Let it not be said that there are no goddesses in heaven.
Let it not be said that all goddesses are of earth.
Let no one deny the sovereignty of Juno,
queen of heaven, lady of the sky.
Praise to Juno whose domain is the heavens.
Praise to Juno whose mantle is the clouds.
Praise to Juno whose handmaid is the rainbow.
Praise to Juno who both stirs and calms storms.
Praise to Juno, wife and mother, queen and matron,
protectress of all women whether slave or free, rich or poor.
Praise to Juno, equal to Jove, wise as Minerva,
steadfast as Vesta, free as Diana, beautiful as Venus.
Praise to Juno, protectress of women, shaper of heroes,
guardian of the nation, noblest of goddesses.
Ave Juno Dea!
A voice from the lake
Psst. Hey, sweetheart. Over here, in the lake.
It’s okay. No, you don’t have to get in the water.
Just listen. Listen. I have a sword. Do you like swords?
Some little girls do, I know. They aren’t just for boys.
Nothing is just for boys or just for girls, by the way.
Don’t let them tell you that. Don’t believe them.
I have this sword. It needs some cleaning,
but it’s in pretty good shape. Hasn’t been used in a while.
Would you like to have it? I think you’d take good care of it.
You seem like the type of girl who could be trusted
with a sword. I’ve been keeping it hidden, waiting for
a special person. The right girl. A girl who would be
fair, who wouldn’t just wave the sword around
and smack whoever she wanted. Fair, but strong,
too, strong enough to keep the sword safe from
bullies. Bullies are always trying to take other people’s
things, am I right? You look strong, and smart, and
fair. I’ll give you the sword, and if you get tired of it,
just bring it back here to me, okay? Good luck.
Hey, little girl. Yes, you. Do you like swords?