On Dancing

The stables of Anvard are not large, but they are well-ordered and tidy. The
wide alley runs parallel to the outside wall, with generously sized box
stalls on either side. Many hold permanent residents, with the horse’s name
on a wooden sign above the stall door, but several stand empty to receive
visitors. The hard-packed dirt floor is kept well swept, and the stalls are
clean, but there is a pervading smell of horse and hay that is not entirely

There is a small paddock in the east corner of the stable, and the far
west end is devoted to tack storage and maintenance. A door in the
west wall, kept closed most of the time, leads to the smithy.
You can go: Out to the Pastures <N>, Outer Ward <S>, Blacksmith <W>
Contents: Megren.

(Beginning missing…)

You say, “Crisp air and the smell of rain and fallen leaves.”

Megren says, “Mm.”

Haft says, “Harvest dances too. Village fairs.”

Megren exclaims, “You don’t like dancing!”

Haft raises a brow. “Don’t I?

Megren says, “You didn’t want to with me, anyway.”

Haft makes a face. “Well…who would?”

Megren says, “You wound me.”

Haft smiles. “I seem to recall that being a forced jig in the Outer Ward at a point in my life where I was still getting over a general dislike of…almost everyone.”

Megren hmms, unappeased.

Haft relents. “I’m sure any young man would be pleased to dance with you Meg, even before you took your instruction.

Megren says, “But no old man.”

Haft says, “One can’t have everything.”

Megren sighs.

Haft says, “Regarding my willingness to dance, I seem to remember finding partners for both myself and Lanisen at the summer festival.”

Megren says, “To mock me for not being able.”

Haft says, “Not precisely the way I remember it.”

Megren says, “My memory’s younger.”

Haft says, “And therefore less developed.”

Megren says, “Fresher. Less easily muddied.”

Haft says, “It was a heroic attempt to rescue you from your own enthusiasm.”

Megren says, “Oh — right, that’s what I meant.”

Haft says, “There, you see? An experienced and freshly made memory working in harmony.”

Megren pushes off the fence. “Now that that’s settled.”

Haft says, “The great philosophical debate of our time.”

Megren says, “I’d better see about Dawn and Onyx.”

Haft says, “Off with you then. Try not to…touch them or anything.”

Megren says, “Um — hm.”

Haft says, “Cause Swiftly’s coat clearly repels mud. I’m not so sure about Onyx.”

Megren says, “I do have /some/ adequate skills.”

Haft says, “Oh?”

Megren says, “Onyx willl gleam; just wait.”

Haft says, “At which point you’ll be twice as dirty.”

Megren starts off in that direction. “We’ll see.”


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