Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day Three-Forty-Three: May or may not be a myth

Lord B.T. got back to me in as timely a manner as I've come to expect. Here's his reply:

'Dear Dragomir,

It pleases me to hear that your troubles with the knight have come to a successful close, and that your village will remain open for business. You were wonderfully vague in the how, though I would be a hypocrite if I faulted you for this. I keep most of the details of my kingdom fairly close to my chest.

The trouble of money, and a lack thereof, has plagued administrators for centuries. A village cannot live long unless it is either self-sustaining or prosperous, and your newly-imposed rent may force both requirements upon Pubton. I will need more details on Pubton's current situation before I can make adequate recommendations as to its financial future.

That said, I can offer you a piece of advice that I've heard works wonders for many small villages caught in the throes of winter. Cold weather is not conducive to growing many crops outside winterweed, and without crops you cannot feed the living souls of your community. Your solution, therefore, is to cut down on the number of mouths you must feed.

It is fairly common for villages to commit to an annual slaughter of a portion of their livestock. In some places this event is even turned into a festival. I don't know that you're insensitive enough towards animals to revel in their deaths, but I nevertheless offer that recommendation: slaughter roughly half of your animals. You will receive more than enough meat to last the winter in return, and you can always breed more livestock as replacements for the next year. Ask you butchers or farmers which livestock are best butchered, and which best kept alive.

I hope this suggestion is to your liking. Based on what you've said before, you have a lot of animals in Pubton, probably more than you should. May this excess see you safely through the winter. 

Expect to hear from me again soon,

Lord B.T.'

That's a good enough idea that I think I'll have to put it to the test.

You know me, diary. I don't like when people die. I don't like when animals die, for that matter. I'm not crazy enough to say that NO animal should die - how am I supposed to enjoy eel cookies if not for the succulent meat mixed into the yeast? - and going overboard is, well, going overboard. Slaughtering half of Pubton's animals sounds grisly.

Unfortunately, it also sounds necessary. Expedient, even. We can get more animals next year. Hell, who knows, the rats might be able to deliver a new mystery shipment when the weather improves. Until then we can enjoy plenty of tasty meat, laced with winterweed.

So… yeah. This is happening. I proposed it just before supper. Most people are happy to see it done. The farmers committed to overseeing the animals weren't quite as happy, but they get that we can't feed every pig and chicken and cow and expect to survive the winter. The slaughter will be done, and it will be done tomorrow.

Sorry, boars. Sorry, cows. Sorry, chickens. Sorry, goats. Sorry, sheep. Sorry, anything else we have that I've forgotten. Thanks a ton for your contribution. I won't forget what you've done for us… or, rather, what you'll do.


Dragomir the Mayor

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