First Day, part 7 [1 Trandary 4261]
Having ritually told Virid (and Gnarn, I suppose) "Thanks for last year, now give us your Verbs and all for another year and nothing else thank you", and, more importantly, had lunch, and, still more importantly, paid for it and made up the lozen-and-a-third that the senior Grentians were short, we escaped past the ravenous hordes of beribboned carpenters and tailors and leaf-fliers and cheesemakers, and retreated to Ghaln-Yastrou Park for privacy, shaking, and apologies.
And, of course, mud. Yesterday was winter, and yesterday was the remnants of a terrible fearsome snowstorm all over the ground. The remaining drifts had been over my head, if I had wanted to be standing comfortably on the ground; a few even came near to Tethezai's waist. On second thought, those were probably artificial snowdrifts, helped along by Herethroy with shovels and snow moved from boardwalks. In any case, there was still a great deal of snow left. By midafternoon today, much of it had melted, save for the occasional spiky green-brown ice-hedgehog castle, and today even those will be gone.
(And, for all monsters, "ice-hedgehog castle" is the etymology of the word for such a thing. If there are real ice hedgehogs, I hope their castles are less transient and fragile than these.)
In any case, Ghaln-Yastrou Park was no better suited for walking today than it had been yesterday, which is to say, only the boardwalks were at all passable on the ground, on pain of having to clean your boots if you got off of them. Dustweed and Tethezai were willing to pay this price for a bit of privacy, trudging across the picnic field into one of the little clumps of trees where, well, couples traditionally get a little privacy but not too much. Privacy even from me in this case -- they asked me to float guard outside, and discourage people from creeping up on them unawares.
Yes, I can see them. No, they're just talking.
Which gave me time for reflection and meditation. Tethezai had a serious Cani boyfriend, after Cheffnarry. Tethezai knew Anoof, one of Havune's fiances, well enough to be furious when Havune was being ... not disloyal, exactly, but complicated in his loyalties. Which leaves me very curious ... and how does one ask such a question? Which should one ask?
Which, since I am still lurking by the side of the path, waiting to leap out and confront anyone who tries to track my roommate and zir consort to their chosen lair (from which I hear occasional low snatches of phrases like, "Why didn't you tell me that earlier?". From Tethezai, which confuses me greatly.), leads me to inordinately complicated sentence structure and an Informal Normative and Practical Table of Transaffection. The Normative Fraction Transaffectionate is, what fraction of that species' upper classes should be transaffectionate to some noticeable degree -- say, as much as Havune (who can be induced to a certain amount of kissing and fondling by an Orren), not necessarily as much as Tethezai (who actively falls in love with a Herethroy).
The Practical Fraction is what fraction actually does. These numbers are based on (1) my opinions, and (2) a casual impression of rumor and innuendo, and, as such, inaccuracy and error are out of the question.
|Species||Normative Fraction Transaffectionate||Practical Fraction Transaffectionate|
|Cani||1/4||1/3. Bad Cani.|
|Orren||1/3||1/5. Worse Orren.|
|Zi Ri||1/5||1/1, for lack of conspecifics, alas|
|Gormoror||1/10||1/3. Or maybe 1/30.|
|Khtsoyis||1/1||1/20 for lack of willing partners|
Not that I have any great degree of acquaintance with the last three, nor even good sources of rumor. There are only a handful of Gormoror at the Academy; a Sleeth or two, and I don't think any Khtsoyis at all, which is the proper number.
Rather more than this have tried it out and found it unsatisfying, I should think. A third? A sixth? I suppose a third of higher society and a sixth of not-quite-so-high?
I wonder if one could get actual facts here. It's an awfully personal question to go asking everyone, and an awfully rude thing to put the answers into charts and tables. A spell like The Complete Census might work, though I suspect the gods pay less attention to matters which they do not have to get personally involved, so I daresay it would stretch even my grandparent's powers to do it...
At any rate, it seems appropriate to carry on a theoretical exercise in cross-species affection when one is serving as the defender of an actual instance of it. But the actual instance of it seems to have progressed passed the fearsome conversation and on to the sitting on of laps and not talking very much, so I daresay it is time to go.