This particular patch of forest is relatively unremarkable save for the path - wide enough for a good-sized wagon, though not smooth enough for the wheels of one - running through it; a skunk browses on low-hanging raspberries planted alongside the path while songbirds flit from branch to branch overhead, and there's the sound of underbrush being cut away somewhere in the middle distance.
Sure thing. Plants and animals, or natural phenomena, terrain and weather?
Plants and animals first? It seems like they do have some overlap between here and Mabel's world, which should be interesting, and also she thinks that it'll likely be useful to her for food reasons.
The plants and animals dictionary covers all sorts of plants and animals, in overview: most wild animals are only described to the level of general family, though, with various descriptive words provided to allow for referring to specific species, and only domesticated animals and talking animals seem to have standard descriptors. Almost all of the domesticated animals are small, and apparently kept for meat or eggs, with the exceptions being dogs, which are common everywhere, goats, which are a relatively niche species kept in one part of the world, and cattle, which are occasionally kept by nomads and only somewhat domesticated as a species. Talking animals include a wide variety of parrots and corvids, apes and some monkeys, dolphins and most whales, elephants and mastodons, and a couple of specific species of boar and rodent and similar outliers.
This volume also covers animal anatomy, filling in a few gaps in the vocabulary of the fleshcrafting section earlier, and basic plant anatomy, family names, and the specific names of various interesting species (mostly crops, but a few poisonous or otherwise notable wild ones); it's nearly dinnertime by the time they're done with it.
Mabel recognizes some of these categories but not all; similarly there are a few big gaps but less than she might have expected. A lot of the ones she does recognize she's never seen except in books! And there seems to be some difference in what is domesticated and what remains wild.
And it's still strange that they have only one type of person. She can't quite get a handle on that -- she keeps thinking talking animals might be close to people but it does seem everyone's convinced they're pretty clearly different.
Dinner! Mabel will start cutting up fruit again if honeysuckle wants to finish up the soup making process?
Sounds good to her! Should she ask if her mom wants to join them for dinner?
Sure! It's probably good to get more practice in conversation with someone else, and Mabel wants to thank her again anyway. She'll make three portions of fruit.
They really aren't doing anything she needs to thank them so much for, but sure. Blue-streak too, if they're not going to talk shop over the meal?
Thanking people is polite when they're doing things for you! It's a small thing to say and really honeysuckle and her family have done a lot for Mabel.
(She doesn't know how to say "resentment" or even really "kick me out" but she considers trying to circumlocute the concepts before discarding this as too honest)
Blue-streak too, sure! Can he read with his tentacles or will someone translate for him?
He can read with his hands, but they'll translate, they wouldn't make her hand over her writing surface like that.
Do people really thank each other for everything, where she's from? That's kind of weird.
How to explain...
It depends on your relationship with someone? Most people thank strangers more than family. Especially strangers who have done a lot for you. Most people in Mabel's world wouldn't have helped her like this -- maybe they would take her to a doctor, but she'd have to... give them things in return. Same for a place to stay, or food. If they didn't ask for things they would expect thanks and might be upset if they didn't get them.
Huh. Most people here wouldn't help her this much either, but that's because the logistics would get in the way - most people aren't comfortable with having strangers in their territory, or with being away from home for as long as it would take to help her without inviting her home; it mostly wouldn't be for lack of wanting to. And... if honeysuckle and her mom and blue-streak didn't want to be helping Mabel out like this, they just wouldn't?
It feels like there's a disconnect here, and she pauses to think about it.
So it looks to her like.... the people where Mabel is from are somehow made to do things they don't want to, pretty often, probably? Since Mabel is expecting that there's some need to manage peoples' emotions about that. And that's really not how things are here; this is honeysuckle's mom's territory and nobody can come in and make her mom do anything she doesn't want to do; honeysuckle's mom could maybe make honeysuckle do a little bit of stuff she didn't want to - to be clear, she hasn't, but it's more possible than it'd usually be - but honeysuckle could just move out and then nobody could make her do anything, either. And when Mabel tries to manage honeysuckle's emotions about it anyway - it's confusing, mostly, but it's kind of making things worse for Mabel if it's doing anything; it feels like Mabel's saying 'I know you don't want this', and it's hard not to start wondering if she shouldn't want it if she's being told that all the time.
That makes sense. It's really common where Mabel comes from -- her parents used to make her do things she didn't want to do all the time, and so she left, but... now other people make her do things she doesn't want to, and she can't talk to her parents anymore at all because they could move into Mabel's territory and make her do things again, or make her move back into theirs.
