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Of digging and dragonhealing

Time: Afternoon, day 9, month 1, turn 23.
Place: Herb Garden, Fort Weyr.
Players: Fiorella, Jantha.
Scene: Jan is working out her frustrations in the garden when Fiorella comes to talk about dragonhealing.

It's a good job that mud isn't sentient, because the soil of the herb garden would really be suffering. Stones, too, are having a hard time. Jantha is in her patch of garden, digging with murderous ferocity as she turns over the earth to two spits' depth. From time to time, she stops and bends to pick up a larger pebble and fling it onto the small pile of them that's gathering at the back of the patch. One might almost think she had a different target in mind.

The fact that its sunny might be enough to find Fiorella in the gardens. Then again its a place she found herself often enough before her time at the hold, so why should now be so much different. Its generally a quiet place, particularly in this time of the year. That might be why the sound of the activity over there is noticed. "I didn't think there was anything that was planted in winter..." she comments lightly as she comes upon Jantha.

Jantha turns sharply as she hears the words - apparently she wasn't aware of Fiorella's approach. Her expression is furious, but softens immediately when she sees who it is. "Fiorella." She takes a moment to gather herself. "A few things are, but I'm not planting today. "You do it to improve the ground. If you turn over the soil in winter, and then let it lie through the cold part of the year, it breaks it up ready for spring. You can dig in compost, too." There is indeed a compost heap nearby.

Fiorella ohs, that first glimpse of the rider's expression not lost on her. She does turn a hint of a smile back to the woman though. "I see," she comments on the task. She has learned a bit about plants, but clearly nothing pertaining to the soil they're grown in. "Well at least it's a 'nice' day for it." Nice of course being a relative term. "It's not snowing..." Like the snowstorm they ran into each other in the last time they'd talked.

Jantha gives a short, dry laugh, then takes a deep breath. "That was a foul day, wasn't it? An absolute blizzard, and really slippery underfoot, too. We had a string of dragons coming into the infirmary with bumps and grazes from bad landings." She rests the spade on the ground, keeping it upright with a hand on top of the handle.

Fiorella nods her agreement. Not the most pleseant day by any means. "I'm glad I didn't have to go anywhere," she comments, "Sounds like it kept you busy though." A mittened hand lifts to brush a lock of hair from her face. "Hopefully the rest of the winter won't be so bad for injuries, but if you need an assistant, with new weyrlings in a couple months and everything..."

Jantha winces, not much, but visibly nonetheless. "As it happens, the weyrlings will be somebody else's problem," she says, keeping her tone deliberately light. "I may even have more time to spend on the dragonhealing - who knows. But that sounds as if you were making an offer." She smiles, and it seems genuine. "Are you still interested in learning some dragonhealing, then? It's not my say-so, ultimately, but I'm sure T'zhar wouldn't say no if you wanted to work with me. Though," The smile fades a little, "I shall also have to check with my wingleader how much time I shall have for dragonhealer work. Forgive me for being so vague: things are a little unsettled."

Fiorella blinks given that information, but she doesn't comment. It does explain that first glance in some ways though. "I think.. well I'd like to try, yes," she replies. "I mean if you don't.." but she cuts herself off, lips pulling into a bit more of smile. "I understand," she adds, nodding at the mention of others who would need to be asked and that fact of 'unsettled'. "There have been plenty of changes lately, that's for sure."

"There have indeed," Jantha agrees. There's another pause, but it seems she's not going to be drawn on the changes. "I'm sorry I can't be more definite about it, but I will talk to both those people at the first opportunity." She hesitates for a moment, then smiles. "You said you were interested in herbs, didn't you? Come and have a look at my latest prize." She turns, indicating a wooden frame with glass panels over the top, then walks in that direction. "I had a frame built to try and get some of the more tender plants through the winter."

Fiorella nods. "I can wait," she replies. She's waiting this long in thinking about it and she's certainly waited longer for other things to happen as of late. "I was," she agrees about the herbs, green eyes glancing in the direction given. "How is working so far? It would be nice if some of those warm weather plants could be kept easier here."

"Well, let's see, shall we? I went to Ista a few sevendays ago, and found something I wanted." Jantha moves round to the other side of the frame and peers through the tilted glass. Underneath is a twiggy item, a foot or so high, with stems of an unusual blue-grey shade and spiky tops, not unlike a tiny skybroom. "Istan dogwood. Have you come across it?"

Fiorella hmms more or less to herself as she follows. "Yeah?" she starts, waiting for her to continue the story even as she moves around to peer at the strange looking plant in question. "No," she replies with a shake of her head, turning to look over towards the rider.

"Istan dogwood," Jantha explains, still eyeing the small plant critically. "You can chop it fine and infuse it in oil, which makes an excellent laxative for those with sensitive stomachs. Unfortunately," she adds with a roll of the eyes, "that whole plant would only make half a dose for a full-grown brown or bronze. They're supposed to be about three times the size. Fortunately, we usually only need to use it with very young weyrlings, but I shall still try to find some more, or propagate that one. Maybe you'd like to come, if I can fit in another foraging trip?"

Fiorella nods as she listens. "That could cause problems. I mean with it being hard to find here and needing so much, but..." Another nod as she makes an 'ahh' sort of sound. "That helps at least," but its still easy enough to see where it would be needed. "Me?" she inquires, given that question, blinking. Of course her, there's not anyone else there, but the question still stands. "I mean, yes. If you've time to work it in. That could be interesting."

"If I can get some to harden up enough to grow outside the frame, that would be better," Jantha muses. "Otherwise, maybe I could do a deal with an Istan healer - there are plants that don't grow well there because of the heat. Anyway," she smiles, and there's a hint of finality in her tone, "that's a problem for another day. I /will/ talk to T'zhar and my wingleader, and I'll tell you what they say. All right?"

Fiorella nods, sending a glance back towards the sappling, considering that idea. "That could work too," she agrees, her attention pulled back to Jantha at her assurance that she'll get back to her on that offer of assistance. "Thank you," she adds with a smole. "I'll let you get back to things though, I should be heading back anyway."

"Clear skies, then." Jantha smiles, and returns to her trench, spade in hand, maintaining the pleasant expression. Within a few seconds, however, she's digging again, every bit as furiously as before.