Sun Mote Copse knock knock boys, open your brain doors.
All Welcome  July 14, 2019, 09:04 AM
Finley
Firebirds
Honoree
Ptero time! I PP'd you all here because I'm mad with power. If anyone else wants to show up, feel free!

Spending time with Towhee the other day had made Finley realize a couple of things. One, kids grew up way too fucking fast. Two, her family was awesome. It had grown into something she'd never thought possible, and actually, it was something she'd never wanted when she was young and stupid. We're gonna gloss over that fact though. It was something wonderful, and she loved and appreciated every member of it. But, that brought her to her last realization--She wanted her children to love and appreciate every member of their family too, and at the moment, they didn't even know how to communicate with one of them.

So! Fin got her head set on a new mission: To teach her puppies ptero. This was going to be a complete pain in the ass, but it was important so she was going to give it a shot anyway. Her eyes traveled now across the row of puppies she had lined up before her--@Pox, @Sugar Glider, @Avery and @Crow--her pupils, willing or unwilling. She smiled at their faces, even Pox who looked bored and huffy. Then, she began.

"Alright troops," she said in an important voice, "You're here today to learn a very important new skill. It's called ptero, and it's a way to talk to someone without actually using words. Now it's really important to your mommers here that you guys learn, so I want you to pay attention and do your best okay?" Pox snorted, but fell silent and shame-faced when Fin shot him a look.

 
July 14, 2019, 09:10 AM
Pox
Firebirds
Youth V
This was so stupid. Pox was not at all pleased when his plans for the day--which involved digging up worms and throwing them at Avery and Weejay--had been interrupted by something so lame. It would've been one thing had Fin cooked up something actually fun to do, but learning how to talk without words? Who cares!! Ugh. Mom sucks.

Pox knew from many, many experiences by now what it was to cross Finley, so he would play along. He was definitely one of the unwilling ones, though, and his attention was already wandering. He was probably going to get yelled at a lot. God, he just wanted to dig worms. Was she done talking yet?
July 14, 2019, 09:53 AM
Sugar Glider
Firebirds
Apprentice I
If she'd known about her brother's plot to toss worms at her, Sugar likely would've been disappointed by this impromptu linguistics class too. But totally unaware of how she was missing out on wormy warfare, the easygoing and obedient child did as she was told. When Finley spoke, she did her best to pay close attention to her mother's words.

While Pox only snorted in evident derision, Sugar simply tried to wrap her mind around the concept of talking without words. She wanted to learn, especially since it seemed of utmost importance to Finley, but she was already lost. Trying to do so surreptitiously, she moved her head sideways to glance at Avery and Crow, to see if they were as puzzled as her.

Members of FB are welcome to power-play Sugar Glider (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!
July 15, 2019, 07:00 PM
Avery
Firebirds
Youth III
Mom had gathered them all up and made them sit in a line, so Avery was sandwiched between her siblings. She didn't mind -- it had saved her from Pox's worm attack, and plus, Avery seemed to be a go-with-the-flow kind of pup so far. She liked to follow everyone else's lead, whether that meant digging with Sugar or following Pox around or listening to whatever it was their mom was about to tell them.

She didn't really understand what her mother meant, but Finley stressed the importance of their listening skills, so she nodded her head. Talking wasn't one of Avery's favorite things, anyway, since her tongue tended to trip her up more often than not, and she was curious as to how this would work.
July 21, 2019, 12:01 PM
Finley
Firebirds
Honoree
Satisfied that she had their attention (as much of it as she was likely to get, anyway), Fin decided to continue with the lesson. Now, this is where things get tricky because I don't actually know ptero myself and I realize that trying to describe her teaching certain words or phrases to them is going to be hella difficult without actually explaining what it is she's doing. But we're going to give it a shot.

"So! We're going to start with saying something very simple--we're going to learn how to say hello," Fin began, using ptero simultaneously with the word 'hello' as an example. "When I go like this--" insert movement here, "--it means I'm saying Hello, but without actually using the word. This--" and again, "Means Hello in ptero. Now why don't you guys try?"

