As they discovered, no such holidays were held in Krakold. Clothing was required at all times. Bathing was never done in mixed-gender situations, not even within families! The twins could hardly believe it. Pyrite had never seen his daughter unclothed since she became old enough to not soil herself and to bathe herself. Amethyst had never seen her father wearing less than a thin sleeping outfit of pants and shirt.
It was no wonder both those people had been so shocked at the display furnished by the twins.
Gypsum was curious. "Pyrite, why do you believe that being seen without clothing is a bad thing? Are you ashamed of your appearance, or of seeing someone else? I would like to understand this odd behavior."
"There is nothing odd about it! You were obviously raised in a heathen village that had no respect for the Great Condawk! It is not fitting that we be seen unadorned by our Creator."
Feldspar and Amethyst had begun taking down and folding Gypsum's tent, the young man showing the girl the correct way to do it so that it used as little space as possible in the pack. Feldspar had found it difficult not to laugh. The girl kept stealing glances at him, but not at his face, while trying oh so hard to not let him know she was doing it. They both stopped to listen, each for a different reason.
"It is disrespectful! The Creator may appear at any time, or see us from above. He would not wish us to be blatantly exhibiting our bodies to others, or to Him, or to the nature that he has given to us. He would wish us to show proper modesty."
"Because! Nudity is obscenity! That you and your brother have chosen to force your obscenity upon my daughter especially, and upon me, demonstrates that you have no reverence for the Creator."
"Did not the Creator make us? Is not our appearance according to his design and his will?"
"Of course it is!"
"Then you are saying that the design of the Creator is obscene."
Pyrite started to agree, but then stopped himself. That seemingly logical and inevitable conclusion had never been presented, as far as he knew, to anyone in Krakold. He was speechless, unexpectedly confused and uncertain, for the first time, about his beliefs.
Feldspar was grinning from horn to horn.
Amethyst was as suddenly at a loss as her father; but she had fewer years of indoctrination to struggle against.
Gypsum continued his assault. He stepped back and spread his arms and legs, displaying himself completely.
"This is what the Creator designed! This is his creation!" He picked up the pants and shirt he had worn yesterday and would again today. "This is our creation." He fingered the shirt Pyrite was wearing. "This is your design, not his. You have chosen to conceal his work, to cover his design with your own creation! You believe your own pitiful makings should be seen and that his should be hidden under yours. That is what is obscene. I am surprised the Creator has not punished you all for your impudence and conceit!"
That last was a not totally factual. Neither Gypsum or any of his family, or any that he knew in Groakpod, believed for a second that the Creator punished. The Creator had created. The Great Condawk had completed his task and it was now up to the creations to do the best they could according to their natures. And if they did not, any punishments would be administered by some other of the creations upon Kylrock, either within their own species or without.
Feldspar restrained his inclination to applaud. His brother had been amazingly articulate. He nudged the girl sternly.
"Back to work!"
With a last wondering look at Gypsum, she obeyed. Less than a minute later Gypsum spoke the final word of that discussion. He gave Pyrite an almost crippling pat on the back.
"Think about that while you work! Get moving!"
Pyrite did as he was told. He had little choice.
But he felt his entire belief structure, like an ancient monument of weathered stone, begin to crumble at his feet.
Gypsum looked over to his brother and they shared wide grins. This day was starting out very well indeed.