team of horses

anonymous asked:

You have the BEST stories! Can you tell me a bedtime story?

i will tell you a story friends, and probably you will regret asking me to do so, because its not really a very restful story. i….dont really have any of those.


this is the story of how steve and a horse almost gave me a heart attack.
back when i was a kid, cars were a thing that existed but were mostly really really expensive, so horses were still a common sight on the streets of brooklyn. most of these horses were exceedingly large, calm animals; they hauled around big carts of stuff on crowded streets. back then, milk was delivered to your doorstep by a milkman. the milkman who worked our block was mr. davies, and he was this very nice older black gentleman. i mention that he’s black because racism was Very Much A Thing (oh how times have changed). but mr davies always had peppermint candies in his pockets to give to thunderhead, his horse, and he would always give one to stevie and i if he saw us. so stevie loved mr davies, and if anyone was being disrespectful towards him because he was black, stevie would pretty much blow his top. mr davies loved steve for it, of course. but since mr daives didnt want to get steve in trouble, he’d usually whistle me over (if i wasnt already there) to haul steve off before he did something drastic. mr davies was great like that. 

anyway, mr davies was around every morning dropping off milk with thunderhead. thunderhead was this huge dapple grey horse, i think a percheron?? a big draft horse, with hooves about the size of a dinner plate. aside from her size, her name was probably the most intimidating thing about her, because she was the most mild-mannered horse ive ever met. she would let all the little neighborhood kids climb all over her, and mr davies would usually let two or three of us ride on her back down the street. she never really noticed the extra weight. i think that if mr davies ever slept in, thunderhead would go walk his route without him. she loved stevie too–but for very different reasons. steve’s hair apparently looked exactly like hay to her, so she’d wander over and start lipping the top of his head. she never nipped or anything, but steve always got amusingly flaily when she did it, and i always suspected she thought it was funny.

one boiling hot summer morning, steve and i were sitting on the front steps of our building, just wasting time. it was early, but already awfully hot out, so when mr davies rounded the corner, steve decided to go meet him, but i stayed on the steps. it was hot. i didnt wanna move. 

anyway, steve went trotting down the block, said hi to old mrs mckinnon, who was on her way to get groceries, and was about a hundred feet away from mr davies and thunderhead when the wind picked up. it was a very nice refreshingly cool breeze, which picked up some of the debris–old newspapers and leaves and such–hanging around and tossed it across the road. 

now, if you know horses, you know that sometimes they get terrified by utterly ridiculous things. im told many horses nowadays think plastic bags are the minions of evil, and horses back then were much the same. id never seen thunderhead scared before, but i guess a bit of newspaper whipped in front of her and was the spitting image of Pony Satan himself, because her eyes went white around the edges and she took off running. mr davies was around back of the cart, getting milk out, so there was nobody at the reins to stop her. she went tearing down the block, the cart bouncing along behind, like there was a pack of slavering borzoi chasing after. and of course she was headed right at steve and old mrs mckinnon. 

steve, being the brave little idiot he was, didnt run; old mrs mckinnon wouldnt be able to get out of the way in time, so he stood his ground, flung his arms out, and waited to get trampled by a rogue milk cart. all of us there thought we were gonna be scraping tiny blonde guy off the pavement, because thunderhead just kept going. 

but about ten feet away from steve, thunderhead must have recognized him, because she went to a screeching stop. four feet down, all her knees locked, skiddin on the cobblestones. normally, she’d probably have been able to stop in that distance, but she was still harnessed to that heavy milk cart, so instead she plowed right into stevie, chest first. 

he went flying. he mustve gone about six feet through the air, and he hit the ground and just laid there like a sack of really dead potatoes. i thought he must have broken his little toothpick spine. poor thunderhead looked just as scared as i was, because she got her feet back under her and crept up on him like the cart wasnt jangling right behind her. she dropped her nose down and started whuffing and lipping at his hair, and he popped up like a damn weasel. little moron was fine. he nearly gave me and mr davies and old mrs mckinnon and thunderhead all a heart attack, but he was fine. 

and mr davies gave him his whole bag of peppermints, and mrs mckinnon gave him a chocolate, so he didnt even learn to not do stupid shit like that.

