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Delphi tried again, pulling the strands of wool and trying to loop the thread through the loom as best she could.  She managed about twenty seconds of furious fiddling before it fell apart in her hands.  She threw it down in irritation.  She was not made to weave.

In desperation, she looked again at the three big jugs of water that stood in the corner of the courtyard.  She couldn’t go out again to get more.  But there was literally nothing else to do.  

Delphi was bored.

Delphi was bored of her toys, mostly carved dolls and animals.  Apparently, she was supposed to be practising being a mother with them.  As soon as she’d heard that, she’d refused to touch them on principle.

She could play knucklebones, a game where you balance pieces of bone on the back of your hand and try to catch them, but she’d never really got the knack for it and it was no fun on her own.  She could go and find her friends, but the girls would probably be with their mothers or sisters, weaving, and Plato would be at his lessons or in the gymnasium.

She sighed and picked up the weaving again.

The problem was that Delphi’s family was unusually small now.  Most families were large and the households would have many women.  As her dad often pointed out, somewhat apologetically, she was at that awkward age where she was too old to need a nanny but not old enough to get married.

Everything seemed to be building towards Delphi getting married.  It was then that she would be fulfilling her role – doing what good Athenian women should do.  She should be preparing herself for it.

But that was just much too terrifying to contemplate.