Wednesday, January 13, 2010


(Clabber and Sugarnose in pasture)

To begin reading this sci-fi novel or for background information, go to my Chapter One post here. To read about the background of the first novel, read my post here, which will also direct you to appendices.

For more detailed information, posted elsewhere on this blog are:

Pya Dictionary from Skenish to English (complete up to present chapter), with some cultural notes included
Pya Cast of Characters (complete up to present chapter)
Owl Manage on Saya Island, original plans
Saya Island Eastern End After Development
Map of Pya with Description of Each Island
Map of Skene (but not Pya)
Map of Saya Island and Environs When Pyosz First Arrived
Map of Saya Island, Teppe and Pea Pods Environs After Development
Skene Character Lineage at Midway Through Pya Novel
Skene, Chapter One (With Cultural Notes in Links)


Pyosz tiptoed from her bedroom to milk, Maar hard asleep. She left eggs in chicken roosts and imagined the feathered emmas' response when they returned after breakfast to find their future chicks still intact. It was a small ray of comfort on this terrible morning.

Thleen and Xoan were downstairs eating cherry pancakes and bacon with Qala and Lawa. Ryar came shyly downstairs, peeking through the railing, as Pyosz sat down with her own plate. Ryar opted to slither into Nioma's room, and a few minutes later both younger children emerged, Avik saying "I can't remember where the privy is!" Pyosz took her to the right door, and as they came out, Nioma met them, looking far older than usual.

The rest of the Talaba family trailed in. Xoan asked her emma "What happened with the search, did they find Poth and Uli?" In the pause that followed, Pyosz said "Thleen, grab your plate, I'm going to carry a tray up to Maar, let's wake her so we can eat together, the three of us." Thleen went eagerly upstairs and Pyosz followed in a couple of minutes, meeting Maar coming from the privy. Pyosz said "They were about to tell the news downstairs, I knew you wanted to be there with Thleen."

They ate first, breaking all of Pyosz's rules by feeding bacon to begging katts while sitting on the bed. Maar then told Thleen about Poth and Uli.

"Thont's emma is really dead?" Thleen was too shocked to cry.

"Yes. We are going to need to be endlessly kind to Thont as she grieves this terrible, terrible loss, the worst a child can experience" said Maar. There were bags under her eyes.

"Can I go see her? Can we take Ziri?" asked Thleen.

"We're all going this afternoon, our family here. We can call Kacang and see what they're planning to do. The news will be going out this morning" said Maar.

"Can I call home and talk to my emmas?" said Thleen.

"Certainly" said Maar. "Why don't you go get the radio and bring it back up here so I can talk with them too." She leaned back against the headboard, resting her eyes.

"I have to go to Gitta's" said Pyosz. "I want to stop by the clinic, too."

"I need a bath" said Maar. "Let me know how they say Uli is doing." Pyosz collected Qala's list and some coin from the housekeeping drawer and left her wain at the dock. It wasn't yet 8:00 and a Shmonah, but Gitta was open and several people from Koldok were in the store, talking. They turned to look at Pyosz, and Naki said "It was Maar who found them, right?"

"Maar saw them first, but Abbo and Fohol were right there, and it was the crew from Talaba who did the hands-on rescuing" said Pyosz, determined to be fair.

"How is the family at your place?" asked Gitta.

"Grieving for Poth. Otherwise all right. The children have bounced right back" said Pyosz.

"They say Poth died fast, is that right?" asked someone else.

"That's what I heard" answered Pyosz. She was not going to give them more details than that. "Listen, Gitta, we need to get some allotment items from various accounts, I have their books with me, can we do that and you transfer the paperwork? I know it's work for you -- "

"No problem at all. Hand me the books and start piling what you need on the counter. How many are you feeding now?" said Gitta.

"15 for sure plus whoever drops in" said Pyosz. She grabbed a gallon each of olive oil and corn oil to begin. "I'm buying for Herne and Teppe, too."

Before she was finished, Api came on the radio with the announcement of Poth's death and funeral plans. She added that Uli was holding her own and had regained consciousness, although she was mostly being kept sedated for pain. She also announced plans for Moja's start on rebuilding Talaba.

Gitta and Naki helped Pyosz load her cart. She pushed it toward the clinic, where she met Mill in the waiting room. "Her family's in the room with her, and that's all Briel wants to see her right now" said Mill.

"Has she added anything to what we know?" asked Pyosz.

