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Saga - PT Caleb Dume’s Foofiest, Messiest, AWESOMEST LIFE DAY EVER! (holiday fic-gift for Raissa Baiard)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman , Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    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:
    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.

    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. @};-

    * * *​


    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…

    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

    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,

    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…

    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

    Caleb Ildephonsus Dume: The middle name is totally fanon, totally unofficial, and totally silly. :p

    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.

    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] I love meeting Caleb/Kanan during this over-eager cheery time. :D
    So Jocasta was a cabaret singer? [face_mischief]
    Nu's reflections about Caleb made me laugh. So many questions. The Ithorian master and that "chatty" bird on his shoulder [face_laugh] 8-}
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  3. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    SQUEE [face_love] Oh, I love this so much! Caleb is so cute here—such an enthusiastic, lively young fellow and so eager to learn! He’s SO VERY EXCITED! And of course, he brings that enthusiasm to everything he does, especially singing! Okay, maybe he’s not quite as enthused about boring pudgy bird things, but totally EVERYTHING ELSE.I love your fanon middle name for him; I wonder if he keeps it as Kanan? (Does Hera use it when she goes all Space!Mom? And if so, how long does it take Kanan to get the rest of the crew to stop laughing?)

    Master Nu is a delight, too. I love that you haven’t made her just a cranky, stereotypical librarian. She’s got a real love for music and for the younglings she teaches, even Caleb. He drives her up the wall with his eager inquisitiveness, but far from squashing that enthusiasm, she gives him a solo so he can express it. Anyone who works with kids can relate to the feeling of being charmed by their eagerness and wishing they would just be quiet for five minutes already! Her three ways to deal with Caleb’s persistent questions are spot on. I’ve used the parental, non-musical versions many, many times. :D Their performance puts me in mind of Christmas pageants with pre-schoolers and kindergarteners belting out “GO tell it on the MOUNTAIN.” (And really, it needs be sung that way....)

    And then there’s Master Aldo’pold...ohhhhh deeeeaaar. Well, isn’t he fun? Amarantine the porg seems a bit lively for him (she liiiiiikes you, Caleb [face_love])He has a point, in a way. Shouldn’t everyday be full of love, peace and friendship isn’t life all around us? (And, hmm, I think these were the same arguments that another roguish Jedi thought took some of the luster off of Life Day :D) But Caleb’s absolutely right, too; sometimes we need to be reminded, because we get so caught up in the day to day matters we forget. Sometimes it’s nice (and fun) to celebrate, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Surely the Force wouldn’t disapprove of an occasion that inspires love and joy?

    This is such a sweet, fun story! I couldn’t have asked for a better response to my request [:D] You’ve captured all the charm of young Caleb from the Kanan comics and made Master Nu an enjoyable character with a real love of knowledge and teaching. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for them in the next chapter. Thank you! @};- :kanan:
  4. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    Um, okay.... Is it a porg, a Porg, or..... a Porg? [face_laugh]

    P.s. - I think we need a Porg smiley.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  5. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Awww... little Caleb is so cute!! He's just so excited about everything and it's adorable, even if it can strain the adults nerves.

    Hahah... I feel him on this! I was never a great singer (I can hear other people's pitch much better than my own) but I could sing LOUD!

    And I love Master Nu, it seems that while Caleb's... exuberance can get old, she doesn't stifle his questions or love of life, she just redirects it. I love that, she's such a great teacher!

    The song was great, I loved how you wrote it out so that we could almost hear it in our heads with some words elongated.

    I'm looking forward to more! =D=

    Edit: Clarification
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    The SUPER EXCITED kiddie!Caleb's POV and the, err, POV of the guy invented when your keyboard keys got stuck on vowels are giving this the kind of a charm I never expected I would see in a story. I love, love, all kind of language-related humour, so this was a super-pleasurable read. =D=

    Not to mention how I love to see you write in a style that appears to be slightly different from your own - less ornate, without that fantastic realism feel to it, toned down for the purpose of this particular story. I enjoyed that about my fic-gift last year (okay, that one also had that incredible flashback thing that I am still crazy about), I enjoy it here. I attempted to do something similar with my story for @Pandora this year, but I probably failed at it, while you pulled it off, as usual. =D=

    Knowing the brooding, sometimes rough Kanan whose life changed for good multiple times, it's somewhat bittersweet, but still sweet to see him as an idealistic, overly enthusiastic youngling.

