A Young Person's Garden of Horses[15 Trandary 4261]
Strenata:"I'm very sorry, Sythyry, but I won't be able to go to the Yistreian Chorus tomorrow night after all."
Me:"Pity, that, but I suppose I should be glad that you told me today rather than tomorrow late. What is it? Riding with Nestrune?"
Strenata:[not smiling]"That's tonight. No, I have been summoned home by my parents for a formal dinner with their superior officers."
Strenata:"They're in the City Guard. The quiet side of it."
Me:"Oh. Strenata? May I ask a bit of a rude question?"
Strenata:[curling her tail around herself and bristling rather a lot]"I might not answer."
Me:"Fair enough, I suppose... why is it that you sometimes cancel evenings out with me, but never with Nestrune?"
Strenata:[relaxing -- relaxing? I do not understand Orren!]"La, that! It speaks well of you, Sythyry."
Me:"And how does it speak well of me, that you will break a date with me but not with Nestrune?"
Strenata:"Not so much Nestrune as Shadowfrog."
Me:"Strenata? Please explain?"
Strenata:"Oh, simply that I can tell you why I am cancelling an engagement, and reasonably trust you to understand, but I cannot to Shadowfrog. So be grateful! I consider you more intelligent and reasonable than a horse!"
Strenata:"Truth to tell, he is more intelligent than a horse. Still I do not cancel engagements with him either." (Which is to say, I presume that she considers him less reasonable than a horse.)
Me:"I suppose I shall take that well enough. Shall we perhaps find some other way to enjoy each others' company sometime in the next few days?"
Strenata:"Certainly! There's a recital of Peculiar Instruments over at the school of music, the early afternoon tomorrow."
Strenata:"They aren't explaining. But my sources hint that at least one of them involves a barrel of boiling water."
Me:"It must take rather a lot of skill to strum a barrel of boiling water. Very well then!"
Strenata:"But no food afterwards! I must be able to devour my part in front of the city guard."