Hey all! I was reminiscing on my time playing Ocarina of Time, and my thoughts strayed to Anju the Cuckoo lady in Kakariko. It made me wonder…was she really losing her cuckoos on accident, or was she doing it on purpose so Link would help her and therefore be near her? Did she have feelings for him? Probably not in canon, but in my story, these are the reflections of her secret love for Link. Enjoy!
I sigh as I helplessly watch another one of my cuckoos jump the fence before I can catch him. I really should build a higher fence.
It seems as if I can never truly keep track of them all. It hasn't always been that way. They used to listen to me when I would yell for them to come to me. But after Hyrule fell to the evil lord who ruled it, the cuckoos have gotten restless and more aggressive, and therefore more difficult to control. The cuckoos must be affected by this darkness more than I thought.
Suddenly (and thankfully) an oddly-dressed young man is nearby, watching the scene curiously. "Sir! Hey, sir!" I shout, hoping to catch his attention over all the squawking of the birds. I am rewarded by him looking in my direction and walking over.
"Can I help you miss?" he said with genuine curiosity.
"Um, well, you see…my cuckoo over there escaped my pen, and if I leave to go catch him, the rest will possibly all jump out and scatter…and then I'd have to find them all," I say shyly. "I was wondering if you might, if it isn't too much trouble…" I seem to be having trouble using my voice today…
"Go find him and bring him back for you?" he replies, a small smile on his face.
I nod, maybe a little too quickly. "Y-yes, that would be really great."
The man rewards me with another small smile, nods, and sets off. I realize I have no idea what his name is, and I decide to ask him as soon as he returns. Watching him search for my cuckoo, I realize how handsome he is. That smile was really something nice. He looks to be about my age, maybe a little older.
I see a triumphant grin grace his face as he catches the cuckoo and quickly starts racing back towards me before the cuckoo can wrestle its way out of his strong grip.
He comes right up to me, that grin still on his face, and deposits the angry cuckoo back in the pin. I thought it might jump out again, but something keeps it inside. Perhaps it doesn't want to be wrestled by the man again.
"Here you are miss," he says proudly, as if it was his greatest accomplishment. Which I highly doubt.
I smile, probably looking a little goofy, "Thanks…I really appreciate it."
He nods again, "I best be off, I have some…things I need to take care of."
"O-okay, well thanks again," I stammer. As he begins to walk away, I remember something. "Wait!" He turns toward me, a questioning look on his handsome face. "I was just wondering…if maybe you could tell me your name? So I can thank you properly." Cause that's my excuse of course…
"My name is Link," he states, holding out his hand to shake hers, "And you are…?"
"Oh! I'm Anju," I say softly, mesmerized by his blue eyes. Realizing his hand is still suspended in the air, I hastily grasp it and we shake hands.
"Have a good evening Anju." He tips his strange floppy green cap, and heads off at a jog, moving towards the skutulla house.
"What on earth is he thinking going there?" I mutter, now afraid for him. "Anju stay calm. I'm sure he can take care of himself." I nod to myself, still not entirely convinced of my words, and turn to feed the hungry cuckoos.
It's been a few weeks since Link was here, and things have been going surprisingly well. None of the cuckoos have attempted to flee the pen, maybe still remembering how the man had bodily returned one of their members. I find myself missing him a little, even though I barely know Link. I tell myself it is because he was so helpful, but I know deep down that I have a little crush on him. It's silly of course. I might never see him again, so there is no point on thinking about his dreamy blue eyes and shining blond hair and lithe muscular body…I'm doing it again. Stop thinking about him! My internal talk isn't doing any good, as my thoughts still stray back to him.
Suddenly, as if he magically was transported from my head to reality, Link comes sprinting into the village, looking for…something. He doesn't seem panicked, but rather determined. And very disheveled. His eyes lock on something on the roof of a building and he pulls out some contraption and shoots it. The hook locks onto the edge of the roof, and then he's flying through the air, magically planting his feel on the gutter and climbing quickly to the top.
