Sep 22, 2021 4:18 PM
amenta colonizes delena
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...they will probably need to decide for themselves how their species is going to decide how to refer to members of hers. (There's an undertone of territory-feeling to this conclusion; a sense that this is a boundary she considers it improper for her to cross.) Crows usually settle on a descriptive name of a type similar to the ones her species uses for each other, but the whole flock will use the same one for a given person, so there is precedent for that, but the whole flock is involved in the decision; she's not sure what factors are important for a single member of their species making that decision for their whole hive. - she supposes 'by asking' is a way for them to make that decision but she's also not sure what factors would be important to them for her to use in making that decision for their whole hive.

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For Amentans, a name is given by the people who make the new person, to sound pretty, and another name is chosen by that person, when they have a decision about their work, to mean that.

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That's helpful - she's not going to do that but it's helpful to know what whatever she does will be compared to.

She paces again, thinking, and proposes 'lone sassafras' - it's a type of tree, colorful in the fall, known for the tea made from its roots, not usually found growing alone, popular to encourage in unclaimed territory; the glyph is like so.

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Sun translates that, although all the names for local species are fairly preliminary and not very aesthetic. Then she explains that her given name Inua means "thoughtful" and her job name Sun means "person" because she studies people.

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She will pass that along if she tells anyone else about them. - probably not the sound part, it's hard to remember sounds like that and even harder to describe them. But if she shares the meanings someone might recognize her.

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Thank you. Do you want to see the picture-writing I have made of you?

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She'll be interested in seeing it tomorrow; she's going home now. And so she does.

She's back the next morning with a different pair of dogs at her walker's feet, a third at her feet inside, and a trio of crows riding on the roof.

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Sun will show her some of the video she's been taking!

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The crows are very excited about the video - they apparently call this native three-hawks, and announce to everyone that that's her in the picture - but she's much more reserved about it: it's certainly an interesting capability, she'll allow.

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The crows are so cute but these ones probably haven't been hanging out with Amentans enough to know any words, even "hi crows". Sun does note the "three-hawks" moniker. Are there more books?

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She brought a book printer, today; now that they can communicate it makes more sense to let them request things.

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Sun would like to know how natives have babies, given that they don't interact with each other much and are so disabled by trying!

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Any book she has on that is going to be more focused on the biological details than the interpersonal ones; she can print one up anyway if they'd like. She only has enough material with her for a dozen or so books, though.

She explains it herself, once that's settled and the book is printing or not: courting in her species, like most socialization, happens on unclaimed land, where they can act relatively freely; there are some things that are still just not done, like making major modifications to it - this would be making a territory claim, and isn't possible in a place that's trafficked by others - but as individuals they can cohabit there just fine. By inclination her species mostly leaves each other alone even there, without some specific reason to interact; there's variance in that, but someone looking to make friends is generally well advised to bring the most social of their other-species household members with them, to make the initial approach while they gauge the other person's reaction - someone who's friendly with a dog or a chicken is likely to be friendly with their head-of-household, too. Friends do sometimes visit each others' territories - some people do this quite frequently, in fact - and this is some effort for the host, as was discussed in the book she gave them yesterday, but generally worth it for people one likes to spend time with, romantically or otherwise.

It's generally considered a good idea for someone wanting to have a child to arrange to be a member of someone else's household for the last few months of the pregnancy and first few months of the baby's life since being heavily pregnant makes it hard to keep up a household and new babies tend to interrupt sleep; that's usually arranged with the other parent, but some communities have people who like children enough to be interested in helping with other peoples'; hers did. Crows can be useful for simple baby-sitting, too; they're entirely capable of going and getting someone if a baby starts to cry. Once the baby is sleeping reliably enough for their caretaker to get enough sleep themselves, it generally works pretty well for the new parent to take up their own household again, with the new child as a household member similar to any other; the other parent is likely to visit through all of this, and take the child to visit their own household from time to time as soon as they're weaned, or earlier if they've opted to help with nursing, and it will be up to the three of them to work out how much time the child spends in each of those households (or others, if the child makes friends they want to visit) as they grow up.

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That's clever, maybe the Amentans who are making friends with crows will teach them to help with childcare. Do native children always live with their mother? Are fathers involved much?

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It's pretty evenly split once children are old enough to decide for themselves - they're more likely to start out with their mothers because fathers often don't breastfeed, it's a permanent modification to enable that for a fairly temporary benefit unless they want to have lots of kids. They are usually around for the whole process - her species doesn't have children with people they don't like spending time with or wouldn't have in their territory or be in the territory of, that doesn't change during pregnancy.

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Sun is going to go back to the city to see her own child after another day or two. He's with her husband now. They all live together.

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Uh-huh.

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When does the not being able to do things in other people's territory thing start? It seems like it can't apply to babies.

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Babies can barely do things to begin with, so that doesn't really make sense as a question for them. They vary as they get older - some children need lots of encouragement to be able to do things and others are more independent, though still mindful of what they're welcome to do; on average they're a little more capable of functioning well in other peoples' territories than adults are, though that seems to just be that they're more used to it and better at accepting help with it. They usually settle into their permanent capability patterns in late adolescence or early adulthood, when they first claim territory for themselves - it's a big deal, being truly free for the first time, and it's a pretty profound change for most of her people.

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That's neat! Amentan children mostly need to practice things to be able to do them alone, either for competence or safety reasons, so she was imagining that being difficult for a child to whom the territory thing fully applied.

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It can be, but children don't have the experience to know how much easier things could be, and of course parents have reason to encourage their children to be as capable as possible even in the immediate term; the more things they can do for themselves the less their parents have to do for them.

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Can she explain more about how it is hard to do things in other people's territories?

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It would be easier to answer questions than to come up with helpful insights on her own. It's mostly a felt sense - it feels very obvious that the place belongs to someone else, and what they might want for it is very salient; being sure they'd want you to do something makes it possible, though some people find it hard to be sure of that even when told, if it seems to them like the sort of thing someone might not actually want in any case. Being unsure that an action is welcome makes it impossible, either outright or without significant mental effort to talk themselves into it. Having a subterritory helps, like the book said; assigning one makes it clear that the head-of-household wants the person they've assigned the subterritory to to be able to operate freely in certain ways within it, and doesn't consider it as much their business what happens inside - the former gives a sense of having permission, and the latter gives a sense of not needing it, and both of those contribute to being able to do things.

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Does she think any natives would be interested in having a place within the city they were explicitly welcome to come and meet people?

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She might try it. She'd need an escort and she'd want a clear path to leave the whole time, and to bring her dogs. She's not in contact with any other members of her species in the area, but the crows might know some who would.

These crows don't think any of the other crafters they know would want to go into the househive but the dogwood stand flock knows more, they'll ask!

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