Thank you for your letter of Tuesday last. I apologize for my tardy reply, but my fingers had not sufficiently healed to hold a pen until today. The pigeon that brought your letter tried to peck my hand off when I attempted to untie your missive from it!
I was in my room working on some rather difficult equations for Miss Robspierre’s alchemy lessons (she’s brilliant – I hope you get to read with her when you come to the Academy) when your delivery pigeon came soaring through the window. I’m on the fourth floor of the north wing this year (cold!!), and a half-mile above the bottom of the gorge below. It flew straight in and landed on Pelly’s bed post. (She’s my roommate this year, have I told you about her?) She was reading. I hopped over to get the letter and the beastly thing attacked me!
As I drew back my poor bleeding digits, the brute launched off the bed and came right for my face! Don’t tell Adolphus, but I spent a moment shrieking pathetically, just as he says girls always do, but in my defense I really was quite surprised! Then Pelly yelled a head’s up and tossed her tennis racket to me. I’ve never been much for sport, but I must have an instinct for tennis*, for I hit the raging bird square on, and Pelly threw the laundry basket over it. I pulled your letter off while it was still insensible.
That pigeon has been under our laundry basket ever since. It has shredded my better bloomers and a pair of Pelly’s gloves. I’ve gotten it to take a little water, but it won’t eat anything. I don’t want the brute to starve to death, but If anyone but Pelly sees it’s there I’ll get in trouble, for you’re not allowed to have pets at the Academy that you didn’t make yourself.
Where did you get this monstrosity of a messenger bird? It won’t take seed or fat or anything else I’ve tried, and I’m afraid to let it out!
Please advise as soon as you can.
Your loving sister,
Please find another way to send your response! One killer pigeon is quite enough!
* That’s what Pelly called it. I think my instinct may be only for survival, but she’s vowed to teach me tennis nevertheless
This story is continued with a Letter from Mother to Philomena