This line if anyone doesn’t know comes from Tony and Fury’s conversation during Age of Ultron. The conversation where Tony says that the vision Wanda gave him, is the future. He blames himself. 

This is not just the end of the path the group started them on, Tony claims all responsibility. I started us on. This idea that Tony tries to push off the blame for his actions, is honestly baffling. Tony consistently accepts blame for other people’s actions. 

Let’s go through some of the movies and see where Tony takes responsibility. 

In Ironman 1 we see Tony Stark, talking with Yinsen in Afghanistan. He’s scaredd, confused, and in pain. Despite all of that, one of the first things he notices about his kidnappers, they have his weapon. Which he finds absolutely jarring because he only sells his weapons to the US military. 

He is absolutely shocked that these terrorists have his weapons, because Obidiah was the one selling to them behind his back. However, he takes responsibility for his weapons getting in the wrong hands, and sets out to personally destroy every stockpile of weapons.

He took full responsibility for something that was not his fault. 

What about Age of Ultron.

The entire movie in Captain America civil war, is Tony attempting to make up for what happened. Notice he again says my fault. He has taken every bit of blame, he doesn’t blame Wanda for what she did to him, or for what she did to help Ultron with his plan. He doesn’t blame Bruce for helping him study the scepter. He doesn’t blame Ultron because ultimately Ultron’s actions were his own, he was a sentient being. Tony takes all of the blame on his shoulders, and supports the accords as a way of preventing further tragedies like Ultron. 

Tony consistently accepts blames for things he was only marginally connected to. Other people expect him to, and he gets blamed for the actions of others regularly.

Example:

This man blamed Tony Stark for the crimes Howard Stark committed against his father. Tony is expected to pay in blood for crimes that are not his own.  

Or what about 

Who after years of planning, and evil deeds blames Tony for all of it. A drunk celebrity said he would talk with him and then didn’t. I understand maybe Aldrich was devastated, and dealing with depression. However, his crimes are still his own, he still chose to commit them. He has had years to get a good therapist, he chose to develop a serum that kills people, and causes them to explode. 

This is not Tony’s fault, this is Killain’s. He made the decision to be a villain. 

Now let’s look at some of the other Avengers accepting responsibility for their actions. 

Well, that doesn’t sound like accepting responsibility for unleashing the Hulk onto a city of innocent people, and completely disrupting Dr. Banner’s peace of mind. She has to have accepted blame at some point, Captain America wouldn’t let her get away with this type of thing, would he?

“She’s just a kid.” Oh, of course well at least he accepts responsibility for his own mistakes.

“Did you know?” 

“I didn’t know it was him.”

“Don’t bullshit me Rogers, did you know?” 

“Yes.”

Well he admits that he hid the truth for years after having his own lie waved in his face, not exactly taking responsibility.

What about Clint, he’s well known for considering the consequences of his actions. Mr. Clint “They’re considered.” Barton.

Oh no wait here’s another example of someone breaking the law and then blaming Tony for their own crimes. Wow the Aldrich Killian parallel I never wanted to make with one of my favorite comic book characters.

Now, all of the original team Cap is guilty of refusing responsibility for their crimes. What about Natasha? While we haven’t seen much of her origin Story she is supposed to be known for clearing the red off her ledger, and while we never see her take blame for much in canon, I blame Marvel’s shitiness with female characters and screen time. 

Or Bruce? Bruce is the only original Avenger we see taking blame for things other than Tony. He’ll take blame for any event the Hulk was involved in, that’s why he leaves at the end of AoU, because of Johannesburg. He still blames himself for breaking Harlem, despite the fight being necessary to protect people. 


Tl:dr this idea that Tony never accepts responsibility is really baffling to me, because team Cap never seemed to accept responsibility for anything they did wrong. Whereas Tony is constantly accepting blame, and working to improve himself and the situation. 

(A table of contents is available. This series will remain open for additional posts and the table of contents up-to-date as new posts are added.)