"Dekkan said it caught them completely off guard, Uli didn't know it was a waterspout until Dekkan told her, she thought it was an earthquake during a rainstorm. She said she was awake for hours in pain, yelling for help and trying to keep shu off Poth, but she couldn't move. She said Poth spoke of her family before she died, so it wasn't instantaneous. Don't spread that around, by the way" said Mill. "Your bunch okay?"

"Yeah. They came so close to losing one of their number, they're fragile but grateful, especially now" said Pyosz.

"Thava doesn't want visitors until after 3:00" said Mill. "So we'll be at your place by noon, in a big sinner that can carry 20, for whoever wants help getting to Pertama later."

"See you soon, then" said Pyosz. At the wharf, a pilot saw her from the Lofthall and came to help her load the ferry. She used the lift at her own dock, something she rarely did, and rolled her wain to the front porch. All four children were playing in The Saya.

Pyosz separated the three island's lists on the steps before going to the door to ask for help carrying in. Thleen and Xoan were loaded down and dispatched to Herne, told to come back for a second trip. Lehen offered to carry over Teppe's groceries.

In the kitchen, Lpika was starting roast mutton while Qala and Lawa put things away. Nioma, breathing normally, offered to make casseroles and Pyosz gave her a counter. Rika was helping Xani take a bath while Henar held the baby. Pyosz started a huge sponge, one of five she thought she'd need to make today. Once Maar appeared, she passed on the news Mill had given her except for the piece about Poth not dying instantly.

Maar put on an apron and said "I need to do something that demands my attention. I'm no baker but I could do pie fillings."

"Okay." Pyosz gave her instructions and Maar begin pouring dried fruit into a large saucepan. Once the sponge was rising, Pyosz mixed pie dough and put it in the cold box to rest. She said "If no one else needs the tub right away, I'm going to take a bath."

She didn't linger, partly because of her sponge, mostly because whenever she was alone and still she started thinking about Poth dying in pain. When she got back to the kitchen, Maar was rolling out pie dough, a spray of flour in her orange hair. "Do you want all of this in pie form or some of it as tarts?" she asked.

Pyosz grinned at her. "One third each as pies, tarts, and turnovers." She punched down her dough and began mixing cookies.

By the time everyone arrived for lunch. Pyosz's baking cupboard was crammed. She had stacked the extra bread and some pastries on the counter to send home to Herne and Teppe. All the children, including the Kacang bunch, kept finding reasons to come in the kitchen and eye the clear plastic bags of cookies and tarts. But it was Qala who shooed them away. Pyosz was too distracted missing Pava and Dekkan, keenly feeling their absence in the midst of the crowd.

Only those who had friendships with Poth or her children went on the sinner to Pertama. Maar held the hands of both Thleen and Ziri, reminding them during the flight how to offer sympathy.

The baby was crying when they went in the house, being walked back and forth by Brek who confided to Pank that Poth had been the only one who could comfort her when she got this agitated. Thava was on the couch and greeted them numbly. Nioma sat beside her, taking her hand and talking to her softly. Thleen and Ziri went to Thont, Ziri hugging her as Thleen said "I'm so sorry your emma died" with a kindness that made Maar's eyes well.

But it was Pava with blotchy face and shuttered eyes who caught Pyosz's attention. And Vants. They flanked her and tried to permeate her misery in any sort of useful way. Pyosz didn't think they succeeded. Eventually she went to hold the baby, who had cried herself into hiccoughs and a runny nose.

Other people kept arriving, and after an hour the Saya group left. The flight home was entirely silent. Even Ziri and Thleen didn't whisper. As they came in the front door of Owl Manage, music hit them, and though the song was slow and melancholy, it felt jarring to Pyosz. She walked past Dodd on her fiddle and Nezi on the piano into the kitchen, leaning at the sink to look out the window at moss and vine covered escarpment. Too much death she thought. I'm getting less and less accepting of it.

Meamea tugged at her pants leg. Pyosz looked down at her and Meamea said "Are you sad, too?"

"Yes, I am" said Pyosz.

"Come sing wif us. I sit wif you" Meamea offered.

"All right."

When she and Maar went to bed together, she was self-conscious, changing into her schmatta with her back turned. Maar said "Are you going to read?"

"Not tonight; you?"

"Too tired." Maar clicked off the lamp. Curds placed herself squarely between their hips. Pyosz looked out the window at the sky over Puaa Woods, a view now forever altered for her.

