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I know I announced this when it was official last week, but a HUGE books arrived in the mail the other day, much to the delight of Barnhills everywhere. And so I stacked them up.

  • Koffe with Cream.
  • I Come First?
  • Stolen Child.
  • Insomnia, Dead Man and Others.
  • Scooter Challenges the Day: A true story as told by Patrick Trotter.
  • One suspect arrested for attempted murder near Williams Lake – Williams Lake Tribune – twosheeep.

Just look at them! So many! Real ones! I love a good sibling rivalry story. Take the Infanta of Zamora, Urraca. First of all, look at this picture:. Notice the heavy lidded stare? Notice the sidelong glance? Notice the scheming slump? My daughters make that same face. Urraca was — as I am — one sibling in five, but was, unlike me, the heir to a kingdom. Lucky girl. So, on his death bed, he divided up his empire, giving his three sons separate kingdoms, while his daughters were each given a walled city-state to call their very own.

  • Get e-book PI Binks: The Case of the Busted Bees Nest;
  • Pequeño, Grande (Línea Maestra) (Spanish Edition).
  • The Project Gutenberg e-Book of War's Brighter Side; Author: Julian Ralph.!
  • Wookieepedia:Quote of the Day/Archive?

Ferdinand, having abandoned the trappings and riches of emperor-ness and wearing the simple clothes of a monk, challenged his children to play nice and to be fair and to love one another and God and Spain and then he died. Really, we can blame brother Sancho — the eldest, who, rightfully so, thought that being the oldest meant that he was In Charge.

As an eldest child myself, I can relate. He was, after all, king of Castille, the largest and most important of the three kingdoms. So he convinced his brother Alfonso to go to war with brother Garcia to nab Galicia, which Alfonso did willingly. Toro folded like a napkin, so Alfonso and Urraca combined forces.


Nothing that Alfonso would say could convince her. She had said her piece. She had counted to three. So Alfonso left for Toledo to regroup, and Urraca prepared for war. Which he did. Because why not? It was unsuccessful, alas. Zamorra was too well-defended, and Urraca too shrewd a tactician. Unable to penetrate the walls, El Cid convinced Sancho to just wait the city out.

Eventually, with her people starving, Urraca would cave. After all, El Cid argued. Ladies are delicate. And tender hearted. And that may be true. But Urraca was very good at convincing people to do things.

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And so the Nobleman Vellido rode out to meet Sancho. As Urraca had instructed him to do, he told Sancho that he was switching teams. And then, using trickery and cunning, got Sancho alone. I imagine the interchange went something like this:.

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Just the two of us. With no one else. Now, no one can prove that Urraca was behind this, of course. But it is widely believed that she was.

Kelly Barnhill | Author, teacher, mom. Newbery medalist. Terrible gardener. Maker of pie. | Page 7

Because she had a city to defend. And a snot-nosed brother to put in his place. And, as I said, she was very good at convincing people. When Sancho was discovered, spear sticking out of his puny little body and hovering near death, he is said to have uttered these words:. And let this be a lesson to all of us. Or maybe not. While no one expects the Spanish Inquisition, perhaps the truths of human intolerance and the lust for power and the unbreakable code of sibling rivalry would have asserted itself no matter what.

And rightfully so. There are too many bullies, and I expect the Middle Ages had far more than their fair share. Because history is lousy with ladies whose ambitions, talents, schemes, vision, fortitude, and force-of-being have left deep and indelible grooves in the world around them. A war-like, austere culture spartan, if you will , both athleticism and battle-prowess were recognized as being both possible in the fairer sex, as well as admired.

And to hear Plutarch tell of it, those ladies from Sparta were forces to be reckoned with. Queen Arachidamia of Sparta was a woman of wealth and power and status. When King Pyrrhus, feeling his advanced age and the numb recognition that his long career of warmaking had landed him with empty coffers and more dead friends than he could count, decided to make one last foray into war with Sparta, Arachidamia smiled to herself, and began to get ready.

Now, at this point, Sparta was in the middle of a war with Crete, and while things were at this moment going their way, the King and most of the army were far away across the ocean, and impossible to reach in time. And the armies of Pyrrhus were….. Difficult to fight in the best of circumstances. She gathered the women and approached the Senate. And the men in the Senate felt their knees start to shake. And then the battle began. Pyrrhus attacked with twenty thousand troops, and five thousand elephants.

Have you ever seen an elephant at war? They fight like tanks. They leave a trail of destruction in their path. No matter, said the women of Sparta. And they fought like wolves. Pyrrhus was astonished. This was supposed to be easy. Pyrrhus fled, ended up in Argos where he was struck by a falling statue while walking under a bridge and then beheaded. Serves him right. History, strangely, is mute as to the fate of the fighting elephants.

But, given that elephants typically live in matriarchal societies, unhindered by the bother of warmongering, I like to think that they gave up their warlike ways and retreated into the forest, munching on mulch for the rest of their days. Women and girls change history every day — and always have done so. Be they princess or soldier or scholar or artist or spy. Or preacher. Or writer. Or activist. Or friend.

Sometimes, it just feels good to know that. It is a gorgeous and pastoral farm, tucked into the heart of bluff country in southern Minnesota, that has been transformed into an arts center with a residency program. Gracious brick buildings, art galleries, studios, a completely awesome brick tower with a meditation space at the top. Speaking of cannons, one went off, right in the middle of my reading. It was awesome. I was describing a scene when the king and queen stand before the court to present the new princess. Unfortunately, you must use your imaginations to fill in the gaps. There are a few things that I feel very sure about in regards to the general trajectory of my life.

Number one: I deeply doubt that I will ever be considered as an expert or consultant or Person Who Generally Knows Things, in military matters. Or in matters that are even vaguely military-ish.