A hat full of sky, p.34
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       A Hat Full of Sky, p.34

         Part #32 of Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
Page 34


  She written it down in her diary, which was a lot thicker now, what with all the pressed herbs and extra notes and bookmarks. It had been trodden on by cows, struck by lightning and dropped in tea. And it didnt have an eye on it. An eye would have got knocked off on day one. It was a real witchs diary. Tiffany had stopped wearing the hat, except in public, because it kept getting bent by low doorways and completely crushed by her bedroom ceiling. She was wearing it today, though, clutching it occasionally whenever a gust tried to snatch it off her head. She reached the place where four rusty iron wheels were half buried in the turf and a pot-bellied stove stood up from the grass. It made a useful seat. Silence spread out around Tiffany, a living silence, while the sheep danced with their lambs and the world turned. Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving. The words ran through Tiffanys mind as she watched the sheep, and she found herself fill up with joy - at the new lambs, at life, at everything. Joy is to fun what the deep sea is to a puddle. Its a feeling inside that can hardly be contained. It came oul as laughter. Ive come back! she announced, to the hills. Better than I went! She snatched off the hat with stars on it. It wasnt a bad hat, for show, although the stars made it look like a toy. But it was never her hat. It couldnt be. The only hat worth wearing was the one you made for yourself, not one you bought, not one you were given. Your own hat, for your own head. Your own future, not someone elses. She hurled the starry hat up as high as she could. The wind there caught it neatly. It tumbled for a moment and then was lifted by a gust and, swooping and spinning, sailed away across the downs and vanished for ever. Then Tiffany made a hat out of the sky and sat on the old pot-bellied stove, listening to the wind around the horizons while the sun went down. As the shadows lengthened, many small shapes crept out of the nearby mound and joined her in the sacred place, to watch. The sun set, which is everyday magic, and warm night came. The hat filled up with stars. . . Authors Note

  The Doctrine of Signatures mentioned on page 90 really exists in this world, although now its better known by historians than doctors. For hundreds of years, perhaps thousands, people believed that God, who of course had made everything, had signed each thing in a way that showed humanity what it could be used for. For example, goldenrod is yellow so must be good for jaundice, which turns the skin yellow (a certain amount of guesswork was involved, but sometimes patients survived). By an amazing coincidence, the Horse carved on the Chalk is remarkably similar to the Uffington White Horse, which in this world is carved on the downlands near the village of Uffington in southwest Oxfordshire. Its 374 feet long, several thousand years old and carved on the hill in such a way that you can only see all of it in one go from the air. This suggests that: a) it was carved for the gods to sec; or, b) flying was invented a lot earlier that we thought; or, c) people used to be much, much taller. Oh, and this world had Witch Trials, too. They were not fun.

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