Part Four: Writing Travel With Non-Humans

If a list were made of the top mistakes made by–particularly fantasy–writers, surely travel, travel times, distances, and the needs of animals during that travel would be right up there. Consider for a moment that Frodo and Sam’s journey took approximately 6 months to get from the Shire to Mount Doom. But Pear, you say, it’s not like they were walking that whole time! They stayed in Rivendell for two months after he agrees to take the ring! And of course, you’d be right, but consider that they are two days in Moria, and it takes the group 7 days to get from Bree to Weathertop, a time frame which was just travel, for the most part. Take a look at it on a map:

And now consider the entirety of the world map:

Taking into consideration breaks for eating and sleeping, difficult terrain, horses, boats, and walking, Tolkien did a fairly good job of making sure the travel times for his world were accurate or at least plausible.

Now consider that 30 miles is the maximum a human can walk in a day without stops and without considering gear, and it’s more accurate to guesstimate ~10-15 miles. It’s ~40 miles from Washington DC to Baltimore, Maryland and can be driven in ~1 hour. Now consider that roads and highways have turned difficult terrain into easily navigable areas, and that cars have drastically lengthened how far and how long we can travel. A team of horses pulling a carriage can expect approximately 50 miles over an 8-12 hour day. A horse will tire from a gallop after approximately 3 miles, but could trot 15 miles without too much strain as long as a few breaks to walk were interspersed. It’s been recorded that on one particular journey, a horse averaged 31 miles per day, though 20 is a more reasonable. (I haven’t put anything regarding companions with wings due to severe variability. Migrating Alpine swifts have been known to fly 200 days straight while other birds don’t even really glide very well. If your companion has wings, do very thorough research into wing bones and strength and do your best.) My point is: We don’t go as far as we think we do, and neither do our creature companions unless we care for them properly.

Long story short, distance matters.

When you’re trying to decide how long it takes to get from one place to another in your story, or attempting to figure out how long it would take an advancing army to reach their destination, consider that our modern view of maps and distances has become severely warped. “It’s not that far,” and “They could make it there in a couple of hours,” and “They’ll be here tomorrow,” are common assumptions for writers, but they might not take into consideration that our characters, creature or otherwise, cannot travel all day without pause, even on roads.

Terrain

Remember to take terrain into consideration. Your creatures accompanying your characters have different physiology than your humanoid characters, so how fast can they travel? Do they have the body strength to be able to carry someone, specifically the spinal strength? Remember that the more people you add to the back of a creature, the slower the creature will travel, even horses. Additionally, consider what their feet are made from. A horse’s hooves are a dense material that takes long usage fairly well (rocks and terrain difficulties aside) which is part of why they (and other hoofed creatures) make good pack animals and “vehicles,” alongside other factors. We don’t go around riding creatures with paws because paws rub raw faster when burdened with weight and asked to go long distances. Creatures traveling on their own legs will travel differently over different terrain. Remember when I mentioned earlier in the series that you should be thinking about where your creature companions originate from? Their physiology will be tailored to travel best over that kind of terrain. If they’re from meadows, rocky mountains will slow them down. Obviously, travel speeds will change depending on the terrain, and the endurance of your creatures will, too. Horses will become lame if rocks or other materials become lodged in their hooves (think about having a rock in your shoe!). Consider how terrain could impact your creature companion in similar ways depending on the construction of their feet.

Food & Water

The most common trope for feeding our humanoid characters on their journey is that they have rations in their packs: dried fruit, tough bread, hunks of cheese, dried meat jerky, etc. What’s often forgotten about is sufficient and appropriate food and water for creature companions. Water retention and metabolism rates vary widely across creatures. You can’t assume that they’ll function like your humanoids do.

When you were planning your creature companion and where they came from, I asked you to consider what kind of eaters they are (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore) to get a good basic idea of what your companions eat. They’re likely not going to be carrying around their food like your humanoids might, so you need to plan for your characters to either be hunting for the creature or to allow the creature to go off and hunt. But don’t just say, “They went off to hunt, returning three hours later with a bloody maw.” You need to know if the area they paused in has the types of foods your creature eats available. Know the environments they’re traveling in; know what’s around and what’s not. It’s okay for your creatures to go without a meal now and then, but it’s not going to make them happy or pleasant to be around the longer they miss out on food. Be aware of how their personality, their travel speed, their fighting capability, and their focus will be impacted when they are forced to go without food.

