Monday, January 11, 2010

Let's talk about sex

A lovely bit of writing from Tamora Pierce's book Squire:

Ilane leaned her chin on her hand. "I've often thought the nobility's handling of sex and marriage in their girls is the same as that of horse breeders who try to keep their mares from being mounted by the wrong stallions."

Kel sat bolt upright. "Mama!" Hearing such things in her mother's deep, lovely voice made them even more shocking. She expected this kind of phrasing from her male friends, not her mother.

"You can't say this to noblemen, of course." Ilane got up and went to the small fire that burned in front of the tent. "Tea?"

Kel automatically stood to get the cups. Before she realized she didn't know where they were, her mother had placed a small table between the chairs and was setting out all she would need. Kel sank into her chair. "Why can't this be said to men?"

"The good ones are too romantic to like it, and the bad ones don't care. My papa was the don't-care sort. I overheard him once describing me to a potential suitor. Even though I had small breasts, he said, my hips were big enough that I should foal with ease. It would be easy to find a milk nurse once I dropped a healthy son." Ilane deftly put a tiny scoop of powdered green tea in each of the large, handleless cups, then added water from the iron Yamani pot. She took up the whisk, beating Kel's tea, then her own, into a green froth. They bowed to one another Yamani-style, then sipped.

Kel sighed with gratitude: she loved freshly made green tea.

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