    This is so funny and cute at the same time! [face_love][face_rofl]

    Now, this would explain a lot of things about her. [face_rofl] The whole thought of her conducting a younglings' choir is already hilarious enough - the woman is such a neatness freak, somebody who would put cyborgs such as Lobot to shame with what she knows by heart, somebody who's deffo a no-nonsense person and somebody who couldn't possibly believe that she and her computers could make a mistake...and then, boom, she's stuck with the kiddos, especially those like Caleb/Kanan. Bwahahahaha! I am sorry for her, but I am also so NOT sorry. [face_devil]

    Is it okay to sing the song to the tune of the Sledge Sisters, "We Are Family"? Because I'm attempting to. Trying my hardest.

    Love it how Yoda and theeeeeeeeeeee duuuuuuuuuuudeeeeeeeeeee basically open a can of worms for Jocasta Nu and a whooooooleeeeeeee neeeeeeeeeeeew woooooooooooooorld for young Caleb. :)
  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all for the wonderful, heartwarming comments, you guys! You're indubitably the BESTESTEST! :D

    Thanks so much! Isn't he a cutie? I just adored young, inquisitive Caleb in the Kanan comics, which made this fic-gift an especial treat to write (in addition to the fact that it was for a very good friend. [face_love] ). Jocasta—my idea was that she took part in a sort of "cabaret night" musical performances organized by the padawans of the temple back in her own padawan days, so that's close, I guess. :p She and young Caleb definitely make good foils for each other—and Ald'opold is a foil to both of them, in his way! Keep your eye on that chatty bird... it will most definitely be back. ;)

    Thank you so much, and I am so glad this brought a smile to your face! It's been so much fun to have this opportunity to write young!inquisitive!bouncy!Kanan, and it provided me with a perfect opportunity to put my little "Caleb sings in the Younglings' Choir" plot bunny to good use—so I thank you, too. @};-

    "KANAN ILDEPHONSUS JARRUS, SNAP OUT OF THAT MEDITATION RIGHT NOW AND HELP ME WITH THESE SUPPLY CRATES!1!" Yes, I like that—I think he does, I think Hera does exactly that, and I think that's exactly what happens, along with some choice Ez!Teasing! :p

    Thanks so much! I'm so glad you feel I've gotten this portrayal of her right, especially given your own background in librarianship (and I bet librarians everywhere are fed up with that stereotype—almost none of the actual ones I know are like that in the least). Isn't that the mark of a good teacher: to know how to put all of their students' qualities, even the ones that drive them spare, to use in teachable ways. Caleb's got the volume and exuberance, of course, but he's learning that extra practice and responsibility come with soloing. I bet he would sound great on "GO tell it on the MOUNTAIN"! (And yes, I agree, that's how it has to be sung. :D )

    A reeeeal chaaaarmer, for suuuure. :p Though fun to write, in his way, with the loooong, sloooow accent; I imagine the Ents in the Lord of the Rings books talking kind of like him. (Also, ever since when Findsboy was in a club at school building Aldo Leopold-style wooden garden benches, I've been wanting to name a character Leedo Ald'opold. :D ) I tried to go for a little different angle on the "doesn't understand Life Day" part of the prompt with him, and it's one of the things that makes him a foil to Caleb in its way (besides the slow-vs.-fast factor, of course); Caleb, of course, is mainly just happy to have an occasion to celebrate and sing and have fun. And note, of course, that that view is endorsed by Master Yoda, as well! His own fun side, he has too, for sure, mm-hmm!

    Well, thank YOU! I had a blast writing this and working with your prompts (and revisiting the Kanan comics in the course of doing so, another thing I have to thank you for introducing me to). I'm so, so glad you are enjoying the results; you are very welcome. @};- Nor will you have to wait long for the next chapter, which is right around the corner. :)

    Aw, how'd you guess? :p :D And I would not say no to such a thing. :)

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting, mav! So glad you like little Caleb; I agree he's absolutely adorbs! (I have a youngling of my own who gets like that from time to time. :p )

    Yep! The little guy's still got some things to learn about blend... but his enthusiasm counts for a lot, and as a capable teacher Nu knows that.

