The day was bitterly cold, but that didn’t stop Queen Pirouette from taking a ride on her favorite horse, a white mare with a small diamond-shaped patch of brown on her nose. It pleased the Queen to take big breaths of air and then watch the steam as it came out of her mouth. She was some distance from the castle when she heard the chapel bells ring. Shielding her eyes from the glare of the sun, she saw a rider coming in her direction. Bad news, she thought.
And she was right. The messenger brought sad tidings that brought to her might the reality of the brevity of life.