Farm Physician, Chirurgeon, Herbalist
Company of Rogues
Forcythia Maud Hypatia Bolingbroke hails from Long Cleeve.
Her father Bandobras is a respected apothecary; her mother Deidre is a midwife. Sent to gather hawthorn, goldenseal, yarrow and cohosh in Yondershire's high moors often as she was to mince feverfew, poppy and mint from the garden, keeping her father’s shelves stocked was part & parcel of her upgrowing years. Some of Bandobras’s draughts & teas went in the baskets of linen always kept in ready. When laboring Hobbit-mothers called for Deidre, Forcythia followed to carry the baskets, brew the teas, and generally be a second pair of steady hands.
Of cheery, pragmatic temperament to her fellow creatures in general, Forcythia loves above all the company of animals: Varied and colorful in personality as people (and often far more reasonable), her childhood years were an endless catalogue of one tubby calico, spaniel, thrush, snake, lamb, squirrel, and hedgehog after another.
Coming of age, therefore, no one was particularly startled when she elected to put her stomach for physicking and ample priming in herb-lore to use, in the healing of birds and beasts, throwing herself into both practical apprenticeships and formal book-study with voracious aplomb.
Now comfortably set up with every prospect of a flourishing practice, Forcythia travels the Yondershire as a farm doctor: Treating injured hunting hounds, sickly cows, lamed plough ponies, or the silly spotted pig who always finds a new way to get stuck in the ever-more elaborate fencing around Odo Higginbotham’s prize vegetable patch.
Every bit as comfortable talking to lambs or geese as people, she has exceptional understanding of how animals behave in response to mood, body posture, herd mentality, and verbal commands. Practiced in handling agitated, incoherent creatures in pain since childhood, her calm authority resonates with her quadruped charges as that of a firm, magnanimous alpha.
Steady hands and Hobbit sense (she says) take care of the rest.
When she’s not stitching paws, she can be found in the lush moors as always collecting medicinal herbs, honey, and wild roots.
She lives on the outskirts of Long Cleeve with her motley‘family:’
- Raul, a lop-eared hare hound (“Raw-HOOOOoooouuuuuul!” in his own words)
- Cloud, a dapple pony (never in much of a hurry, but a stout little fellow)
- Suzanne, a slender dun donkey Milo Throckmorton brought in lame from the mill one too many times before Forcythia & her staff assumed “protective custody” (She carries herb baskets now, and is much healthier)
- Tansy, her goat (a picture of perfect indifference), and
- Will-o’-Wisp (or ‘Willow’ for short), a wild lynx she once freed from a trap, who followed her home. Too aloof to let himself be tamed, he nonetheless deigns to eat her food, occasionally mauling the odd errant goblin who might stalk his dinner-bringer.
* * *
The Hobbits of Long Cleeve, and Yondershire in general. All manner of beast & bird.
Bandobras & Deidre (parents). Three siblings (two older, one younger). Paternal first cousin to Applecider Bolingbroke (Cider’s father Thaddeus being, as he is, elder brother to Bandobras).
None of any serious nature, save Milo Throckmorton, who overworks his mill donkey.
Gardening. Good books, good food & good drink. Quilting. Patients who take their draughts without biting.
Hating isn't something she has much use for, though losing patients is bitter to bear. She doesn't suffer fools gladly
To heal. To learn answers to Things Unknown. To maybe one day take home the blue ribbon for goat cheese, cider, or quilting at Northcotton Faire.
“Hush yer caterwaulin’, stop droolin’ on the carpet, hold still an’ take yer medicine.”
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