Shumani would have leaped high in to the air, so much joy she felt at that moment, had she not been trained to, behave. As Nathan took care of a few things before they went out, Shumani used the time to brush her hair and tail again until both shone faintly in the bright mi-day light which streamed in through the large windows of her master’s home. When her master said he was ready to leave, Shumani had to force herself not to run across the room to him.
As it were, Shumani did skip a few times on her journey across the large room. Her master was watching, but for some reason, he did not correct her. This, again, puzzled Shumani to a great degree. It was true, she thought, that her master seemed to be a very kind master, but he was difficult to understand. He yelled at her when she did not think her would, and did not correct her when she had thought he would. Still, Shumani liked her new master, quite a lot, thus she was looking forward with great joy to playing flute for him.
Shumani spent much of the car-ride staring out the passenger side window. Once she asked for some water to drink, but was told to wait until they arrived ‘downtown’ and she could get a drink then. “What is down-town?” Shumani had asked quietly, stretching the ‘o’ sound a little and making her master laugh. Her master did his best to explain what the word, or was they words, meant. Though she looked doubtful when her master finished speaking, Shumani nodded her head vigorously; this, down-town, sounded amazing.
Nathan pulled the car to a stop and excited Shumani surprised him, a little it seemed, as she had gotten out of the car first and rushed to open the driver side door. Shumani smiled up at her master, hoping that he would be proud of her for doing what she had done, and on her own, without being told to. After a moment, her master turned and began walking, telling Shumani to follow him, and, stay close. Shumani did as ordered, walking close to her master, but keeping a step behind him as she had been trained to do. She was never to walk ahead of her master, unless she was told otherwise.
Shumani kept turning her head from side to side and making small, surprised, awed sounding noises.Her vibrant blue eyes were wide as she stared first at one building; then another; and then at a large holographic billboard which was advertizing soft drinks. “Master, what is that?” Shumani asked softly, tugging at Nathan’s sleeve to get his attention. When her master looked down at her; then asked what it was she was asking about, Shumani pointed up at the sign, which showed a large red can with some strange white writing on the side. Nathan would know it, of course, it was a Coca Cola add.
“Can Shumani have?” Shumani had asked, gazing hopefully up at her master. She readied herself for a refusal, but was surprised as Nathan said she could have one at lunch. Apparently she and her master were going to have lunch out that day. “But Shumani no know all food. Shumani can no order food for master,” Shumani protested, her soft voice trembling. “Shumani want to take care good of master. Shumani had meant to say, take good care, but sadly had mixed up the word(s) as she became emotional, again.
Her master had quickly assured Shumani he could order for himself. He seemed slightly annoyed at her for a brief time, but Shumani did not know why, as she did not know of her master’s issues with crying females. Shumani’s attention soon returned to staring up at the many buildings around her, some of which were so tall she was not able to see the top. Everywhere Shumani saw huge panes of glass, brightly gleaming metal, holographic signs, and other things. It was enough to make Shumani’s head spin. It seemed there was nothing the humans could not make, and or do, if they wanted to.
There were strange square shaped machines, about as tall as her master. Inside these machines were cans like the ones seen on the billboard, and other cans and small bags of, whatever it was. The machines would ask if they wanted some-thing to eat or drink, that much Shumani could tell. Shumani did not know the names of the things the machines mentioned, and had jumped; then hid behind her master the first few times one of the, what she would shortly learn were called, vending machines, spoke to her. Her master, an annoyed look on his faced had told her this after the third incident.
The store where her master bought Shumani her flute was a single story building nestled between two taller buildings that resembled the one her master lived in. Shumani was shown a wide variety of flutes, all of which she shook her head at, much to the annoyance of both her master and the store owner. Shumani finally settled on a plain looking flute shaped like a shell. To Nathan, it would look like a taco shape, and would seem a very cheap looking flute, but one look at the price tag would tell Nathan a whole different story, yes.
The flute was dark brown in colour, with a line of tiny holes on the top. Shumani took it in her small, delicate looking hands and held the flute against her chest as Nathan completed the purchase. As they left the shop, Shumani spotted a small open space across the street. The space had a shallow pool of water at the centre, with a statue in the centre of the pool, and a low wall encircling the pool. Around the pool, low stone benches had been placed around six feet from the pool. The area surroundinf the pool, and the benches, were made of a white coloured stone. Small shade trees had been planted behind each bench, each in a tiny square of green grass.
‘Can Shumani play for master there?” Shumani had asked eagerly, tugging gently on Nathan’s right arm with her left hand, her right hand still clutching her flute, her flute, tightly against her breasts. When her master agreed, Shumani smiled brightly and started to make a happy sound, akin to a cheer, before catching herself mid-way and stopping. “Sorry,” Shumani said softly, staring down at the ground. Shumani expected her master to take her flute away, but was surprised again as Nathan did not do as expected.
After being assured everything was okay, by the heavily sighing Nathan, Shumani walked to one of the benches and pointed to it. “Master sit there, okay?” Shumani asked before walking to the fountain and turning to face her master. Bringing the flute to her lips, she started to play. The gentle notes of the song drifted to Nathan’s ears on a warn, soft breeze, which as Shumani began to play, gently ruffled her hair and tail, while a few scattered leaves drifted lazily through the air, one landing atop Shumani’s head. When the song was finished, Shumani lowered the flute from her mouth and looked hopefully up at her master, and asked, her soft voice filled with the fervent desire to please. “Master liked what Shumani play? Shumani play song of imħabba, love, for master”
(The song Shumani play.)