Author: Findswoman Title: Caleb Dume’s Foofiest, Messiest, AWESOMEST LIFE DAY EVER! Era: Saga—PT (about 23 BBY) Characters: Caleb Dume (young Kanan Jarrus), Jocasta Nu, Yoda, other ECs and OCs Genre: Holiday humor Summary: Caleb Dume has the AWESOMEST LIFE DAY EVER! Sure, things get messy and chaotic, and there are these weird foofy birds around, but it’s still THE BESTESTEST! Contents: One (below) | Two Notes: Written for my good pal @Raissa Baiard as part of the 11th Annual Winter Holiday Fic-Gift Exchange. I hope I’ve done justice to Raissa’s requests, which are given below the spoiler tag: Spoiler I would like a story in Saga PT with: 1. A Life Day celebration 2. Any adorable non-sentient creature (tooka, porg, etc.) 3. A food fight involving mashed topatoes I don’t want anything sad, violent, or crude. Characters: 1. Caleb Dume (young Kanan Jarrus) 2. Jocasta Nu 3. A non-human character who doesn’t understand Life Day (can be alien or droid) I thank @Ewok Poet for very kindly beta reading on short notice. * * * One Caleb Dume was SO EXCITED for LIFE DAY! In just TWO DAYS the Jedi Temple was gonna hold its GREAT BIG HUGE LIFE DAY CELEBRATION! There were gonna be games, and prizes, and really amazing food! And the Younglings’ Choir was gonna sing not one, not two, but THREE REALLY WIZARD SONGS! But not only that—Master Nu had given him, Caleb Ildephonsus Dume, a SOLO! How COOL was that! He was gonna get up there and sing his heart out and Sammo and Tai and EVERYBODY was gonna be SO IMPRESSED! They were gonna be all like, “OMF Caleb, you’re the BESTESTEST!!” Oh yeah, and there was gonna be that special guest person. Some beastwardeny type Ithorian Master was coming to give some sort of demonstration or something with some pudgy bird things from some ancient Jedi Temple island planet. Bor-ring. Who comes up with this stuff, anyway? But yeah, other than that, this was gonna be the AWESOMEST LIFE DAY EVER! * * * In her office in the temple library, Jedi Master Jocasta Nu looked at the wall chrono. There were fifteen minutes till rehearsal. Although her official positions at the Jedi Temple were those of Chief Librarian and Master Archivist, Master Nu also served on a volunteer basis as the director of temple’s Younglings’ Choir. Some ten years before, she had secured permission from the Council to organize the group as an extracurricular activity for the more performance-inclined temple youth (indeed, Nu herself had been quite a luminary of the Padawan Follies Cabaret Nights back in the day). There were days when leading young Jedi voices in song brought her pure, unadulterated joy; there were others when it just about drove her stark raving spare. And there had been ever more of the latter ever since that Dume boy joined the group. It wasn’t that he didn’t do well. On the contrary, he was one of her strongest and most enthusiastic singers. All right—sometimes too strong and enthusiastic. There were times when Nu could barely hear her other singers at all. But she didn’t always have the heart to tell young Caleb to tone down; part of her couldn’t bear to stifle this bright, eager youngster’s obvious love of singing and zest for life in general. So she had given him a solo in the upcoming Life Day performance. That way he could belt as loud as he liked. Fine. But then there were the questions. The boy was always asking questions. “Master Nu, what are we going to work on today?” “Master Nu, why do we have to stand up when we sing?” “Master Nu, why does the alto 1 part go above the soprano 2 part in measure 25?” “Master Nu, why this?” “Master Nu, why that?” Fortunately, Nu found that most of them could be covered by one of three responses: (1) “That’s an excellent question, Caleb! Why don’t you go look it up in the library after rehearsal?”; (2) “Because fill-in-name-of-composer-here was a composer, not a droid”; or (3) “Because choir is not a democracy, Caleb honey. Now please turn to page 3 like everyone else.” But not all of them, by any means. The chrono showed ten more minutes now. As Nu rose from her desk and collected her binder, her baton, and the attendance datapad, she tried to think on the bright side. At least she only had to deal with the Dume child an hour and a half out of every week. Someday young