Names

I like names - the star names: Zosma, Almirzam, Berenice's Hair; the wind names: Chinook, the snow-eater and Karaburan, Black Blizzard of the Gobi. I like flower names: Tulip, Sweet Cicely, Aaron's Beard; shell names like Bishop's Mitre, Comb of Venus and names of butterflies, like Peacock Eye.

I like names of heroes: Cuchulain of Ulster and Ossian, son of Fionn MacCumhail.

I like names like Khaddad, Lohar, Kalevi, Temirzi and all the other names derived from Smith, with Smith itself evolved from Cain, the ancient word for iron worker. I like names - even secret names like the name (whatever it was) of the child, who, when a stranger asked her name, answered ''I don't want to told you -'' names as much a gift as those of tribes who believe that to reveal a name is to bestow a prize, a trophy beyond value, beyond prize.

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