The Mektoubs run

This is a tale written for The Sirens of Atys Guild page.

“For crying out loud, you know hos important these Mektoubs are don’t you ?”

“Yes, but I…”

“There are no excuses. These are the mounts of his royal majesty’s friend
De’Leanna.” It was another preaching coming again, she could feel it as she had
done so many times before.
“They are to be treasured with the utmost respect to show our affection towards
the King and his alike. We must do our best to see to that they get the best
care this side of the lakes!”

“But.. why should these Mektoubs be treated differently just because of their
owners ?”

“What?! Oh please do not give me this dribble about all animals being equal.
What did I just tell you about their owners, as if that would not be reason
enough?!” She said with a firm voice. “It does not matter anyhow, this is how it
is now. And you’d better follow these rules young lady. I do NOT want to see
such behaviour ever again, do you understand me!”

She left the room and slammed the door after her leaving an fierce echo in the
room that died off quite quickly. She was left there all alone in the little
room of the stables which was for the staff. She knew that the rules she had
mentioned was never about to change. Well unless if came from the King himself,
then she would happily bend her knee and accept whatever his words were.

All that she had done was to let all the Mektoubs run together in the compound
as they usually did. She had seen them standing in the booths looking at the
other Mektoubs as they had walked them by , her decision had come when one of
the had tried to walk to the others but found that it was still tied to the
booth. It had made a small jump when it had realized that it was tied and the
log had jumped loose. Luckily she had bee near and was able to calm it down.
She had looked into its eyes and seen how it had twisted its head to it could
see where the others had went, she had loosened its rope and watched as how it
had happily toddled off to the others joining them at the exit to the compound.
It had rained a little when it happened so they had stopped in the doorway
looking out, but it was enough for the Mektoub it seemed as it stood there with
the others waiting for the rain to settle so they could walk outside eating the
fresh grass that was waiting outside. As she had seen this she had also untied
the other Mektoub and as the other one it happily walked to the others and

When the rain had calmed a bit they had all walked outside tasting the grass or
running around stretching their legs and trunks. She had watched them as they
had played, wrestled and eaten together making quite the mess around them as she
had cleaned the stables. She knew that she had to wash them properly so all the
mud went away, but seeing them enjoying their time was reward enough. It was
then it had happened, as she was calling them back she had appeared in the door
and literary dropped her jaw when she had seen the Mektoubs plying. She didn’t
mind the others, she had gotten used to that by now, but the two Mektoubs that
belonged to the royal highness’s friend being all muddy and dirty was more then
she could stand. She had instantly pinched her in the ear dragging her into the
staff’s room lecturing her about their importance.

So now she was there, alone knowing that she had to clean the stables and also
seeing to the Mektoubs. It was no problems, in fact she was looking forward to
it, what was haunting her now was the looks that she would get when she arrived
back again, and that they would last for days before returning to normal again.
It would be hard, but perhaps even so well worth it as she thought of how the
Mektoubs had been enjoying it, and also seeing the little crowd of them standing
in the middle of the stable grunting when they saw her. She grabbed the broom
and started cleaning the booths so she could place them there. It took a little
moment but the company of the Mektoubs kept her spirit up, and their trunks
trying to tickle her or even stealing the broom from her. She smiled and laughed
as they played their little tricks on her.

Suddenly she heard the door open and she suddenly got all stiff knowing whom it
was. She did not even dare to turn around to face the look she knew was awaiting

“Oh my, what a mess they have gotten themselves into this time.” A female voice
said from behind.

It was not the strict voice she had expected, in fact it was not a voice she
recognized at all.
She turned around and saw another girl standing there leaning on one of the
small doors to the booths while looking at the Mektoubs. One of the “royal” ones
walked up to her and placed its trunk around her neck and grunted.

“It seems to have taken a liking to you.” She said as she continued swiping the
booth she was cleaning.

“Haha, yeah it sure has.” the girl replied and petted the Mektoub. “Hey, you
want some help, it looks like you will be working all night if not.”

“Yeah, well uhm I don’t know you though.” She said and stopped brushing the

“Hehe, you can call me Dhelly, right. Nice to meet you what’s-your-name” She
said as she grabbed the other broom and started brushing.

“I am Nad’hine” She said and started swiping the floor again almost done for the
Mektoub to enter.

It did go quicker for them both to get the booths cleaned enough and started to
clean the Mektoubs and even now they played their little games with them,
stealing the sponge or even running off with the bucket of water. It was quite
the laugh for the two girls fighting both the dirt and the Mektoubs at the same
time, something they did with great laughter. It seemed as time flew away and
soon they were done but for one Mektoubs and Nad’hine was gently cleaning off
the last of the mud while Dhelly was feeding the one in the booth next to her.
Suddenly the door opened and some firm steps entered the room. Nad’hine knew
very well who it was now.

“I see that you have managed to clean up the mess you made earlier in a quick
pace. I am glad that they did not see the foolish mistake you’ve done earlier.”
She said as she was coldly sweeping the room with her eyes trying to find the
least thing to nag about.

“What? You mean letting them have a little fun and be with friends. I cannot see
any harm in that.” Dhelly said as she appeared from the little wall separating
the booths. She was smiling broadly.

“But, what are .. you… your highness” The woman said and bowed towards Dhelly.

Nad’hine stood there looking surprised over how she had reacted and Dhelly’s
The woman was still bowing and she gave Nad’hine a look that told her that she
also had to bow to the girl in front of her. Still Nad’hine did not understand
why so she remained surprised and just looked at the show in front of her.

“Bow your insubordinate fool.” The woman said to Nad’hine in a strict voice
trying to subject her.

“My friends does not need to do that, but you seem to be a troublesome Homin. I
think I shall have you continue bowing to me, if you want to keep your job here
that is.” Dhelly said with a firm voice to the woman but Nad’hine could see that
she was almost unable to hold the mask of a laugh.

“As you say your highness.” The woman replied and moved out of the room as soon
as Dhelly made a gesture.

Nad’hine stood there and suddenly the bits fell into place.

“Uhm, Dhelly.. is that.. well. ” She started to stutter…

“yeah, you could say it is short for De’Leanna., hihi. Didn’t you know?”
De’Leanna said and grinned towards Nad’hine.

“No.. I haven’t seen you before.. and I was not allowed to accept these Mektoubs
from you. I was not honourable enough according to her to do the hand over.”
Nad’hine said and lowered her head.

“Haha, well that explains it. Anyhow not honourable enough?” She said and walked
to the Mektoub in the booth standing on the opposite side of Nad’hine. “From
what I have seen you caring for these animals you are most honourable to accept
them, that is why I was sneaking in here to be honest. I didn’t expect anyone
being around at this hour so I went here to see to them. It seems as many spoils
them just because they know who I am.”

De’Leanna was looking at the Mektoub and then back at Nad’hine.

“But I saw that you spoiled them for what they really are, travel companions.
They are animals yes but to you they are more then so. You treat them with the
same honour as you want to be treated and that , my friend, makes you honourable
indeed to accept them.” She said as was suddenly serious. “You know what
Nad’hine; things are about to change.”

Already the next day a letter arrived to Nad’hine; she was no longer working in
the stables. In fact she was from now on running it and it was appointed
honorary stable for his royal majesty and friends. With one condition; that the
animals were given the same treatment no matter whom their owner was.