Reader Prompt

Anonymous asked: Bowman’s reaction to finding out Jacob is younger than him?


This is a cute prompt! In Bowman of Wellwood, Bowman has his suspicions about Jacob being a bit younger, but he never did find out for sure in all the excitement! They’re bound to stumble upon the fact eventually, and Bowman is bound to have Opinions about this.


“When’s your birthday, Bowman?”

The question came out of nowhere, but upon realizing he didn’t know, Jacob had to find out. So far, he’d always gotten interesting answers out of Bowman for his curious questions. Even if they weren’t all that informative about how the wood sprites of Wellwood lived, they were fun to hear.

“My what? Birth-day?” Bowman echoed. He stopped swooping about to land on a low branch ahead of where Jacob walked. Even a few feet away, Jacob spotted that dubious, curious frown. “It was nineteen years ago, Jacob. Is that how humans ask how old someone is?”

Jacob grinned. The thrill of getting an actual answer to his questions was second only to the many opportunities to see what “human things” still vexed the tiny sprite. “Not exactly,” he replied, coming to a stop just under Bowman’s chosen branch. “We keep track of all the days in a year, so every year we know exactly which day is the same as the day we were born.”

Bowman’s wings fanned open partway. He took a seat on the branch and leaned over to peer down at Jacob. His curiosity couldn’t hide. “So you know the exact day you were born every time the seasons cycle around?”

Jacob shrugged. “It’s not the reason we number the days, I don’t think. But it’s fun to know, I guess. Mine is August 27. That’s in the summer. So later this summer, it’ll be exactly 18 years since I was born, isn’t that cool?”

Bowman fidgeted, and Jacob guessed he was resisting every urge to correct him. Summers weren’t cool in Wellwood, after all.

Instead, Bowman crossed his arms. “I passed nineteen years in winter,” he mused, then narrowed his little eyes. “So I am older than you! I knew it!”

“By a year and a half, sounds like,” Jacob confirmed. Bemusement lined his expression. “So? It’s not that far off!”

Bowman stood again so he could flutter irritably off his branch. “No, but it means you might still get taller, and it also means you never once respected your elder when we met!”

“Whaaat?” Jacob drawled. “Bowman, I am so respectful. At least now. I learned quick!”

“Not quick enough!” Bowman snipped back. A rush of wind accompanied a flutter next to Jacob’s face, and he had to fight not to flinch as the sprite landed on his shoulder. Bowman’s voice was crystal clear when he continued his fake retort. “I had to work to teach you to act right!”

“Got me good and trained,” Jacob confirmed. “Where to next, boss?”

A wing slapped at his neck. “Nowhere, giant. What other silly human things have you got for me today?”

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