It was snowing in the Garden.
This was not unheard of–surely in the books of the Sultan there was a woodcut of ladies in fur collars cavorting in the snow, little bell-strung dogs leaping at their feet. Some few flakes had even fallen when the girl was young, but certainly not this, not a blizzard which sunk men into ice to their knees. Frost had not gilded the leaves of the lemon trees in so long that even the oldest of noblewomen doddering in her bed could only dimly recall what color her dog might have been, and the sound of his jangling bells. Yet the lake had frozen into a reed-rimmed mirror, and the pine needles were sheathed in ice, glittering cold and quiet. Children cavorted; dogs leapt. New woodcuts were hurriedly pressed.
The chestnut boughs were frozen in place, and the wedding was set for the longest night of the year, so that the feast could last as long as possible.
Catherynne Valente’s In the Cities of Coin and Spice
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