For emergency water supplies, it’s recommended to carry 1 gallon of water per person per day while cats and dogs generally need 1 gallon each per 3 days. These measures are not taking travel into account, which would raise the predicted amounts. We almost never think about having that much water hanging around our characters for their trek across wherever, but giving our creatures the breaks they will need and the water they’ll need often gets entirely forgotten. Take breaks. All-day travel is hard, hard work on anyone, car or not. Make sure your characters are traveling between places with potable water, whether that’s sources like rivers or cities with wells.

Stress, Sleep, and Special Care

Travel isn’t a walk in the park. It’s a long, grueling journey, filled with difficult decisions and dangerous encounters. There’s socializing and surviving, and it’s not as simple as going out to do the thing. Stress is going to come into play more and more the longer your characters and creatures travel. Think about how this increase in stress will effect your creature companions. Do they know what’s going on? What’s their perspective on the trip? Have they perceived themselves in danger yet? How will they react when they do? How do they deal with being forced to spend a prolonged amount of time in close quarters with others? Is that normal and welcome to them, or is it strange and not preferred? Will they seek out their own space or stick close to the others?

Remember that sleep is not going to be ideal. It may be few and far between, after long days of intense activity, interrupted by attacks, unfulfilling because of discomfort or anxiety, or any number of other things. You still need to consider how your creature would normally try to sleep, and then think about how they could if they needed to, because, trust me, they’re going to need to. Similar questions to those above should be considered including how your creature will handle going some sleepless nights. How will its mood and ability to handle changes in plan be impacted by lack of sleep? How about appetite and willingness to perform? All the problems we encounter with sleep, sleeplessness, interrupted sleep, and less-than-preferred amounts of sleep will need to be considered for your creatures, as much as for your humanoids.

Some creatures will need tending to when travel ceases, whether for a break or at the end of a day. They may need special attention like horses having their tack removed and a nice rub down, or creatures that traveled in a backpack or on a shoulder may need to wander a bit and stretch the legs. Please, please, pay attention to these things. There’s nothing worse than reading poor animal care from a farm boy going on their first big adventure. Casual mentions of the care and attention are sufficient, but completely ignoring this facet leaves out a big part of what travel is with a creature companion. If your creature is a mythical beast, break it down to its root characteristics to determine how they may need to be bedded down for the night. Are your dragons more lizard-like and likely to seek out warm places for the evening, perhaps burrowing for a nest in the ground? Are your hippogryphs able to find enough materials to nest in or do they take more to the horse side of things and sleep standing? Break things down and determine appropriate care for your creatures, then make sure your humanoids are performing those actions they need to ensure comfort for their companions.

Look. Just don’t forget you’ve got another character who has different needs. Don’t pass them off, don’t forget about them, don’t gloss over them. If you’re going to have a creature companion, you need to make sure you’re treating them like any other character and paying attention to their wants and needs the way you do for humanoids. Make sure you’re not asking them to go too far, too fast, without appropriate access to food and water. Take care of your creatures!

Next up: Contributing abilities!

