I’m rudely awakened by quick slaps on the face. Tap tap tap. They don’t really hurt, but it’s still enough to wake me up. Tap tap tap. It’s Cyril. I look at the clock; it’s 4 in the morning.
“Yawn, what’s up, Cyril?” I quietly ask.
To answer me, the Woosel pulls my hand at my sleeve to the edge of the bed. I think he wants me to follow him. I get out of the bed to look where he leads me. Cyril moves below the bed, next to the night pot.
Oh… so he has been toilet-trained. I open the night pot.
“Tell me when you’re done.”
I sit on the bed and wait. After several minutes, I feel something tapping my legs and I close the night pot.
“You’re a smart one,” I praise Cyril and go back to bed.
“Mittens, remind me to show Cyril the toilet in the shuttle.”
“I will do that,” Mittens answers.
I wake up again after sunrise. Rowan is already awake and has changed into his new clothes.
“Good morning, Aster,” he greets me.
“Good morning, Rowan!”
I get up and quickly change. As I’m done, we go downstairs for breakfast.
Cassidy, the proprietress, greets us and leads us to a table. A few minutes later, she brings us our food. It’s fried eggs, sunny side up. Of course, there’s some bread with it.
“Some ketchup or sweetened Greenfruit sauce would go well with it,” I mumble.
“Don’t you normally eat fried eggs with salt?” Rowan asks.
“Maybe, but I prefer ketchup.”
I glance at Cyril and ask: “Come to think of it, what do Woosels normally eat?”
Looking like it’s a mustelid, I would think they are carnivores, but how would they hunt with their stubby paws?
“From what I heard, Woosels are omnivores,” Rowan answers, “they can eat everything.”
“It’s best if you don’t put spices in the food you give them,” the proprietress states as she puts a bowl on the table, “I didn’t think I’d ever get to present the royal Woosel the food we make.”
Cyril carefully takes a whiff at the bowl. Since it seems fine, he starts eating.
“About Cyril,” I address Cassidy, “yesterday, everywhere we went, people seemed to immediately recognize Cyril. How well-known is he?”
“So its name is Cyril? It’s a well-known fact, the royal family keeps Woosels. Woosels aren’t that rare; so many influential people have tried domesticating them. Only the ones kept by the royal family are said to be loyal and obedient. Other Woosels seem just to follow anyone that feeds them.”
“So as long as we don’t say where he’s from, it could also just be a wild one?” I ask.
“Yes,” Cassidy lowers her voice, “only those close to the royal family know the royal breed has deep black eyes. The wild ones have dark brown ones.”
I look at Cyril. Just a Cassidy says, he has deep black eyes.
“The previous Woosel your elder siblings showed me didn’t have those dark mittens,” Cassidy continues, “they had light mittens.”
“I see, thanks for telling us.”