Tuva : Forum : Tearth

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11 Years Ago

Silvia came upon the young tearth picking and eating the flowers out of her garden.  The Tearth being discovered crouched down and froze attempting to blend in among the foliage.  Silvia had never actually seen a tearth before but there was no mistaking what it was.  Numerous pictures and descriptions over the years had drilled her on what they looked like and what to expect from them. They were dangerous animals and this one was eating her flowers. Raising her hoe above her head she ran at it yelling to frighten it away.  Instead of fleeing as expected it cowered down and curled into a ball.  Intent on scaring the creature away, Silvia swung the hoe, sharp edge down.  In that instant she understood that she was not swinging the hoe to scare the thing but was going to hit the creature with it, maybe even kill it.  She was going to do harm another creature one that looked like a frightened and scared child and at the last moment she dug the hoe in the ground beside the tearth instead.  The poor thing cried out expecting a blow that never came.  Then simply began to cry.  The tearth’s breathing was rapid, its body shook uncontrollably arms firmly over its head.   Silvia put the hoe down and disregarded all the warnings she had been told. “Although Tearth appear very human like do not let their appearance fool you, they are vicious, disease carrying vermin.  They have no intelligence and operate purely on instinct, they will appear docile but are totally unpredictable.  They can not be domesticated or trained.  Do not approach one for any reason.”  This was the official government statement on tearth.  From a very young age the citizens of Tuva are taught that if they discover one, kill it or call the authorities to come and kill it. Never!  Ever!  Approach a Tearth.  The one she was looking at was a female, probably about seven years old. It had long dirty brown hair, that was tangled with weeds and sticks.  Every inch of its body was covered in dirt and grime.  Its fingernails were chipped and dirt incrusted, it smelled like an outhouse and was completely naked.  She pushed the tearth with the toe of her shoe.  “Scat go on!  Get!”  The small creature responded by curling into an even tighter ball. Again she nudged it with the toe of her shoe, “Go on get out of my garden!”  The Tearth responded by trying to blend in with the flower bed, burrowing into the foliage.  Silvia backed up and studied the poor pathetic creature. Even as filthy as it was, it was a pretty little thing, and looked anything but dangerous. Finally she squatted down next to it, noticing how it shook.  “You are terrified out of your mind.  Where are you parents?”  Ignoring the warnings she reached out and placed her hand on the small tearth readying her self to pull back quickly if it reacted violently. Instead it only flinched at her touch a puddle forming under it as it bladder let go, but otherwise did nothing that suggested aggressiveness.  She stroked the tearth’s back attempting to sooth the little creature. “I am not going to harm you.  It’s okay, see no nasty hoe.”  Little by little the young tearth uncurled from its protective ball and peered up at Silvia.  Two big beautiful sea green eyes spilling over with tears stared up at her. There was such pleading within those green eyes that Silvia’s heart melted almost instantly.  Reaching down Silvia put her arms under the small tearth and picked her up.  She stood there with the little thing in her arms and wondered.  What am I doing?  This is a tearth I should be calling someone to come get this thing.  She looked down at the small thing and couldn’t help but smile. She sure doesn’t seem dangerous.  She just seems like a little lost girl nothing more.  I know I am probably asking for nothing but trouble, but I just can’t leave her out here like this.  Someone will kill her.  Heck I almost killed her and even if she gets back to the forest one of the wild animals will get her she is too small to take care of her self.  She got the tearth into the house and put her down at the kitchen table top.  The tearth sitting silently with her knees up under her chin and her arms wrapped around her legs watching every move that Silvia made.  Silvia looked around the kitchen trying to remember what they said about these creatures feeding habits.  They were vegetarians, their long incisors were for tearing at roots and fruit rinds. Looking at the tearth she said, “Fruits! And vegetables that’s what you need.”   She went to the refrigerator, took out a salad then a melon half.  She put the salad on the table in front of the tearth and cut up the melon adding it to the salad.  The girl looked at the salad, then reached out timidly and took a small piece.  It went into her mouth and she ate slowly, after a while she sat up a bit and began to eat with more confidence.  All the while Silvia praised her for being such a brave little girl.  The little thing stank so badly that Silvia had to open the back door and the kitchen window to keep the room aired out.  The front door opened and Olive Peck a whippet thin no nonsense woman of 68 came into the house and called out.  “Sil are you home?”  There was a pause then “Oh my god what is that smell?  Silvia!  What in the heck is that awful smell?”  Silvia called out and said, “Keep your voice down will you, I’m in the kitchen, come on in, but be quiet and don’t scare her.”   “Scare who?  