It was amusing to Queen Pirouette that of all her children, it was her namesake who was the most clever. By the age of seven, Princesse Pirouette la Jeune could speak four languages fluently. By age ten, she could sing and dance, play the virginals and the lute like a maestro. Always poised and self-confident, the child also seemed to exude an air of wonderment that made her company much sought-after.
Poor Princess Gargella, the elder sister of Pirouette! She was not so clever, nor as dainty as her younger sister. In fact, the best that could be said of her was that she wasn’t ugly. Her dull gray eyes stared out at the world with unblinking clarity, however. The girl knew her limitations, and she was kind-hearted. She never felt an ounce of jealousy toward her prettier and more accomplished younger sister. Gargella’s ace in the hole was that she was ahead of Pirouette in the line of succession, and would always be a more attractive candidate for a bride.