She can stop saying thank you to honeysuckle if she would like! She is genuinely grateful but definitely is also doing a lot of emotion managing, but also it's kind of habit at this point. It's hard to talk about because Mabel's not used to talking about it.
The situation with her parents sounds horrifying, and it shouldn't be hard at all to avoid having something like that happen here - she'll probably need to live with somebody, since she can't craft, but people know better than to try to get people to do things they don't want to, that mostly just doesn't even work on crafters. Plus she can always leave if the person she picks to live with turns out bad that way.
Anyway - trying to manage peoples' emotions is kind of rude, here, past a point, so it'd be better to break the habit if she can. Now that they've talked about it honeysuckle should be fine going forward, though, and she can explain the situation to the others.
Sounds good! She doesn't mind living with someone especially if there are cultural ideas about not making them do things -- she's mentioned before that generally people in her world live with other people, either in the same building or in nearby buildings because basically nobody has all the skills needed to feed and clothe and everything themself totally alone. Mabel makes nonpeople robots and things and other people give her food and clothes about it -- she's not saying thank you about being given things, she's saying thank you about not giving them things in return, if that makes sense?
But she'll stop! She may be rude in other ways in the future; honeysuckle can always tell her if she is, she'd like to know. People in her world often don't tell people when they're being rude which is confusing even when you're from a culture that expects that! She's getting the sense that's not the case here but she thought she should say it.
People here don't always explain it either, but if they choose not to mention that there's a problem then it's their problem if it continues. Most people will be willing to explain if she asks, too, if she notices that something seems wrong, as long as they aren't actively mad at her or trying to get away or something - if someone tells her not to interact with them she should of course respect that, but aside from that it should be fine, basically. And honeysuckle will try to err on the side of pointing out if she's being rude - the thanking thing has been the only thing so far.
- it might help Mabel to keep in mind that crafters mostly don't trade with each other? Crafting makes it easy to have everything you need, and to have enough free time that people who like making or gathering things will end up with way too much of whatever they're making or gathering for their own use; if a crafter likes to hunt, and has three deer's worth of meat in the freezer and expects to take another one next week, their neighbor is almost doing them a favor by asking for some of that meat, it means they can go that much longer before they have to figure out where to build another freezer. The neighbor might offer something to have the meat delivered, if the hunter didn't particularly want to do that, or the hunter might want something in exchange for meat they were planning on eating themselves during a bad run of luck, or if there weren't enough hunters and were too many people who liked deer meat the hunter might see if anyone had anything interesting to offer and give them first pick instead of going with whoever they liked best, but usually there's no need to trade, the hunter will be happy to just give their extra away.
That makes sense! She's... well, she's not really good at doing what people ask her to all the time but she is good at respecting "please don't."
She'll remember the thing about trading too -- that's a big thing in her world. Or, a concept-like-trading -- there's an intermediary step but Mabel absolutely does not have the vocabulary to explain the intermediary step, but it's a significant part of life and people can and do die if they can't trade, so that's where she's coming from.
Goodness. Well, they might have some issues if they get ten more like her all of a sudden, but she should have no problem getting enough help just on the basis of it being the right thing to do, and she's definitely not going to die of a lack of trade. If she's in that much trouble she can walk into anyone's territory and ask for help; they won't be happy but they'll understand.
Good to know! (She almost wrote "thank you" here and stopped herself.) Mabel doesn't know how she got here so she doesn't know the likelihood of more people like her showing up, unfortunately. Obviously she's the first and only they know about but she doesn't know if other people have ended up other places in the world.
She's gotten distracted from the fruit by this conversation -- she's tentatively going to pick that up again but keep her writing surface handy?
In that case honeysuckle will go see about the soup and whether the others will be joining them.
Which they do!
Mabel will pass out the fruit! Also she will say hello with her writing board; she's probably noticably a little more awkward and not sure what to say now that it's not just her and honeysuckle.
So, (she says, when everyone's settled in with their soup,) she hears that Mabel is from another world, that's pretty interesting.
Yeah! Mabel... didn't know there were other worlds than hers, so she thinks it's interesting to be here! Also, a little confusing. But she does like it here so far!
Did they know about other worlds before or is this new to them too? She's gotten the sense that it is but never actually asked.
It is new! People are going to be very excited about it. And the teleporting - that's new too, and if it's possible at all there should be some way to do it with crafting.
That would be cool! Mabel unfortunately has no idea how she did this -- she has a vague idea something attacked her, or... ate her, or something similar, it wasn't as far as she knows something she did. But also she was in a lot of pain and couldn't see, so she's not sure if this is accurate.