[Moomin] Good Things
770 words. Fluff and eating bugs.
"Snufkin!" Moomin waved his friend over, holding the butterfly net full of fluttering insects. "Come see what we caught!"
From his shoulder, Little My cackled, trying to get at the net with her pointy little fingers, muttering about freaking Sniff out later by putting one of the bugs in his bed. Moomin ignored her. With any luck, she'd be focused on Sniff and not do it to him.
"Moomintroll." Snufkin greeted him with a nod, his hands full with his pole and bucket to catch fish. He looked politely curious as he switched the bucket over to the paw holding the pole, so he had a paw free.
"Snufkin." Moomin grinned back, holding the net out for Snufkin to take a look. It was a pretty impressive haul, usually they didn't catch quite so many bugs.
"Oh! Thank you." Snufkin smiled, the tip of his tail curling happily.
Then he reached into the net, grabbed a large twitching beetle, and popped it into his mouth. Snufkin looked delight as the bug made crunching noises as it was crushed between Snufkin’s teeth.
Little My made a soft gagging sound that Moomin almost wanted to echo. Moomin swallowed instead, trying to keep his stomach settled, the phantom sensation of something wiggling in his mouth making him feel a little queasy.
"I haven't had beetles in ages." Snufkin cheerfully mused as he peered into the net, fingers wiggling as he decided which insect to eat next before grabbing one and popping it into his mouth. Moomin tried not to wince at the crunchy noises again.
"You're eating BUGS." Little My pointed out, as if she was unsure that Snufkin was aware of what he was doing.
"Yes." Snufkin agreed, as calmly as anything. "It's very nostalgic. I lived off insects when I was little, before I figured out how to fish."
Sometimes Moomin forgot that Snufkin grew up without any one to care for him. It broke his heart every time, he couldn't imagine anyone not loving Snufkin or not wanting him around.
"You can have as many as you like." Moomin offered. He wanted Snufkin to have good things. Well, as many good things as Snufkin would accept, seeing as Snufkin didn’t like the concept of owning objects. And if good things meant bugs, well, okay then. Moomin was happy to supply.
Snufkin looked surprised, his tail pausing for a moment before flicking uncertainty. "Are you sure you don't want any?" He asked as if dumbfounded by the idea that no one else wanted to dine on insects.
"No thanks!" Little My spoke for both of them, Moomin shaking his head.
"I'll take another beetle then." Snufkin said with a tilt of his head, reaching in and grabbing a beetle, which vibrated its wings angrily at them. "Never cared much for butterflies, their powdery wings are awfully dry and salty. It makes my mouth dry out and feel weird."
Not something that Moomin had ever considered before.
"Lunch time!" Mamma thankfully called, providing a handy distraction. "Moomintroll! Little My!"
"I'll see you later." Snufkin said, nodding politely at them and walking away before Moomin could invite him along. He ate the beetle as he left, humming happily as he did so, tail swaying merrily.
"Ew." Little My said, wrinkling her nose. “Can you imagine picking bug legs out of your teeth later?”
Moomin resisted the urge to cover his own, non bug filled mouth, imaginary insect legs sticking uncomfortably in his teeth like tiny fishbones. “I am now.” He said morosely.
Little My cackled, jumping off his shoulder to the ground, and making a beeline to the Moomin house, her work as a troublemaker clearly done. Moomin shook his head as he freed the bugs they'd caught before following.
Little My was chortling as she ate, feet kicking happily as Moomin climbed on to the porch. He slid into his normal seat, which gave him a view of Snufkin sitting in the grass, tossing his line into stream to catch his lunch.
He wondered how long it had taken Snufkin to learn how to fish, and to find other things to eat than insects. If he’d had enough to eat, and if it tasted good.
"Hey, Mamma?" Moomin asked as he watched Snufkin reach into the pail of bait, pulled out a worm and ate it, like it was a noodle. "Can we invite Snufkin over for meals more often?"
"Of course." Mamma looked surprised at the request. She invited Snufkin as often as she had the opportunity to do so, delighting in having another at the table, even if Snufkin usually turned her down. "As often as he's comfortable with."
Moomin nodded, making a note to ask Snufkin more often. While Snufkin may have found bugs to be good things, Moomin couldn’t imagine anything being more delicious than Mamma's cooking.
(I have eaten insects before, both on purpose and not. The crunchy is from me eating cicada on purpose, the salty powdery taste of butterfly wings is from the time I accidentally ate a moth. I imagine the wings are similar in texture. If you know otherwise, please let me know!)
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