Story for the day: The Headdress
|They require pineapple hats|
I had said that Leraa must have the hat of the Zulu Chief from Sesame Street and then remarked that it looked like a pineapple. This is the story that ensued.
It was Gods’ Day in Frewyn and as the recruits were enjoying their one day of liberation away from the training yard of the keep, the commander took the day to run some errands for Alasdair and herself. She marched through the main hall toward the guest quarter when she observed Obhantaa Leraa just ending his morning meditations in the doorway of his room. She neared to give her cheerful hellos when she noticed the white colossus look over at something beside him. He seemed to be fondling the strange object and when she drew closer to gain a more fitting look, she smiled to see him regarding a diadem of feathers neatly tucked into the center of was resembled a whicker duster. The plumes flowered from the center, each one a different colour, their brilliancy glowing in the shafts of light pouring into the room.
Obhantaa turned when he noticed the commander behind him and he happily showed her the object of his attention. He placed it on his head and tied it under his loose braids with a wide grin on his face.
“Such a handsome hat,” the commander said smilingly. “You shall be all the rage, Leraa, putting the nobility to shame with so fine a specimen.”
Obhantaa shook his head from side to side and delighted in the ruffling sounds his colourful decoration made. “This is the headdress of the Hassan Omaa, Gondhaahi,” he said, proudly pointing to his ornamentation.
“With such accoutrements, I should not wonder at why you accepted your post as leader of the collective. You may delegate from your seat with a flick of your feathers.” The commander demonstrated by lifting the tips of her long hair and tossing them dismissively in Obhantaa Leraa’s direction with a determined expression.
The giant laughed for a moment but his smiles were soon gone when he removed the headdress from his head. “I am not supposed to wear it when I’m away from the islands,” he admitted in a sorrowful tone.
The commander was sensible of how eager Leraa was to sport his designated garnishing and resolved to find him a Frewyn substitute while his time was spent in the south. “Well, we must find you a fitting replacement,” she said, ushering him toward the main gate.
Obhantaa’s features brightened. “Can khaasta have one too?” he exclaimed, motioning to the cat curling about his feet.
“Of course. As your honourable advisor, she must. Not to worry, Leraa. With your powers of loveliness and Kai Linaa’s proclivity to make you wear the most adorable things possible, something shall be found to delight you.”
At the mention of something being contrived in his favour, Obhantaa was obliged to follow the commander toward the marketplace where they would search for a fitting alternate together. She performed her errands while Obhantaa looked about and before long, the giant found a fruit that bore the semblance of his headdress. It was not an exact replica, as the feathers were replaced with thick leaves, but it would perhaps suit credibly. He called the commander over to remark the strange fruit and she agreed that for the purpose it was appropriate. They were told by the elven trader that this fruit was from Lucentia and though they grew all year round in the north, they were a rarity in the south. The price was exorbitant but it would not signify. The commander would have them for Leraa’s hat and there was no other end to it. She took three of the spiny fruits and was instructed not to eat the rind or the tops. She replied that neither would be a problem and she carried her prize back to the keep where she placed them onto the kitchen table to be carefully cut and sliced.
The dulcet bounty was shared with all. The centers of the fruits were a pleasure and called to them everyone in the keep excepting the Den Asaan whose horror of fruits kept him far away from the kitchen at present. Even King Alasdair found time to visit and try some of the sumptuous reward, and when everyone had done with their slices, the rinds were discarded and the tops were kept aside.
Kai Linaa, being the castle’s chief craftmaker, was applied to for her abilities. She was told what was to be done in the way of a hat and she made a few schemes before performing any alterations. She required six strips of wicker and six small pegs. The items were easily retrieved from the yeoman after some smiling persuasion and in a few moments, the verdant tops of the Lucentian fruit were transformed into hats. She made three, one for Obhantaa Leraa who put his on directly, one for his khaasta, and the last one was to be for Kai Linaa in reward for a job well done, but before she could fix the wicker twine around her large pointed ears, the Den Asaan’s messenger gull flew through the window of the kitchen and landed on the table. His unblinking eye stared at the odd hats everyone seemed to be donning and he squawked at Leraa with an expectant flutter of his wings.
“The Bhontaa wants one too,” Obhantaa said in translation of the gull’s actions.
Kai Linaa was only too pleased to give the gull her odd hat. She fixed it upon his head and he nuzzled her cheek in thanks. She giggled and nuzzled back, making coos at the affectionate bird and bidding him to sit on her shoulder.
When the party was well settled with the headdresses, they marched out of the kitchen and paraded about the keep to display them to the nobles in hopes of their trend spreading among the impressionable royals of Frewyn. They promenaded through the gallery toward the royal quarter and as they passed through the doorway leading to the arena, the Den Asaan remarked their demonstration with a besieged expression.
The commander, who followed the little parade, simpered at her mate and did not attempt to hide her laughter as she approached him. “Would you like to know how this all began?”
The Den Asaan parted his lips to speak and then paused as he rethought his mate’s inquiry. “ . . . No,” he decided.
“I think your brother chose to be Hassan Omaa simply so he could obtain that festive and becoming hat he keeps tucked away in his quarters.”
“That headdress is a rare artifact of our people, Traala,” the Den Asaan said in a reverent tone. “It is not meant to be worn except at ceremonies. It was given to our first Hassan Omaa by Jhiadhi before my people came to the islands and it has been with us for over five-hundred years.”
“Now that your brother has a disposable substitute, you should be all the happier.”
The Den Asaan could not deny that he was relieved at his brother’s obeying the ordinances of their people but he wished that Obhantaa Leraa perhaps did not have to show his delight at wearing a fruit for a hat in such an ardent manner.