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Keish- May 11, 2003

May 11, 2003

Dear Arri,

I’m so sorry it has taken so long to reply to your letter! It has been such a busy couple of weeks! In fact, I’m not sure where to start….

The new tower is finally finished. Did I tell you about that? The king decided to add a tower to the palace-- an even higher tower. That way Father can have a better observatory. Anyway, the tower was finally finished and that of course meant we had to move. As “mistress of the house” (yeah, that’s in quotes for a reason… you of all people should understand how ludicrous that is!) I had to oversee the moving process. What a nightmare! I think I’m tempted to vow to live in this tower all my life just to avoid moving again! Either that or I shall rid myself of all but the most necessary possessions and become a vagrant. It was awful to oversee the move. You know how I hate to see things done poorly and you know how protective I am of my books, so you can imagine how upset I was when the porters started tossing things around. It got to the point that I insisted on moving the books by myself. Unfortunately, this caused me to strain my back and neck. I should have known that would happen; you’ve seen how big some of my and my father’s books are. Due to the strain, I was then stuck in bed for several days, which vexed me to no end, as you can well imagine.

The up side to being in bed, it has been very, very easy to avoid the prince. Not having to worry about him for several days has been a great relief to me and nearly makes up for the fact that I’ve been unable to do anything. My poor garden was sorely neglected but I think I’ve fixed it up quite well. It’s taken a few days but the thyme is looking much better and I managed to get the pond cleaned out, much to Aron’s satisfaction. The lemon balm is coming around too, and the pennyroyal is going to pull through in a few days. It’s amazing how much damage can be done to a fenced-in garden in so few days! The thorns had nearly taken over. I was close to tears when I went down to look over the garden after being in bed for so long.

Let’s see, what else? Ah yes, the king was kind enough to bring in an astrology tutor for me. I’ve begun studying with her. She’s very interesting. I don’t feel like I’m learning a whole lot of astrology, but it does give me something to do. She also has a lot of other useful skills that I’m planning to get out of her, whether she’s supposed to teach me about those things or not. After all, ladies of nobility (which is supposedly what I am) don’t go about doing things like divining and such. I, however, find such skills terribly interesting and far more useful than embroidering. Such skills are definitely more useful than knowing how to host a dinner. When am I going to need to do that? Father and I never have fancy dinner parties (thankfully) and since I’m not sure I’ll ever marry, I won’t need to know how to impress people with that. If I were to marry the prince, I’d definitely have to know all of that, but there’s no way that that is going to happen. As I told you, I’ll run away if anyone so much as suggests that!

Speaking of my studies, since you are a Dryad (based on your birthday) you can expect a wish to be granted within the next cycle of the moon. I’m supposed to warn you, though, to choose your wish very carefully. After all, sometimes the thing you think you want most can have terrible consequences. Basically what I’m saying is, if you’re going to take advantage of this wish opportunity, think your wish through very, very carefully before you go out and make it official. You do know how to make it official, right? I’ll run through it for you, just in case. You go out under the next full moon and close your eyes. Oh, you should be sitting cross-legged in a patch of clover, pennyroyal, or a thick grass. With your eyes closed, softly whisper your wish. Then weave a crown of flowers and wear it while sitting there for the rest of the night. Sorry, it’s not very conducive to a good night’s rest, but if you’re serious about your wish, that shouldn’t matter too much, right? Anyway, there, I’ve officially put my “new skills” to use for the day. My tutor is always telling me I need to put them to use everyday. On the bright side, I think I can use these studies to get to talk to the actors in the company that plays for the king! And if I can meet them I can maybe sneak acting lessons!

Hmmm, there was something else I had intended to tell you. I don’t remember what it was though. Drat! Oh well, I suppose if I can’t remember then it must not have been terribly important. It’s going to bother me until I remember though. Drat!

I’ve been hoping to brush up on my magic, as I wrote in my last letter, but with all that’s been going on I haven’t found any time. I should be able to find time in the coming week, though.

Speaking of magic, I had practically forgotten about turning the cats pink! I got in so much trouble! What can I say, I was a young girl and I just thought they’d be more interesting if they were a different color. I actually didn’t get it quite right though. I wasn’t going for pink. I was actually going for red and orange-- I wanted them to look like they were made of fire. Oh well, pink was sort of close. Speaking of magic, have you gotten Liop to tell you anything?

Sounds like the cotillion wasn’t too bad. I’m not sure what to make of Mendel. He seems to maybe like you, but at the same time he seems to just be a trouble maker. I stand by my previous counsel to ignore him. At the same time, though, it could be interesting to get to know him a little more. Maybe you could play with his head a bit. You know, send him mixed signals about how you feel. It could be fun. Sounds like he may know too much, so I would keep an eye on him at the very least. He sounds just dumb enough to become a real problem. People like that are dangerous when they have more information than they should. They’re almost more dangerous than those people that are actually trying to cause trouble.

I’m sorry he asked about Liop’s languages. That’s going to get difficult to explain if Liop isn’t careful about it. I know he doesn’t think it’s a big deal, but maybe you need to explain to him just how dangerous it could be if people start asking questions. I’m not sure how to do that without scaring him. Sorry, I give these ideas, but I’m absolutely no help when it comes to trying to carry them out. You know me; I’m not always very good with young children. I don’t seem to have much patience with them. You’re much better at that than I am. That’s the reason I’m thinking I should never have children.

I’m sorry you had such an awful dream. I’ve done some research though, and I can’t find anything to support that story as fact, so I wouldn’t worry overly about that dream coming true. I’m sure that’s not what you were worried about to begin with, but as part of my tutoring I’m learning about dream interpretation. Or I will be eventually at any rate. Anyway, so that’s my bit of random information about your dream. I plan to search my books for information about that cave, though. I’m interested now, and I may have personal reasons, too. If I can’t find anything in my books, I’m sure I can get access to the royal library. The king generally lets me search through his books whenever I want. He also doesn’t generally ask questions about what I’m looking for, which is good. I wouldn’t want to have to explain about the cave. Of course, I’d come up with some excuse and practice my dramatic skills, but I think I’d rather he just not ask.

I fear I must close. It is getting late and my candle is burning out. Father is still out watching the sky, of course, but he is not expected to be studying before breakfast.

May the stars look favorably on you and yours….

Love always,

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