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Qareen: The Serpent Mother

At the Spiral Valley Garden, basic schooling circle for young leaders.


"Those are nice colors, Sadsu. Jobar, I like those clouds, they look like yummy pies. Very well done, everyone. I think we've had an accomplished, creative jaunt this afternoon. Now, come circle round me." The teacher clapped for urgency, and the children obeyed with excitement. Circle time was story time, and little else could get them moving faster. A few of them raced to sit right next to their teacher on the laid out cushions, while the others arranged themselves to complete the circle. Jobar sat facing his beautiful teacher, his bright, blue eyes focused, unblinking. They were all of ages six, seven or eight. Perfect, little children, bred and educated to be political leaders. But they still had time to display different callings from what the Ministry of Populace intended for them.


Their young teacher sat on her heels, neatly tucking her bright yellow dress. She looked into their eyes, one by one, smiling intently; another public speaking skill she aims to instill in them by example. She blinked a few times, her long eyelashes fluttering, and she began to sing softly. Her body swooned, slightly, from side to side to mesmerize them.


"Our mother, our mother, alone in the cold...

Her heart, unthawing, her eyes frost stones...

An egg, she let us, come forth to this world...

Be smart! Be cunning! No less, my brood...

I give you great beauty, I give you deep dreams...

I chase you to teach you, should you believe...

Our mother, our mother, with love so cold..."


She ended, and twisted her lulling cadence with a grin, then hissed at them. They all hissed back with glee. She waited for the giggles to die down - none of them prolonged the foolishness. Such discipline. "The Serpent Mother is said to be the creator of our race. Which in every other culture you ask, makes her our deity. I, personally believe there's some value in these ideas, but since mom didn't ask me for anything, I'll just say thanks, and see you when I die." She winked. "However, you must each find your own stance with the Serpent Mother. You don't want to sound offstandish, when someone asks you about her, and your belief in her. Humans - especially - take matters of faith very, very seriously." She rolls her eyes.


Jobar raised his hand, and she nodded for him to proceed. "Why is it said that we must run away from the Serpent Mother? Why is it a test of bodily ability and athletics? What if I'm crippled? Can't I talk my way out of being eaten?"


She touched a perfectly manicured fingernail to her lush lips, and raised her eyebrows in thought "You're right, you know. However, no one has come back from the dead to let us know what really happens. And no one reborn remembers any of it. I've asked some babies, but their language is more Adas than anything, good luck decrypting that." The children giggled. Someone made a few legitimate Adas sounds. Even Jobar smiled, despite his seriousness. "Tell you what, Jobar, and this is an assignment for everyone else as well. You are to think of what you would say... What ploy you'd execute to forestall being gobbled up by the Serpent Mother in the afterlife. Sadsu, you will refine then sort the suggestions by eloquence. Artmald will sort them by value to the Serpent Mother. Istis, you'll sort them for how easy they are to debunk. And then, everyone help Jobar practice the top crossovers before presenting them to me." She smiled wickedly, then they all hissed together.

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