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The day Buttercup became a faunt was the day I realised I was with child again. It was another lad-- we named him Būk, after his grandfather. Perhaps that was why he and his grandfather got on particularly well.
Compared to his brothers and sisters, Būk was a silent child. In fact, he did not speak until he was nearly three-- but when he did speak, he spoke clearly and in complete phrases. He never babbled as a babe; he pronounced his words well. The only time he ever lisped was when he began to lose his baby teeth. Like Ban he learned early to crawl and walk. He did not seek us out to be cuddled, yet he was very content to be so, if any of us called him to us. Tūk used to jest that he was as independent as a cat.
His favourite pastime was to go to the village pond with his grandfather and fish. By the time he was twelve, he was quite an accomplished little angler, and frequently brought home perch or trout for the family's supper. He was about that age when he made friends with a lad of his age, a child whose father was a Stoor who had married one of Tūk's cousins. He spent a good deal of time with them, and we were all shocked when it came out that his friend had taught him to swim!
When he was almost twenty, he persuaded us to allow him to apprentice with his "Uncle" Gamba, who was actually Tūk's first cousin on his mother's side. He was an accomplished smial builder, and Būk soon learned all Gamba could teach him. He went on to surpass him, and was much in demand among all the clans as a hole builder.
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