What is going on?”  Olive started to close the front door but decided to leave it open, then went to the living room and opened the windows.  “Are you cooking something in there?  What ever it is you need to throw it out.”  “No I am not cooking anything.  Just come on in and you’ll see.”  Olive made her way through the living room and as she got closer to the kitchen the smell grew worse.  “Oh my God Silvia that is horrible!  What have you got in there.” “Just come on in you’ll see.”  Olive stepped into the kitchen and looked at the Tearth sitting at the Formica table top and froze.  In a very quiet and some what shaky voice Olive said, “Silvia don’t move.”  Silvia turned around with a bowl of sliced apples and said, “What’s the matter?” “There is a Tearth sitting on your kitchen table eating your salad.” “Of course there is, that is why my house smells like a outhouse, I have no idea what it got into to smell so badly but she sure does smell.” “Silvia!  Have you lost what few good senses you have?  Those things are dangerous.” “Oh poo, does she look dangerous to you?” “It may not look dangerous but believe me they are very dangerous.”  Silvia put the bowl down in front of the Tearth, the little creature reached out and plucked an apple slice from the bowl and timidly bit into it.  “Who said they were dangerous?” “Everyone!  The books, the officials, the people who have been attacked by them.  You need to get that thing out of your house.” “I’ll do no such thing.  The poor thing is starving to death.  Look at her, she is nothing but skin and bones.” “And when it gets through eating that apple it will start in on your face.” “Don’t be silly, Tearth are herbivores they don’t eat people.”  Olive took a cautious step forward, then picked up a rolling pin from the counter.  “Olive Peck you put that down right now.  You are going to scare her.” “Scare her?  What about me?” “Does she look like she is going to suddenly jump up and bite you?  Just put the rolling pin down, besides I need you to help me.” “Help you?  Help you do what?” “She can’t stay in here smelling like that now can she?  I need to give her a bath and get that awful smell off.” “You want to give it a bath?  Now I know you have lost your mind.”  Even as she said it Olive went over to the sink, turned on the water and plugged the drain.  Silvia looked at her and asked, “You want to wash her in here?” “Might as well, it isn’t all that big, and there is no reason to stink up the rest of the house taking it into the bathroom.  Don’t tell me you have never bathed a baby in the kitchen sink?” “Well yes, but she isn’t a baby.” “But it is small enough to bathe in the sink.  If you are going to do this you might as well do it right here.” Silvia went over to the Tearth and reached out to her.  “Come on honey lets get you cleaned up.”  Olive started to say something but then stopped when the Tearth reached out and put her arms around Silvia’s neck allowing herself to be lifted up.  Silvia took the Tearth to the sink and sat her down on the edge of the counter.  “Now is this going to be easy or hard?”  She took the Tearth’s hand and put its fingers in the water to show her it was okay.  Instantly the Tearth pulled its hand away, but then slowly reached back and put its fingers in the water  “See it won’t hurt you.”  She picked up the Tearth and stood it in the sink then splashed water on its legs, applied liquid soap and began to wash the creatures legs.  The Tearth slowly let its self down in the water until it was sitting in the sink looking out at the two women.  Olive sighed, “Oh what the hell.”  Reluctantly she rolled up her sleeves, took a wash cloth from one of the kitchen drawers, went over to the sink and began to help Silvia.   Three sinks full of water and an hour later the Tearth was finally clean.   Her hair was so dirty and full of weeds, twigs and caked on grease that they had no choice but to cut most of it off.  By the time they were finished her hair was cut so short that it made her look like a pixie.  Olive had the tearth wrapped in a towel and sitting on the edge of the kitchen table and was trimming her fingernails while Silvia cleaned up the kitchen, by then most of the smell in the kitchen had cleared out.  Olive looked at the small child then said, “I have to admit once we got the first two layers of dirt off she turned out to be a pretty little thing, and those eyes are beautiful.”  Another.  “Hello!  Anybody home?” came from the front door.  Olive looked at Silvia then whispered,  “It’s Ruth!”  Silvia smiled then said, “Of course it’s Ruth. This is our day to play Bridge.”  “Oh heavens I forgot all about our bridge game.”  A stout heavyset woman of 65 with salt and pepper hair, came into the kitchen.  “Why haven’t you got the game set up yet?  The others will be here shortly?”  Then Ruth saw the small girl wrapped in the towel and said, “Oh my, isn’t she a pretty little thing.” Then she stopped and took another look.  “She has pointed ears!  Isn’t that just lovely.” Ruth went over to the Tearth and held out her arms, the little Tearth reached out and put her arms around Ruth and snuggled into her arms, taking advantage of her ample bosom.  “Oh she is a darling isn’t she?” Ruth pinched her cheek then planted kisses on both cheeks and her forehead.  Olive stood looking at Ruth in amazement then said,  “Now that you have her you can finish trimming her nails.”  