The Birthday of the World
The Birthday of the World


The Birthday of the World

Ursula K Le Guin

Science fiction

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The Birthday of the World Ursula K. Le Guin Tazu was having a tantrum, because he was three. After the birthday of the world, tomorrow, he would be four and would not have tantrums. He had left off screaming and kicking and was turning blue from holding his breath. He lay on the ground stiff as a corpse, but when Haghag stepped over him as if he wasn’t there, he tried to bite her foot. “This is an animal or a baby,” Haghag said, “not a person.” She glanced may-I-speak-to-you and I glanced yes. “Which does God’s daughter think it is,” she asked, “an animal or a baby?” “An animal. Babies suck, animals bite,” I said. All the servants of God laughed and tittered, except the new barbarian, Ruaway, who never smiled. Haghag said, “God’s daughter must be right. Maybe somebody ought to put the animal outside. An animal shouldn’t be in the holy house.” “I’m not an animal!” Tazu screamed, getting up, his fists clenched and his eyes as red as rubies. “I’m God’s son!” “Maybe,” Haghag said,...