I do love beagles of every shape, size and color. But this distresses me:
They’re darling, of course, because all beagle puppies are darling. But will they end up snoozing happily on couches and barking at baby rabbits through front windows? I rather doubt it. Poor little babies.
This morning the Broadcasting Legend™ happened to look out our front window, and this is what he saw among the plantings:
He called the doggies. (Who could resist?) Chaos ensued. It turned out there were actually two bunnies under the bushes. They calmly went on eating our tender new calla lily leaves as the dogs howled their heads off inside and I tried to fight my way to the window to take pictures. We have three or four generations a year of rabbits in our neighborhood, and by now I suspect the “Pay no attention to the
man beagle behind the curtain window” gene is bred into them.
A fine start to a gray, stormy Sunday.
Could anything be more irresistible? It seems an international team of astronomers have discovered what’s called an extended Lyman-Alpha blob so far away that what they’re seeing (given the speed of light) is something that happened at the dawn of the universe. It doesn’t look like much but to astronomers it’s a mysterious and fascinating object.
It has been named Himiko, after a queen in ancient Japan, said to be a sorceress. Quoted from Japan in the Chinese Dynastic Histories: Later Han Through Ming Dynasties by Tsunoda Ryusaku, tr. 1951:
She occupied herself with magic and sorcery, bewitching the people. Though mature in age, she remained unmarried. She had a younger brother who assisted her in ruling the country. After she became the ruler, there were few who saw her. She had one thousand women as attendants, but only one man. He served her food and drink and acted as a medium of communication. She resided in a palace surrounded by towers and stockades, with armed guards in a state of constant vigilance.
Even more intriguing:
When Himiko passed away, a great mound was raised, more than a hundred paces in diameter. Over a hundred male and female attendants followed her to the grave. Then a king was placed on the throne, but the people would not obey him. Assassination and murder followed; more than one thousand were thus slain. A relative of Himiko named Iyo, a girl of thirteen, was [then] made queen and order was restored.
Makes me want to write a young-adult historical with the shaman princess as the heroine.
No, not that kind of court. A law-and-lawyers kind of court. I found this linked this morning in a Twitter tweet by Karen Essex, author of the wonderful Leonardo’s Swans, and it absolutely made my day.
When something has delightful, quirky drawings and starts out with “In ancient Mesopotamia…” I’m hooked. Now I have to find a copy of the version of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style that Kalman illustrated. It has a basset hound on the cover. Clearly it was meant to belong to me.
With a tip of the capigliara to Deanna Raybourn, another of my favorite authors:
Yet another “Who can resist?” moment. I do love the Internetz, I do.