Dume would become the padawan of a Master—a Master who would have to spend every waking hour, minute, and second with him and his questions. Whether he, she, or they liked it or not... Nu smiled to herself. There were certainly some good things about being retired from active duty. * * * “All right, younglings! All together, from the top!” A recorded clavi-pian accompaniment blared from a nearby communications droid, and twenty young Jedi voices joined in song: “Won’t you join hands and sing with mee-ee-ee, Sing songs of peace and har-mo-nee-ee-ee, This is my Life Day wish for yoo-oo-ou: May all your dreams of peace come truu-uu-ue, May all your dreams of peace come truu-uu-ue… Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooooh…” As the choir continued on “ooh,” a Human boy with nut-brown hair and bright green eyes stepped forward and burst out with the following: “WEEEE are one fa-mi-lee, WEEEE are one ga-la-xee, Don’t you know the Living Force is WHAT—MAKES—US—ONE— WEEEE are the tree of life, WEEEE’re the ones who will survi-ive, Come and we’ll walk in the light of the sun, the LIGHT—OF—THE—” “Stop!” Master Nu rapped her baton on her music stand, and the twenty young Jedi voices were immediately silenced. “Caleb, that sounds very good, but you’re speeding up again.” “But Master Nu…” The boy’s round, green eyes looked up at her questioningly. “Am I really speeding up? I don’t feel like I’m speeding up. How can you tell?” Nu smiled winningly down at her student. “Caleb, honey, believe me, I can tell.” Several other younglings giggled. “Now, please take it again from ‘We are the tree of life,’ and remember to watch my baton”—which she tapped once more on the stand, then raised. “Choir, be ready to come back in.” “Okay, but—” “Buts are for sigarras, Caleb. From ‘We are the tree of life,’ please.” Caleb began again, over the choir’s “oohs”: “WEEEE are the tree of life, WEEEE’re the ones who will survi-ive, Come and we’ll walk in the light of the sun, the LIGHT—OF—THE—SUUUUNNN…” And the choir came back in: “So won’t you take my hand and walk with mee-ee-ee, Down the path of peace and har-mo-nee-ee-ee, This is my Life Day wish for yoo-oo-ou: May all your dreams of peace come truu-uu-ue, May all your dreams of peace come truu-uu-ue… Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooooooh.” As the droid’s last clavi-pian chord faded away, Master Nu heard the sounds of applause behind her. She turned to notice none other than Master Yoda standing in the doorway, clapping his small, green tridactyl hands appreciatively. Beside him stood an Ithorian in undyed, homespun Jedi robes, who clapped his large, dark-mahogany hands much more slowly. On his shoulder was perched some kind of rotund brown and white bird that bobbed and chirped merrily as it glanced around the room with large, round, black eyes. “Very well sung that was, younglings,” announced Yoda. “This interruption please pardon, Master Nu. Master Leedo Ald’opold, please allow me to introduce. Master Ald’opold, Master Jocasta Nu this is, Chief Librarian, Master Archivist, and director of the Jedi Temple Younglings’ Choir.” “How do you, Master Ald’opold.” Nu shook the Ithorian’s hand cordially. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. Welcome.” “Chaaaarmed, chaaaarmed indeed, Master Nuuuu.” Master Ald’opold spoke Basic in a deep, slow, heavily accented voice. “How do you doooo.” “Aarp,” added the bird on his shoulder. “Soooo, are you preparing for a perfoooormance?” the Ithorian continued. “Why, yes. We shall be singing at the all-Temple Life Day celebration in two days.” “Liiiife Day… Liiiife Day…” Ald’opold spoke the words pensively. “Soooo many hoooolidays, I can never remember them aaaall… that one’s a Wooookiee holiday originally, isn’t iiiit?” Nu turned to her group of young singers. “Now younglings, would someone like to explain the history and meaning of Life Day for Master Ald’opold?” There was no reply. “How about you, Caleb?” “Um, all right,” mumbled Caleb, who had been eyeing the Ithorian newcomer askance. This was probably that guest beastwardeny being, and that thing on his shoulder was probably one of those Jedi-Temple-island birds that he was going to “demonstrate” or whatever. Probably while everyone was hungry and waiting for dinner… *Now that’s enough, Caleb.