Story for the Day: Coming of Spring
Spring is upon us, and as such merits the requisite celebrations. The chief of Frewyn's holidays are commemorated in the autumn and winter months, but there is one holiday at the beginning of bring which Alasdair must be made to suffer: the Brennin birthdays.
|Aranabrennin: King's cake, made for the king and queen's birthday|
The end of the long Frewyn winter saw the beginning of its short spring, bringing with it all the subsequent holidays and celebrations that the melting frosts and early bloom of the trees could warrant. The queen and king’s birthdays soon to be commemorated, there was nothing to do but to wait in all the happy agony of blithesome anticipation: Aranabrennin must be made, the courtyard must be fitted up, the square must be heavily ornamented for such a grand and dual celebration; festivities must be planned, games and gaieties for the children must be contrived, and all the accoutrements requisite to venerate one of Frewyn’s most beloved holidays must be acquired.
Such as a lavish celebration as the one that the denizens of the capital had planned must not be thought of as overmuch. All of Frewyn could be under no mistake as to how moderate and humble the expenditures of their king were; though his pockets were deep and his hand open to everything his people should require, Alasdair was mild and intolerant with regard to his own wants. He had everything a king of such a munificent kingdom could desire, and quiet cheerfulness and hearty tempers, though abundant in Frewyn, could not be seen as the blessing of life that so generous and amiable a king could deserve. Now that there were two majesties in the question, both of whom had a birthday not four days apart from one another, the celebration must be twice as formidable, and all their designs on expatiating the glory of the majesties, would not be thwarted. They would revel in their machinations, and though the event was a week away, they would not be deterred from triumphing in all the sensible glee that there due preparations could furnish. Sanguine smiles and teeming bustle cast a blithesomeness over the capital, the pervasion of happy reverie in every conversation, in every aspect, and in every motion of their arrangements. Here was a prospect of Frewyn that Alasdair had been used to see in his grandfather’s time, and though he would vehemently protest against such a sumptuous ceremony, he could not deny them their efforts now that Dorrin had been born. His birthday had been celebrated a few months past, but Alasdair could not help but conceive that all this added merriment might be on Dorrin’s account. Two birthdays was reason enough for ample commemoration, but a third whether a majesty or a mere highness was enough to rally Frewyn to make an even larger celebration than the one hitherto proposed. He may not have agreed with his people’s schemes, but Alasdair would not stop them- nay, he could not if he wished to maintain any semblance of peace in the business. There should be an uproar if he were to dispel all their growing excitement, and thus he must concede to receiving a greater celebration in his honour than one he felt he merited.