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Olympian Decimation

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Dear Marengo,

The Olympics have been lovely. I've been watching the events and counting up the medals. The British are totally decimating the Frenchies. I hope that means we do the same in this war--though not you, of course. Maybe when the Olympics are done, your Monsieur Napoleon will come visit to congratulate the French athletes and we can steal a few moments together.

But oh my horsey God, I have met the rudest American in the world, although technically she is of German descent. She's in London for the Olympics, about which more in a moment, but I have to tell you about her first. Her name is Rafalca which is a silly name, though I suppose you might like it better than Thunderclap out of Stormfront by Death to the French. She told me that in her stable back home, she has an elevator just for her.

I don't know what an elevator does, but I told her that my owner will be installing one for me as soon as the war is over. I hope she doesn't work out that I was telling her a fib, but since she's going home to either America or Germany soon, she probably won't find out.

Anyway the rest of the Olympic athletes have been brilliant. I met the British ones, of course, when the Duke of Wellington reviewed the troops or whatever you call it when they're not actually troops yet, but he said he was thinking about commandeering some of the eventers for afterward. I have started corresponding with one of the dressage horses, Valegro, who has promised to teach me a few things about what it's like to do dressage. He says he quite likes having his barrel squeezed just so and he will show me--after the Olympics, of course.

If he shows me, perhaps I'll get a chance to show you, too.

Kiss kiss hoofprint,
Copenhagen

*

Dearest Copenhagen,

Your latest missive of sportshorselike celebration reaches me in good spirits, which is just as well. Your Empire is not, as you say, "decimating" the "Frenchies." I contest this on two counts. First, because decimation is an ancient Roman punishment that involved killing one man in ten, and not a mere lead of ten medals in an international competition, comprising less than a ten percent lead. I am sure that now I have pointed this out to you, the connection between "one-tenth" and the verb "decimation" is quite clear.

In the second place, many humans and horses competing under the banner of M. Napoleon are not "Frenchies" at all. I had the opportunity to meet one of the Belorussian competitors before he went to compete in the steeplechase. He had splendid conformation--his hocks were especially handsome--and a good sense of humor but an impenetrable accent. I might add that I found his exotic whinnying quite attractive.

Be that as it may, I congratulate your athletes on their prowess, and hope that their skills continue to bring you solace and a sense of national pride, nay, imperial pride. We in France and her new territories will do the same.

I would be grateful if you would enclose a piece of memorabilia, but please omit any that use the mascots. I find them distasteful, and while I would treasure any Olympic-related materials, I would be hard-pressed to display such with pride.

If your communications with Valegro bear fruit, as it were, I am intrigued by the possibilities. Dressage is not a discipline I have had time for, but it seems as though it might provide any number of ways to add, I believe you call it "spice," to a relationship.

Yours as ever,
Marengo