Worlds Apart, Special Edition

Honored Mother and Ada,

The rainy season is over, I think.  But it still rains, and the green is lasting everywhere.  There are lambs and they are very white and sweet.  Am I allowed to pet the lambs?  Omi said I should ask first because it might not be proper, but Grandmother says it is the country rules here, and I may pet lambs as long as the herdsmen watch to be sure I don’t get hurt.  There’s a very nice one who comes to see Omi and he says he’ll take me to see the lambs every day and I’ll be very, very good and do all of my lessons.  Please say I can.

The kids are just about to come, the People say, and few problems with the herd.  Indeed, they prosper on this Northern pasture with tender grasses.  They graze on the rockier slopes above the sheep.  The mulberries are being coaxed with care and they hope the worms will keep until the trees mature.  I ask every day if there is ruling that needs to be done, but Honored Khassan says it’s quiet and I need not be bothered with details of lambing and kids.

I think I should know about lambs and kids if I am to rule over herdsmen and weavers.  Is that not what a good ruler should know?  Please let me play with the lambs.

Dutifully,

Nafisah, Lady Arathalion, Amirah bint’Aziz

*********

To Glariond, Lord Arathalion,

Sitt Merritt writes in Westron-tongue for me.  I must ask, with respect, if you intend to take me also as a wife when you return?  If it is your wish, I will submit to it, as is custom.  I know it would be best for Nafisah, and it is my wish for her to have things that remain.  If this one may say, she has had enough taken from her for one life.  Perhaps you think of this too.

With respect,

Fatimah bint’Shadan

*********

Aminah,

I must ask a thing of you that is not proper.  You have given me so much, and I have no right.  But you’d want me to ask, and so I ask.  Please, if you can, I would rather not marry your husband.  I know I have no right, but I don’t wish to be second in a great house.

There is a dyer.  He brings me threads for my weaving.  Nafisah likes him very well.  His daughters and granddaughters say nothing but good things.  But he lives simply, and I know you must raise Nafisah as heir now, and she cannot be only my daughter any more.   I don’t know what to do.  But I would rather not be married than marry your husband, please.

If I may also, is there really so much need for her to work so hard at being heir?  It’s like seeing you all over again when she tries so hard to be so grown up.  Is this what you want for her?  I saw your tears, Aminahli, and held your hand.  You bought her a chance to have better.  Let her have lambs, please, and the ruling will be there when she’s learned to laugh.

With a sister’s heart,

Fatimah

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