Here’s a recent picture of my geese, who are kind enough to let me get really close to take pictures and videos. It’s getting harder and harder to tell the four babies apart from the adults. Their rapid growing-up, over only two months, just drives home one of the things I wrote about in Pet rabbits, chickens, and ducks should be for keeps, not just Easter (my fifth-most-viewed post). The cute baby stage doesn’t last long in animals, and you have to understand and respect how quickly animals mature. A stuffed animal stays cute, unlike a real-life counterpart.
WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly bloghop hosted by K.L. Schwengel. The caveat is that excerpts must be related to the date in some way. There are 15 sentences this week, for the 15th of the month.
These lines are from the opening chapter of Part II of my alternative history. A large banquet is held for Aleksey’s 18th birthday in August 1922, on the eve of his leaving for Paris to study at the Sorbonne. All seems to be going fairly well until his grandmother, the always-opinionated Dowager Empress, starts suggesting brides for him. A distant cousin has the nerve to challenge her wisdom in arranging marriages, and then one of Grand Duchess Olga’s sons suffers a cerebral hemorrhage. This is the fourth generation to be afflicted by hemophilia.
The Dowager Empress (then just the Tsesarevna, the wife of the Tsesarevich) and her firstborn child, the future Nicholas II
“I can’t believe how eager you are to marry off your grandson, after how spectacularly you failed at arranging your own children’s marriages,” some distant cousin at the next table said. “Is this your way of trying to make up for your past mistakes? I suppose at least you’re making the effort as early as possible, instead of inviting the risk of a romance with a commoner or first-cousin. God knows, we can’t afford to jeopardize the dynasty with an unequal marriage and let those scheming Vladimirovichi steal the throne.”
A stunned silence filled the room, with everyone frozen. Just as Mikhail had opened his mouth to finally break the silence, a loud squeal pierced the air. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind as to the cause of the squealling when Konstantin pushed back his chair and ran towards the source. It was just a question of which young prince had hurt himself, thirty-five-month-old Savva or eighteen-month-old Yulian.
The squealling had given way to an eerie silence by the time Konstantin came back to their table, little Prince Savva motionless in his arms. Olga, heavily expecting a third child, had turned pale and now pulled herself up. She and her sisters followed after Konstantin and left the hall.
“This banquet is over,” Mikhail announced. “I’ll deal with the upstart who insulted me and my mother later.”
“Why are you adjourning our party?” another distant cousin asked. “I’m sorry the child hurt himself, but that’s no reason to put a premature end to the celebration.”