One Yukkuri Place

Story: Yu and I

Posted under General

This is going to be a family_friendly story. The story narrative jumps around and rambles a bit more then I had planned but I think I'm going to go with it.

Chapter 1

Yukkuri are a pet unlike any other. They have a capacity for speech and near human intelligence. They have cultural mores and behavior patterns they inherit from one of their parents. They have a sociability that lets them be at ease with human ownership. Such an unusual combination of traits can't be matched by any other creature.

At the moment I am raising two koyukkuri, a Reimu and a Marisa. I adopted each of them from different friends whose pet yukkuri became pregnant over the winter. I really had the pick of the bunch, Reimu's artless coyness and Marisa's confident and adventurous attitude are absolutely adorable.

Normally, I raise two koyukkuri of the same type from the same stalk. Yukkuri have a natural disinclination to mate with another yukkuri of the same type. There also seems to be a reduced interest between yukkuri who are related. I also give them koyukkuri dolls which seem to satisfy their parental instincts.

However, one time I returned home to a pair of my yukkuri and found that one of my Reimu had a birthing stalk with four little koyukkuri. I was momentarily at a loss but I found what I think is an elegant solution to the problem. I separated the yukkuri living area into two sections with a fence between them. The slats have gaps large enough to let koyukkuri through but by the time they are old enough to 'refresh' they no longer fit. The slats are thick enough that they can't reach between them, even with an Alice's 'braggable peni-peni'.

The Reimu were upset about the separation at first but grew to accept it after I gave them supervised time together. By the time their little ones were born they forgot all about it. The kos in particular seemed to enjoy the fence, puff-puffing at their parent on the other side. The other parent would creep up slowly-slowly behind them and puff-puff at them teasingly and chase them to the other side of the fence where the game would start all over.

Eventually the kos grew up and would no longer fit between the fence. I spent an entire afternoon drawing out different pen arrangements that would maximize large living areas but allow each yukkuri to see each other using a complicated arrangement of runs between areas and common areas. I was considering multi-level structures and closed circuit television systems when I realized I was thinking too hard about it.

In the end I simply put a pair of kos and one of their parents in each area. It seems that the incident with their parents was anomaly because the yukkuri lived the rest of their lives without another birthing incident.


Chapter 2

It had been several months since my last yukkuri took it easy, at a little more then three years old. Contrary to what romantic belief would hold, my yukkuri lived for a while after her big sister that I raised her with. She mourned her but after about a month she was her cheerful self again. Six months later she went to sleep and took it easy during the night.

Like the others, I buried her underneath a tall orange tree in the yard. I dug a grave for her, about two feet deep, and laid her to rest with gratitude for the years of easiness she gave me. Yukkuri are only made of dough, sugar and filling, so their body quickly breaks down and is absorbed into the soil. I like to think that they become part of the tree and shelter and give fruit to me and yukkuri who come afterwards.

After covering the grave I scattered gardenias, her favorite flower, and paused for a moment in silence. There is a worn wooden plaque hanging from the tree, I took out my pocket knife and began to carve letters into it. When I am finished, there is another name written on the wood.

“Gentle One”

It is the secret name I gave her, the name I could never call her because it would only confuse her. Even so I take care to name every one of my yukkuri so for good or ill, I will never forget them. I can run my fingers over the letters and remember them. I remember Ivory who would sit on my little electric piano while I played and run away as my fingers chaser her down the keys. I remember Cool Cat who tilted his hat at a rakish angle and somehow managed to strut, even though he didn't have legs. I remember Frail who would cry about nothing at all but would become the happiest, most cheerful yukkuri I've ever had...until the next time.

That night I took apart the wooden fence in the spare bedroom. I tore up the cardboard houses and left them in the garage to take with the other recyclables. I swept the floor and brought in the rollaway bed from the closet next to the garage where it had been stored. The bed was musty smelling and the sheets looked shabby and wrinked, although they had never been used. I took the sheets off the bed and left them next to the washing machine for the next time I did a load. I shut the door and forgot about the room for the next month or so.

Chapter 3

Things that are left undone have a tendency to gnaw at you and one day about two months later I couldn't stand seeing those sheets on the shelf in the laundry room anymore. They were washed so they were clean but afterward they had made the transition from the washing machine to the dryer, and from the drier to the laundry basket. They finally ended up on the shelf when I ran out of clean clothes and had to do an emergency load in my bathrobe. I needed it to hang up some jeans so I dumped the contents of the basket on the shelf and forgot about it until the next time I did laundry.

The sheets were wrinkled again from sitting for so long but I didn't care anymore, I just wanted them out of sight and out of mind. The spare bedroom was stuffy from being shut for so long. I dumped the sheets on the bed and walked over to the window to open it when I heard a crunch underneath my foot.

I held the window sill for support and stood on one leg while I lifted up my foot to examine it. The skin on the bottom of my heel is pretty thick so even though there were pieces of bright, metallic plastic on it, nothing had pierced though. The object was so badly broken that it took me a little while to figure out that I was looking at a guitar fingerpick.

A while ago I dropped it on the ground after opening my bag. While I was looking for it, one of my koyukkuri bounced out from under the table and picked it up in her mouth. She said something but between her childlike slurring and the pick in her mouth I couldn't figure what she was saying. After a few minutes she grew frustrated and spit it out of her mouth. She told me in no uncertain terms that it was her “city-sect Mishter Tweasure” and that I should “hand it over, eajy!”

She was so determined that I decided to give it to her without a fight, which I think surprised her. She scurried off to her easy place to hide it with her other “Mishter Tweasures”. Shortly later she came back and thanked me before blushing and running off again. I had though about naming her Magpie but in the end I named her Bimbo because she was easily distracted by shiny objects.

Bimbo took it easy years ago but somehow this fingerpick survived. The lettering that was engraved on the fingerpick was completely worn away although it had been brand new when I dropped it. All I could think about how much rubbing it would take to wear it away. Years of rubbing, longer then the life of any one yukkuri.

It was so stupid, but at the time I felt so touched. I left the sheets on the bed, still wrinked and unmade, folded the bed up and rolled it back into the closet. The next day I began asking around if anyone had any koyukkuri.