Most unusually, this year will see the Great Turtle twice execute a full roll, a coincidence that has not occurred since the Great Comet of the Year of the Quick Sloth.
In times past, these events were a source of great awe and mystery to our rude forefathers, but they are now understood as a perfectly ordinary, nay, even inevitable and desirable con- dition of living in a world that ultimately rests upon the back of an enormous turtle.
One can speculate, as wizards have done, that there are worlds as spherical as the moon, although a little intuition will tell us that no intelligent life could survive long on them (because, for example, walking for any length of time in a straight line would bring you back to where you started, a circumstance likely to cause madness in all who experience it). But, more severely, without a turtle to snap them out of the sky, such a world would be prey to every mischievous comet or random rock.
On May 25 the comet Snape 32 would strike the rimward regions of Howandaland, and on August 7 the large rock named The Late Mrs Edith Barnfather, after the aunt of the discoverer, would land in the sea off Quirm; however, we can be assured that Great ATuin will account for both, with a simple roll in the case of Snape 32 and quite a complex three- dimensional roll-and-twist in the case of Edith Barnfather.
DO NOT BE AFEARED
(’aveared’ being ar worse than being afraid!)
FOR THE TURTLE WILL PREVAIL
We expect on August 3 to witness a Turtle Eclipse of the Sun as one of the mighty flippers, beating the aether with extra force in order to begin the roll, briefly rises above the Rim, and people who tend towards vertigo or seasickness would be well advised to stay indoors at night time, particularly on August 6 when the stars will be moving quite strongly.
A rain of tortoises, which could occasion a broken pate or two, will beset those in Skund but there is good eating on them, so all is equal.
The Krullians have never fallen victim to the perennial heresy that the world is globular and it makes no kind of sense, because they’ve even mapped large parts of the Turtle’s head. When you’ve measured the albedo of an eye thirty miles across, it’s hard to be persuaded that it doesn’t exist.
FORTUNATELY WE MOVE WITH THE TIMES BECAUSE, OWING TO THE TURTLE’S PROGRESS, WE DO, IN FACT, MOVE WITH THE TIMES. STARS APPEAR AHEAD AND FALL BEHIND, AND THUS NEW CONSTELLATIONS CAN BE DEVISED. OF COURSE, SOME ARE SUCH THAT THEY ARE READILY 'PAINTED’ ON TO THE CHANGING SKY, AND SO WE ARE NEVER WITHOUT THE STRAIGHT LINE, THE SMALL BORING GROUP OF FAINT STARS,
The Seventh House
THE HOUSE OF THE STAR
31 THE FAINT STAR MAJOR
32 THE FAINT STAR MINOR
33 THE LITTLE TURTLE
34 THE FLAGON
35 KET’S KNIFE
33 THE LITTLE TURTLE Of the Seventh House.
Large but not too bright, being one star above two more, and then three. When viewed over still water, its reflection gives it its name, although you have to want to see the turtle, if you see what we mean. A useful constellation.
Of the Twelfth House.
This star, it has been determined, occupies that point in space to which the Turtle is heading, although it is in fact not a star at all but a tiny point of darkness against a wash of glowing gas. No doubt its nature will be revealed in due course. Those born under this star are always looking forward to tomorrow.
Of the Twelfth House.
A large red star, visited by the Turtle in recent astronomical history, where we were fortunate to witness the birth of a number of new sky turtles whose eggs had incubated in the warm glow as on a beach. Those born under this star are beginning to make their mark as historians and others of that sort who hanker after the past.
THE PITCHER and THE LITTLE TURTLE MEET UP AND ALIGN WITH THE STARFISH and OBJOCK
THE PLOUGH HANDLE ORJOCK, THE LITTLE TURTLE and THE BRIGHT CABBAGE, which is unusual even in a half-year ending.
*NOTE: It is of some scientific conjecture that this may be due to an increase and subsequent decrease in magical activity within the Moon. There may well be a correlation between this tidal ebb and flow of magical strength and some as yet undiscovered natural phenomenon (the heartbeat of Great A’Tuin itself has been put forward by some scholars). Ed.
Ephebian mythology tells us that the cabbage sprang from the fallen tears of a king who was about to be killed by one of the Gods for making water amongst His holy grove of turnips. As the King’s tears fell, the god felt compassion and turned him into a tortoise. He was eaten by an eagle five minutes later, but it’s the thought that counts.