A Squirrel’s Home

Jill wasn’t easily thanked. She just rolled her shoulders as Sandy and Miko did their best. But Jill remained resolute and only mumbled a stoic ‘yer welcome’, trying to pretend like nothing happened at all. She only came back into the conversation once it was clear Sandy wanted to talk about the woods and not her.

And that thing lives here? That can just happen?! So yeah, guess that’s a way to get a lesson about the forest’s dangers. Normally I’d come down on you for wandering out there. But you two were on the trail… I must be losing my touch. Maybe they smelled the pie and just couldn’t handle it?

Jill confidently led them the rest of the way, bouncing her axe on her shoulder all the way down the path. Small rope barriers were erected along the trail like a fence to guide them a short distance into a clearing where one of the forest’s immense trees had been felled. It took a moment for Sandy to realize what she was looking at, but then she gasped as she realized that the stump of that tree was their destination all along.

Compared to the homes back in Fable, it was much thinner and simply designed. To the outside, it was just a stump with some windows and a door.  Jill had to put up a new ‘roof’ of sorts by propping a slanted deck over the top. Sandy expected Jill to have this expansive, immense log cabin if she could build the entire café in a weekend. The humble stump in front of her was… cute. And Sandy’s first mistake was calling it that. 

How cute! Oooh, come on… You live in a tree stump! That’s so adorable! It’s just like how a cartoon character would live. Eeeeeh… Well, I- You know… Oh, and you have a really big yard. And that’s where you probably make your tools! Yeah, hope you don’t mind the mess.

Sandy’s enthusiasm spilled out of her quicker than Jill could handle. She and Miko were given a small, silent tour as Jill listlessly followed them and unceremoniously agreed with Sandy’s descriptions of her things, never biting as Sandy hoped she would. Sandy felt like she was driving the entire conversation. Miko looked on disapprovingly at lots of the junk Jill was hoping neither of them would notice.

Did Sandy tell you she was coming? She did. Didn’t mean I believed her, though. I get the feeling she says what she means. Best to remember that. Yeah, yeah…

Sandy was admittedly trying a little too hard. She wanted to be Jill’s friend and knew she’d have a very short window to try. So she didn’t feel bad looking transparent about it. Sandy got an idea once the three of them found their way over to a collection of axes stuck into painted bullseyes. Jill had set up several logs next to one another like a firing range. Sandy walked over to the handle of an axe stuck in the center of the painted target and pulled with both hands, wiggling until it came free. Jill was looking on disapprovingly, but didn’t stop her.

May I try? I won’t stop you.

Sandy didn’t really know how to throw an axe. She brought it back like a baseball over one shoulder, trying to feel it out before throwing. When she finally did let it loose, it wobbled through the air and made it about halfway to the tree. Jill walked up to it and took it back. To Sandy’s surprise, Jill offered her the handle.

Try it two-handed until you get your arm strength up. Take a step into it to get it going… And let go once it crosses your vision. Just don’t hurt yourself, Sandy…

Sandy’s second throw was far better than the first. And the third was better still… it took ten good throws before it finally stuck. Completely by luck, she was able to heave the big axe head over her own and hit the target. It was a bit higher than the bullseye, but Sandy bounced happily in place all the same.

Hey alright! Woohoo! Oh my gosh that was satisfying! Mmmmmnhmm! Great, there’s two of them now.