The Daily Drabble--"Continuing the Tradition"
benignant \bih-NIG-nuhnt\, adjective:
- Kind; gracious.
- Beneficial; favorable.
"After the captain and ladies had sat down, the autocratic steward rang a second bell, and with a majestic wave of the hand, and a calm, benignant smile, signified his pleasure that we should sit down."
-Sir Henry Stanley, "Grand tours - Mind your manners at the captain's table," Independent, August 18, 2002
"At the meeting it was strange to see, amidst the peaceful, benignant faces, this woe-begone old man, with his thick white hair and his deeply furrowed placid cheeks, looking wistfully from one to the other, and listening anxiously, hoping some day to hear the words which should bring peace to his soul."
-Alexander L. Kielland, Skipper Worse
"Human beings . . . are forever ascribing malignant or benignant motives even to inanimate forces such as the weather, volcanoes, and internal-combustion engines."
-Stephen Budiansky, "The Truth About Dogs," The Atlantic, July 1999
Benignant comes from the present participle of Late Latin benignare, from Latin benignus, "kind, friendly."
The past few days, I have done serious drabbles bordering on depressing. But given today's word--and today's mood--I can't do that. After all, I get to leave work in a mere forty-five minutes and don't have to be back in my
Continuing the Tradition
It is my fiftieth begetting day, and my two younger brothers awaken me early, before the Mingling. “Turko, come,” says Carnistir—still using that outdated name—“Curvo and I have planned a private celebration for just the three of us.”
I know what they have in mind, for I have been guilty of it twice now: This “private celebration” is in fact an excuse for a prank. I know because I did it first to Maitimo and then Macalaurë.
And truthfully, I’d expected those two. After all, they have reason for exacting revenge; Maitimo claims to have waited for this day for thirty-two years.
I wonder, then, should I suspect Carnistir and Curufinwë? Carnistir, with his murderous mystique, and Curvo, who inherited our father’s looks, temperament, and even his talent but not a drop of his sense of humor?
They lead me to Carnistir’s room, where there is a bottle of liquor on the table. Curvo pours three glasses; Carnistir hands me mine, and we all raise to each other. “In honor of our brother,” Carnistir says.
Clever gits…they both duck aside when I spit out the vinegar.
“Just continuing the tradition,” says Curvo, and I do believe he smiles.