Nickname: Ferns, Ferney, Fleetheart (on occassion)
Full Name: Fernleigh Fleetheart Middleton
Species: European brown hare
Overall, Fern is a pretty typical-looking hare. His fur is short and sandy brown with a dark undertone, a lighter, almost white underbelly, and plenty of black flecked throughout as well as lining the tips of his long ears. Although he's still young - 12 seasons - Fern is considered small for his age, though he will undoubtedly grow to be as tall and lanky as the majority of his species. His face has a round look to it, with wide, sky blue eyes. These traits will serve to make him appear much younger than his true age when he's grown, but as yet have no notable effect on his current outward appearance. Markings-wise, he doesn't have any scars or tattoos. The fur around his eyes is perhaps a shade lighter than the rest of his body and he has a faded white splotch across his forehead, still fading as he ages.
By way of clothing, Fern usually wears a green smock or a short, brown tunic, neither of them special or notable in any way. He possesses a pair of sandals but rarely wears them, preferring to run about "bare pawed" wherever he may be. He also has a cord belt, again something he rarely wears by choice. His parents may or may not force him to dress up or down for various situations or activities. He also has a monocle, yet another accessory he deams unworthy to carry around with him. He'll make use of it when he's old. Fern has a vested interest in piercing himself, interestingly enough; he's managed to pierce both ears twice so far, much to his family's horror.
Possessions: At the moment, not much; he'll certainly carry a weapon of some sort once he's joined up with the Long Patrol, but as it is… nothing. He'll wear simple gold hoops in his ears - accessories filched from a dead searat and given to him as a souvenier - until he's caught. He also has a vague interest in boxing, though he isn't very good at it and doesn't plan to be. Fern knows how to sling and occassionally borrows one for sport or practice.
- Compassionate : this is almost a flaw in that his main sense of compassion for other creatures is derived from a feeling of pity that they aren't hares and therefore can't take care of themselves (as well as a hare could). As he never voices this feeling or lets it affect his views negatively, however, this sense of duty to "lesser" creatures remains one of his better traits.
- Optimistic : he isn't immune to feeling down or occasional bouts of depression, of course, but he rarely stays down for long and tends to take it upon himself to try and cheer other creatures up whenever they're unhappy.
- Independent : mostly as an adult but occasionally as a child, Fern will not rely on others for or to help with any thing or situation he has control of or can manipulate.
- Sharp-eyed : He has a good eye for spotting things otherbeasts may overlook. His attention to detail tends to comes off as something like OCD as a child.
- Loyalty : Fernleigh is in possession of the blind, steadfast loyalty most Salamandastron hares tend to be afflicted with.
- Garrulous : most of the time, Fern just can't put a sock in it. He could talk all day and never run out of things to say. If it weren't for the fact that he'd need to close his mouth to swallow whenever food got put in it, he likely would never stop.
- Gluttonous : food is something he has cherished from the day of his birth. It would take an extreme circumstance to separate Fern from a dishfull of anything.
- Hit-first-ask-questions-later : This may appear as bravery at times, but it's mostly just stupidity. It might be better termed as "poor strategist." He'd rather be given a task, do it, and go home with as little time wasted thinking as possible. Also along this line, he can be a little critical of others, putting too much emphasis on a perceived bad first impression.
- Bluntness, Dishonesty: Fern tends to be brutally honest right when it's best not to be. On this same note, if Fern doesn't want to share something or face the music - whatever that may be - he has no qualms whatsoever fibbing his way around it. This trait has gotten him in trouble in the past, but as yet has had no lasting professional consequences on his future.
- Size : this will become less a flaw as he reaches maturity, but at the moment Fern's slight stature causes difficulties for him mainly in that he lacks upper body strength and can't keep up with his peers.
- Relentless : or, "workaholic." Once he starts something - anything - he finds it near impossible to stop until his task is completed. This rarely applies to something constructive, such as chores or training. Eating, dogging his family, and playing pranks, on the other paw…
- Vanity : not so much as to be incredibly detrimental to his character, but certainly noteworthy; it will become more a flaw as he ages.
Fernleigh comes from a long line of Long Patrol hares on his father's side of the family, they having lived at Salamandastron since before the time of Lord Brocktree and the establishment of the Long Patrol. His mother, on the other paw, is from the mountains north of Mossflower and has a strong accent and a stronger personality to prove it. They met while he was on patrol, and she traveled back with him to live at Salamandastron within the season. Fern has an older sister and twin younger siblings, male and female, all of whom were born at the mountain; however, Fernleigh, in breaking with tradition and quite by accident, was born at the abbey of Redwall. He did not see his mountain home until his second season.
His initial dibbunhood years were peaceful. He spent his days doing what most Salamandastron leverets did - running along the beach, learning his letters and numbers, raiding the kitchens, playing pranks on the officers, and generally making a cheerful nuisance of himself. Fernleigh has never doubted the fact that he intends to join the Patrol, and he keeps this ambition in mind at all times, moreso now he is reaching the age to join.