    That's what one has to do, especially when working with younglings: make every moment a teachable moment, as much as you can. Sometimes the most memorable lessons come from those impromptu moments instead from any pre-prepared lesson plan. (Something I have to remind myself with with my own youngling, once again. :p )

    Thanks! That was my plan exactly, so I'm glad it worked. I was going for something slightly kitschy and "we are all ONE WORLD!1!"-ish, with a GFFA sort of flavor—that, plus something beltable by a very enthusiastic Jedi youngling. :D

    Thanks so much once again! More will be coming right away. :)

    Aw, thanks so much! :) I lovedwriting both Caleb and Ald'opold, even if my keys did get a bit stuck and even if I sometimes had to double check that I consistently used the same number of repeated vowels in a roooow. :p I adore language-related humor, too, and Raissa's prompt provided me with a prime opportunity, in that I could totally seeing young Caleb going the ALL CAPS EXCITED!1! route (and was able to fit in a character taking the oooopposite approoooach).

    Thank you, and I'm glad you feel that works well here. :) I hadn't really thought about it in quite those terms, but yes, I guess that is in a way what I'm kind of doing style-wise, and I'm glad you are enjoying the results here (and in The Jewels of... WHAT?!). By no means do I think you failed with that in your story for Pandora; quite the contrary, you did a great job there taking on an approach both related to and very different from your usual. It's a fun exercise to take on every now and then!

    I agree; bittersweet it definitely is, and there are times when I've watched Rebels and wondered why Kanan can't lighten up and be a little more like his younger self. Though even there, there are occasional times when it shows, and that's ultimately a large part of why he and Ezra have such a good rapport.

    Thanks! :) I haven't done much ALL CAPS EXCITED! type writing yet, but I have to say it sure was rather fun. Of course the "BESTESTEST" bit is a bit of an homage to you. ;)

    Oh, I'm not sorry for her either—couldn't have happened to a nicer lady! :p This Younglings' Choir gig has no doubt been full of teachable moments for her, as well. :D

    Be my guest! :D I hadn't come up with a melody for it (yet), but now that you mention it, "We Are Family" actually works pretty darn good!

    Yep! Ald'opold and his birdies represent an incursion of a completely different type of world into the orderly, enlightened halls of the Jedi Temple. Their brand of unpredictability and chaos is even different from Caleb's brand of unpredictability and chaos, in a way—and in the next chapter yet another variety of unpredictability and chaos will burst out too. :D

    Thanks again to you all for reading and for the wonderful comments... stay tuned for more momentarily! :cool:
  8. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Many thanks once again to @Ewok Poet for beta-reading and encouragement. @};-

    * * *​


    Just ONE MORE DAY till LiFe DaY!

    Caleb could hardly believe it! It was right around the corner now. He’d been waiting for this day for MONTHS! Well, WEEKS, anyway! Or maybe just DAYS. But still! And what’s more, Master Nu had just held the Younglings’ Choir dress rehearsal, and he DIDN’T SPEED uP on his solo! She’d even come up to him afterward and told him how GOOD he sounded and how PROuD she was of him! And then she even answered his question about the fermata in measure 52—yep, actually answered it, without sending him to the library or anything goofy like that! Oh yeah, he was gonna NAIL that solo tomorrow, and eVERYONe was going to LOVE it! He just kNEW it!

    ’Course, that weird old Master Ald’opold was still around. Caleb had seen the Ithorian Jedi at various points throughout the day, at various places around the temple complex. Each time he had been with Yoda or some other member of the Council, talking about Serious Jedi Matters™ in that sloooow, annooooying vooooice of his. Each time he had had one or more of those pudgy brown-and-white birds with him, either perched on his shoulder, nestled in the crook of his arm, peeking out of his robe, or some combination of those. (Caleb was pretty sure it had been all three on at least one occasion.)

    And each time, as soon as Caleb or whatever group he was with got within eyeshot, the bird or birds would begin bouncing and flapping excitedly, all the while aarping like there was going to be no tomorrow. And each time Master Ald’opold would be all like, “Quiiiiet, Amaraaaantiiiine!” or “Shuuuush, Belladooooraaaa!” or “Noooow, noooow, that’s enouuuugh, Floridogaaaabaaaaluuuus!”

    This had happened what, five, six times now? Yeah, Caleb knew there was no emotion, only the Force, yadda yadda yadda—but it was getting a little annoying already. Why was this happening to him and not to one of those beastwardeny, nature-hugging types who took Master Griddhagg’s Care of Force-Sensitive Creatures elective? It made NO SENSE.

    At least there was just ONE MORE DAY, and Master Ald’opold would do his demonstration and leave and that’d be it for the pudgy bird things. Right? Right?

