A is for Angora (A to Zed Blog Challenge – the A to Zed of Jhrin)

Angoras are large mammals bred for the soft, water-repellent fur used to make warm winter outer garments. They are omnivores, grazing on grasses, digging for mountain tubers, and occasionally killing and eating smaller mammals. They thrive in the high valleys of the Fishhook Mountains on the Southern Island of Istavara.

Adult females grow to approximately four feet at the shoulder, while adult males top out at about three feet. Both males and females can defend themselves from mountain predators with sharp claws, fangs, and large curved horns. The horns are also used for rutting during mating season. The young are called kits. Horns begin growing after the first year, but claws and fangs are present from birth.

Herding is a family business and hard to break into for those not born to it. Plucking is a delicate and demanding job, requiring complete trust between the animals and their caretakers. Fur is plucked before the herds head up into the mountains for the summer, keeping the angoras cool during the hottest part of the year. The fur is then baled and taken for processing, where it’s cleaned, dyed, and woven into cloth before shipping to other areas of Jhrin.

Those outside Istavara, who generally only see aerial views of fluffy herds on various aithercasts, or only see the finished clothing rather than an up close and personal view of a full-grown buck or doe, tend to underestimate Angoras, mockingly referring to the shepherds as “bunny herders”. That said, anyone who has made that mistake in a pub brawl never makes the mistake twice; a successful bunny herder needs strength, quick reflexes, and a commanding stare to keep even a pair of Angoras in check, let alone an entire herd in mating season.

Those born in the Year of the Angora are known to be intelligent, protective, stubborn, and impetuous.

Drawn in the style of a Solstice Daruma for luck in the coming year.

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