of a lamb so small. They hid behind the curtain near the medicine cupboard whenever the great golden eyed guards would come knocking. Selmnilor often sent a display of eagles ahead of the guards’ arrival.
Her father made the harbored exiles uncomfortable, even if he never rose a hand to them and seemed more interested in reading a new scroll or playing music for his lamb and wife. Exiles departed as they saw him coming up the dust path or within hours of his arrival into his own home. Being a warrior himself he could see why they were so nervous around him, even if he humbled himself, unbuttoned his shirt around his home, and expressed in his songs that he did not mean them any harm.
Once she figured out walking, and running, and skipping and hopping, it became time to begin teaching Clemnilshala of the Weilvog and the Anghniel. Selmnilor began taking Clemnilshala away from the house for days on end to spend time in Uluur where he was one of the guards to the Vaniaal. It was here that she, and the children of the other guards, could bathe in the Vaniaal’s radiance and learn while their parents would go about their days. Every child was a mobile and nonverbal lamb, much like Clemnilshala. Some were bigger, some were smaller. With longer or shorter tails. Some of which had already undergone the rituals that made them hairless. It was lost on some of the bulls and does how the Vaniaal could set and watch over the children, and why his smile only became larger when he was asked about this ‘sacred duty’ that he made sure to undertake. He enjoyed watching them, and seeing milestones be reached. First words, songs, screechy and broken, he would say to his guards and attendants.
The Vaniaal directed his scribes to take note of the children’s first words and phrases, to be kept in documents forever. Which confused his attendants even more for the scribes he chose were only in their forties. Children taking notes on babies. This cycle is what he wished to remain when he one day would be accepted into the embrace of the Weilvog. He would read to his favorite lambs, which were to become scribes as he has been a scribe himself, selections from the halls of records.
It was in the company of the Vaniaal that friends were made and bonds were sewn between lambs. Clemnilshala becoming a friend of a lamb by the name of Valthran. They, together, would make mischief and screech and sing to one another. A babbling, bleating, contest between two lambs to decide who would utter their first words first. It was nearly Valthran before Clemnilshala put her hand in his mouth and announced “Do not fear me!”
Then they wrestled, Valthran upset that she stuck her hand in his mouth, while Clemnilshala giggled and screeched head butting him and waggling her tail. Without fur to grab onto she couldn’t get a good grip with her lamb’s strength. The Vaniaal’s radiant song of laughter filled the halls as he pulled the two apart and set them both on his lap for the remainder of the day. Each lamb attempting to pull one another’s ear, jiggling with the bleating giggles of the Vaniaal.

One thought on “Clemnilshala as a Baby

  1. Baby Clem! I love this! This is such great world building we see here. Of course we see Clem’s roots but we also get some great insight into what life would look like. I really enjoyed the story of Clemmy giving her mother the insect and following results.

    Like

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