    * * *​

    The day arrived. Sparkling silver and gold orbs hung from the vaulted ceilings of the Jedi Temple’s great hall. Garlands of fruit and flowers festooned the walls. All the tables were set with red tablecloths and were crowded with younglings, padawans, knights, and masters alike, who chatted merrily as they awaited the feast. Many wore red tunics, vests, or stoles over their customary robes, and some wore Life Day wreaths on their heads or garlands over their shoulders. The Masters of the Jedi Council, all festively adorned with wreaths and red garments, sat at a raised table at the front of the room; Master Leedo Ald’opold sat with them, still in his rough, undyed robes but with a garland hanging lopsidedly around his neck. Beside him a variety of chirps and charps emanated from a large, open-topped wooden crate. Server droids went from table to table pouring sparkling punch and hot chocolate, and brought out Callosian spring vegetable soup, fleek eel fritters, steamed sufar greens, tomo-spiced roast bantha, red-nebula-onion-mashed topatoes, and (in honor of the Ithorian guest) Corobb salad.

    Meanwhile, the Younglings’ Choir, all in red sequined vests, was filing onto the stage that had been set up at the front of the room. The communications droid, a wreath perched jauntily on its dome, rolled on after them, and Master Nu followed, stately and elegant in a long, draped dark red dress. Once all the young singers were in their places, she gestured to them to be seated. Then Master Yoda ascended the stage and addressed the assembly.

    “A Happy Life Day to you all, I wish!”

    More or less gradually, everyone quieted.

    “To our annual Jedi Temple Life Day celebration, welcome, you all are. A wonderful and memorable evening we have planned for you tonight, mm-hmm. Offer a few songs in honor of the occasion, the Younglings’ Choir will, and once again our very own Chief Librarian, Master Jocasta Nu, we thank, for directing them with such skill and such panache, mm-hmm.”

    Applause filled the room, with particularly enthusiastic applause coming from the members of the Younglings’ Choir. “WHOOOOO! GO MASTER NU!” yelled a brown-haired, green-eyed boy in the center of the front row, who was probably Caleb; a preteen Nautolan boy standing next to him elbowed him in the ribs. Master Nu, however, simply stood up and nodded graciously.

    “Next,” Yoda continued, “a very special demonstration there will be of the behavior, care, and feeding of the rare, Force-attuned porg—an avian species native to the ancient, sacred Jedi Temple world of Ahch-To, it is—and brought to us that will be by our very special guest, Master Leedo Ald’opold. Mm-hmm!”

    There was applause again, though not as loud as before. Master Ald’opold remained seated. After a few moments, Master Plo Koon, who was sitting next to him, gently touched his shoulder; only then did he rise very briefly to acknowledge the applause.

    “But first, invite you all, I do, me to join in a moment of silent meditation, mm-hmm. Our hearts and minds to the Living Force let us open, and our connection to all life let us with gratitude acknowledge. Join me, please do.”

    He closed his eyes and folded his hands in front of him, and everyone else in the room did the same. Silence reigned for several moments, with the exception of occasional stray aarps from the wooden crate next to Master Ald’opold.

    “And now,” Yoda announced, once he and all the other Jedi in the room had opened their eyes again, “over to Master Nu and the Youngling’s Choir, I turn it. Sit back, relax, and the music enjoy, mm-hmm.”

    Master Nu gestured to the choir to stand. The communications droid began its accompaniment, and twenty young Jedi voices burst into a spirited rendition of the traditional Life Day carol “Don We Now Our Robes of Red.” All of the red-vested choristers sang with gusto, but none sang with more gusto than the brown-haired, green-eyed boy in the middle of the front row, who certainly was Caleb. Aw, yeah! he thought to himself as he lifted his voice. This is great!

    Once the song was finished, the assembly applauded heartily, and Nu turned and bowed. Caleb beamed as he caught the telepathic acclaim of friends at a nearby table. *Wow, that was pretty wizard, Caleb!* Sammo exclaimed, and Tai joined in with, *Yeah, you guys sound so awesome!*

    *If you thought that was awesome, wait’ll you hear me in the next song!* Caleb shot back mentally as the first chords of the next song blared from the droid. He snapped to readiness and joined his fellow choristers in the opening refrain:

    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…

    —then stepped forward and sang in his loudest, clearest, most confident voice:

    WEEEE are one fa-mi-lee—

    “Aarp, aarp, aarp, aaaarp!”

    WEEEE are one ga-la-xee—

    “Aarp, aarp, aarp, aarp, aaaarp!”

