A Kinrowan Estate story: Border Postal Service (A Letter to Mauve)

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Written by Robert ‘Robbie’ Macdonald, The Steward here between The Wars, to a friend, about the problems of getting postal service across the Border. The letter was reprinted by Robbie in his Journal, dated 2nd of June 1918.

Dear Mauve,

You asked about how we post letters and packages across the Border to Faerie and back to here. Well that’s a fascinating question which I hopefully can answer for you. I asked our Librarian if there were Journal entries of just how far back there was Border postal service. Jasmine got a look in her eye and disappeared into her office with a pot of tea and a plate of Border strawberry scones — the ones that start out red and turn white as they ripen. Certainly makes for a queer looking jam.

I didn’t hear anything more about this matter until several days later when Jasmine told me over breakfast that it came about when Titania and Oberon first ventured to this side of the Border too see our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which they claim they assisted Will in writing, oh, so long ago by our standards but only a twinkling in the eye by the way they measure time.

Being Royalty, they needed to keep in constant contact with the Court over the Border lest someone, say Puck, caused trouble. So they created the Border Postal Service which allowed humans under geis to go into Faerie without suffering the fate of Tam Lin (that would-be Queen has, we’re told, been severely punished for her actions) and for Fey servants that travel here under a similar geis not to cause trouble.

The result is that our Fey Royalty can now get the teas they love from us when they are delivered here by our tea brokers and we can get the wonderful crafts that only a tradeswomen there can produce, such as the skirt that Jasmine was wearing that morning. And everyone writes letters back and forth, both personal and business related.

Delivering the post can be tricky as time, geography, and even the weather differ across the Border from here. Jasmine, our Senior Librarian, says we once lost a Several Annie by the name of Caoilainn for an entire Winter back in the reign of Queen Victoria; she was delivering a bottle of twenty-year-old mead as a betrothal gift to a member of the Court when the Border closed itself. (Laith claims it’s a living creature in its own right.) Caoilainn had a grand time and says she’s no regrets.

The only creatures who seem to have no troubles crossing the Border are the Estate felines who come and go as they please. The only queer thing about that is some come back with odd traits — some fade in and out, some can disappear there and re-appear a long ways off, and most disconcertingly is some appear to be very, very similar to long-passed-on Estate felines!

I must end this letter now, as I see that our Estate Gillie is eager to get the inspection of the salmon breeding pools underway. Give my love to your husband and the bairns.

Warmest regards, Robbie

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About Diverse Voices

Diverse Voices is our catch-all for writers and other staffers who did but a few reviews or other writings for us. They are credited at the beginning of the actual writing if we know who they are which we don’t always.

It also includes material by writers that first appeared in the Sleeping Hedgehog, our in-house newsletter for staff and readers here. Some material is drawn from Folk Tales, Mostly Folk and Roots & Branches, three other publications we’ve donedone the centuries.

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