Dragon Swim 101

Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.
The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.
Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

The summer is dragging on in Xanadu, making the Weyr hot. It's definitely approaching those dog days in which it's far more preferable to stay inside of air conditioned placed than it is going outside and doing…anything. Very few people have that luxury. Among those who don't are the Weyrlings, whose duties and chores can sometimes feel never-ending and tedious, especially in these first weeks and month. And speaking of duties, a new notice was posted some days ago on the barrack's board, notifying a list of Weyrlings and their lifemates to meet on the shore of Lake Caspian.

Molli is here, a short-in-stature AWLM who has been at this for about three turns now. She looks to be in her mid to late twenties. She's of average height with her black hair cut into a boy-cut style. Currently, she's dressed in a swimsuit! It's a vintage-style polkadot one-piece that she adorns, blue with white dots. She stands bare-footed in the sand with a clipboard in hand. Her dragon, Nyruth, a small green with a sort of mottled hide lays nearby, watching as various Weyrlings begin to arrive with their lifemates. Most are dressed in shorts and shirts, some in waterwear.

Wensith is one who is among the first of the weyrlings to enter the area, the blue bounding in enthusiastically, his head turning to watch his much slower weyrling approach. "I'm coming. You expect me to do anything more than slump in? I'm sharding exhausted after cleaning up after you all day, Wens." The weyrling's shoulders slump heavily, his hair has been cut. A point which he's still getting used to, a hand rubs absently at the back of his head, frowning slightly.

Check, check. Molli checks off pairs as they arrive, nodding to herself. "You there!" she calls to one, looking him up and down. "Didn't you read the fine print? Water activity day! Dressing to the nines isn't quite going to work." The Weyrling, who is indeed overdressed, turns beet red. Molli waves a hand. "You'll be in the next round. Go back and check your afternoon duties!" She chuckles as she walks towards the rest of the group, inspecting dragons at a glance. "Hey there, Wensith. Enthused as usual, I see?" The blue earns a grin. "Now, where is your…ah!" She perks as she spies Ka'ro. "There he is! Perk up, Weyrling. Today, you get a slight break from chores!"

"And then I'll have more chores after when Wensith makes more of a mess of things." Shoulders slump and Ka'ro lets out an ehausted sigh. It's hard work keeping up with the blue, after all. Wensith, however, has his head set on the water. He lets out a little croon, striding forward which earns a slow shake of Ka'ro's head. "She didn't say you could go in yet, Wens. You're so impatiet."

"Probably!" answers Molli, "That is, if you continue that way of thinking. Remember, your thoughts are also your dragon's thoughts. If you expect them to be troublesome, that's exactly what you'll get! At this stage, they're very impressionable." She moves on to check a few more dragons and Weyrlings, stopping to briefly chat to a few just as she did to Ka'ro. And then, finally, everyone is here and accounted for. "Excellent!" she says, setting her clipboard aside. "Good afternoon, everybody! Welcome to Dragon Swim Class, 101. By a show of hands, have any of you tried allowing your lifemate in the water yet?" she asks, looking around.

Ka'ro sighs quietly, closing his eyes and just deciding not to say anything at all. He slumps onto the ground, pulling his legs tightly to his chest. "Hard to keep him from the water. It was impossible." Ka'ro mutters quietly towards the weyrlingmaster, watching the blue. It's probably all that keeps the little blue from the water, that constant vigilance. He shifts impatienty in his spot, perhaps doing a little wiggle as he jitters from one leg to the next.

A few hands go up, some a bit guiltily. "W-were we not supposed to?" asks Mei, looking to her own green unsurely. AWLM Molli beams at them all. "It's absolutely fine for you to have explored the water with your lifemate!" she says encouragingly. "As they grow, you'll find out some of the things they are fond of, and many of the things they aren't. Almost from the moment she hatched, my Nyruth was fascinated with the lake. Now, it's common assumption that all dragons know how to swim." She makes a face. "Eeeeeh, yes and no. They may have the instinct, but some are stronger than others. I believe it's important that young dragons are exposed to water and become familiar with handling themselves within it. You never know where you'll be tapped, and some wings, like Galaxy for example, may require you and your lifemate to be able to maneuver yourselves in deep water." She claps her hands together. "Now. Other than for search and rescue training purposes, why would swimming be beneficial for young dragons?"

Ka'ro closes his eyes, letting most of the converstations wash over him. He's listening, really, but the weyrling is rather exhausted. He leans lightly upon Wensith, his fingers absently rubbing the blue's headknobs. "It helps strengthen their muscles." Ka'ro offers up, "It's good for that." That he knows, nodding his head absently.

