This is Lego, a leucitic reindeer living in the hill enclosure at the reindeer centre we visited. Leucitic is not albinism, not the absence of melanin but any pigment at all. There is a delicacy to Lego that is surface only – his pink antlers, his translucent hooves, though he is in robust health, friendly and hungry for the food we offered.
Why for luck (or ‘fur luck’ – in a dialectical form)? Because white deer are lucky, harbingers of good, rare things. Because Kilea is leucitic, something she shares with the character she is modelled after, Chariklea from The Aethiopika. It is a curse and a blessing to be unique. It gives her a particular worth in the eyes of collectors, suitors, and a divorce from her people, her origins wiped from her skin, so she appears blank.
And now Kilea is out wandering, not out in the world yet, but in among the trees, a haunting presence for me while I work on the next book, with a new girl needing to be realised.
Writing and dreaming. Looking for symbols of fortune when I should be looking to those of endurance. A mixture of these. More pictures and stories, at any rate, to follow.