GarGar, le Comte des Deux Chats sat quietly alone in the royal rose garden, contemplating his future at court. After a glowing start, events of late had made him feel as if he were stagnating. While he seemed to be a popular fixture at every ball, hunt and banquet, still he had not received any commissions or other tokens of advancement. Suddenly he heard the sound of a flute and tambourine which always presaged the arrival of Princess Pirouette. As he saw her coming from the corner of his eye, with Lady Greenmeadow, Tata Sous-sus and others of her suite in tow, he rose from the marble bench were he sat. Quickly he plucked a red rose and when the Princess reached him, he bowed low and with a flourish, presented the flower to her. She paused to take it, giving it a quick whiff, but saying nothing, not even looking his way.
Looking at the ground, he saw a handkerchief flutter down to his feet. Before he could retrieve it, Lady Greenmeadow stepped on it and with a twist of her foot, ground it into the dirt. Unfazed, GarGar bent down to take it. But so did Tata Sous-sus, and a little tug-of-war ensued between them. At first, GarGar tried to be as gentle as possible in the contest, but when he realized that Tata Sous-sus was not going to give any quarter, he pulled at the kerchief with all of his might, snatching it from Tata’s fingers. “Oh!” She cried out as if wounded. The women moved on as if nothing had occurred at all.
Looking at the monogram, in delicate stitching were the letters “HRH P.” Despite the dirt stains, GarGar held the kerchief to his cheek. The silken threads were cool. “I will cling to this until the day I die,” he thought aloud. “Whatever Her Highness may think of me, her ladies do not seem to share the sentiment,” he said to himself.