****WARNING this is super long because I need to address a lot**************
Okay. I’m going to address about 100 anonymous asks I’ve received all at once here. I’m having a difficult time trying to go through all the asks to find ones that aren’t about the same thing.
I posted about how proud I am with Alex and how she’s been playing recently. I’m not taking this back, but I am going to explain it some more for those who seem to not understand it.
Okay.
Alex Morgan is an amazing player. She has an extremely unique way of playing, and she’s become a player that so many defenses want to take down. And I’m about to really break down the importance of why these goals, even against teams that aren’t necessarily the best, are extremely important and worthy of praise. *also sorry that I focused on NT play more, I felt like most people would be able to relate to that more*
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In 2011 Alex was number one overall draft pick in the WPS draft. She went on to win the championship with WNY. This was also the year that she joined the Senior NT. This was a WC year, and she scored two goals. She was also the first player to have a goal and assist in a WC final.
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In 2012, an Olympic year, Alex became a starter for the NT. Alex scored the equalizer and game winning goal during the opening game of the Olympics. This was the year Alex made history. (If you don’t know what I’m about to say then go watch USAvCAN 2012 Olympic semi finale) Alex scored the game winning goal in the 123rd minute; breaking the tie, sending the US to the gold medal match, and setting a US/FIFA record for latest goal. She went on to lead the US in goals, multi-goal games, assists, points, and became one of the only WNT players to have over 20 goals/20 assists in the same calendar year. She also was US soccer’s 2012 Female Athlete of the Year. Seriously just go look up this year for Alex because I compacted it into strictly the most important stuff because I could spend days talking about 2012 and what an amazing year it was for her.
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2013-2015
These years were a dark period in Alex’s life. She was injured three different times. Ankle, ankle again, and knee. She was able to do some amazing things in between her injury times though. With her new club Portland Thorns, in 2013 she was the team’s point leader and scoring leader of the year. She also played a part in getting the championship and resulted her being named to the NWSL second XI. Youngest player in 2013 to ever be named to the All-Time Women’s NT Best XI at 24. She was rewarded top scoring honors for the 2013 Algarve Cup. During the 2015 she scored the only goal against England, which was her returning game to the NT. She scored a goal against Columbia during the WC, after coming back from her knee injury. Though she didn’t score again during the WC anymore she played a vital part in winning PKs and pulling the defense apart.
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2016
This is the year she got her 100th cap and got a goal and assist. During CONCACAF she made another record (tournament and USWNT) with fastest goal at 12 seconds. She later went on to win the golden boot and MVP awards for her performance at the SBC. She had 17 goals in 21 games. She scored 2016’s best goal of the year. She was voted best player during CONCACAF. She was playing like a beast this entire year and if you go back through articles upon articles and different highlights, you’ll be able to see that.
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2017
Even though the year just started she’s done so much with her loan team the Olympique Lyonnais. She has scored a brace, hat trick, and 4 goals in the past 5 games I believe. She’s playing at a higher level then I’ve honestly seen her play in a long time. She’s back in her prime. She’s finally healthy. (Knock on wood *knock knock*) She’s confident again. That’s what matters most.
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As a forward, especially, their mindset and confidence is a huge part of the game. She spent 3 years of her career injured. She played some, but those are prime years for most players and she had to miss out on them because of those injuries. This game isn’t just being physically fit and ready to go, so much of it is a mental game. (Honestly if you don’t play, and if you have never played in a high stress situation, I’m not sure you would ever fully understand) Her “baby horse” mentality is back. And it’s stronger than ever. If you look at everything she did before her injuries it’s monumental. And obviously there was an extreme amount of pressure on her to get back to where she was in 2012 and every time she couldn’t because of injuries it slowly wore down her confidence in her game and her strong mindset.
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The reason I’m so proud of her is because she fought that. She pushed past three long years of injuries, lack of confidence/results, and honestly most players would have extreme doubt at that point. She had to push past critics that said she would never play the same way again. That she lost her spark. Well guess what, she didn’t. Baby horse is back and better than ever. Baby Horse is all grown up and ready to destroy all her haters and critics. . Sorry for how long it is. Needed to rant to hateful and bitter anons.

k but like. the thing that gets me is how. much this whole thing reads like a crush? like, i feel like this is encroaching “omgggg they’re so canonnnn” post territory but it’s just like… it’s so adorable? 

konoha being like “you could just ignore him sometimes keiji” with a teasing smirk and then akaashi just softly smiling like “nah man watching him makes me feel nice” and then the team immediately horsing around like “aw man you should tell him/nooo don’t are you kidding” and it’s so… so much like giggling at your friend about a crush

and like… the fact that they probably know this is gonna be akaashi’s reaction, so they’re just like “hey, *winkwink* our little kouhai, you could *winkwink* ignore him *winkwink* you lovestruck little bugger” like they fucking know this is the only time akaashi keiji is ever gonna smile that soft smile and i just 

i wanna cry?