Carpet Balls | art by FoxOfTwilight
Pleased beyond telling, Tupper hurried toward a set he’d first noticed when dusting that morning. A dozen stones had been shaped into perfect spheres, much larger than the marbles that the village boys used in their games. Touching the white one, the pink one, and the brown one by turn, he picked up the green one, marveling at how heavy it was. He would need to carry them one at a time!
While he ferried the matched spheres over to where Freydolf sat, the man began a sing-song rhyme. “Blue for sweet waters; white for the brine. Gray under moonlight; gold calls for wine.”
Tupper stared perplexedly at the rich golden hue of the orb in his hands. Rocks couldn’t be thirsty. Could they?
Freydolf chuckled and said, “Don’t mind me, lambkin. Gather the rest.”
He happily complied, and when he joined his master on the carpet, Tupper arrayed the spheres before him, fiddling with the order until he was satisfied. Smooth as glass, cool to the touch, and uncommonly pretty—he silently greeted each in turn by its color name.
The second to last one stumped him, and he looked at Freydolf. “This one?”
“Hmm?” he responded, glancing from boy to ball and back.
“What do I call her?”
“Her?” Freydolf echoed, the hint of a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.
Nodding, Tupper backtracked, pointing to the earlier stones in his lineup. “Blue, gray, green, and … this?” he prompted, again pointing to the sphere in question. It wasn’t only one color, or even two; several shades of brown and a warm pink were daubed together, then sprinkled with black speckles.
“Aye, I understand,” the sculptor replied seriously. “Dapple. We call her kind dapple.”
excerpted from MEADOWSWEET
Galleries of Stone, #1