plantfairy bell in sesat
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"Sesat. Okay."

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And eventually there is lentil soup.

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She inspects it. She tastes it.

"It's very salty," she remarks.

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"Is that surprising?"

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"It is not to my taste."

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"You're so articulate. Well, if I decide to keep you, it's no trouble to have less salty lentils sometimes, though I'm not committed to keeping you in the first place."

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"Keep me?"

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"Have you live in my house in the longer term."

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"Oh. I guess I need somewhere to live but if you don't want a houseguest I can probably find somewhere else? Or maybe I can't, I am realizing now I have no idea."

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"We can try to find you another place if necessary. I haven’t ruled out keeping you either, though. You’re very smart."

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"I seem to agree with you even though reasonably I shouldn't have much opinion because I don't know how smart other people are."

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"Most people aren't smart enough to notice that they've just thought something for no reason and change their minds."

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"Wow. That's concerning."

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"Most people only have to do simple work and get told what to do and how much of it and how. The people who make decisions - like our Star-of-Stars, of course - are plenty smart. All my family is as smart as you or smarter. It's one reason I'm thinking of keeping you - I think carrying water and digging in the dirt would be a waste of your talents."

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"It doesn't sound like it would be great."

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"It isn't. It's a hard life and a very bad one if you're an intellectual sort and like to make your own choices, or if you turn out small or weak."

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"Is that importantly different from being small and weak right now?"

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"Yes. At some point you'll stop getting bigger and stronger and that means that hard physical labor will stop getting easier for you. And no one would make you do anything very hard at your age."

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"Okay."

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"...I do think I like you."

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"Thank you. You seem decent so far too."

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"Do you know how to read?"

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"Of course I - oh, do a lot of people not?"

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"Especially at your age and in out-of-the-way places. I'm not sure if more people can read than can't; it varies a lot. Children do also sometimes insist they can read when they can't; perhaps while someone is looking into where you came from you can demonstrate for me."

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"Okay, what do you have around for me to read?"

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