I somehow end up outside the cuckoo pen and below the roof, watching him make his way gracefully across the tiles. I see him pick up something that looks like a heart and hold it victoriously in the air above his head. He strangely is able to fit in it a little pocket on his belt, makes his way to the edge of the roof, and jumps off. I yelp, afraid he's going to hurt himself. I shouldn't have worried. He does a tuck and roll, ending up on his feet brushing himself off. Before he can see me, I run back into the pin.
Why I do this, I honestly don't know (yes you do Anju). I pick up a cuckoo and throw it out of the pen. It looks at me, dumbfounded, and ambles off.
Link starts to walk in the opposite direction, and suddenly I'm speaking. "Link!" It sounds strangled.
His head whips toward the sound and a perfect smile graces his face. "Hey Anju!"
I try to look distressed, hoping its convincing. "I'm so sorry to trouble you with this again, and it looks like you're busy…"
A smirk forms on his lips and he shakes his head, trying not to laugh. "One of your cuckoos escape again?"
"I…I'm sorry Link. I know it's silly. Usually they make their way back here, but for some reason this one hasn't come back for a while and I'm worried about him." This lie sounds ridiculous even to my ears, but maybe he won't notice.
"Well that's not good, " Link says, looking genuinely concerned. A part of me feels victorious for getting him to believe me, but I can hear the small voice inside of me chastising me for lying to him. "I'll go catch it for you. Do you know what direction it went?"
I realize that I wasn't even paying attention to that. I point silently to my right, towards the windmill. Hopefully it actually went that way…
Link comes a little closer, putting his hand on my shoulder and giving it a little squeeze, "Don't worry Anju, I'm sure it didn't go far. I'll be back before you know it."
I am very, very aware of his hand on me, and I hope I'm not blushing. "Okay," I say softly. "Good luck."
And there he goes, off on the chase. I can feel a knot in my stomach, worrying that I sent him on a wild cuckoo chase (pun intended). He returns surprisingly fast and I can tell that the cuckoo probably really did go towards the windmill, as he is coming from there.
Dumping the cuckoo back in the pen, he turns to me with that hypnotizing smile of his. "He likes to run around, but I was able to outsmart him and caught him unawares." His expression turns concerned. "Does this happen often Anju?"
I feel frozen and unable to respond. It really doesn't happen all the time. Realizing I need to say something, I manage to get my voice to work, "Not all the time, just sometimes. I think I need to build a better fence or something."
"Well how about I build you one?"
I shake my head quickly, "Link you don't have to do that, I can manage on my own. You have more important things to do I'm sure." The little Anju inside me is doing a happy dance. Link might actually stick around to help! But that wouldn't be fair to him…I really should be turning him down like this.
"It's really no problem at all, I can have it done in a day tops." He doesn't look the least bit arrogant when he says that, just honest.
"W-well, I don't have any wood…"
Link laughs, "Well that's what trees are for Anju!"
I blush and feel extremely stupid. "Oh…right."
He puts his warm hand on my shoulder again and I have trouble focusing on his voice. "Do you have an ax?"
"Um…I don't think so, but maybe the guy next door does…" Wow…nice going Anju. You basically have nothing useful. Except for cuckoo feed.
I can tell he's trying not to laugh, and he thankfully manages not to. "I'll go ask. I bet I can get some white paint at the store too."
"Oh! Let me get you some rupees, " I mumble, reaching into my apron clumsily.
He stills my hand, "It's ok, paint isn't very expensive. I'll take care of it."
I sigh, "Well how can I repay you?"
Link grins, "How about some food?" My heart clenches. Is this a date?
"S-sure, I'll see what I can find."
Each time Link would return to Kakariko for some reason, a cuckoo or two would "somehow" escape. The problem with this was that I began to realize that this probably isn't making me look good in his eyes.
The problem is that I foolishly fell in love with him.
I know there can never be something between us. He speaks to me of another girl in his life. Her name is Malon and she lives at Lon Lon ranch. I've seen her here selling their famous milk. She's really pretty and seems nice enough…I can tell why Link loves her. I don't know if Link knows how I feel about him, but he does tell me that I will also find someone special.
How can I find someone more special than Link?
I want to be near him, even if it does make me look like a fool.