    Waaaait a minute—what was going on here? That wasn’t one of Master Ald’opold’s porg things, was it? But there was nothing for it—he had to go on...

    Don’t you know the Living Force


    Caleb felt something brush his lower leg, chanced a quick downward glance—and almost jumped out of his skin at what he saw. Two of Master Ald’opold’s porgs now stood close beside him on the platform, nudging against him as they bobbed and flapped and aarped along with the music. And another had bounced out of the wooden crate and was waddling in his direction with alarming alacrity.

    Ohmiforce, no… just… no… But he couldn’t just stop… Caleb cast a desperate look at his friends, even as he took his next breath. *Sammo! Tai! Help! You’ve got to do something!*

    WEEEE are the tree of life—

    “Aarp, aarp, aarp, aarp!

    *Whaddaya mean? Do what?*

    WEEEE’re the ones who will survi-ive—

    “Aarp, aarp, aarp, aarp, aarp!

    *I don’t care! Just do something to get these things off me!*

    Come and we’ll walk
    in the light of the sun—

    “Aarp, aarp, aarp, AARP! Aarp, aarp, aarp, AARP!”

    *Uh, okay, but—*


    The LIGHT—OF—THE—SPLAT! “CHAAARP! A gob of mashed topatoes struck the porg closest to Caleb’s leg, knocking it over. Another hit the porg on Caleb’s other side. Meanwhile, the third porg had just reached the stage as a third gob was speeding its way. It raised its wing—

    —and the topatoes suddenly changed their course, hitting instead a burly Cathar youth seated one table over from Sammo and Tai.

    “HEY! WHO THREW THAT?!” he yelled, then turned to notice Sammo. “QUID! I SHOULDA GUESSED! TAKE THAT!” He thrust out his hand, and a significant portion of his table’s mashed topatoes went flying through the air and hit the Twi’lek youngling squarely on one lek.

    Sammo gritted his teeth angrily as he cleared the topatoes from his person. “TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME, BORKUM!” he shouted, then sent his own table’s topatoes directly into the Cathar’s face.

    “YEAH, BORKUM!” added Tai, hurling the salt and pepper shakers as well for good measure.

    By now the whole room was thrown into confusion. Other younglings joined in the mêlée as sufar greens, fleek eel fritters, and more mashed topatoes went flying through the air with the aid of the Force. The music had stopped, and Master Nu was trying desperately to restore order to her choristers, half of whom were cheering excitedly and half of whom were just standing there in bewilderment. Master Ald’opold was padding ineffectually around the stage, making little clicking and smooching noises as he tried to coax his gobsmacked avians back into their crate.

    And Caleb Dume just stood there and beamed. Solo, Force-assisted porg removal, food fight—this really was the best Life Day ever! *Aw, yeah! That was awesome!* he transmitted to his friends. *You guys rule!*

    *Well, thanks, but…*

    *Yeah, um, Caleb, look down…*


    Caleb looked down. One of the porgs—maybe it was Amarantine, maybe it was Belladora, he wasn’t really sure—was hiding close behind his ankle, nuzzling it anxiously and glancing around with fear-filled round black eyes. Caleb froze for a moment, not sure what to do—then caught a glimpse of Master Ald’opold, still padding quizzically along one wall of the room, searching for his birds.

    “Here, li’l birdie,” Caleb said, bending down and reaching out to the porg. It hesitated for a few moments. Caleb took a few deep breaths to calm his Force presence down, then reached out to it again. “Aw, it’s okay, birdie, it’s okay.”

    This time, tentatively, the bird stepped toward him. He gathered it gently in his arms and stroked it; it gave a few tentative twitters in response. “It’s okay,” he said again.

    Then, very slowly and carefully, he carried the porg over to Master Ald’opold, who by now was almost at the back of the room. “Excuse me, Master, but, um, I, um… I believe this is yours.”

    The Ithorian gasped for joy as he took the porg in his arms. “Floridogaaaabaaaaluuuus! Theeeere youuuu aaaare at laaaast! Why thaaaank youuuu, youuung maaaan. I appreeeeciate that soooo muuuuch. Hoooow kiiiind of youuuu.”

    “You’re welcome, Master.” Caleb smiled as he took one more look at Floridogabalus, who was now bobbing and twittering happily in his master’s arms, then returned to his place in the choir just in time for the start of the third and final song.