"Exactly right!" Molli says, turning to Ka'ro. "Exercise: One of the many important things for you to do with your lifemate. The first of which being, of course, to bond with them. Build the foundation of a good relationship that will last a lifetime. Swimming helps to strengthen both: The muscles and the bond. Play is very important for a young dragon, so don't forget that they need that outlet too. And so, with that being said… Nyruth, if you'd please.." The mottled green croons a note and then stands up, revealing a mega-sized ball that's been hidden beside her. "Today, you will swim and play! You're fortunate to have had a going-into-summer hatching. This lesson isn't so fun in the winter.." Brr!

Ka'ro purses his lips slighly as he listens to the weyrlingmaster, tilting his head to the side as his eyes flicker to his blue. Concern flows through his face for a moment but he quickly shakes his head, turning his gaze back to the woman as the ball is offered. He arches a brow, "Well, looks like you'll be having some fun." Ka'ro mumbles absently to himself. And Wensith gives a little excited leap as the ball is offered, "No, you can't play with it yet. Others want to play with it too, Wens."

There is another green moving on towards the water, a bugle escapes Tahryth and then there is a splash as she dives into the water… Well hopefully the lesson part of this is over as a certain AWLM's dragon is already getting started on the swiming part. Idrissa is making her way on towards the beach, she is well a bit late but there are reasons behind such things. "Hey… Sorry for being late." This said while she waves to the ones here and is soon here next to Molli's side. The new greenrider is wearing a dark green bikini, and really why not? It is nice out and she loves the water might as well make the best of it. Though it does show off the scars she has across her shoulders, upper arms and right elbow, old and slightly weathered as she's had them for a while and for anyone in the know they are claw and bite marks.

"Correction," says Molli as she pauses near Ka'ro again. "We will all be having fun." The swimsuit clad AWLM gives the young man an arched brow look. "Two minds, one thought, remember? Now, since you seem so ready and rearin' to go, Weyrling Ka'ro, how about you and Wensith be the group leader today? This ball will need to be shared. Tossed, batted, and passed from dragon to dragon while in the water. But, don't let the current take it out to sea, or it'll be lost forever!" Or rather, until Nyruth flies out to retrieve it, ha! "You will not be on your dragons today, but you will be able to communicate with your lifemates from the shallows. Encourage them. Direct them. But most of all, have fun with them." She pauses as Idrissa arrives, and the more senior AWLM greets her warmly. "You're just in time for the best part!" she answers, smiling.

Ka'ro sighs quietly, "Yeah, alright, c'mon, Wens. We're having fun, apparently." As if the blue needed convincing! Wensith bugiles happily, charing into the water as soon as he is able, sending waves and water everywhere as he makes his way in. Ka'ro moves a bit lower, wading into the water with a resigned look upon his face, far from the happy-go-lucky candidate he had been before he impressed. "I'm not being a grump. If you hadn't kept me up all morning cleaning up after you, I might be more up for this sort of thing."

Idrissa tilts her head while letting her arms fold before her while she stands next to Molli. A soft smile is sent to the other and she nods. "Good to know." She offers softly while Tahryth is off in the water for a spell still it seems. A glance is offered to Ka'ro and she lifts her head slightly once the two finally go into the water. "So far so good?" This offered to Molli.

Nyruth uses her nose to bounce the ball ahead and into the water. «Do not drown, dragonlings!» she coos to them all. «There is still so much to learn and do and see. Today cannot be your last day!» And she says it so…cheerfully, too! Apparently playing the role of lifeguard, the green trots into the water, a little slower than Wensith, but just as eager as he to be in the depths. Other dragons soon follow suit. Mei's green Sukith and Xha'il's brown Cimaanth are next in, splashing up water. The Weyrlings gather near Ka'ro. "I don't think Sukith is much of a swimmer.." Mei says worriedly over to her Weyrlingmates. Xha'il snickers to Ka'ro. "Up all night again?"

Molli peers over at Idrissa. "Will you have Tahryth keep watch over the weaker swimmers too?" she requests. "And…mm. So far so good for most. There are some who are still a little…less than confident in their lifemate's abilities!"

Wensith gives a little bounce in the water, possibly getting the dragons and any weyrlings that may be around him soaked. He doesn't seem to care though, «Throw it! Thow it over here! I'l bounce it!» Wensith calls eagerly towards the green, letting out a cheerful warble of excitement. Ka'ro sighs quietly, nodding his head at the question, "Well, you saw the mess last night. I got maybe a couple of minutes of rest before he was up again this morning at it."

