August 26th, 2002


Cold Reception [4 Oix 4260]

Orren go to the river or the ponds when it is hot. Herethroy go to the mushroom cellars, I guess, and Gormoror to the depths of the forests. Cani, presumably choof to see who has to wave big feathery fans at whom. Rassimel students of moderate means, of course, go to Cafe du Fronde, where someone or other has produced great jets of snow from the jugs under the potted fern trees, and there gobble down pots of snow doused in syrup or wine. And Zi Ri, inexplicably, go with them, though they order tea and sit on the pot.

Which meant that we -- Thery, Yarwain, and myself -- were seated at a small round barrel-top table on one side of an intermittent shower of snow. And, inevitably, Iska was on a table on the other side, reading something about which god likes which kind of sequence better. I waved a wing, and did my best to ignore her, and chatter with Thery and Yarwain about characterization in some novels that, if all goes well, I will never live long enough to read.

"I think this is silly a little," Iska remarked to me, "for that they write every god likes a different mathematics. Do you suppose the physical gods are even careful about arithmetic? Flokin and Tenmen, have they knowledge of numbers?"

"Flokin can do arithmetic," said Thery, who knows these things and is not fussy about talking to foreigners. "It told Gar-Mnetang that he would have to find a way to spend seven times eleven times thirteen cley but not a thousand and one cley, to make the Mile-Tall Candle."

"But that is not what happened when it talked to Martsetsnu," said Iska, and the two of them were off on a theologian's debate. Spell-made snow showered over my feathers and scales and chilled by tea-chalice. Yarwain looked tolerantly bored.

In a few minutes, Iska had joined us at our barrel. This required that I get off the teapot to make room for her. I'm sure that ninety-nine primes out of a hundred would have found the chair delightfully cool, but I was the minority.

The cross minority! A third of an hour into the conversation, I did my smoky-throated best to cram an old anecdote about my famous grandparent and Lenhirrik, despite the fact that it made neither conversational nor theological sense. All the Rassimel stared at me. I finished my tea and flew off home in a hurry.
  • Current Music