[15 Chirreb 4261]
I rather slunk into Nendrai Ethology, somewhat concealed
behind bits of Esory. I was not so lucky as I had hoped;
Prof. Phrass called me out immediately, and demanded to know
what the nendrai had been up to that day. Half of our
conversation was a state secret, and the other half was
arguably me betraying a friend. I don’t think Phrass was
particularly pleased with my non-answer. Too bad for them
– that’s what they’re going to get more often than not.
(Well, I’d just as soon not arguably betray too many more
friends. It’s not delightful, and I wouldn’t have any friends
left if I did.)
Prof. Wynge gave the actual lecture, though. He’s much
better when he’s standing on an ottoman in front of a
classroom than when he’s sitting on a couch with
Prof. Phrass’ tail flapping against his (the Rassy’s) ankle.
This lecture was about various forms of their skin
structures. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be
made of silk, say, as a couple of nendrai were. I cannot
wholly endorse the activities of Gnarn. Unfortunately, she
doesn’t need my endorsement.
Ilottat made up some freakish little excuse to get out of
having dinner in public with me, so I collected Esory and
Leiska and Seeks-the-Octahedral-Remedy and Tethezai. Seeks,
of course, invited Rhedwy. I was rather upset about Ilottat,
so I sort of ordered a beetles-in-brine appetizer in place
of dinner, and sulked.
Rhedwy:“Rrahi, we have girls’ night at Square
Esory:“Oh, that’s just ’cause Ilottat had to
butter his bees.” (Not his exact excuse, but not
Tethezai:“Sythyry’s a girl now?”
Esory:“Sure, why not? Zie’s an Orren girl half
the time I see zir.”
Tethezai:“Not that much, surely. I more or
less live with zir, and I don’t see zir as an Orren more
than four or five hours a day.”
I don’t think it’s that much! Maybe two or three, on a good
– which is to say, Ilottat-ful — day. If I’m not seeing
him, I rarely am to be seen in anything but Zi Ri shape.
Me:“No, no.” With all due respect to
… um … I don’t see why this has anything to do with
respect about anyone. I wasn’t feeling as pleasant and
social as sometimes.
Rhedwy:“Oh, Sythyry, you too are bipedal now?
I am now alone in the having of four legs!”
Me:[shrug, peer at beetles in brine, ignore
Tethezai:“I beg your pardon!”
Rhedwy:[ostentatiously peering at Tethezai]“Ah,
I forget that you have two of the ordinary kind of legs, and
the two other legs which are the invisible kind of legs.
You must forgive me, and quickly!”
Tethezai:“Fool of a Sleeth!”
Rhedwy:“Precisely! This highly follysome
reason is why you must forgive me.”
Strenata:“What do you mean?”
Tethezai:“My sweetie has twice as many legs as
you do, Strenata. Twice as many genders too.”
Strenata curled up her tail and flattened her ears. She
still hasn’t become accustomed to just how brazen me and my
friends are. I’m quite sure she’d rather live on a Tree
where nobody did more than occasionally ogle another
species. (Except, well, what is she doing with
Nestrune? She’s still riding with him
In any case, she started an argument of sorts about
Enchantment, between Esory and Rhedwy. She kept trying to
incite me into it, too: “Well, Sythyry, can a
skeropythrope be made from glass and arken wood?” I just
looked woefully at her and sat on my wings and mumbled
incoherently. She stopped prodding me, after a while.
They looked like they were getting ready for an evening of
chattery and enjoying of small amounts of brandy, and I
didn’t really want either one. I tried to leave a lozen
(more than enough for the beetles) and slink off without
anyone noticing. Unfortunately, it is not possible to slink
away from a Sleeth without anySleeth noticing, not even by
slipping under the table and levitating, so I got a long
round of goodbying and are-you-OK-ing.
And, instead of getting an apology sort of thing and a
come-over-and-visit from Ilottat, I got a very limp apology
sort of thing and a
changing his name and he has to do some research. Now.
Right now. He can’t just, say, write down the name
he’s considering, and investigate it over the next two
days. Or accept the possibility that it might mean “Square
Duck Fart Levitate” in Old High Drunken Squeamish
Umtangeian, which nobody but linguists has spoken for two
No, no. When an Orren wants to do something, he wants to do
it now, and even a day or two of delay is simply
Am I allowed to swear off Orren for life if I’m actually in
love and involved with one?
Am I allowed to swear off Orren for life if I'm actually in love and involved with one?
And, while we're off the topic, what do you think of beetles in brine?
And how about pan-fried cheese with raw crushed garlic and lemon juice?