Saturday, May 25, 2013
The Little Jewel - Chapter 6
I knew Jewel must be feeling helpless and afraid right now, but even so, her kiss excited me. Now was not the time to kiss her back; there was a baby who was likely hungry. As much as I wanted to stay and listen to her sing, I knew I'd be helping Jewel more if I did something – such as find food for the baby.
I flew back into the kitchen, opened the square in the floor that led to the cellar, and located the large earthen jug containing this morning's milk. Well, the jug was large to me. I'm sure Elda thought it was a convenient size.
I knew from watching Elda in the mornings that she milked her cows and brought the milk into the cellar for storage. This jug was for the fresh milk. When it was time to milk the cow again, whatever was left over from before went into an impossibly huge jug to culture for a few days before Elda made butter, cheese, or yogurt out of it.
I know that babies only drink a tiny amount when they are first born, so I decided to save myself a ton of trouble by only levitating about an ounce of the milk into a nearby cup. The good news was that we had plenty of milk for the baby. The bad news was that I had no idea how we were going to actually feed it to the baby.
I had already levitated the baby in its basket into the house, the tea kettle off of the stove, and the trap door open. This glass of milk seemed easy in comparison. For now, I felt strong and full of magic, but I had no idea how long that would last. I prayed that my magic wouldn't run out while I was bringing the glass to Jewel.
It didn't – thankfully – but now we still had to figure out how to feed the baby. Jewel was no longer singing, and the baby appeared to be sleeping. I couldn't find Jewel at first, but a closer inspection helped me realize that she was laying on the baby's stomach, her ear listening to its heart.
She must have seen me flying around because she gestured at me almost frantically. “Shh! The baby's sleeping.”
I nodded in understanding, and then carefully lifted her off the baby. Holding her close, I whispered in her ear: “I brought milk, now what?”
I set Jewel on Ferocious' back at her request, and then followed her into the kitchen.
“We nursed a baby rabbit once. The bottle we used should work for now.” Jewel opened a cupboard under the counter – grunting with the effort – and then wandered around inside it for a few moments. She reappeared a short while later, carrying the bottle in her arms and wearing the nipple on her head.
This made sense as she couldn't have carried both, but I still laughed at the sight. “Here, let me help you,” I said as I took the bottle from her. It was made of glass and fairly heavy for someone our size.
“Bring it to the washbasin. I need to wash the dust off of it,” She said as she pulled the nipple off her head.
Together, we cleaned the bottle, brought it to the baby, and then poured the milk into it. The bottle was about half full.
“I didn't know you could do that,” Jewel said, referring to my ability to levitate things.
“I guess I haven't needed to use it around here before,” I said with a shrug.
I levitated the bottle into the baby's basket just in time; the baby had started to grunt and looked as if he was sniffing out food. Jewel climbed into the basket as I levitated the bottle to the baby's mouth. She stood under it, bracing it so that it wouldn't wobble as my magic fluctuated. The baby drank about half, and then fell back asleep.
“There's got to be a better way to do this,” I remarked as I let the bottle gently fall to the baby's side.
“Especially since the bottle will have to get bigger as the baby grows,” Jewel added.
I groaned appreciatively. “I never thought I'd get to be a mother...”
“Me either,” Jewel replied softly.
The thought of us being mothers together made me so happy that I swept her up and kissed her. She held me tightly and kissed me back. It didn't matter that our baby was bigger than the both of us combined and would only grow bigger, all that mattered was that we would be together.
My mind raced with plans for our future and ideas on how to care for the baby, and I realized that we had an enormous amount of work ahead of us! Even so, kissing Jewel made everything worthwhile. I wanted to continue kissing her forever!
The baby started squirming and we ended our kiss. Jewel smiled at me a bit nervously, and then looked over at the baby.
“Do you supposed it's hungry again already?” She asked me.
I looked at the baby with my special vision. I didn't see a light coming from it's stomach, but I did see a bright glow coming from between it's legs. I faced Jewel again.
“I think it needs to go to the outhouse...”
“Oh my! How in the world will we manage that?” Jewel asked.
“Levitation?” I offered.
“It's worth a try,” Jewel agreed matter of factly.
I managed to get the baby as far as a bush outside the door. I knew that if I tried to go farther, I wouldn't have enough power to bring it back inside. Jewel unfastened the baby's covering, and we waited for it to do its business.
“It's a boy!” Jewel announced excitedly.
“I see that,” I chuckled.
Jewel suddenly made a hissing sound as they baby began to urinate. This was so strange and unexpected to me that I laughed.
“Don't laugh,” Jewel said a bit defensively. “This is how my people learn to do this... I think... The sound will soon be associated with the act, and will be a signal so that he will know when we want him to go. Not to mention, he'll be able to tell us when he needs to go!”
“What about the other?” I asked, not sure how to make a sound to communicate that function. I was a bit surprised when the baby did that too, but at least his needs were taken care of now.
“Ew!” Jewel exclaimed with a look of disgust. “Still, I can't imagine having to clean that off his butt and wash his covering!”
“True!” I wholeheartedly agreed. I was glad he seemed to be finished for the effort of holding him there with my magic was growing more difficult by the second. I quickly got him back into the house.
Jewel followed with his covering, and we somehow managed to get him back into the basket. I had to rest after that, so I climbed into the basket with him and lay on his stomach listening to his heart. Jewel sang us both to sleep.