What Ye Are Really
Asullus Anguli VIII ... Asullus’ Corner
What Ye Are Really
So, Asullus here once again, along wi’ trusty an’ sweet Morphia the Spritae, still actin’ as our scribe, fer all ye oldsters an’ wee ones alike as ha’ been writin’ wi’ yer requests an’ demands — some more polite than others — to be informed o’ the most serious an’ needful questions o’ our time an’ tryin’ to bring answers to the queries such as those as reach the Tower o’ the North.
Today, we ha’ a burnin’ question sent to us on scroll from one Watt’s Son o’ the Crick concernin’, what to me be the rather delicate matter o’ me birth-right. Hmm.
First, howe’er, let me begin by wishin’ all our Gentle Readers as do dutifully turn themselves to these pages to gorge in the sea o’ mulish knowledge – that is to say, as some o’ the unkind are wont to describe it: barnyard gossip, innuendo an’ hearsay – the very happiest o’ the Newest Year we be ha’in’ at this time o’ the planetary rotation.
Speakin’ o’ such things, I am minded o’ the time when I ha’ me a discussion wi’ young Master Anders, Dean o’ his school, an’ resident in the Imperial capital at Fornia. The occasion was, I be thinkin’, also on the introducin’ o’ a new year, all bright an’ shiny an’ we was talkin’ regardin’ the end o’ the old an’ beginning o’ the new.
So, I asked ‘im, how is it Bruma be the shortest day o’ the year, but ‘tis the followin’ Year Day, that signals the beginnin’ o’ the new annum?
Then he gets that faraway look in his eye, one I ha’ seen on dozens o’ times in similar situations. I calls it his Question Look, or, maybe his Thinkin’ Look. One o’ those.
In any case, he says it’s the fault o’ the extra day. I says, what, an’ he says, the extra day. He then went on notin’ that the year is no’ so well planned as it could be as there’s an extra day – Year Day. His point bein’ that in any self-respectin’ system the number o’ days fer the Earth to go ‘round Old Sol’d would be an even number. But in the system we inhabits, ‘tis an odd-numbered day, fer some reason.
Now we no’ be meanin’ here to be critical o’ the Lady. P’rhaps she was busy, or in a hurry as the ladies may be at times, doin’ this an’ doin’ that, an’ the days slipped by her. But in any case, was the year three-hundred-and-sixty-four days, then all would be perfect -- e’erythin’ nice an’ even.
Well, I don’ know that’d I’d go so far as to say all would be perfect, but to Master Anders’ mind that’d be the case.
In any case, back to the question o’ the day.
Now, while I tends to the private side o’ things concernin’ meself, I will grant that a talkin’ an’, um, active mule is no’ yer e’ery day occurrence. So, it falls to this here ol’ mule to dive into the past an’ see where it is that takes us.
So, I ha’, in the past, noted me sire was a sturdy Percheon an’ he went by the name o’ Albert Magnus fer, well, lots o’ reasons, an’ a very popular gentleman he was. Me ma, on the other hand was a Jenny, by the name o’ Agnes. Now, fer those no’ use to such a name, I will tell ye here an’ now, she was a female mule. Hmm. There I goes, bein’ redundant o’er an’ o’er again, but so it is.
Now as any must know, bein’ disrespectful toward’s a bein’s mother’ll often gi’ ye cause to end up on the poor end o’ assault an’ battery, as was the case once when I was up North an’ one o’ the low types called me Mom a ‘Moke.’ Well, he donno’ walk so good these days, but he ought to ha’ known better, say I.
Out in the world I am aware that there be folk who say all should be correct an’ accurate an’ such. An’ I ha’ heard from such people at certain times as say, “Now, Asullus, ye know, laddie, ye canno’ be a mule, ye be a hinny. Ye must come to terms wi’ this, me bucko.”
An’ while such folk may be on the right side o’ technical, me, I tends to find ‘em tedious, an’ borderin’ on irritatin’, no’ to mention rude.
It’s just that it’s somethin’ aboot the sound o’ it that no’ settles so well. ‘Hinny’. Sounds like some sort o’ compromise between a ‘hill-person’ an’ a ‘ninny.’
Master Rolland ha’ mentioned a time or two that meself is bein’, p’rhaps a bit ‘sensitive’ regardin’ the whole matter, but I’d like to see his reaction to such a name bein’ as a placard on his back. We’d see then, I say, as to how’d he’d feel aboot that! Hmm.
Well, p’rhaps I am bein’ a bit sensitive.
In any case, as I ha’ tole ye, one day both me Maw an’ Paw chanced to be in the same meadow at the same time – ‘twas in the spring o’ that particular year, I believes – an’ this sudden thunderstorm comes up, all o’ a sudden, blowin’ out o’ the north, an’ the only protection wi’in anyone’s reach is this here old oak tree study an’ tall.
Soon enou’, they both be standin’ there, rain pourin’ down, an’ wi’ no’ else to do, begin chattin’ wi’’ each other all nice an’ social, an’ after that, well, these things do happen now an’ again, an’ here I be.
Now, I ne’er saw me Pop again, but I was in the care o’ me Ma as we were boardin’ with that old witch, Mistress Lilith, fer a time while I growed up. Then, wouldn’t ye know, one day, out o’ the blue, here comes Master Silvestrus an’ there I goes, all off on a new hoof, as they says.
So, in between those occasions, be the story as to how I came to be able to speak an’, then, other things. But ye ha’ already heard some o’ that, I reckons, an’ e’en if ye ha’ no’, the subject is plenty enou’ fer another edition, don’ ye know.
So, to all folk, large, small or indifferent, take yer best care an’ come back to visit as ye will. An donno’ neglect to send in yer scrolls askin’ answers to the various questions as may perturb ye.
An, once again, happiest o’ the New Year!
The Great North Tower, Northfast