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A Journal for and by the Readers of C.J. Cherryh


Take 3 as a number to reason about.  A number convenient to state
Add 7 and 10 and multiply out by 1000 diminished by 8
The result we proceed to divide as you see by 900+90+2
Then subtract 17 and the answer must be exactly and perfectly true


"Hunting of the Snark" by Lewis Carroll 


"What I tell you three times is true"
(with the usual apologies)
Just the place for a landing the pilots cried 
As they dropped off the crew without care 
Supporting each man to the planetary tilt 
On a parachute up in the air

Just the place for a landing, we've said it twice 
That alone should encourage you few 
Just the place for a landing we've said it three times 
What we tell you three times is true

And when all the colonists they had discharged 
(Not without some weeping and jeers) 
They then flew away in a relative way 
And nobody saw them for years

Tall were the Atevi and golden of eye 
With inventors just starting to dream 
And they were just leaving agrarian ways 
For technology powered by steam

The two peoples shook hands on a number of things 
On each other began to depend 
Till the colonists chanced to discover one day 
They 'd mistaken the word they thought "friend"

They fought a brief war to a stalemate and then 
As a way to make everything tidy 
They channelled diplomacy all through one man 
And gave him the title of Paidhi

The Paidhi was Bren who was very adept 
At keeping discussions on track 
But his world was disrupted one night as he slept 
When the ship and the pilots came back

The Aiji omitted to mention to Bren 
The cause of his great consternation 
But simply observed that the Paidhi looked tired 
And sent him away on vacation

They sought him with ribbons, they filed their Intent 
They pursued him with aircraft and rope 
They threatened his life with assassins for rent 
And they charmed him with tea and hope

So Bren went away and sat on his tail 
And perceived that his main tribulations 
All stemmed from his lack of perception involved 
In triangular forms of relations

First of all there was him and his mother and Barb 
Then his mother and Toby and he 
When Banichi and Jago got into the mix 
How very complex that would be

The Aiji, the Paidhi, the dowager too. 
Ilisidi, Cenedi and Him 
If Cenedi worked for an undisclosed third 
His hopes for the future looked grim

At length they relented and showed him their cause 
As it shone in the evening sky 
Then they went for a ride, mecheiti-back 
While bombers above them did fly

And the ship chose as well to get into the act 
And sent down Yolanda and Jase 
Tabini was quick the advantage to seize 
And promptly put Bren on the case

In a rice field at midnight with bodyguards pent 
A parachute bobbed in the breeze 
And now Tatiseigi and Geigi could claim 
That even Paidhin came in threes.

A felicitous number of years had gone by 
When the captains just chose to confess 
They had upset a neighbouring alien race 
Perhaps Bren could sort out the mess?

So they boarded the ship and Tabini just wrote 
To appoint Bren "High Lord of the Dark" 
And with hopes very high and Bren's heart in his boots
Away they've all gone... to hunt Snark!

They sought him with ribbons, they filed their intent 
They pursued him with aircraft and rope 
They threatened his life with assassins for rent 
And they charmed us with tea and hope
 


The Mule  

 
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