My friend Ah’brianne and I were talking on the way home from school about our favorite childhood memories, and we both agreed that being in my Uncle Ardenai’s Creppia Nonage class was one of the high points.
On Equus we start school when we are five, and we stay in Creppia Nonage for our first two years of schooling. We were still really young and really little and Ardenai Teacher always made us feel warm and safe, and we knew he loved us like life itself.
We learned things like how to ask and answer questions, how to look things up to get answers, what was expected of us as students and citizens, respect for ourselves and others and how to care for our environment and our way of life. We learned about plants and animals, shapes and colors, the days of the week and seasons of the year, basic sums, history, and penmanship. My favorite part was when Uncle Ardenai told us stories, or took us places to learn about science and history. At least once every week we went somewhere and it was always a grand adventure. I can still remember going out on the North Viridian Sea in a boat with a glass bottom and sides, and watching the fish swim by. A big fish bumped the side of the boat and one little girl whose name I shall not mention started to cry, but Ardenai Teacher gave her a snuggle and she was fine.
There are huge storms on Equus and sometimes we couldn’t get home, so we stayed at school. It was all set up for us to do that. They cooked for us in the kitchen, and we would play games and have contests or put on plays. When it was time for sleep the older children went to individual beds, but Ardenai Teacher didn’t make us do that if we were too frightened by the storm. He would pile pillows and soft, thick blankets onto the floor and then he’d collapse onto them, hold out his arms and we would all jump on top of him and find a place to snuggle in. He’s a big, powerful man, but I can’t imagine having a dozen little bodies land on you is pleasant. He always just laughed. Then he sang us songs, very quietly, until we went to sleep. I was hoping he would teach my children someday, but now that he is Dragonhorse, his teaching days are over. I remember the songs, and I will sing them to my children when they are five years old.