‘Is this a dagger I see before me?’ he mumbled.
‘Um. No, my lord. It’s my handkerchief, you see. You can sort of tell the difference if you look closely. It doesn’t have as many sharp edges.’
Again, I love how Pratchett mixes the comical with satirical truths:
They told me at Guild school that a Fool should be faithful to his master until the very end, after all others have deserted him. Good or bad doesn’t come into it. Every leader needs his Fool. There is only loyalty. That’s the whole thing. Even if he is clearly three-parts bonkers, I’m his Fool until one of us dies.
And still, there is also a lot of almost lyrical beauty in how Pratchett describes the arrival winter in Lancre:
The Disc rolled into winter.
Winter in the Ramtops could not honestly be described as a magical frosty wonderland, each twig laced with confections of brittle ice. Winter in the Ramtops didn’t mess about; it was a gateway straight through to the primeval coldness that lived before the creation of the world. Winter in the Ramtops was several yards of snow, the forests a mere collection of shadowy green tunnels under the drifts. Winter meant the coming of the lazy wind, which couldn’t be bothered to blow around people and blew right through them instead. The idea that Winter could actually be enjoyable would never have occurred to Ramtop people, who had eighteen different words for snow.
The ghost of King Verence prowled the battlements, bereft and hungry, and stared out across his beloved forests and waited his chance.
It was a winter of portents. Comets sparkled against the chilled skies at night. Clouds shaped mightily like whales and dragons drifted over the land by day. In the village of Razorback a cat gave birth to a two-headed kitten, but since Greebo, by dint of considerable effort, was every male ancestor for the last thirty generations this probably wasn’t all that portentous.
However, in Bad Ass a cockerel laid an egg and had to put up with some very embarrassing personal questions. In Lancre town a man swore he’d met a man who had actually seen with his own eyes a tree get up and walk. There was a short sharp shower of shrimps. There were odd lights in the sky. Geese walked backwards. Above all of this flared the great curtains of cold fire that were the Aurora Coriolis, the Hublights, whose frosty tints illuminated and coloured the midnight snows.