    * * *​

    The rest of the celebration proceeded smoothly. The chaos of the food fight died down in fairly short order, mostly because Borkum ran out of mashed topatoes and was unwilling to sacrifice his fleek eel fritters. The Younglings’ Choir’s third song (“For the Life of All the Ga-la-xeee”) was received with general applause, with Caleb receiving a bear hug from Tai and a congratulatory noogie from Sammo when he sat back down. And even Master Ald’opold’s porg demonstration was not so bad. The Ithorian even called Caleb up as a volunteer at one point, to hold up a paper-covered hoop for Amarantine to fly through. Caleb had to admit the little guys and gals were really kind of cute. Just not when they were interrupting his solo, y’know?

    So yeah, definitely a pretty awesome Life Day all around. A bit messy, sure, and more than a bit chaotic—but definitely one of the BESTESTEST.

    the end

    fermata: A real-life musical term; the bird’s-eye-shaped symbol indicating that a note is to be held extra long.

    Master Griddhagg’s Care of Force-Sensitive Creatures elective: Fanon. Pretty sure the homage/reference/etc. is obvious. ;)

    All the food items served at the Life Day feast are from canon sources and can be looked up on the Wook. (The only semi-exception is the fleek eel fritters; fleek eels are established, but the idea of making them into fritters was mine.)

    Borkum: An OC; I knew someone in college with a dog named this. It turns out the name comes from this East Frisian island.

    Again, the "BESTESTEST" business is borrowed from Ewok Poet, who has been known to use this expression now and then. :)

    And just incidentally, for what it’s worth, AARP in the US stands for “American Association of Retired Persons.” Make of that what you will. :p

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] Fun, fun! =D= Ahem, although I'm sure Nu and the others could've done without the food fight but Caleb and the other younglings thought it was fun! LOL and Caleb actually warmed up, sorta kinda, to the Porgs as long as they weren't interrupting his solo [face_rofl]
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    YES. A satisfying ending, I mean satiating, I mean, messyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. :D And I'm glad that you tOoK mY wEiRd SuGgEsTiOn. Now I wish I had used that in the configuration entry for my last year's DDC. Goshdarnittotheheck! Rassafrackin' podoo. KARK IT. [face_rofl]

    I'd now wash my mouth with an ANGRY MACE™ brand soap, but I think Angry Mace *wants* me to have a port-a-potty mouth. [face_shhh]


    Hmmm, a new brand in sight? [face_thinking]

    That last name is godawful. :D LOVE IT.

    Looks like he's not sold on 'em Porgs, yet...just like that somebody you know. :p

    The description of all those tasty, tasty treats served at the fest is amazing, mouthwatering, delish. But the red sequined vests? Whoever came up with that has less taste than people responsible for the outfits of the Vienna Boys' Choir. [face_rofl] But yeah, looks like the younglings don't mind. NOT EVEN CALEB.

    It was totes obvious that he would do something weird at some point, like this scream. But at least he loves Jocasta, regardless of how much of a control freak she can be.

    For some reason, this lil' bit had me in stitches. :D

    PORG.REMIX. I wonder if it was eventually re-arranged by Gabry Ponte, Benny Benassi or whoever could've been transported there from our world, by the means of an alleged "freak incident".


    This reminds me of some other story I read recently, but I can't remember which one it was, for the life of me. Maybe you'll remember...?! A super-adorbs moment. Floridogobalus is a polar opposite of Caleb - one shy, shy birdie. Perhaps Caleb could learn something from him and the other way round. ;)

    I sort of expected Jocasta Nu to have a total blue screen of death when all of this happened, but at the same time, I'm glad that she didn't. No matter how many planets and songs and who knows what else she can memorise, no matter how she's never-ever wrong (LOL, tell me about it...), looks like there's a childish side to her, after all. We all need one such aspect of our personalities in order to fully appreciate life.

    A truly uplifting little story! And indeed, tEH bESTEStEST LIFE DAY EVAAAAH1111!11!!!
  11. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    This fic has a great fun factor and a lot of music in it! Made my eyes swing and dance! [face_party]
  12. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    So, so cute!!
    I love how you use the random capitals to invoke a feeling of an excited child! It really works well to hear it in a kids voice and to feel that excitement! Very creative way to invoke that feeling.

    PORGS!!!! Sorry, I'm okay.

    Bah hahah.... I adore this mental image! They just want to sing too!!
    And then the food fight that erupted was great! Really just goes to show that even Jedi kids are still just kids.

