The truth about panther cooking

“It was an innocent observation,” Feather said. “It wasn’t a challenge.”

Red hair huffed and ignored her, stirring the cooking pot that hovered over the fire with a methodical hand. She had been at it for what seemed like an eternity, no matter how many times Feather reminded her she wasn’t cooking for a Ubara. Red hair’s cooking had always been of a most questionable result. Feather had made the slightest mention of it and here she was, hungry because of one ill-advised comment and Red hair’s well known stubbornness.

Feather frowned and sat back against a log, taking off her necklace and digging into her leather bag for spare beads to keep her mind off her growling stomach. She glanced up from her task to see Red hair peering into the pot with concern.

“Is it burning?” Feather asked with a hint of smugness.

Red hair shot her a look that could kill. “Does it smell like it’s burning?”

Feather conceded that it did not, shrugging as she discarded a bead, which pinged off of Red hair’s sleen knife lying next to her. She watched as Red hair chopped another handful of herbs that she did not remember having carried with them.

By the time she finished repairing her necklace she was starving and any tactic to get Red hair away from that pot and food into her stomach was fair game. “Not everyone’s a good cook,” she said in a casual tone. “The Sa di Sani Priestess for example.”

She watched Red hair’s face contort as she got the precise reaction she knew she would: an expression of quiet horror.

Taking advantage of Red hair’s stunned silence, she moved toward her, making a grab for the spoon. “I can take over now if you like.”

“I said I would do this,” Red hair said, gritting her teeth in warning, “and I’m seeing it through to the end.”

Feather grumbled under her breath and retreated.


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