She handed the clippers to Ruth then looked at Silvia. “Leave it to Ruth.” Then she said,  “She is a pretty little thing but do you really intend to let her run around the house naked.”  Silvia stood and thought about it for a moment then her face lit up.  “I think there is a box of cloths in the garage. It has some of my granddaughters cloths in it from the last time they were here.  Let me go get it and see if anything will fit her.” “Won’t your granddaughter miss them?” “Oh poo she has grown so much that none of that stuff will fit her now.  Besides there is a really pretty dress in there that I think would look verry nice on her” Ruth looked up from her task of trimming the Tearth’s nails then said, “I think this little beauty is a tearth.”  Olive chuckled then said, “Nothing gets past you does it?”  Ruth looked at Silvia and asked.  “So where did this little beauty come from anyway?” “Oh I found her out in the garden, I think she was eating my Violets.”   Silvia headed to the back door saying.  “Keep an eye on her will you, I’ll be right back.”  Ruth looked at the Tearth then asked, “So, what do they call you sweetie?”  Olive handed Ruth a brush and said, “We haven’t gotten that far, we just now got her cleaned up.”  As Ruth ran a brush through the Tearth’s hair she said, “Aren’t Tearth supposed to be dangerous?”  “Again, nothing slips past you does it?”  Ruth gave her a disgusted look. Then turned back to the Tearth, “Just ignore Olive honey, she got up on the wrong side of the bed 40 years ago and has been cranky ever since.”  Olive ignored her as she wiped down the counter top and rinsed out the sink.  “I don’t know if she is the exception to the rule or the rule.”  Ruth finished running the brush through the Tearth’s hair then said, “I think she breaks all the rules.  Just look at those beautiful eyes of hers.” Olive turned to look at the Tearth, “She does have beautiful eyes and a beautiful face, and a perfect little body.  She has no sores or on her.  Something I noticed when we were giving her a bath.  When you get really grimy after a while you develop sores and patches.  This little thing while dirty enough for five children was healthy underneath.  A little thin but not unhealthy.” “So what are you getting at?” “I think she hasn’t been on her own that long she’s probably been hiding in dumpsters and foraging for food where she could find it.  My guess is she was separated from her pod, or rangers killed off the pod when they foraged too close to town and since then she has been on her own.” “Oh you poor little thing how horrible.”  Ruth hugged the small Tearth all but smothering her in her great bosom.” “Ruth let her breath for God’s sake!”  But even Olive could tell that the Tearth was enjoying the attention that Ruth was giving her.  Silvia came into the kitchen carrying a large box.  She sat it down on the table then took the lid off.  “Now where was that dress?”  Ruth carried the Tearth over to the box and both of them looked into the interior.  Ruth reached in and pulled out a pair of under shorts.  “I think these will fit her.”  She held them out to the Tearth and said, “What do you think?”  The Tearth studied the under pants then gave Ruth a curious look.  “Okay lets try them on.”  Ruth stood the Tearth on the table.  Held the underpants out to her.  Olive took one of the girls feet and lifted it, then Ruth threaded her foot through he proper holes, then the other foot went in and Olive pulled them up.  “Now lets see if she will leave them on or take them off.”  After a few moments and the tearth didn’t seem to be bothered by the underpants Silvia held out the dress.  “Well, that went okay, let’s try the dress.”  As they were pulling the dress over the Tearth’ head and settling it into place Karen Hastings came into the kitchen.  Karen was in her 40’s she still had a nice figure and a handsome face framed in shoulder length reddish brown hair that had streaks of gray shot through it.  She looked at the three women and the small Tearth, Olive was butting up the dress while the other two women smoothed it out.  “What in heavens name do you people think your are doing?”   All three women and the small Tearth looked at Karen.  Karen had the cell phone in her hand without even thinking about it, and was about to dial the authorities when she saw the Tearth’s beautiful face and even more beautiful green eyes.  Silvia said, “And when they get here they will take her away and kill her. Oh it will all be humane, she won’t feel any pain, but she will be dead.”  Olive said, “Put the phone away Karen Hastings she isn’t going to harm anyone.”  Karen looked at Olive.  “Of all of you I would think you would have better sense Olive.” “So I am getting old and soft in the head.” “It is a Tearth Olive. You of all people know how dangerous they can be.”  Ruth picked up the tearth and brought her over to Karen, then unceremoniously put the tearth in Karen’s arms and at the same time she took the phone from Karen  “Nothing gets past her either does it.”  Olive looked at Ruth and laughed.  Karen held the small girl in her arms and looked into her beautiful green eyes. “May I ask why you have a tearth?” Ruth shrugged.  “She needed a new dress?” “And a bath.” Said Olive. “Okay why are you giving a tearth a bath and putting a dress on it?”  Silvia beamed, then said, “The bath was mandatory the dress is optional, but doesn’t it look nice on her. And it really makes her eyes come out.”   Karen studied the Tearth, and had to admit that she did look really nice in the dress and said as much.  “It really does look good on her.”  