Maar asked "Do you think Thleen has a crush on Xoan?"

"Not a crush like we feel it. I think she longs for her in that child way."

Maar was thinking, Pyosz could almost hear it. A minute later she said "I lied to my emmas about the risk of waterspouts here on Saya."

"I think that's best."

"You know, Pyosz, you need something like a cellar here."

"Yeah, that occurred to me. Let's set Qala and Lawa on the idea."

Another interval of silence. "Speaking of risk, Maar -- I know how smart you are, how much you prepare for contigencies. I trust you like I trust few others."


"But you have a dangerous job, buddy."

"No news to me, Pyosz."

"Just saying." Pyosz sat up with a sigh and lifted Curds to her outside hip. She lay her head on Maar's shoulder. Maar put her hand on Pyosz's scalp and tugged gently at her dreads, one after another, until Pyosz breathed out in release. She put her spread hand on Maar's belly and drifted off.

They sent Thleen to school the next day with the Talaba children. After making her deliveries, Pyosz joined everyone from her Manage except Xani home with the baby, Nioma home to help Xani, and Maar who was sinning, for a ride from the Lofthall to Talaba. Mrebbe assigned jobs according to experience level, and Pyosz was gratified to be given actual hammering and measuring tasks instead of stacking and fetching. The site where their Manage had been was horrifyingly bare. Pyosz walked over to look down into the exposed cellar, staring at the pipe where Xani had anchored, and felt an impossible mixture of feelings about the saved baby and Poth dying underneath a tree.

At noon the Lofthall sent soup and sandwiches. Lehen suddenly cried out and pointed at her feet, where a black and white katt was rubbing her ankles. She fed it all the chicken from her soup. By 2:00 another of the Manage's katts had shown up, leaving only one still missing. A neighbor agreed to take the katts in at night and keep them fed. The tillage and chickens were an utter loss, however.

They quit for the day and returned to Saya to dress for Poth's funeral. Thleen went silent as she put on the silks she had worn to bury her abba. Ziri met them in Koldok with her abba Uben. Nioma, Lpika and Henar caught a bus to Pertama. The rest of Pyosz's family, along with many people from Koldok, walked the road in near silence.

Maar met them on the outskirts of Pertama, wearing silks she had taken with her that morning. Pyosz was electrified to see Dekkan with her, also in whites, her face lined and puffy. Pyosz hugged her for a long time and asked after Uli. "She's in and out, mostly out" said Dekkan. "But she asked me to go to the funeral on her behalf."

"Can she have visitors yet?" asked Pyosz. When Dekkan shook her head, Pyosz said "Then tell her I'm thinking about her all the time, and I'll come as soon as they'll let me in. Anything you need, you just ask me."

Dekkan's presence drew looks and whispers. These increased when they reached the foot of Pertama Poke, meeting Poth's family, and Dekkan stepped forward to embrace Pava. They remained holding hands, with Thont holding Pava's other hand. Thava carried the baby, flanked by two of Poth's cousins. Torches with a chemical red flame were lit and handed out, and the procession slowly wound up the Poke.

At the summit, Poth's wrapped body lay in an intricately-woven basket attached to long chains. Pyosz suddenly remembered what she had seen when she drew back the sheet that had lain over her abba Bux, and she passionately hoped Thava -- or Pava, please not Pava -- had not been who prepared Poth's body. She glanced at Pank and thought she read the same question on her face.

Api began the eulogies. There were many. Pava and Thont stood, hand in hand, Pava holding the baby, and talked of Poth as their emma, which had sent Pyosz and Thleen both into sobs. Pyosz pulled herself together to say a few words near the end about Poth as teacher and carer for Pya's well-being.

Then a small lighter hovered overhead, lowering a single cable with a bracket. The coroner and Mill attached the chains from Poth's basket to the bracket. Thava rushed forward, wailing baby in her arms, to touch the linen-wrapped face one last time. The basket slowly rose into the air, swaying in a greater and greater arc, as if beginning the pendulum of a fantastic clock. The lighter banked and headed east. The basket would be dropped into the volcano marking the eastern edge of what was considered Pya: "Gone to the sunrise" is how some Pyans referred to death and burial.

