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Wintersmith

Wintersmith

Titel: Wintersmith
Autoren: Terry Pratchett
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Introduction
    A Feegle Glossary, adjusted for
those of a delicate disposition
(A Work in Progress by Miss Perspicacia Tick)
    Bigjobs: Human beings.
    Big Man: Chief of the clan (usually the husband of the kelda).
    Blethers: Rubbish, nonsense.
    Boggin’: To be desperate, as in “I’m boggin’ for a cup of tea.”
    Bunty: A weak person.
    Cack yer kecks: Er, to put it delicately…to be very, very frightened. As it were.
    Carlin: Old woman.
    Cludgie: The privy.
    Crivens!: A general exclamation that can mean anything from “My goodness!” to “I’ve just lost my temper and there is going to be trouble.”
    Dree your/my/his/her weird: Face the fate that is in store for you/me/him/her.
    Een: Eyes.
    Eldritch: Weird, strange. Sometimes means oblong, too, for some reason.
    Fash: Worry, upset.
    Geas: A very important obligation, backed up by tradition and magic. Not a bird.
    Gonnagle: The bard of the clan, skilled in musical instruments, poems, stories, and songs.
    Hag: A witch of any age.
    Hag o’ hags: A very important witch.
    Hagging/Haggling: Anything a witch does.
    Hiddlins: Secrets.
    Kelda: The female head of the clan, and eventually the mother of most of it. Feegle babies are very small, and a kelda will have hundreds in her lifetime.
    Lang syne: Long ago.
    Last World: The Feegles believe that they are dead. This world is so nice, they argue, that they must have been really good in a past life and then died and ended up here. Appearing to die here means merely going back to the Last World, which they believe is rather dull.
    Mudlin: Useless person.
    Pished: I am assured that this means “tired.”
    Schemie: An unpleasant person.
    Scuggan: A really unpleasant person.
    Scunner: A generally unpleasant person.
    Ships: Woolly things that eat grass and go baa. Easily confused with the other kind.
    Spavie: See Mudlin.
    Special Sheep Liniment: Probably moonshine whisky, I am very sorry to say. No one knows what it’d do to sheep, but it is said that a drop of it is good for shepherds on a cold winter’s night and for Feegles at any time at all. Do not try to make this at home.
    Spog: A leather pouch, worn on the front of his belt, where a Feegle keeps his valuables and uneaten food, interesting insects, useful bits of twig, lucky dirt, and so on. It is not a good idea to fish around in a spog.
    Steamie: Found only in the big Feegle mounds in the mountains, where there’s enough water to allow regular bathing; it’s a kind of sauna. Feegles on the Chalk tend to rely on the fact that you can get only so much dirt on you before it starts to fall off of its own accord.
    Waily: A general cry of despair.

CHAPTER ONE
    The Big Snow
    W hen the storm came, it hit the hills like a hammer. No sky should hold as much snow as this, and because no sky could, the snow fell, fell in a wall of white.
    There was a small hill of snow where there had been, a few hours ago, a little cluster of thorn trees on an ancient mound. This time last year there had been a few early primroses; now there was just snow.
    Part of the snow moved. A piece about the size of an apple rose up, with smoke pouring out around it. A hand no larger than a rabbit’s paw waved the smoke away.
    A very small but very angry blue face, with the lump of snow still balanced on top of it, looked out at the sudden white wilderness.
    “Ach, crivens!” it grumbled. “Will ye no’ look at this? ’Tis the work o’ the Wintersmith! Noo there’s a scunner that willna tak’ ‘no’ fra’ an answer!”
    Other lumps of snow were pushed up. More heads peered out.
    “Oh waily, waily, waily!” said one of them. “He’s found the big wee hag again!”
    The first head turned toward this head, and said, “Daft Wullie?”
    “Yes, Rob?”
    “Did I no’ tell ye to lay off that waily business?”
    “Aye, Rob, ye did that,” said the head addressed as Daft Wullie.
    “So why did ye just do it?”
    “Sorry, Rob. It kinda bursted oot.”
    “It’s so dispiritin’.”
    “Sorry, Rob.”
    Rob Anybody sighed. “But I fear ye’re right, Wullie. He’s come for the big wee hag, right enough. Who’s watchin’ over her doon at the farm?”
    “Wee Dangerous Spike, Rob.”
    Rob looked up at clouds so full of snow that they sagged in the middle.
    “Okay,” he said, and sighed again. “It’s time fra’ the Hero.”
    He ducked out of sight, the plug of snow dropping neatly back into place, and slid down into the heart of the Feegle mound.
    It was quite big inside. A

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