“Why is our son doing cross country skiing for summer sport?” Jack Anderson was sitting at the kitchen table looking at his children’s school notices. “Is it something to do with all that political stuff that happened while I was away? Would you believe Hong Kong actually offered me an extended visa in case it wasn’t safe to return home?”
“That was probably nice of them,” replied his wife, Katharine. “And yes, all the local schools are doing snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The Elf’s people have got a park that’s under permanent under snow and ice where they take the kids to do all that. Something about cold terrain survival skills.” She didn’t look up from the newspaper and kept drinking her coffee.
Her husband demanded, “And that doesn’t strike you as at strange?”
She looked up at. “Jack, this city is now controlled by someone who can make it snow at will. Elves, giants and trolls walk the streets. I’ve seen flying reindeer with my own eyes in broad daylight and I can buy things in the shops made out of something called ‘forged ice.’ Our children doing snow sports with their school in summer isn’t as strange as most of that. Besides, when I see boys from that private school your grandparents couldn’t get the boys into, I can’t help but laugh.”
“Why? I would have thought that place would have had the best gear money can buy?” Jack grimaced, “I mean they charge a fortune, there are the dodgy government subsidies, all their specialised facilities, and the waiting lists….”
Katharine smiled, “Oh, they do have the best gear you can buy and the school insisted on using their own equipment when this program started because they do ski trips and all that so they did have it, but you can’t buy the stuff our kids get to use. Now the advanced classes are moving into ‘special’ equipment, I expect the private school will be changing their tune very quickly.”
“Why? I can’t imagine those parents being happy for their kids to share sports gear with the hoi polloi,” remarked Jack. “I mean, they pay for superiority and swank.”
“If you were the kid who didn’t get to use the magical skis or skates because your parents only wanted you to use name brands, then you’d probably start trying to talk your parents around too,” replied his wife.
“Magical,” said Jack sceptically.
“Flying reindeer and snow on demand,” Katharine reminded him. “Why not skates that freeze the water in front of you or skis that always have enough snow under them?”
“Because,” Jack paused, “because it means maybe I should have paid more attention to dragons in Hong Kong.”