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Blackberry Stone

Chapter Text

It is hard to focus on lessons.

The young princess’ eyes wander away from her stack of history books and settle on the arched window and the blossoming cherry tree outside of it.

There is no one else in this stuffy corner of the Sorceress' grand library. The princess imagines that she could easily go to the window without anyone noticing her and climb onto the branches of the tree. She imagines how pleasant the boughs would be to sit in and how perfect a place it would be to hide from boring lessons.

The lessons wouldn't be so boring if they weren't in books. There are other ways of learning. Wandering about the city and Glinda's palace and talking to different people about their lives is a good way to learn new information about the world. Lectures, are a perfectly respectable way of learning things. Professor Wogglebug is thoroughly educated and gives lively ones regularly in the city. He’s gathered a little group of thinkers and like minded educators and Ozma is in the process of allocating the resources to build a university for them to give their lessons at. In the meantime, Glinda is doing what she can to make sure the princess is caught up with the history of the world and what being the "Regent of the Land of Oz" entails. Glinda likes books, so books it is.

Ozma looks down at the text and tries to grasp the meaning of the words in front of her. They having meaning, she knows as much. Ozma has known that written words have power from the moment old Mombi sat Tip down at the kitchen table and had Tip practice letters on a slate. The book in front of her is about past kings and queens of Oz and their accomplishments and contributions to the country but the words are empty of any real meaning. As far as Ozma is concerned, these kings and queens are long dead and therefore have little to do with what is happening right now. What is happening right now is that the current regent could be sitting in a tree and listening to the sound of the bees collecting pollen. She needs to finish this chapter before going downstairs to her magic lessons with Glinda but there seems to be an endless amount of pages.

Her eyes glaze over the words and finally she realizes she’s been looking at the partial phrase “Pastoria II’s political views had” for several minutes. She’ll finish this chapter and then go downstairs for magic lessons and then dress for supper and then have supper, dessert, perhaps take a walk, prepare for bed and wake up to another day of Glinda’s endless tutoring. Ozma wishes Glinda would give her more time, it’s been less then a year since she found out she was a princess after all.

“Pastoria II’s politcal views had-“

The same phrase refocuses in front of her. Not the Pastoria that’s her father, but some other Pastoria from how many generations back she’s forgotten and she can’t bring herself to flip back to the page in the back of the book with all the lineages and family trees and lengths of reigns. Ozma can’t bring herself to want to finish this chapter.

"Pastoria II's political views had-" nothing to do with her or this lovely afternoon.

She yawns and stretches. The window with the glorious cherry tree is still there and she eyes the closed door Glinda had disappeared from a little over half an hour ago.

The blossoms smell sweeter than she expected and shake their tiny petals into Ozma’s hair as she pulls herself up through the branches. This is much more satisfying than sitting in that stuffy corner of the library. She wonders if Professor Woggelbug’s progressive teacher friends will teach a course on tree climbing. Ozma thinks she should be a guest lecturer on the topic.