 
July 27, 2019, 08:19 AM
Pox
Firebirds
Youth V
Pox stared at his mother with a deadpan expression as she taught them their first "word". She did something funny with her head and paw as she did it, but seeing as he wasn't really getting the whole concept, it just looked weird. He huffed and looked over at Crow to see if he was into this or not. It looked like not. Maybe there was a way the two of them could bail...

Ah shit, Fin was giving him that look again. The boy fought against that instinctive pull to fall in line immediately and do as he was told and pulled on his brave boy pants to ask, "Mom, how come we have to do this?" It didn't really come out as brave and as challenging as he'd intended--it was more of a whiney pout. But still, it was a step.
July 29, 2019, 02:23 PM
Sugar Glider
Firebirds
Apprentice I
Avery looked a little quizzical and their brothers looked as they though they'd caught a whiff of dung. Licking her lips, Sugar turned her attention back to Finley as she began the lesson, starting with teaching the pups the signs for "hello." It was simple enough: she waved a paw in greeting.

Oh, this was easy! Sugar smiled in comprehension, sitting back on her haunches to enthusiastically flail a tiny forepaw in the air. "Hellooooo," she said as she waved, the nonverbal aspect going right over her head. "Hello, hello, hello." She waggled until it felt like her foot might fall off.

Pox posed a question then, his tone one of complaint. Sugar's motions slowed, then stilled, before she leaned forward toward him and waved her paw just half an inch from his snoot. "Hello!" she greeted amiably. "That's why!"

Members of FB are welcome to power-play Sugar Glider (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!
July 30, 2019, 09:00 PM
Avery
Firebirds
Youth III
When Finley began to explain in more detail, it started to make sense to Avery. She watched as her mother demonstrated using a very common word and matched a motion with it. Her gaze quickly darted to Pox and Crow, who didn't seem impressed, and then to Sugar, who was enthusiastically waving and saying "hello" repeatedly -- and loudly.

Hadn't Mom said they were going to be talking without talking? Avery lifted her own forepaw and waved at her mother, then turned to Sugar and whispered, "Shhh!"
August 02, 2019, 05:08 PM
Finley
Firebirds
Honoree
While her daughters behaved themselves sweetly and gave their all into learning ptero for 'hello', her sons--clearly the bad children--were being little crap bags about it. She gave Pox a frown as he whined and was very close to using the because I said so line. But, the question he posed was actually a fair one, even if she didn't at all like his tone.

"I want you guys to learn because this is how your big sister, Towhee, communicates," she explained, "Towhee was born deaf and ptero is her main form of communication, so you need to know it. Towhee is family, plus she wants to teach you guys how to fight and protect yourselves, so you need to learn her language." And because I said so, you little punk, she added in her head, simply for her own benefit.

Turning back to the lot of them, she smiled and nodded to support Avery's claim. "You guys are nailing it!" she said with a smile, "Towhee does often speak for our benefit while she uses ptero to make sure we understand her, but I would like you guys to focus on using it without speaking, so why don't you give it a try without saying the word this time?" She did so herself to illustrate a few times, then watched her little class expectantly.
August 07, 2019, 04:04 PM
Pox
Firebirds
Youth V
Pox wasn’t at all satisfied with his mother’s explanation. His frown deepened as she spoke of some big sister thats antes to teach them how to fight. In his professional opinion, he didn’t need anyone to teach him how to be a warrior—he was already a bad ass. This Towhee could probably learn a thing or two about fighting from him more like. That thought brought a smirk to his muzzle.

But, Finley was clearly going to be relentless on this point. So, with a roll of his eyes and a huff, he too made the motions and said hello in ptero a few times. He was hopeful his mother would be placated by this and would let them go, but he wisely didn’t bother getting his hopes too high.
August 09, 2019, 03:08 PM
Sugar Glider
Firebirds
Apprentice I
Avery hushed her and before Sugar could decide to be amused or indignant about that (a playful bap seemed appropriate in either case), Finley launched into a lengthy explanation about why they needed to learn this sign language. When the pups' mother concluded her speech and encouraged them to try signing without talking, Sugar remained motionless, black eyes blown wide. She had so many questions.

She started with, "What's borndeaf?"