    Dawww.... so cute! [face_love] He could have easily been mad they messed up with solo, but he chose to do the nice thing. I think this really goes to show what kind of person he is that even as a kid he choses that path.

    This was such a fun story!! Great job!! =D=
  13. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    OHMYFORCE! This is the foofiest, messiest, most awesomest, BESTESTSET Fic Gift EVER!!!

    You really aced this with prompts (of course, I knew you would!) The Jedi Temple festivities sound like all kinds of of fun! Hey, even Very Serious Jedi Masters enjoy a good celebration, now and then, right? You’ve almost got a sort of Hogwarts Christmas vibe going, which seems appropriate given the similarities :D (and I love the nod to “Master Griddhagg’s Care of Force-Sensitive Creatures” and the idea of Jedi electives in general!) The food sounds fabulous—10/10 would eat everything there, even the fleek eel fritters! I recognize some of the menu items from another Life Day party that Caleb/Kanan attends in the future, as well as those festive wreaths (Though I bet they’re not nearly as sparkly as Annina’s).

    Once again, the characters really shine. Caleb continues to have such a bright and lively outlook that even those Force-attuned porgs are attracted to him [face_love] I like how you’ve taken the ALLCAPS EXCITEMENT up to eleven (eleventy-one?) with not just allcaps but RaNDoM FuN ALLcaPS! Perfect for an an exuberant young guy like Caleb (and I know you have plenty of experience with your own exuberant young guy :) )But we can see that even at this point, there’s the makings of Very Serious Kanan in the way Caleb is so focused on his solo.
    And no foofy porgs had better mess things up!

    Oh, dear, Sammo and Tai certainly came up with an...innovative solution, didn’t they? [face_laugh] I wondered how you were going to work this part in, and you certainly didn’t disappoint for humor! And, that a Jedi porg? Or is he just really fast with his wings? Either way, porg’s got some mad skillz going there to deflect the topatoes! Poor Master Ald’opold, I can just see him shuffling around trying to collect his birdies. He’s not such a bad guy, just a bit out of touch. And good for Caleb that he realizes this, too, and shows both the Ithorian master and his frightened porg some kindness.

    Master Nu continues to be great, and I join with Caleb in saying
    Please enjoy a cup—or several—of whatever the GFFA equivalent of wassail with the optional rum enhancement. You’ve earned it after this show!

    Love the foofy names for the foofy porgs! You are the queen of over the top names, and I’d love to know where you find them all, if you can share your secret :D

    This is such a sweet, fun story—everytbing I could have hoped for and then some! Thank you so much! You are TeH BeSTeSTesT [:D]
  14. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    I realized I never got around to responding to you folks about this story yet—sorry about that! Doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate your reviews very much. @};-

    Thanks so much! Yep, Caleb did manage to come to an understanding of sorts with the porgs, and in a way the food fight (or at lest the chaos it caused) is what gave him the opportunity to do so.

    Thanks so much, and I’ll take all the port-a-potty-mouth talk as a compliment! :D I’m glad you liked howl this ended, and I am glad I took that suggestion too; it was a great way to get across Caleb’s childlike excitement, because it’s the sort of thing that might naturally happen if an excited kid like him were typing about something like this in his own electronic journal type thing.

    Ah, little does Padawan Dume know that, in his future life, he will be the paramount poster boy for Serious Jedi Matters™! :D

    Isn’t it, though? :D Especially when pronoooounced in loooooong-voooooweled Aaaald’oooopoooold speeeeak. :p

    These things can take time, of course, and different strokes for different folks and all that. :p

    Oh yes, I figure even the GFFA isn’t necessarily totally immune to certain brands of over-the-top holiday-kiddie kitsch like those sequined vests. But hey, given the pretty drab clothing most of these young Jedi have to wear most of the time, they probably dig the chance to put on anything colorful, no matter how over-the-top.

    He does! Being in her younglings’ choir is a great source of fun for him that gives his inner performer a chance to make itself known. And of course choir is a great opportunity to ask even more questions! :D

    Yep, I guess we don’t typically think of Yoda as one to advocate things like sitting back and relaxing and enjoying music—but hey, it’s a holiday, and even our favorite Strict Jedi Gnome can stretch a point for a holiday. :D

    Now, that would make for some truly extraordinary sounds! :p

    Dun dun DUNNNN!1!

