Clare and Louisa went to ballet lessons like any other small girls of their class, age and size. Their teacher watched their development closely. Some weeks later as their mother arrived to take them home from class, she was called to one side and told that while Clare would never be more than energetic, Louisa had the making of something special. She might even be a prodigy.
Their mother worried about this all the way home. Clare and Louisa were too close to be separated by cruel divergences of talent and her husband was in no way predisposed to invest money and time in a ballet prodigy. His sport was boxing.
Try as she might she could find no way to broach the subject within the family routine. It hung over her as a Witch’s Curse. Until she saw a classic setting of Swan Lake was being presented at a most prestigious venue. She pressed her husband to buy tickets and he, pestered by three balletomanes, duly obliged and on the night drove his little chorus up to town.
They sat in the front row and when the Little Swans came into sight, glimmering in swathes of silver and arctic blue light and the music washed around her like a crystal cut sea, Louisa seemed suddenly enrapt. A great realisation swept over her with the strings and as she stared wide eyed at the graceful creatures, she knew what she had to do with her life. She knew for sure. She would become a veterinary surgeon.