Golden Bird On The Ledge

Gonyaul was down at the docks again today and Voah knew she had maybe half a bell before he returned. She had been out exploring and the sun was about to set. While sneaking around the upper stories of a building she assumed was abandoned, Voah rounded a corner into an alleyway that was laden with lines of rope and cloth. Before she knew it she was upon an open window with thin curtains dancing in the evening wind. Her eyes met those of a small child with skin the color of caramel, dark hair, and big brown eyes. He was snacking on a handful of dates and just looking outside. The boy's eyes grew wide as they saw each other.

"Ahh... nalah." she whispered an Ozainae greeting at him and put up a nervous hand to which he repeated in astonishment.

Then he pointed to her and looked back, calling to an unseen occupant behind him. Voah mummed her mouth and gestured for the boy to stay quiet as she tucked herself against the wall. By the young boy's expression he got the hint, but by then it was too late. A girl of similar age joined the boy at the window. She peeked over and around the sill and her mouth fell open in surprise at the sight of a woman perched outside.

The curious boy ran one hand through his hair then pointed at locks of gold that fell out of Voah's scarf onto her shoulder. Then he said a few quiet Ozainae words she didn't know to the girl beside him. Voah understood that he was denoting the color and the girl chimed in saying something that sounded sweet.

Voah smiled and nodded, slowly recovering from her hunched position. The kids smiled back and the boy offered her a date with his sticky fingers. The young girl, an older sibling most likely, pushed his hand away and turned away from the window out of view.

For a moment, Voah thought she was scolding him for trying to help her but soon the girl returned with a small bowl woven from reeds. It was full of dates. She offered it gently to Voah who smiled graciously and took one.

"Qa qa! H'duk. Yifa t'an." insisted the girl as she pressed the bowl to Voah again. "T'an h'duk."

Voah's heart was melting at the tenderness and warmth of the children's acceptance, even though she was a stranger, a foreigner, and slipping by outside their window.

"Thresil... yifa adiesa an." ~Thanks... for help me.~ said Voah in broken Ozainae.

The children turned round suddenly and Voah heard the sounds of footfalls accompanied by muffled questions from the interior. When the children looked back she was already gone, having ducked stealthily behind some laundry draped over rope for drying. A woman showed up at the window with an accusatory tone, questioning what the two children were up to. All Voah understood was 'rufsiu; bird. That made her smile as she slipped toward she and Gonyaul's latest temporary abode.

Nalah: greetings
Qa: no
H’duk: take
Yifa: for
T’an: you / yourself
Adiesa: help
An: me / I / myself

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