Tangled Garden-Gnome Brown Kefteth from Kitschy Yard Ornament Egg

Kitschy Yard Ornament Egg
The generic perfection of plastic molds this gaudy egg, pressed smooth
with but the barest seam of roughness circling it lengthwise.
Tacky-bright and flamingo-pink, its colors range from near-red to pale
pastel and back again, swooping in a feathered pattern before plunging
lock-kneed into the base's grassy green. A black-stroked bill twists
likewise down as if to peck, and beady knobs glare at whoever dares the

Kitschy Yard Ornament Egg melts, pink and green blurring as the beady
glare slides lax; chips fly off, and in a last lunge that bill falls to
the sands beside the small, element-worn brown dragonet.

Tangled Garden Gnome-Brown Dragonet
It's a jungle out there, a garden gone amok that only such a gnomish
dragonet could so enjoy; even the greedy, greeny shadows that tangle his
craggy limbs do not so much threaten as weather his natural clay-cast
brown. All the elements know him — those side-set, smoky eyes, the
stone-grayed wings lent an unconsciously airy bent, the liquid curve of
his spine all ablossom with blue forget-me-nots — even those deft
talons, however sharp and dark, seem but to soften his padding stride.

Earth… Water… Wind… Fire… but now there is a fifth element:
/you/. Spirits link even with that light touch, an invitation as
unwavering as it is unassuming. Come in! The earthy brown dragonet has
found his dreamer, his wisher, his liar, his hope-er, his pray-er, his
magic bean buyer. Come in! And together — » together « — you will
dream and wish and lie and hope, spinning stories as only lifemates
can. Come in, come in!

» My name is Kefteth! «

Invitation (Shel Silverstein)

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

Yes, come in, and don't forget your porridge!

So who is Kefteth? He's a bundle of eccentric confidence, a shy
daredevil who's still got a whimsically pragmatic streak. He's your
good luck charm, your joie de vivre, your eager — and participatory —
audience, and deep down inside, your spirit's drumbeat.

Kefteth is taken from 'keftet', a type of journey/travel food in Louise
Marley's books about Nevya. It's as necessary to survival in the
snow-laden mountains as the warming 'quiru' light is, and yet it's not
nearly as obvious and glamorous. It's more earthy, more natural. And
so is Kefteth. Plus, the name just /sounds/ right. :) He's earthy but
light — if not exactly airy — and there's a whimsical quality to the
name: we say it KEF-teth, kefkefkef. Go, go, go! Could have some
'ffftt' in there, too. He'll be right here, right with you, in the
right place at the right time. (Or the wrong place at the right time,

When crafting Kefteth, we somehow got stuck on flowers and gardens. Big
flowers and tangled gardens. We are not talking your diligent gardener
here. We're talking a combination of bold and shy, secretive and
blatant, reserved and daredevilish. Can you say paradox? :D
Unpredictable, maybe; but he's not mercurialthank Faranth! He's taken
from two different inspirational paintings: The Tangled Garden by
Carmichael (a famous Canadian guy). It's a relatively small oil
painting all thick and lush with rich, vibrant colors breaking through
over the backdrop of lush green and brown: very very evocative of a
walled garden gone wild… and beautifully so. Oh, oh, /oh/ but it's a
reason to go for a picnic. Ants welcome. The second painting is by
Georgia O'Keeffe, called Jimson Weed. The tangle of leaves combines
with some big and bold white flowers (three jimsons and a trumpet) that
still have subtle shadings missed until you look more closely. They're
more complicated than they appear, but those shadings actually /boost/
the seeming simplicity. Kefteth's good at being subtle
unless he's
being blatantly obvious, of course—and he's by nature a bit
secretive… some things only Rhali needs to know about.

Kefteth is a garden statue consumed by nature. He's elemental: fire,
earth, air and water all tangled together (the earth of his hide and
extremities, the water in his fluid motions, wind in his daring,
effortless flight and airy wings, and fire in the smoke of those eyes)
and finally completed with that necessary fifth element: spirit. You.
Rhali. His Rhali. And when he's feeling especially chipper (or
punch-drunk), his rah-rah-Rhali! Physically he's kinda stocky, kinda
blunt, kinda craggy with his once-brightly painted hide weathered away
to that beloved green-grey moss overtone of garden ornaments that have
lived too long in the garden. Or just long enough. They have ceased to
be stone, and have become part of the cycle of the seasons. The
garden/greenery aspect tangles up his legs begore thinning out. Then it
breaks into early blossoms around the neck, maybe up under his chin,
along the arch of wings, a sprig under his tail. Such that he can, when
curled, garland Rhali with his entirety. His muzzle and wings are that
lovely stone-weathered gray of old ornaments, faded and yet almost
brought more to life than they were before. There's a light loaminess
to him that doesn't let him be a stick in the mud, though. He's
clay-cast, but not quite that heavy, and who could resist those

He's a smaller brown, and will always be so: he's a gnome, after all!
At least he's not all wrinkled. Just weathered. When he gets older
he'll undoubtedly look more gray than brown… but that's a long time
away, so why worry about it now? Meanwhile, his neck will stretch
first, the body hurrying to catch up and finally tail lengthening enough
to look pretty proportional (despite some /serious/ problems with
thick-tail before it gets long enough to do the job itself). He's not a
klutz like Theronth occasionally is. He's not elegance personified like
Veluth. He just… pads. Easy. Comfortable. Not too conspicuously,
and /always/ quietly. Pad, pad, pad. One would think he was declawed.

