Reggie Nutbringer, Warrior Squirrel

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Offline Kedamono

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Reggie Nutbringer, Warrior Squirrel
« on: August 03, 2018, 11:56:03 PM »
One of the ideas for the book that didn't make the cut, Reggie Nutbringer is a Red Squirrel and leader of the small community of other Squirrels, Rabbits, and, surprisingly, Owls, in Almost Canada. They call it "Safe Havens" and it's where Capital A critters go to live a safe life. Mostly safe. There are still a lot of animals in the Almost Canadian forests, and some consider them delicious.

Which is why it's a walled village. A hundred yards by one hundred fifty yards, it's a section of the forest that Reggie and his fellow Animals carved out and turned it into their own. The village walls are made out of stone, concrete, wood, whatever they could afford to buy and either put in themselves, or by contractors they paid to do the work. The outer wall is twenty feet from the inner wall, and is ten feet tall. The inner wall is fifteen feet tall and is more solid. In between the two is a no-amimal's land of barbed wire and deep, water filled trenches. Despite that, rats, snakes, and other vermin have found their way through the defenses. They are mostly caught in live traps that if they were Animals, it wouldn't be a problem to get out of. The animals however...

There is a good trade in leather goods. Their rat leather gloves are silky soft and far more durable than kid gloves.

Safe Havens is a multi-level community. The Squirrels have build treehouses and path ways linking them, but with stairs so that the Rabbits can come up to visit, or in case of attack. The Owls live up higher and provide protection to the village at night. The best description of Safe Havens is "An Ewok Village with Hobbit holes at the ground."

The other big difference is that not only are their Rabbits and Squirrels, there are rabbits and squirrels. Yes, the lower case, non-sentient animals live in Safe Havens. They are called the "Forbearers" or, when they don't listen and get all stubborn, "Breeders." They protect their animal kin as they are the only real source of new Animals for the village. And they view them as all possible Animals, even with their short life spans. (10-12 years for the squirrels, 8-12 years for rabbits) The village was founded 30 years ago by Reggie and several Squirrels and Rabbits. They also brought with them their Forbearers, all of which have passed on.

There are all kinds of breeds living in the village, from the Grizzled Giant Squirrel of Sri Lanka, to Marmots who live with the Rabbits. Rabbits are just as diverse and are well represented in the village. Keeping the various animal versions from hurting each other, they are either kept separate, or raised together in creches. A couple of breeds just don't get along, so they are restricted to certain portions of the village. They also regulate mating of the animals. They are well aware of Malthusian problems of unrestricted breeding.

The Owls provide aerial security and get delicious meals of cooked rat and snake, with the occasional badger. Oh, and cats. Cats and cats are not welcome in Safe Havens. This is made evident by the cat fur armor the warriors wear. Reggie wears a fine calico cape.

Now, Reggie is only 45 and is not the oldest Squirrel in the village, but he's the only with book learning, at least at first. He went to school in Windsor and realized that he needed to do something to protect his brethren. He petitioned the government for a piece of land suitable for both Squirrels and Rabbits. His fellow class mate was a Lop-Eared Rabbit by the name of Harvey, who also came to the same realization. They were joined by Oscar Owl, a Horned Owl that admitted that he liked cooked food over... ugh, raw. "I ate a mouse once. Once! I prefer my food seasoned and cooked." The three found recruits and the lot of them, with some Mounties for support, headed out and claimed their land.

The first few years were a struggle, with losses to hawks, ospreys, eagles that would swoop in and snatch people right up from the ground or branch. The Safe Havens now has a bird netting "roof" over most of the village. The Owls have towers that poke out of the netting, giving them access. A power line keeps the village electrified, and they have branched out with farms and ranching. What do they ranch... rats and mice. There's a market for them by Animal Predators who don't want to go through the disgusting problem of eating them raw. Canned rat and mouse are available in many store shelves.

Reggie, Harvey, and Oscar are the founding fathers of Safe Havens and are assisted by a fine cadre of like minded Animals. If you want to visit, call ahead so you can arrange a time and a date. The only humans they don't worry about are the Royal Mail. They stop by once a week, and yes, they are aware of the fact that the arrangement could lead to infiltration. They demanded and made friends with the group that shows up. If one of them can't make it, and a replacement is sent, he or she needs to be vetted by the community ahead of time.

The village has restaurants, shops, theaters, and places for the Forbearers to enjoy themselves. There are the tanning yards, and other industry suitable for tiny hands and close up vision. And deep underground, there are the catacombs. Those who pass on, are given a service and then respectfully cremated, their ashes collected into jars and then placed into the catacombs.

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Enkeli

Re: Reggie Nutbringer, Warrior Squirrel
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2018, 01:57:59 PM »
It's not so much that Reggie wasn't interesting but the other character you listed for Almost Canada was better. Overall the characters you suggested were generally unusual making them all possibilities, I just chose the best of two good choices when you gave me multiple options.

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Offline Kedamono

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Re: Reggie Nutbringer, Warrior Squirrel
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2018, 03:48:11 PM »
I know, that's why I said he didn't make the cut. Not that he was rejected. He's still interesting enough that I had to share him and his tribe.