Oby raised high the torch she was holding in a farewell salute, then turned it to put it out against the rock of Pertama Poke. Everyone else with a torch followed suit. Red flickering light gave way to late afternoon shadows, and Pava fell to her knees sobbing. Vants reached her instantly, picking her up as if she were Thont's size and shouldering through the crowd to carry her down the spiral path. Thava and the rest of her family followed, and after a respectful interval, so did the rest of the funeral-goers.

At the base, Pyosz said to Maar, Qala, and Lawa. "I need to head home. By the time I get there, it'll be milking hour." And I don't have another wake in me right now. "Tell Vants she can stay as long as she wants, I'll go take care of her goats, too."

"You all right?" asked Maar. Thleen stared up at her face.

"I don't know how to answer that" said Pyosz. "Except I guess I will be." She headed west, away from the rising sun.

After dinner, after dishes and diaper-washing and baths, they gathered on the porch, children in schmattas and quilts. There were no stars, but everyone saw the flicker of a giant shape fly from the point toward the rocks facing Kacang, and exclaimed in unison. "Our owl is out patrolling for us tonight" said Pyosz with a quaver. She was sitting next to Nioma on the steps, and Nioma reached out to squeeze her hand. Avik in Nioma's lap slipped her small hand from beneath the quilt and did the same.

"Can we sing?" Pyosz heard Thleen ask in her carrying whisper. Qala responded by starting the first bar of "Oak Grove". When they reached the lines

The friends of my childhood
Again are around me
Each face stirs a mem'ry
As homeward I roam

Pyosz willed herself not to sob. She was tired of crying. After the song, however, Maar came to sit on the other side of her, Thleen in her lap with sokkened feet stretching onto Pyosz. During a break between songs, Pyosz asked Maar "Did you see Ulcha there? She had blue paint on her face. A few people with her did, too. And a few other folks here and there, including one pilot. What does it mean?"

Thleen put her spread right hand over one side of her face. The iridescent blue paint had been in the shape of a hand, gap between third and fourth fingers wide enough for the eye, ball of thumb resting on earlobe. Pyosz thought it must have been that person's own hand, traced onto their face and then filled in.

Nioma answered. "It's an ancient practice that was kept alive, but in secret apparently, by one family on Bosco. Some folks think it came to Pya with the Owl People, but Ulcha says it's not just them. It's a sign of preparing for a difficult transition, she told me, not really a funeral rite per se."

Qala said "It was gossiped about on Skene, you can imagine, as evidence of Pya's superstition or aggression. Yoj was fascinated with it."

"Yeah, it's been tricky at the Lofthall" said Maar. "Mill has been worried about public perception of the face-painting. Kuus, the pilot you saw, is who flies the basket to burials. and she got it from one of her abbas. She says it's a symbol of community connection and support."

Thleen squirmed to look at Maar. "Can I paint my face like that for school tomorrow, siba, please? To show support for Thont?" Xoan and Ryar both sat up with interest.

"Well, first of all, I'm not sure Thont will be at school tomorrow" said Maar. "Second, if she is, it might just look to her like a painful reminder of her emma's funeral, not a symbol of respect. And third, you need to figure out if the main reason you want to do it is because you want to see what it's like and have everyone pay attention to you, not for Thont's sake."

Xoan leaned back again. She knew Thleen had just lost and her own emmas would never go for it. Thleen went silent, meaning she'd heard a blah-blah version of "no" as well. Maar switched Thleen's hands for her, saying "It's always the left hand on the left side of the face." Pyosz resigned herself to breaking out face-paints for the next group voyage of The Saya.

"Speaking of Ulcha" said Lawa meaningfully.

"Yeah, I saw that, too" said Pyosz. She added to Maar "She and Frank were holding hands."

"Tu says Frank has been to dinner on Chwet, to meet the family" said Lawa.

"I've been to dinner with Ulcha's family as well" said Nioma, surprising them. "Extremely interesting, well-read people, and great cooks."

"Do they really eat squirrel?" asked Thleen.

"Well, we did because I requested it" said Nioma. "Squirrel stew with carrots and potatoes. It was very rich and savory, I'd eat it again any time." Pyosz was sure this endorsement would make the rounds of the schoolyard tomorrow.

"We're heading up to bed" said Xani, handing Eoma to Rika, who said "I have to get back to work at the greenhouse tomorrow, we're -- short-handed."

"Me, too" said Nioma sadly, pushing Avik to a stand. She looked around at Qala. "Thank you again for staying home with Xani and the baby."