    Oh gee, hmm... it’s not coming to me, I’m afraid; was it another porg story? (Especially so now that it’s been several months since the posting of this; that’s what I get for not responding to comments sooner. :p ) I like the idea of bubbly Caleb and shy Floridogabalus learning from each other; we know that Caleb does a certain amount of mellowing out later in life, to the point where he’s one of the most reserved and private of the Spectres—so perhaps this moment with the frightened little featherball is part of where that started. <3

    Indeed, I always thought there had to be something childish, even impish, about her hidden under all the bookishness! That’s part of why I gave her a younglings’ choir. And as anyone who works regularly with younglings can testify, this food fight and such is probably not even the most chaotic thing she’s come across while working with them, either! :p

    Thanks so much once again, and again extra thanks to you for taking the time to beta-read this even if porgs aren’t totally your thing—it meant a lot to me that you did. @};-

    Thanks so much, Azure! I’m so glad you enjoyed this and that it helped lift your spirits–that is definitely one of my objectives whenever I write something happy and fun like this. [face_party]

    Thank you so much, mav, and I’m so glad you enjoyed this! :) Again, it was @Ewok Poet who suggested the random capitals and lowercasing during the beta stage, and I felt that it would be a great way to do exactly what you said—communicate that childlike excitement—so I’m glad you enjoyed that touch, too!

    Aarp, aarp, aarp! :D

    They do indeed—and they liiiike Caleb, after all! No doubt his spirit and enthusiasm and joy are rubbing off on them more than he knows.

    Thanks, and indeed they are! And in a way the porgs started it all, the clever little critters—perhaps some of the less shy ones enjoyed it as least as much as the younglings did! :D

    Even now as a bubbly, enthusiastic, too-many-questions-asking kid, he’s got that good, compassionate heart that will become such an essential part of his character. One could see as much even in the Kanan comics, and it’s something I very much wanted to capture in this story too, so I’m so glad it worked!

    Thanks so much once again, and thank YOU for hosting this challenge! I know it was a while ago now, but it was so much fun to be part of it, and I look forward to it each year! :)

    Thanks so much, Raissa! I’m so thrilled that this hit the spot for you; I really had a great time working with your very creative (and very you) set of prompts. :cool:

    Thanks! I guess I was channeling a bit of the Potterverse here; Griddhagg of course was something I just couldn’t pass up, given the beastwardeny subject matter. :D Indeed, even the Most Serious Jedi sometimes need and appreciate a chance to, as Prof. McGonagall would say, “let our hair down.”

    I thought you might! ;) Timeless fare for a timeless holiday. And the wreaths just had to be there! Definitely not as sparkly as Annina’s, though perhaps that fits with the Very Serious Atmosphere, in its way.

    It’s definitely Caleb’s bright exuberance and joie de vivre that attract the porgs to him; they can sense it in the Force like a bright, sparkling light, even when he does his best to be serious and focused (and yes, the roots of Serious!Kanan are definitely here—one of the things I like so much about young Caleb is the way he combines both those elements in a way that makes sense and isn’t contradictory at all). Findsboy certainly was an inspiration here, unconscious or otherwise; he’s a few years younger than Caleb is here, but he’s got that same infectious mix of focus and enthusiasm. (Maybe that’s why I loved the Kanan comic so much! [face_love] )

    Yeah, any and all foofy porgs better stay clear! :p (Of course, that turns out to be too much to hope for—but Caleb makes the most of it all the same.)

    Thanks! I too had been wondering at first how to integrate the food fight part of the prompt, and this seemed to work as well as anything else my brain was coming up with, so I’m glad it ended up working well. As I see it, headcanon-wise, the porgs themselves seem likely to have some Force-sensitivity by virtue of being native to Ahch-To; at very least they seem pretty close to sentient.

    Oh, for sure! This lady just cannot be beat in terms of poise and levelheadedness in the face of festive youngling chaos, and even the younglings know it. No one deserves a celebratory toast more. =D=

    Oh, thanks! It’s not much of a secret, really; I pull them from various sources, though in this case Amarantine came to mind precisely because it was one I had seen in a fanfic before (Kahara’s Can’t Look Away). Floridogabalus—well, that was a mashup of Heliogabalus with masculine “flor-“ names like Florian and Florizell, I guess? I know it’s not much help, but the long, over-the-top names just seemed to fit with Ald’opold and his loooong voooowels. :p But the naming of characters has always been one of my favorite things, and I’m always happy to advise whenever asked!

    awwwWW, sO aRe YOu!1! :D You are so incredibly welcome—it was the least I could do for a friend like you, and I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity. @};-