He likes to move around, but when he's stopped, he's stopped. Frozen
almost — statue! A lot of people might be surprised at discovering
that dragon really is awake, especially since he likes the shadows. As
well as he blends… look out. See, unless he's in the middle of
something daredevilish, he'd rather not be seen. He's kinda secretive
that way. He doesn't hide, he just holds still. And isn't that
effective? Well, some of the time. When people are used to dragons
napping wherever they chance to land.

But he's not always going to be on the ground, is he? He's a /dragon/!
And dragons fly. Why? Because that's what dragons do. And it's
especially up-up-up! in the air that his daring streaks will come into
play. He's got medium-sized wings that aren't especially talented at
any particular kind of flighthe'll switch off with what he decides he
likes at the moment
but which similarly don't make him horrible at any
particular kind of flight. He's a good flier.

The thing with flight is that he doesn't believe in the impossible.
He's firmly of the opinion that it's only when you're /told/ something's
impossible that it truly becomes that way; he might try to avoid
listening to the weyrlingmaster sometimes, closing his ears, blocking
out the "You can't do that." No, no, no. How does /she/ know? Has she
tried it, or is she just going by what she was told when she was a
weyrling? You'll need to be careful of this. It makes you one of the
high-risk weyrlings, especially when it comes to betweening. And he's
not above cheating if he really wants something: he might pop
::between:: during a mating flight to get ahead. Granted, he could get
himself even father off course if the female veers away; it could also
prove dangerous if another male is too close to where he comes out.

His morality may be sometimes questionable, but Kefteth is not evil, not
at all. He just has spirit. Daring. It surprises people—and dragons,
and firelizards, and runners… possibly even Rhali with her habit of
catering to people and changing to what she thinks they want. He won't
do that for anyone but you, and sees no point in you wearing yourself
out over such things. Have a little skepticism! Or if nothing else,
self-confidence: confidence that if you behave in your own manner, you
aren't necessarily going to get in trouble; confidence that life will go
on after disappointments (and if the show's missed, /he's/ always here);
and confidence that there's a whole 'nother world around the corner.
Let's find it. It's the idea of the gnome, so well-suited to the earth:
he comes, goes, disappears, is always doing whatever it is gnomes do,
and yet… what do gnomes do? How can you predict it? Why do you even
need to know? There's no logic that's immediately discernable,
especially when he seems so unassuming the rest of the time. So quiet.
So… bashful.


And isn't that as surprising as the daredevil. But he is. There's a
shy undertone to him, a delightful naivete that others might zoom
toward: he gets embarrassed over things, particularly flirtation. His
tail will curl around his legs, his wings cloak his body, and he freezes
in place while his mindcolor blushes bright red. This isn't to say he
doesn't like girls, he just doesn't quite know how to act, particularly
when old friends start getting… /weird/. He doesn't quite remember
that they'll go back to normal, that this won't last forever, that it's
happened before. Nope. But despite awkward feelings, he'll fly after
them. He won't be the romantic lover trying to woo them with purple
passion, though. He's flying because… well, he's not sure why. But
there's something here that sounds good. And who knows where the flight
will take him: his daredevil side may win out with a fancy trick (or a
stupid ::between:: maneuver), he may hang back just the slightest bit
too long with indecision, or he might even get sidetracked by the
competitionm-what is that guy doing? Would it work for him?

If he catches, he'll be utterly delighted and yet
what-the-shells-do-I-do-now after the thrill of flight is over. If the
female he catches is a clinger post-flight, he'll get squirmy. He likes
his privacy, Rhali is all he needs, and what does she think she's
doing? » Um, um, um… I'll talk to you later. « If he catches a
gold, he wouldn't be a sand-sitter, but there's an added element to the
whole thing: fatherhood. It'd intrigue him, draw him back again and
again, trying to especially see any resemblance in the eggs and
dragonetsm-maybe even in the newborns' names. Is there any resemblance
to Rhali? And of course Rhali's genes would be in the whole mix—he's
part of her, she's part of him, thus whatever comes of him also comes from
her. Species limitations mean nothing to him.