"My pleasure" said Qala. Lehen was returning to her job on Doimoi -- every ek of income was critical right now for this family -- and the other two abbas were spending half-days at the noodle factory, half at the construction site. Lawa, Pyosz, Vants and Tu had all committed to six hours a day on Mrebbe's crew for at least the next two weeks. Qala would take over meeting Thleen and starting tutoring, and Pyosz would do her baking in the evenings.

The cranberry pond had now filled completely, and Vants had volunteered to be the bog planter and tender for the next year, since her herd was in its infancy and she had no other income currently. Lawa said Moasi was still talking about emigrating, and Vants had a special electric cart being built that was small enough for indoors but had balloon tires for outdoor terrain. There was a ramp in place at her Manage's back door. At one point, Pyosz had expressed concern about Vant's finances, "Does she really have enough savings for all this outlay plus two years without real income or barter?" Lawa had grinned "We'll make sure she's okay."

Qoj came on the next huolon and stayed at Uli's bedside for the next four days. She informed Dodd and Briel that she was definitely moving back to Pya by midwinter and she meant to partner with Uli. She also relayed the news to Uli's emmas, who were not as thrilled as her own had been.

They had a stretch of clear, warming days where Xani sat on the porch snapping beans or peeling vegetables next to a slumbering Eoma. Qala planted most of the tillage by herself and began extra starts not only for their own succession but to rebirth the Talaba family's tillage. Likewise, eggs were not collected for a second week to create an extra set of chicks they could give to their new friends.

Nioma began bringing a chair into the kitchen to talk with Pyosz at night as she baked. Pyosz was frequently struck by how much it reminded her of conversations with Prl, and she would feel a little disloyal to her emma.

Uli was finally allowed to have visitors, now at home, and Pyosz went right away with a crock of Prym and a bouquet of Isola Fling roses. There were still yellow and purple bruises on Uli's temple, and she complained several times about the itchiness of her leg cast. She said she didn't want to talk about her experience in Puaa Woods, her eyes showing a lot of white, and Pyosz changed the subject. She kept visiting every Roku after Market, and supplied Uli with all the books she could read.

Two weeks after Poth's funeral, Dekkan and Pava arrived together for Shmonah dinner, Dekkan's arm over Pava's shoulder. After half an hour, Pava's color got better and she laughed at one of Pank's jokes. During a break in the singing, she blurted out "We're moving. Aggie's making us move to Skene, soon as I graduate."

There was a general outcry of dismay, and Tu asked "Why?"

"She has a siba we can live with, aggie says she needs help with the baby. It's on Verzin, and aggie can get a job in an office there. The Manage is tiny, aggie will be sleeping in a loft over the living room with Thont and the baby." Pava's despair was worse than ever. Verzin, for a river-running Pya child? The same as Peisuo thought Pyosz.

"Where will you sleep?" demanded Vants.

"On the couch until I go to University. Only I don't want to go to the U, I want to apprentice at the ejida, but aggie gets crazy when I say that." Pava began crying, and Vants scooted over to pat her shoulders. Pava looked through tears at Pank, saying "I have to give away my sailboat, I want you to have it."

"I'll keep it for you until you return" said Pank, which made Pava cry harder.

On the walk home from Herne, Lawa said to Qala "It's just not right, Thava isn't thinking well about her family."

"She must be up against it" said Qala.

"I'm going to talk with her" interjected Nioma. But Pyosz was distracted by hearing Thleen whisper to Maar, this time in a real whisper, "I don't want to go back to Chloddia, siba."

"I know" said Maar. "None of us want that."

The ribs in Thleen's chest were no longer visible, and her weekly reports from Dodd were folded with pride by Maar into letters home. On Iki, Pank stopped by after dinner on her way to Koldok to deliver some smoked bacon and Thleen got permission to tag along with her. When they returned, Thleen had a small orange-and-white kitten tucked into her guibba.

"Look what they had at the Manage where we went!" she said joyfully. "Watch what she does!" She set the kitten down and trailed a ribbon tantalizingly along the floor. The kitten chased it in frenzied hops where it arched its back and then crouched to spring. "I'm going to name her Clicker!" bubbled Thleen. Indeed, the kitten's antics did strongly resemble the clicker beetles children loved to provoke into startling leaps.

Maar gave Pank a bleak look. "I don't think my emmas will let her bring a kitten home."

