1st Ymiden, Arc 718Eric woke abruptly from his sleep, his internal body clock telling him it was time to get up. Although he had no way of telling if it was day yet as the sun was still yet to spread its rays though his windows. Still he sat up and scooted to the edge of his bed, taking a deep breath as he cleared some gunk from his eyes. Scratching the back of his neck as he rose up he headed for his clothes that were lying over the back of his chair where he had left them to dry the night before.
The embers of the night before's fire still glowed a soft red, radiating a small amount of heat against his skin as he pulled on his underwear and then the trousers. He left his shirt for the moment as he reached over and grabbed a couple of logs from the side of the fire place. The man nonchalantly threw the logs into the embers, repeating an action he had repeated far too many times before turning away from the fire and heading over to the door.
The Shepherd pushed the open the heavy wooden door and looked out over the yard before him. It was still early and the first of the suns rays were only just creeping over the horizon, casting long shadows as they began to light up the world. He continued out into the farmyard, he could hear Titan shuffling around the barn followed by a moo as he moved to the entrance to greet his owner. This was accompanied by the sound of padded feet and a low bark as Alfie departed from his kennel also to meet his owner.
"Mornin' you." He reached down and ruffled the dogs head, scratching behind the ears on his cocked head. Stretching and taking in deep inhale of the fresh mountain air he reached over and collected up the bucket that sat by the door. Whistling for Alfie to follow, Eric headed towards the gate in the wall that surrounded the farmyard. The Shepherd could already tell it was going to be a good day, the air was already warm and there were only light soft clouds up above.
Reaching the stream Eric stopped, sitting down on the grass and rolling up his trousers. Alfie, however, had no intentions of waiting for his owner and instead went bounding off into the fresh alpine water. He lapped away happily as Eric followed him in shortly after bending at the waist and splashing himself the cold blast waking him up fully as beads of the crystal clear liquid ran over his upper body.
He waded back over to the bank and collected his bucket. Holding it down and against the current of the water he watched it fill as the liquid gushed past. It only took a few trills and once complete the man made his way back, placing the bucket on the bank before climbing out and collecting it up again. Alfie reluctantly followed him, lapping up a few more gulps of water before he chased down his master, them reentering the farmyard together.
Eric placed the bucket of water next to the door and went inside, Alfie watching the door as he returned with an old bone which he threw to the dog and a cooking pot and a cup. He collected a cup of water and then deposited it into the small cooking pot before returning inside. The Shepherd placed the pot on the table and went over to his sack of oats next to the chest. He took a cup full of the oats and deposited them into the pot as well before hanging it over the fire after adding another piece of wood to keep the renewed fire burning.
Stepping back outside he left the gruel to cook collecting up the bucket which still contained water and filling up the water trough for Titan. Then he released the Ox from the barn and allowed it to graze around the land inside the farm walls. Giving the large white creature as pat before once again heading inside the house.
Here he put on his shirt, pulling it over his body and then sitting to put on his boots. The water was beginning to boil and he knew the gruel would be ready soon, he knew it was optimistic to think it might taste nice so he grabbed a few almonds to add some extra flavour and threw them into the pot as he removed it from the stove. Finally he decanted the whole gloppy concoction into a bowl and began to eat it.
He stood in the door way as he did and watched the sun continue to rise, smiling in the fresh air. He took a large spoonful of the breakfast. "Faldruns Anus that's hot." Eric swore loudly as he dropped the food back into the bowl. Taking a moment to let it cool he watched Alfie playing with the bone and closed his eyes, allowing the calm to come over him and reaching with his spark out to the frequencies around him.
In the wilds like this there were many, from tiny hidden creatures to a dear darting just off in the distance at the forest edge but this was all a mess to Eric. He had to concentrate and focus to find the choir that represented his pet. Being close by it was not so hard to pick out, large and vibrant the choir told a lot of the creature. The shepherd studied his dog's notes, latching onto what he was certain represented its species. It was a low baritone hum but it was relatively unimpressive compared to the treble note that was sung out. He listened to it in thought, noticing how it interacted with a wavering note that seemed to indicate some form of movement.
Listening more it became clear it was happiness, no, contentment or somewhere between the two some form of animal version of being entertained or at least without need. Retracting his mind back inside the shepherd attempted once again to eat his gruel. It was much more manageable now and so he got through it quickly sating his hunger.
With his breakfast finished Eric took the bucket inside and doused the fire, returning the bucket and then collecting up his shepherds crook and heading out. Closing the door behind him Eric whistled for Alfie to follow him heading for the gate once again. Looking towards the slope that lay behind his house Eric looked to Alfie with a shrug. "Ya ready boy?"
The Shepherd headed up the hill, climbing the well worn track that he and often the goats would follow up to the pastures. Eric wanted to beat the heat so he rushed himself, making sure to use his stick to help him in the more difficult sections of the climb. He found he tired much less when using the stick effectively making the rest of his day much easier.
He was climbing for around one and a half breaks when he eventually reached the high fields where the goats would graze. To no surprise they were there, they had moved a short distance along this peak but they were still insight of where he left them. He counted all ten from his current distance, good to see none of them had wandered off alone. His job was made much harder when they did that but today it seemed wouldn't be so bad.
Alfie followed him as he moved closer to the herd, it was about time they were shaved again and a milking wouldn't hurt, he would probably do well to bring them down this afternoon and milk them the next morning. Stopping around 20 metres away he perched on the edge of a flat topped rock, Alfie laying down at his feet in wait. And that was what most of the rest of the day would entail, waiting and watching until the evening came around.
Eric supposed his job was quite easy when everything went without an problem, although that didn't frequently happen. Usually he was searching for a lost goat with Alfie but this trial he was lucky and so had plenty of time to sit back and enjoy the comfortable temperature.
It was far better than it would be next season, he could handle the comfy early Ymiden sun but when next season came around he would be damning Faldrun for that second son that made working hell. Saun was not a season he enjoyed and nor was it one that was kind to his herd so he would do his best to enjoy the weather now.
With the time to relax now and just simply wait for the breaks to tick by Eric once again opened his mind. This time he chose to focus in on one of the goats, drowning out most of the other frequencies around him in favour of this one in particular. It was not as impressive of that of a human or even Alfie but there was one not that stuck out to him as interesting. It was a low dull note that seemed to go forever and did not fit in to the chorus all too well.
The more he listened the less it seemed to say as if it was absent of much information or meaning. However, the more the shepherd considered this the more he supposed that it was not lacking information but expressing a lack of excitement or interest. It was quite the opposite from what Alfie had expressed earlier and so he supposed it was something akin to what would be boredom in humans. Possibly even the same as what Alfie had given off, not needing for anything but in a less exciting way.
Eric would continue to study the goats and Alfie too for the majority of the day, taking the time to explore the creatures frequencies while keeping a protective watch over his flock.