Meetings in a Foreign Land


Chiba, Tsukiko

Date: January 17, 2011


Two strangers meet for the first time and chat whilst one fishes for breakfast. One of the strangers comes to learn more about the world and his feeling for his home.

"Meetings in a Foreign Land"

Land of Grass

Valley of Grass [Land of Grass]

The valley of grass is just that. A vast area of green can be seen. Tall trees provide shade all around the large body of water that seems to rest in the middle of the valley. The water itself is a bit murky. A few mossy boulders sit jutting out over the shore of the water. Almost at any given time large herds of game that pass by stop here to quinch their thirst. Though, sadly this also draws a lot of bloodshed and death among the food chain. A few scattered bones can be seen here and there. In a tree just over the water is a large rope that hangs down below. Seems someone had made camp here and decided to have a bit of fun. Setting up camp here also provides a breath taking view of the rocky areas that rise in the distance.


The Land of Grass is a beautiful country and the sea of green that covers the Valley of Grass is a testament to this. The rain from the night before seemed to enhance the beauty of the landscape. Thanks to the rain the night before the grass seems to sparkle under the radiant love of the morning sun. Small animals can be seen scurrying along in their everyday lives. To an artist this would make for the perfect scene to capture on to a canvas to preserve for future generations to enjoy. Sitting near a tree growing near the water is a stranger to this country, Kagetora Chiba. He seems absorbed in thought as he takes in the entirety of the lush green landscape to mind. "The tree will be cut/ Not knowing the bird/ Makes a nest." he recites as he continues to observe the nature continues with little heed to his presence.

Tsukiko sits quietly at the water's edge. She holds a simple bamboo pole in her hands, sliding a worm onto the hook and lowering the the bait into the water to wait for a bite. She glances across the water to the boy who settled there, not speaking but not looking averse to company. She offers a slight nod in greeting.

Chiba was so engrossed in his thoughts that he didn't even notice when the girl had approached the water's edge. He shakes his head at his lack of alertness this was unacceptable for one trained in the shinobi arts. Though he forgives himself since the girl's composure gave little sign of hostile intent. That and the fact it was obvious she was only there to fish. He returns an acknowledging nod to the girl, "I see that you seek to catch your breakfast this morning." he says to the girl as he turns his attention towards her.

Tsukiko smiles pleasantly. "yes.. and if lucky, supper tonight as well… though fishing here hasn't been very good as a whole. I suppose I just don't know the waters here well enough." She keeps her eyes trained on the waters surface, watching the faint ripples in the water the string makes as she fishes

Chiba watches the girl as she waits for something to bite. He had never been much of a fisherman for all intent he had a lack of skill in fishing period. Since it wasn't something he could do in the sandy lands he hail from. Yet, he did know that like all things fishing was an art that required a great deal of patience. In a moment of inspiration he begins to recite a haiku, "Fish float in water, Where do you float, to live or not live? Stop floating now, and live." he frowns at the terrible haiku, "I have little experience in the art of fishing. I believe if you wait patiently one is bound to find itself attracted to the bait that you have laid."

"Hai" The girl would respond. "Patience is as much a skill as fishing itself. I do moe than wait, though.. I often meditate while I pass the time.. some days I fish more to meditate than I do to catch anything.. but today, it is because I am hungry." She stills a moment as a very slight tremor comes to the offered bait, but the fish only pecked at it, not biting the bait. She continues to wait and watch the water.

Chiba lets out a cheerful chuckle at the girl's remark. "Patience is very much a skill you are right in that regard." When faint ripples show as a fish pecks the bait the boy eyes light up in a show of interest. He has never witnessed a fisherman or fisher woman for the most part catch a fish in person. He was always intrigued by what would happen when a fish is ripped from it's world. Maybe this curiosity stemmed from the fact that like a fish he too was ripped from the world he formerly loved. His head shakes as he disregard the invading thoughts of nostalgia. "Meditation is good for both the mind and body. For those with certain skill sets and beliefs it is a necessity to their everyday life." for a moment he goes quiet before he continues, "Is fishing a hobby you enjoy?" he asks curiously.

Tsukiko remains quiet a moment before answering. "yes. It is. I've fished since I was very little since it was a hobby I could do alone." She stills again as the line wiggles once more. Suddenly the line jerks hard and Tsukiko pulls it taught. She stands and pulls at the lines to haul the fish to shore.

"Interesting..A hobby you could do alone. That's reasonable since its much easier to find stillness and peace. When one is alone and free from the distractions of others." he smiles at her answer as he too finds delight in enjoying the fabric of nature unwind alone. "You know…" before he could finish his sentence his eyes widens as he catches glimpse of the fish being hauled ashore. "Amazing." he says before he brings himself to his feet to walk closer and see the fish closer. He had interest in witnessing the look the fish would display when brought into a world not it's own. It isn't long before his enthusiasm seems to fade as his eyes become laden with sadness. "So this is what they look like when ripped from the world they were born into." He lifts his head to the blue sea above him to ascertain feeling of peace to wash away the sadness he felt in regard to the likeness he shared with the fish. He looks to the girl and smiles, "You have caught a beautiful fish."

Tsukiko inspects the fish a moment and nods in agreement to your assessment. She lays the fisn in the grass a moment. "you don't need to feel so bad about it. The fish dies so that others will live. It's the way of nature." She stands and gathers her things before picking the fish and her pole up again. "I believe I am going to go back to my camp and fix my breakfast." She offers a short bow to you.

Chiba smiles as the girl comforts him with words of wisdom. The fish died so that others will live, he ponders over the words as he realize that maybe his sempai see the world in the same light. He nods at the girl as she bids him farewell while packing her things, "It was a pleasure to converse with you miss." he says politely as he makes his return to the tree which he found ease and peace at, to ponder over things more. He had come to learn a great many things today. In the mind of Chiba today was a very interesting day.

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