Pank's face fell. "Why not, she said you had katts, they're treated well."

"Yes, we keep katts, but they come to us full-grown, never as kittens. Emma says they have to work for their keep just like everyone else. I mean, I'll try, of course" said Maar softly.

Thleen was wriggling on the floor in hilarity, and the other children were being held back from snatching the kitten. Curds and Cha both were watching in disbelief from their perches. Qala said "We'll keep her here if need be."

Thleen took Clicker to bed with her and Xoan, though Maar insisted the bedroom door be left open so the kitten could "use her privy". Pyosz made sure Curds and Ember were in with her that night, to postpone at least those confrontations for Clicker. In the morning when she went to the kitchen for tea before milking, she found Cha and the kitten curled up together on her breadboard. Nobody can resist babies she thought.

Lamminsade progressed with two weeks of daily warm rains. All of the fruit and nut trees were in full bloom, the pasture was now full of rambunctious kids, and Pyosz's milk yield was increasing daily. Vant's first kid was delivered from the Botaniste, a "spectacular goat" Vants marveled, and a second started. The Talaba house was framed, roofed, and plumbed, and "without all the furbelows of your place", as Mrebbe put it, she expected it to be livable before school was out. Uli returned to work, hobbling around Koldok on crutches and being flown to Shmonah dinners by Dekkan.

In the first week of Med, however, everything was dropped one day and night for the annual eel migration. Pyosz bought Thleen cotton eeling gloves and new wader boots. Saya was assigned a stretch of South Dvareka river, below the sugar mill, as their eeling territory, and Lawa hauled live boxes there by bus and bicycle. Kacang, Herne, Arta, and even Teppe had their own territories nearby. The Talaba family had an established territory on North Pertama river, but Thleen was too excited to protest her separation from Xoan, since this was her first time to go eeling.

It was a grand, moonslit and torchlit party on the banks of the river, until worn-out children fell asleep on dew-dampened quilts upbank and the adults slogged on, catching and sorting eel as long as the run lasted. The Pea Pods collaborated on their daily check afterward, a single adult coming to check the various live boxes for dead or dying eels, because Thleen and Ziri were too immature to be trusted with the job beside a strong river. The network had primary dibs on Herne's smokehouse as well, and they feasted the Shmonah smoked eel first became ready.

That Roku, after Market, Thleen had gone to the schoolhouse to take Dodd's version of the graduation exam from first grade. Dodd explained it would not be identical to whatever Skene presented -- which changed from year to year, depending on leraar -- but she promised it would be equally rigorous. Or more so thought Pyosz. When Thleen emerged from the exam, fatigued and wanting to know her score instantly, Maar took her for ice cream and another bike-riding lesson while Dodd graded her paper.

They all celebrated Thleen's announced score of 90% with a kickball game in Pertama followed by a dance nearby. Maar took the first turn on the dance floor with Thleen, whirling her around and making Thleen squeal. That night, Lehen didn't come back to the Manage, and Ryar went to sleep with Nioma and Avik. Pyosz asked Nioma quietly "Vants?" and Nioma nodded, grinning hugely.

Which was even more interesting to Pyosz because she'd seen Lehen at the hot springs and knew she was also a Y. You go, cousin she thought.

Copyright 2010 Maggie Jochild.


Margot said...

I'm confused about east and west. Does the sun rise in the west?

Love the blue hand thing. Where does that come from?

Maggie Jochild said...

No, their planetary spin is the same as ours. Typo in my part, corrected now. The lighter went EAST to drop Poth's body.

Re the blue hand: Some of the all-earth ethnic mix on Skene is North America First Peoples. In this case, one of the Plains tribes. But don't conflate the Owl People with Native American, because their hunger for wilderness is from a mix of cultures, Scots among them.

Blue said...

Too tired to say much, other than thanks.

Margot said...

Thanks for clearing that up!

No danger of conflation; The genists' mix of the contributions would have ensured that cultural heritage was passed on differently from the genetic. Presumably it is the continued use of the original contributions which has allowed original genetic characteristics to survive more ore less intact. Now that Pyans seem to be making their own babies, will we eventually see "coffee coloured people by the score"?

C. Diva said...

Boy am I getting weary of seeing those white silks in my mind's eye. I can imagine what it's like to keep pulling them out to wear.

again, apropos of nothing, I really liked the way the clause "they feasted the Shmonah smoked eel first became ready." sounded.