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Keish- April 14, 2003

April 14, 2003

Dear Arri,

So glad to hear from you! Your letter really brightened my day.

The prince is very unusual! Honestly, he scares me sometimes. I agree that the more important they are, the stranger they get. He does seem to have a crush on me and frankly that would be what scares me most right now. No, he doesn’t ask all the young ladies to sit, which is really too bad because there are enough of them vying for his attention to keep me free for years to come! Jumping quickly to father’s plotting, I heard him discussing something with the King, and the word marriage was in there…. I sincerely hope it was not in connection to me in any way. If anyone tries to make me marry that prince, I’m running away! I’m not telling Father that though, with my luck they were just talking about some sign or something but my saying that would give them ideas.

No offense to Liop, but I think I like Aron the size he is now. If he gets bigger he won’t fit in my pond. Well, he might fit, but I don’t think he'd be very comfortable, and then what would I do with him?

I really don’t feel all that lucky to be done with everything, it’s dreadfully boring. I couldn’t talk Father into fencing lessons, but he did say I could study astrology. As if I haven’t already read every book on the subject in the palace! But perhaps if I start using it… You know my flair for the dramatic, can’t you just see me making astrological predictions? I wish I could spend time with the theater company that entertains here. I haven’t even dared to ask, you know how actors are looked down upon, at least they are here. There’s no way I could convince Father, though I suppose if I asked him after a long night of observation he might be tired enough to go for anything.

Graduation cotillion? I hate to discourage you, but that sounds positively dreadful. I’m sorry you have to go in Treany’s dress. I doubt you’ll look like a twelve-year-old, even if you do look younger. Altering a dress may have been a better idea, but I’m sure it will be fine either way. Besides, as long as there’s no one who you’re concerned about thinking ill of you, who cares? I’m so sorry about drawing Mendel, though. That’s rotten luck. I’m so glad I managed to get out of some of my cotillions; I think I only had to go to one. I’m sure you will survive it, though. And you don’t dance like a bear; don’t listen to boys, they really don’t know anything.

“Feminine Politics” is an absolutely awful thing to be subjected to. I got out of that one too (being a spoiled only daughter has its advantages, you know). I very much agree with Imato, I’ve never known a girl to study such things and come out unaltered. I think they are always altered for the worse, but it’s not my place to say so. Not too them, at any rate. To you, I can say anything. Well, I’m sorry that Uncle W. is still missing, but at least you don’t have anyone to sign the form now.

I do know that victory song, though it’s been a terribly long time since I’ve heard it. I used to sing it after fighting off imaginary dragons. I very much agree that you have to stomp your feet to get the full effect. I wouldn’t worry about Mendel; he sounds like the kind of boy that one ignores at all costs. Such boys aren’t worth paying attention to.

I’m sorry the steel worker’s son wouldn’t teach you to make chain mail. Perhaps that will be the next thing I try to learn… then I could teach you.

So you haven’t found out what’s in the laboratory. I’m very impressed, though, that he has managed to put such a good lock on the door. Hopefully, he will feel comfortable telling you soon. It must be hard for both of you with everyone leaving. I don’t know what I would do if I lost Father. He’s all I have left, except for you, of course. It may help him feel better when Imato comes to visit. Will he be able to get away soon? A visit from him would likely do both of you a great deal of good, even if you did have to study feminine politics. I agree, however, that Imato is not likely to make you.

I’m so glad the pennyroyal helped. It does make a good tea when you are off though, doesn’t it? Sometimes I sneak down and mess it up on purpose so that I have an excuse to drink some. I’ve been looking in the library for something to help you with the bridle, but no luck so far. I shall keep trying, there’s bound to be something.

Thank you so much for the seeds! I shall plant them in a very special spot. Tell Liop thank you as well, though I agree that they look like radish seeds and I’m not entirely sure that I want plants to grow quite so large! I shall try planting them around the garden, however, because I do occasionally have problems with rabbits. Perhaps it will work regardless of what they are.

With all of these spells that Liop is conjuring, I have determined that I simply must brush up on my magic. I haven’t really practiced in years-- not since Mother died and it's been nearly 10 years now. It just hurt too much at first and then I got out of the habit. It was easier to not think about it. Besides, I'm not sure Father would like it. I think it might upset him. He still misses Mother so much.

She was amazing; could conjure any spell you could think of. I remember one night when I was just… oh, six probably… I was upset because the rain meant we couldn't go out and watch the stars come out. We were in the library and she told me to look up. I looked but instead of seeing the beams of the ceiling, I saw the sky at twilight. She and Father and I sat on the floor and he named the stars as they appeared. Mother traced the constellations for me-- not just pointing them out, but literally drawing the lines in the air.

I remember another time when a dress she had ordered for me didn't turn out to be quite the color she wanted. She had me try it on and stand before her large mirror as she changed the color. She could have gone straight to the color she wanted, but she went through a whole series of colors to make me laugh. At one point it looked like I was wearing a rainbow. Sometimes, if I didn't want to wear a certain dress, she'd change the color to get me to wear it.

I got out all of her old things today and cried as I haven’t in years. I’m glad for the impetus to get them out, though. They’ve been gathering dust too long and she would have wanted me to use them. It will give me something else to occupy my time, too.

Well, it is late and I believe Orion will be up soon, so I must close. Father wants me to watch with him a while tonight.

Love Always,

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