[repost, minus the grief therapy!]
> "Our family was careful not to eat meat because we didn't believe in eating other Pokemon..."
Shanti looked puzzled. "Then you don't hunt...? Hmm...that might be a problem. I do hunt. Vigorously. If we travel together, is that going to bother you?"
> "So now you know my lifetime. Sorry I bored you with that story." Katara yawned and lapped more water.
"No," the Absol mused, "no, you haven't bored me at all. If anything, you've given me a lot to think about. This Mightyena: He kidnapped you, but you didn't want Siran to kill him? Was he good to you while he had you, perhaps? But it's Siran you miss. After just a day... A black Vulpix, huh? He must have been something; I'd have liked to see that.
"But, curiosity aside...I'm not surprised, now, that you get suddenly, deeply sad sometimes. I felt pretty overwhelmed, too, when Mother sent me away. We were so close; I was her last cub, and she fought for my right to live even with my handicap. I stayed a long time after my brothers and sisters went their own ways, partly because it took me so much longer to learn how to manage myself; but also, I think, because Mother was fond of me. She really liked my stories. As she grew old, I thought I would be the one to care for her when she couldn't hunt for herself anymore. But she sent me away; a thing I didn't understand at the time, and don't understand now, and it *still* hurts. I worry about her a lot; maybe she just didn't want me to be around when she died. And I can't go home because I am *lost.* Really lost! In the mountains where I was raised, you can see who's coming and where you're going. In thick forest, I can't see much farther than the next clump of trees. It has taken me a long time to learn how to live down here, and in that time I've wandered all over the place--I have no idea where home is from here! And even if I found my way back, if Mother wasn't there I'd probably be killed. I guess that means I'm looking for a home of my own now...
"...Aww, listen to me babble. What I *meant* to say was...you've had a lot happen to you in such a very short time. This might or might not be a good time to leave home; it's hard, when you're hurting, to make a big decision. We can stay here while you think about it, if you like; I'm in no rush... And I believe in you. Most Pokémon can survive a lot more than anyone would guess by looking at them. You're at least as strong as they are, I feel it. I might not know to come in out of the rain, but I think I know a survivor when I see one...""
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