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Child of the Earth

Torero stood on the plains of Mulgore, tall green stalks of grass swaying gently in the wind. Closing his eyes, he breathed deeply that fresh, clean scent, feeling all the darkness of the outside world falling away from him. It was a good feeling.

Opening his eyes, he stared at the tall bluffs where the city of his people stretched up to the very clouds. Staring at the ground again, he frowned. Turning around, he used his out stretched hand, thumb sticking out, to sight along a path between Tunderbluff and Bloodhoof.

Looking down again, he took two steps to his right, then nodded. It felt -right-.

Getting down on his hands and knees, he began clearing away the tall grass in a little patch, thick fingers working the dark, rich earth. Over and over, he tumbled and turned it, kneading it like a master baker would his or her dough. Next he sprinkled a little water from his bottle, not enough to make mud, just enough to dampen the earth and prepare it.

Torero hummed while he worked. It was always so when he felt good, rich earth betwixt his fingers. The Song would fill his ears.

Pushing back and sitting straight, he couldn't help but smile. The sun was high and hot above him, but even though he had a light sheen of sweat on his brow, it didn't really touch him. Plus, he felt the earth was ready.

His fingers slipped into the pouch on his belt, pulling forth the small, silk wrapped object he'd kept within. Layers of fine, thin silk came off to reveal the tiny acorn resting inside, it's golden brown skin seemed to glow to his eyes, and he smiled again.

Pressing it deeply into the tilled earth, he sprinkling a bit more water, his humming rising and falling to the Song he always heard just in the back of his mind. A few sprouts began to spring forth, and still he hummed, patting the earth flat and leaning back, low words in the same melody escaping from his lips as the beginnings of a sapling took it's first journey up towards the clouds.

"How do you do that?"

Torero jumped, rising to his feet and turning. He was about to explain when his tongue found itself frozen to the roof of his mouth. His ears twitched.

The voice belonged to a young woman. She wore a long dress of white and brown, her hair arranged in twin braids down the front. Her skin was pale and glowed faintly in the sunlight - to his eyes anyway. Her ears were tufted with brown and white spots that made his own ears twitch.

"Are you a Druid?"

Shaking himself, Torero managed a smile.

"Yes! ...uh. I am a Druid."

"Oh!" she smiled, and he suddenly felt the heat from the sun above. "I am Molinda, but my friends call me Molly."

Torero blinked.

"...and your name is....?"

"Oh!" Torero gave a start, then tried to remember. "Oh!! I am Torero!"

Molly smiled, then gave him a little giggle that made his ears twitch. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Torero. Oh!"

She stepped past him, kneeling in the dirt by the sapling. It had already grown a good two feet. She gasped as she touched the tiny leaves gingerly.

"How do you make them grow so fast?"

"...they want to grow. I only show them the way." She looked up at him, smiling, eyes shining in the sun and he wasn't twitching anymore. Kneeling down, he showed her how to press the earth just so - not enough to harm the plant, but just enough to make it warm and snug.

"You were singing before... it was so beautiful..."

"I was? It was?"


"Oh..." Torero blushed.

"How tall will it grow?"

"The tree?" Torero eyed the soil, the sapling, the sky - seemingly taking in everything around him. He also tilted his head, listening to the Song for a moment. Smiling, he said, "Tall." She grinned at him, and he grinned back.

"It must be so rewarding to work with the earth..." she began, and then continued on for some time while Torero listened, splitting his attention between the new sapling, humming softly along with the Song, and her own melodious voice. When she laughed, it sounded like tiny bells ringing.

Before he realized, the sun had nearly fallen out of the western sky and they still lounged in the tall grass laughing and talking. For once, his ears did not twitch.

"Is that something special?" she said, pointing at the small blue stone on a silver chain around his neck.


"Did... someone.. give that to you?" she asked, not quite meeting his eyes. Looking down, Torero fingered the blue crystal. It caught the sun and sparkled.

"Yes," he said with a nod.

"Oh," she said a little sadly. "Is she special to you?"

Torero's eyes shot wide. "She?! Oh! ...uh... no.. that is... I mean... Morticai gave this to me."

"Morticai?" she said, meeting his eyes again. "That does not sound like a Tauren name."

"It's not. He is Forsaken." Her face twisted sourly as he said 'Forsaken' so he quickly added, "He is my friend."

"If you say so," she said, rising gracefully. She began brushing off the bits of grass and dirt from her dress while he scrambled to his feet. He didn't bother brushing any of it off his own clothes, though he did pick some from the tabard Morticai had recently given him.

"It helps me with my Forms."

She eyed him again, and this time he did find his ears twitching. "Forms?" she asked.

"Ah.... Druids can change shapes into Bears, Lions, Cats... Morticai gave me this magic blue stone to help me... remember."

"I have enjoyed our afternoon, Torero," Molly said with a smile. She didn't seem to want to talk about Morticai or the stone. "We shall have to do it again sometime."

Torero nodded, then smiled back at her as she started off towards ThunderBluff.

It wasn't until she was only a tiny speck on the road that it occurred to him something he should have mentioned to her... He is too young to be mated....

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