Kefteth will be indifferent to dirt. Dirt is of the earth, dirt is
natural, why does it need to be swept away? It feels so good against
his belly, especially if you add some good rustling leaves. Besides,
you can find such treasures in the dirt: crickets, slugs, worms, funny
crawly things, hideous but delightful monsters. At the same time,
though, baths are wonderful. Baths are of water, of cleansing and
purifying. Just figure that he'll alternately be a very clean dragon
and a very dirty dragon. There's not much middle ground, because he
won't try to stay clean after he's been washed and oiled. He does like
his nooks, though. A hidey-hole weyr that's just the right size would
suit him best, a couch that /fits/. He doesn't sprawl, he doesn't tuck
himself up, he just… lies down. You can't really tell when he's awake

or asleep by looking; it'll only be the dozing feel of his mind that
confirms the snooze.

Wherry will be Kefteth's chosen meal if he /has/ to choose, if he wants
that just-right last bite, but he'll go for anything that movesand not
always from the air. If he's on the ground and has finished one animal,
he's not necessarily going to get all the way back up there for another
stoop. He might also try to kill two with one drop, and if he's got
extra, he'll share
after he's done. He especially likes listening in
when you eat, though. All those /flavors/! Pity they're not meat.

Kefteth likes sharing lots of things with you, and music is one of the
biggies. He's your best and most reliable audience, but at the same
time, he's not a connoisseur. He doesn't want to just listen. He wants
to /participate/. On his terms, of course. Duets are out of the
question. Harmonies? Forget it. He'll jump in where he wants to jump
in, which is usually on the chorus. He'll drop out again for the verse,
perhaps mumbling a word or two here and there before chiming back in as
the familiar words strike home. He'll have serious problems with songs
that have multiple choruses or minor changes, and play stumble-catchup.
Good thing you're the only person who can hear him, eh? The other
dragons might have something to say about it at times, but it's not as
if he broadcasts to the world. At least he's in tune, if not time.

This love isn't limited to songs. Stories… he's the one interrupting
with "what happens next?" or if he's already heard the story (and
remembers it, which is rather hard to predict) will jump in ahead of
cue. He knows, he knows! He has a curious love of things both /old/
and /new/. A story's great no matter if youbve heard it ten million
times, but /oh/ that was a new twist! Do it again! Or even if it's
not… there's something new in it for him.

Kefteth is the foundation for your daydreams, a dragon steady enough to
/try/ to think through things but at the same time having a daring
streak that lets it all out. He likes trying to look at things from
multiple points of viewfor after all, perspective is everythingbut
can get caught jumping to conclusions even as Rhali lets her tongue get
ahead of her brain. He's still your good luck charm, though, a peculiar
mixture of pragmatism and whimsy that's unpredictable but not quite
mercurial, lighthearted, (usually) kind, and ever so quirky.

He loves your performing ability, but doesn't care much for needing the
audience: he lives for the performance — your performance — itself,
and it can still be a performance even if no one sees. Some of the best
inspiration comes out that way: a grassy hilltop where the two of you
are bonding, a sudden shower that catches you out on sweeps… Joy is
where you find it, so bellow out that song and let the rain (and
Kefteth) be your audience, the sun (and Kefteth), the flowers (and
Kefteth), the trees… and /Kefteth/.


Think of the soft, thudding heartbeat: it's always there, but you don't
usually hear it unless you listen carefully. Unless you pay attention.
Kefteth is always there, his carved affection as obvious and omnipresent
and /necessary/ as your own heartbeat. And when it beats faster, when
adrenaline courses through your bond, it'll flush and grow as warm and
delicious as the applause at the last act. You definitely don't want to
shut the other out; it would be like denying life, so cold! For if
nothing else, there is /life/ in his mind: that skiffed vibrancy
well-matches the crackling orange of a new-lit fire, the airy rustle of
wind-blown leaves, the rushing blue of channeled water, and the earthy
green earnest that holds it all together.

His voice is a burry baritone: it goes smooth to prickly and back again,
a vibrato all the way and just a bit squeaky when peeved. He won't
stick to any one vocal, ranging from a thrum to a hoot and back through
a rumble as he feels like it. He does tend to go for the quieter, less
bugly sounds, but every now and then… you know what happens. As
elemental as he is, he can't truly — no matter what he thinks — hide
his feelings. He just ain't good at it.

But he's sure good at loving you, and we hope you'll love him as much as
we loved creating him, Rhali. :)


Egg Desc: Kh'rys
Dragon Desc: K'lora & Arien
Dragon Name: Kh'rys
Inspiration: Kh'rys & K'lora, with Arien!
…plus some judicious stealing of ideas from Gretchen
and Ilaria. :)

… And one more poem that didn't quite fit in the inspiration but which
still fits /him/ …

Alice (Shel Silverstein)

She drank from a bottle called DRINK ME
And up she grew so tall,
She ate from a plate called TASTE ME
And down she shrank so small.
And so she changed, while other folks
Never tried nothin' at all.

Enjoy, Rhali! We love you! :)

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