Idrissa nods to Molli as she glances out towards the water. "Sure thing, she's watching them right now somewhere out there." Her dragon is strange at times, don't try to figure this out anyone. As for the rest of what is said a soft sigh escapes her. "Yes.. It's a bit troublesome really." She offers softly while her gaze drifts to Ka'ro as she hears him. A faint shke of her head is perhaps seen. "His still young Ka'ro.. This is normal behavior."

«I got it! I got it!» Cimaanth's paws are reaching for the ground, but as the water gets deeper, it's getting harder for him to actually touch the sandy bottom! But that's okay. He can swim! The brown dragon does not hesitate to launch himself into the deep end, going after the dragon-sized beachball. He can't quite get his mouth around it because it's far too big and slippery, but he does headbutt it towards Wensith. «Coming at you, brother!» "Yeah!" cheers Xha'il, fist pumping in the air. "Attaboy, Cimaanth! See?" he says, bumping Ka'ro's shoulder. "You've got to let him know who's boss. Mine always listens." And by always he really means sixty percent of the time, but he's a boasting type! Mei doesn't say much. She's too busy trying to coax her green to actually go deeper than just dragon-knee level. Sigh.

Molli watches, taking mental notes on what she sees, glancing from dragons to Weyrlings and nodding in agreement with Idrissa. "Of course it is. Wensith will continue to grow and learn from you, Ka'ro. How about you help him to pass the ball to Sukith? Maybe that will help her get deeper into the water," she says, encouragingly. "Let him know what you want him to do."

"You try convincing him that he doesn't need to be putting things together in different ways. It's nearly impossible. He wrapped up a towel in a barrel the other day that's been rolling around to help clean up his messes, but it's not exactly doing a great job of it. I still have to go up behind him picking up the different bits and bobs he leaves behind." He turns towards Molli, tilting his head. "Right, Wens, hit it towards Sukith." He tells the blue, and as the ball comes hurtling through the air, he lashes out with is tail, sending it careening towards his sister. «Coming right at you!»

Idrissa quietly watches for a few moments before she glances over to Molli. "I'm not to sure what else to suggest with him.." This offered softly. "Any tips perhaps?" Well the other has done this longer then her. Tahryth lifts her head up out from the water as she watches the dragons swimming about, a soft bugle heard as she encourages them all. So far they are doing all so well after all! Rissa looks back to Ka'ro and she lifts a brow. "This is normal.. there going to leave messes until they are older.. Or beyond that.." She won't talk about her dragon.

Sukith isn't sure about this whole water idea. She can feel what her lifemate wants her to do.. «But…» Ugh. It's wet and cold! And wet. And… oh, a ball! The green's swirling eyes take note of the ball that's sailing towards her, skidding on the water. Gotta chase! Suddenly forgetful of her apprehension, she bounds forward and attempts to pounce on the thing! Pounce! Whoops! It slips out from her paws and goes twirling about on the open water. "Oh, bravo Sukith!" Mei claps, relieved. "Thank you, Ka'ro!"

Cimaanth swims out further, keeping his head above the water. «Watch me swim!» He calls to his clutchmates. «Swim out with me. We can all go together now that Sukith is not afraid. Come, Wensith!» His wings splash on the water's surface before he folds them again, ready to swim out to the horizon!

Molli's dragon has a close watch on those adventurous hatchlings. As does Tahryth. Together, they won't let them get too far away…right? Molli reminds her green of her job (dragons do tend to get off-take pretty quickly!) and then considers both Idrissa and Ka'ro. "Tips?" She rubs her chin, then nods decisively. "I sure do!" she says, brightening suddenly. She moves closer to Ka'ro. "Are you listening? … Your dragon is just fine!" she says right up to his face. "Really! If he's trying to help clean up his mess, even if it isn't as helpful as you'd like in the end, he's trying! That means he knows that you are unhappy and wants to help fix the problem. Buck up, fella! It'll only get better."

«It's quite wonderful, really, this water stuff. I bet it could be used for all sorts of things!» Wensith says gleefully, folllowing his clutchsiblings out into the water. Ka'ro watches them go, wrapping his arms about his waist, keeping a watchful eye upon his dragon. He turns his attention to Moli and Idrissa, sighing. "I know. He's wonderful, really, the way his mind works. The way he can figure something out just by trying to do something a couple of times. I just wish it didn't result in such a mess that I didn't have to clean up. I'm exhausted all the time. I wish I could enjoy myself as much as he does."