She shook her head.  “What the hell am I saying? This is beside the point, you don’t go around playing dress up with a Tearth, They are dangerous, disease carrying and might I add very wild and unpredictable animals.”  Silvia said, “Oh we can tell you are terrified that she is going to attack you.  That is why you are rubbing her back and bouncing her on your hip.” Karen stopped what she was doing and handed the tearth back to Ruth, “May I have my phone back please?” “Depends, what are you going to do with it?” “You can’t keep it, it is dangerous.  It may seem cute and cuddly right now but when it gets older it will become vicious and uncontrollable.” “And just how many tearth have you raised?” Asked Silvia. “None but I have read the history’s on them.  I have seen the medical reports and examinations on tearth. Just handling it is dangerous.”  “ Oh really Doctor, then give us your medical opinion on little bits here.”  As Ruth’s ire grew and her anger rose the tearth reached out and caressed her face, making a small cooing sound. Ruth looked a the distressed look on the small girls face then said, “I’m sorry little bits. I didn’t mean to upset you.”   Karen reached out and took the tearth from Ruth, sat her down on the table and looked her over.  She had to admit that the dress did look nice. “What am I looking for?” “You’re the doctor you tell us. What is your professional opinion about our little friend here?”   Karen looked at the Tearth’s scalp, noticed that it was clean, healthy and free of parasites or bug bites.  Her hair was healthy and had a good shine to it.   She reached out and took the Tearth’s hand and examined it, seeing that the fingernails had been trimmed and cleaned, her skin was healthy, and there were no dry patches or sores.  Then without thinking she put her thumb on the Tearth’s chin, opened its mouth and peered inside, Her teeth were clean, her tongue pink, there were no red lessons or sores in her mouth and her breath was sweet and clean, smelling slightly of apple.  Her eyes were clear and intelligent and there was no tawny color to the whites.  She reached into her purse, took out a stethoscope and hooked it in her ears, placed the diaphragm to the Tearth’s chest and listened.  Then moved it to the Tearth’s back and listened again.  All the wile the Tearth looked on with curious eyes.  When she was finished she hooked the ear pieces into the tearth ears and let her listen to her own heart, the tearth, looking up at Karen with awe as she heard the sound of Karen’s heart beat.  Taking the tearth’s arm she pressed her thumb down lightly on her skin, when she took her thumb away the blood flowed back evenly with no sign of yellowing of the skin.  Karen sat down in one of the kitchen chairs and studied the small girl playing with the stethoscope.  She was healthy, with good muscle tone, really nice skin, a bit thin but over all she was the perfect picture of health.  More to the point she was alert, curious and very sweet in nature. Karen was a doctor, her job was to preserve life, not be the instrument of it demise.  This little thing was full of life, healthy and alert.  If she called the authorities they would do just what Silvia had said, “It would be painless, and it would be humane.  And she would be responsible for its death, just as sure as if she had killed it her self.   “Damn you Silvia, you know I can’t call the authorities.  But it is still dangerous and totally irresponsible .  Maybe not now but when it gets older it will change and it will grow aggressive.  It may be cute and sweet now, but in a couple of years it will be unmanageable.  Then what are you going to do?  These things live in the wild, they are not used to being cooped up in a house, or wearing cloths.  It will be miserable living here.”  Silvia shook her head, “To be honest I don’t have the answers you are looking for, but I can’t just put her out, she has no one but me. At least until she is old enough to take care of herself in the wild, but right now she needs me and I plan on taking care of her.”   After a while Karen said, “You are going to release her back into the wild when she gets old enough?” “It’s like you said, she isn’t a human, she needs to be with her own kind. But for now she has no one to take care of her.  The alternative is to take her back into the forest and hope she survives, which I don’t think she can do on her own, or turn her over to the authorities, both ways she will end up dead.  At least here she has a chance.”   Karen reached out and took the stethoscope from the tearth, picked her up and put her on the floor.  The Tearth looked around then went to the back door of the kitchen and looked out the screen.  Karen went to the door and opened it, and the Tearth went outside into the back yard.  All four women went to the door and looked out as the Tearth ventured into the yard. The little thing wondered around for a while then looked back at the house then at the forest beyond the house.  She stood looking at it for a long time then turned and went back to the screen door.  Karen opened the door and the Tearth came inside.  She held up her arms to Silvia who picked her up and held her against her hip.  Karen sighed, “Okay, add one more crazy to the list. But I still think you are asking for a lot of heartache.”   Ruth saw the way Silvia and the Tearth looked at each other and thought, I think you are right, but not for the reasons you believe.  Those two were made for each other.