* Master Nu’s mental voice cut in on his thoughts. *Be a good sport and do as I asked.* The green-eyed boy swallowed and began. “Well, um, Life Day is a very ancient holiday from Kashyyyk that celebrates the value of all life, and, like, the diversity of all life…” “Aarp aarp aarp,” chattered the bird, bobbing and flapping cheerfully. “Um… so, yeah.” Caleb paused and swallowed again, trying not to look at the bird. “Yeah, and um, it also celebrates things like peace, harmony, friendship… that kind of thing.” He shrugged. “Aarp aarp aarp aarp aarp aarp aarp!” “Caaalm dowwwwn, Amaraaaantiiiine.” Master Ald’opold reached up and stroked the bird, which quickly quieted. “Iiii seeee. Thaaank you, youuuung oooone. Thooough I confeeeess, I’ve neeeever quite understooood the puuuurpose of hoooolidays like thaaat. Why ceeeelebrate liiiife on oooonly oooone daaaay? We should ceeeelebrate liiiife eeevery daaaay. After aaaall, the Liiiiving Foooorce is aaaall arouuuund us, aaaall the tiiiime, noooo?” The younglings shifted and looked at each other uneasily. Yoda shifted uneasily as he leaned on his gimer stick. Even Nu shifted uneasily, as the chrono was ticking and there were still two more pieces left to rehearse. The bird, however, just said “aarp” again. “And what’s moooore,” the Ithorian continued, “should not eeeevery day be deeeedicated to peeeace, and to haaarmony, and to frieeeendship? It is the wiiiill of the Foooorce that we seeek thoooose thiiiings aaaall theeee tiiiime. So what is the uuuuse of setting aside ooonly oooone daaay, hmmmmm?” More silence. Finally Caleb shrugged again. “I don’t know. I guess it’s just nice to be… reminded sometimes.” “A good point Youngling Dume makes,” put in Yoda. “And reminding me, the chrono is, that expecting us for a tour of the gardens, Jedi Fee will be in ten minutes. Leave you to your rehearsal we shall now, Master Nu and younglings. Thank you we do, for your time. Master Ald’opold, shall we?” “Chaarp,” said the bird. With that the two masters nodded to Nu and left the room. Nu picked up her baton and flipped a few pages in her binder. “All right, younglings. Time to move on to ‘Don We Now Our Robes of Red.’” She tried to stifle a sigh as she noticed that Caleb’s hand was up. “Yes, Caleb, what is it?” “Master Nu, I was just thinking about what Master Ald’opold said, and… well… why do we celebrate things like life and peace and harmony on only one day of the year?” Then, almost as an afterthought: “And what kind of… bird was that?” “Those are both excellent questions, Caleb.” Nu’s mouth was pressed into a firm, stern line. “Why don’t you go look them up in the library after rehearsal. Either that, or wait for Master Ald’opold’s demonstration at the celebration on Benduday. Now, ‘Don We Now Our Robes of Red,’ please.” The blue-haired Theelin girl standing next to Caleb leaned over and fluttered her eyelashes at him. “Whatever it was, I think it liked you.” “Shut up, Naneeza.” “‘DON WE NOW OUR ROBES OF RED,’ EVERYBODY!” Nu clattered her baton violently on the stand. “NOW!!” And the music began. to be continued Spoiler: Notes Caleb Ildephonsus Dume: The middle name is totally fanon, totally unofficial, and totally silly. Jedi Temple Younglings’ Choir: I first wrote about choir of younglings directed by Jocasta Nu in one of my UDC 2017 drabbles (see “Number” in this post). Chapter 2 of Spectres’ Aubade is the first place I write about Kanan having been part of it during his Jedi Temple days, though I credit Raissa, in her comment on that chapter, for being the first to come up with the actual phrase “Younglings’ Choir.” Sammo and Tai: Caleb’s Jedi youngling friends in the Kanan comics, Sammo Quid (male Twi’lek) and Tai Uzuma (female Human). “pudgy bird things from some ancient Jedi Temple island planet”: Three guesses. The two Life Day songs mentioned here are purely fanon, and before anyone asks, I haven’t come up with a melody for either of them—yet. Leedo Ald’opold: OC, named after real-life conservationist Aldo Leopold (1887–1948). Amarantine: A nod to the “real name” given to Mara Jade in Kahara’s Can’t Look Away: Amarantine Enwandung-Esterhazy. Jedi Fee: The established Jedi gardener and groundskeeper Yoland Fee. Naneeza: Also an OC.