Tahryth warbles out while she moves along slipping through the waves to be a 'marker' for the younger dragons to swim to if they wish. Though if they try to go past her she will promptly stop them for certain. Idrissa blinks after Molli, a soft ah esacpes her well that is one way to try it she supposes! She shakes her head a bit as she hears Ka'ro. "Then ask for help? Everyone needs help at times after all."

"Help is a wonderful thing," Molli says, nodding. "And you are probably not as alone as you think! Other Weyrlings are likely feeling the pressure just as much as you. A little teamwork can go a long way. Just look at him. You don't want to deny him his spirit of curiosity, do you?" she asks. Her lifemate is watching the ball drift further and further away now that the younger dragons are more concerned with racing. She takes wing to retrieve it, while Tahryth draws a line in the water. «Swim swim, little dragons! But beware the current that can wash you away!"

Cimaanth sees that line as a challenge. «Race you to Tahryth!» he bugles in challenge before he starts paddling with all his might. Swim, swim, swim!

"Of course not. I don't want him to stop being who he is." Ka'ro says softly, watching his blue trek into the water, being caught up by the other dragon's games. "It is who he is, and that is important to me. I appreciate that he helps out. I do. I just…wish we were as close as some of the other weyrlings are." Ka'ro wraps his arms about his waist, closing his eyes. "I want to have fun too. But I can't. I have to be the responcible one." «A race! What a splended thing!» Wensith calls and then he's flowing through the water, jutting this way and that and not seeming to quite understand exactly what a race entails. But…at least he is having fun.

Idrissa smiles as she hears Molli agreeing with her and she is soon nodding. "You can't compare him to the others Ka'ro. He will get there when he does it is just that simple." She offers softly, hoping and wishing this point would get across to him at some point. Tahryth warbles out to the young one. « If any are tired do not push yourself.. » She doesn't want to drag a dragonet out of the water if she doesn't have too after all.

« I am tired. » says Sukith, who has been swimming, though not as exuberantly as her brothers. Pant pant! « Do I stop? » She tries it out and stops moving her legs. Promptly, she sinks under the water. Ack! « No! I do not like this! » She isn't drowning, but she is splashing a lot as she sruggles to get her head above water again. Gak! "Calm down, Sukith! Y-you can do it!" Poor Mei!

Cimaanth is too busy racing to pay attention to his splashing clutchmate. But it seems as if he is racing himself. « I win! » he declares when he paddles by Tahryth. « You must swim one way, clutchbrother! » he tries to help.

Molli nods to Ka'ro. "I'm glad that you recognize the importance of your lifemate's individuality. Keep working with him, and you may be surprised at how close the two of you will become. It's very common amongst riders to be responsible and still have fun."

«But what would be gained by swimming one way? Perhaps if you swim both ways there is something more to be gained. Experimentation is the key!» Wensith calls to the brown dragon, warbling as he makes his way back towards Ka'ro, pressing his head towards his weyrlings and Ka'ro can't help but chuckle. "You did well, Wens, you showed that brown how to race." Ka'ro mutters distractedly as his eyes flicker towards the splashig green. "I'll try. I just hope that I'm doing this right. All this is new to me."

Tahryth gets that one of them is tired and she croons out for Sukith. « Then go back to shore! » The others are watched over and she lifts her head a bit to try and find the one that well.. isn't there.. « Where did Sukith go..? » Oh under the water? A soft snort escapes the older green and she moves forward and is lowering her head down to try and push it under Sukith's and thus bring her up to the waters surface. Idrissa nods with a soft smile is seen. "Yeah.. Nothing wrong with having fun.." Wait, what's fun.. She doesn't tend to have a lot of it.. Don't ask her for details!

Thanks to Tahryth, Sukith is saved! The little green is thankful for the help and quickly paddles her way back to the shore. « I thank you, Tahryth! » she says as she makes her way back to her lifemate who flings her arms around her neck in a hug.

“It’s new to everyone, Weyrling,” Molli says kindly, pressing a hand to his shoulder to give a squeeze. “You’re not alone. That’s one thing that Weyrlings tend to forget. Everyone that Impressed is right there with you, feeling the same way you’re feeling.” She smiles, then whistles quite loudly. “Alright everyone, that’s it for the day! Remember the check the schedule board often for updates on your lessons. Your dragons will need to be dried and re-oiled before you return to your duties. You’re all dismissed!”

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