Kender Childhood

by Kipper Snifferdoo

by Vallenie Honeythorn

From around the age of four to five most kender begin to thirst for something that goes hand in hand with their later wanderlust craving, and that is a craving for knowledge. The curiosity that was instilled in them when they were born begins to grow along with the little kinderkin and they begin to ask "why". Other races think this stage of life in a little ones life can be exasperating and within a year children of other races do grow out of it. Kender as a rule, do not. Some kender scholars even argue that this is also the most the most dreaded moment of a kender parents life. It is important to note that kender parents often do not give reasons to "why" this and "why" that, for it is the continued growth of that very curiosity, the need to find out answers that are not easily provided, that fuels the drive for wanderlust in the young kenderkins life.

So kender attend "School". Although if you ask a kenderkin just where they went to school, be prepared for a long answer. Kender do not attend school in one location but many locations. The kender community assists in the raising of kender children. When a child hears a tale of how their Uncle Slipknot managed to write himself a pardon letter, thereby saving himself from execution from an elven trial, they want to learn how to write. When the latest craze among young teenage kender is learning how to taunt in minotaur, they learn how to speak an additional language. When the find out they they might be able to cast a spell if they only knew how to read they delve into that with a passion.

Among other things they role-play the adventure of their peers, by hiding in the shadows of buildings, scaling the walls of imaginary keeps, and finding "treasure". Kender are naturally quick handed and dexterous and learn over time that getting caught can cause so many problems and hurt feelings between people that it's always best to check things out as inconspicuously as possible. This way when they return something there are no hard feelings. Over time this handling of objects becomes second nature, (some will argue first nature even), and the intent is never evil, but a product of their natural curiosity and should not be mistaken as a sign of greed.

Occasionally small groups of young kender can be found being watched over by older friends or relatives, so that the kender parents can take care of their duties within the community. These care takers (sometimes referred to as "Kender Wranglers") keep an eye on these younger kender that are usually between 3 and 7 years old. They are mostly there to help kender that have skinned a shin or to hand out snacks or tell tales and suggest games, and also to teach morale lessons, basically to keep the kenderkin preoccupied during the day. These houses usually have fenced in yards where the kenderkin can roam, and many locks on the front door (This of course is not for the security of the kender wrangler's house, but more for the entertainment of the young kender that try to pick the locks.

Older kender starting around 7 usually have free range of the city or village of which they live in. Unlike human cities there are not many places a young kender can go in a kender society and be accosted by strangers. So the freedom afforded to a young kender is much more than other races. Which only serves to reinforce their ideals of fearlessness and wandering.

It is around this time that a young kender will drift from one kender mentor to another for the next couple years of their life. When they are not playing with their friends they are learning a trade or skill from the adult kender in the community. This is the beginning of their practical "Real Life" learning experience. They become apprentices to older kender in the community and learn to read and write if necessary, or how to hunt, fish, or farm. The training the kender recieves during this period in life will reflect the skills that he or she will have when they sets out for wanderlust. But do not be under the impression that the kender are industrious in the the sense of humans or dwarves may be. They try their best at the trade which they are being taught, but any day they could be off following a butterfly trail and leave the work to their older more (loosely termed) "serious minded" elders.

Once a Kenderkin starts to reach their teenage years they start to become more involved with the life they will encounter during their wanderlust. These kender will begin to shy away from the "duties and responsibilities" they have created for themselves by assisting in adults in the community. and seek out weapons masters and hunters, that can teach them how to live off the land and wield a hoopak or whippik without harming themselves. Survival skills are taught through forages out into the wild and wilderness games such as the Graystone Scavenger Hunt or wild Goatsucker chases.

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