Members of FB are welcome to power-play Sugar Glider (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!
August 12, 2019, 12:40 PM
Avery
Firebirds
Youth III
Of course, Finley's explanation was enough for little Avery. She really didn't need to be told why -- if Mom told her to do something, she would do it. But she liked hearing about other family members that she wasn't really acquainted with yet -- she was getting the impression that their family was big -- and she carefully stored Towhee's name in her memory.

Mom instructed them to give it another try -- mostly meaning the boys, since the girls had already followed directions -- and Avery waved once more. Sugar asked a question, and Avery nodded; she didn't know what "borndeaf" meant either, so she blinked up expectantly at Finley.
August 31, 2019, 08:25 AM
Finley
Firebirds
Honoree
Pox seemed to be defeated (for the moment, anyway). Fin did her best not to smirk triumphantly over this and quickly distracted herself by judging their work, and by answering their questions. This one, she did smile at. She was always misjudging what her children had learned and what they hadn't, and always took it for granted that they would know the things she considered to be so basic. Some things, a mother just never learned.

"She was born deaf," Fin explained, trying to emphasize her words so they would hear that it was two words and not one, "It means she was born without the ability to hear. Her ears don't work, so when we speak, she can't hear us, no matter how loud we are. She can see though, and that's why we use ptero."

Ima call this last round! I'll slap a fade on at the end :)

 
August 31, 2019, 08:32 AM
Pox
Firebirds
Youth V
Pox frowned at Fin's explanation of what deaf was, unable to comprehend how someone could just... not hear. What the fuck was that about? Hearing was so easy! His opinion of Towhee was slipping faster than ever, making it even more unlikely that he would actually retain any of this ptero nonsense, no matter how he continued to play along. Which he would, of course, play along. His mama could be scary sometimes, and this was clearly one of those things she'd get scary about.

So, he huffed a sigh and waved hello a few more times, even though she hadn't given them any further instructions just yet. Maybe his paw would flop off and he could be excused from the rest of the lesson... Ah, a boy could dream.
September 03, 2019, 08:59 AM
Sugar Glider
Firebirds
Apprentice I
Finley quickly clarified that "born" and "deaf" were, in fact, two entirely separate words. Sugar nodded her understanding, only to still as she actually absorbed the explanation. This Towhee couldn't hear, at all? Sometimes, the smallest Blackthorn wished she couldn't hear, because noises could be a real bother, even overwhelming now and then. But she couldn't imagine simply no sounds at all, ever.

The lesson continued before Sugar Glider could dwell much further. By its close, she would feel pretty comfortable with a few of the most basic signs. The gestures might even become easily second-nature, if Finley continued exposing her (and her siblings) to them. But Sugar's biggest takeaway from this was that maybe she should be grateful she could hear, even when she didn't like it, because she simply couldn't comprehend living in total silence.

Members of FB are welcome to power-play Sugar Glider (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!
September 05, 2019, 09:54 AM
Avery
Firebirds
Youth III
Avery's mouth formed into a thoughtful "o" shape as Finley explained that Towhee was born unable to hear anything. It was all starting to make sense and, like her sister, she would have an understanding of a few basic signs by the time this lesson concluded. When she thought about her own ears not working, she couldn't help but press her paws over them, muffling the voices around her for a short time.

With a smile, she pulled her paws away and signed "hello" again, indicating to her mother that she was ready and willing to learn more.
September 16, 2019, 11:05 AM
Finley
Firebirds
Honoree
The kids didn't ask any further questions about what it meant to be deaf, which Fin wasn't foolish enough think meant they understood. They probably had come to some random conclusions about it, which would one day come out and she'd have to unravel and try to re-teach them the facts. Finley had raised enough pups to know how it went.

Satisfied that they had learned "hello", she went on to teach them a few more words. They did seem interested in picking signs for their own names, but Fin decided to leave that lesson up to Towhee, who knew the language better than anyone and thus would know what signs already meant something else. At the end of it, she let them know she'd be signing in ptero whenever she spoke aloud so they could start learning more. She'd also try to get them to do the same when they could.

I can tell you already, Pox isn't gonna do it. But there was hope for the girls.