Everyday from sunrise to sunset, Princess Pirouette spent every waking hour at the old King’s bedside. With nightfall came Tata Sous-sus to take her place. With His Majesty’s incapacity, it became necessary for the business of government to continue without his participation. Thus with every evening meal, she was forced to listen to a briefing of the day’s events from the prime minister. It was a tiresome business, but she felt obliged, as heir to the throne, to ensure that if the old King did pass away, there would still be a throne to inherit.
By the time she retired to bed, she was so exhausted that her head barely had time to hit the pillow before she fell into a deep slumber. One night, during this period, she had a strange dream. In it she was sitting on the high throne and all of the courtiers were making their obeisances to her. Suddenly the door on the other side of the room flew open and there stood the old King, dressed in rags. As he approached the throne, the courtiers began to bow and scrape before him. By the time he set his foot on the first step of the dais where she sat, a great wind began to blow from parts unknown, causing his rags to flutter and her crown to fall off of her head. He pointed a crooked finger at Pirouette and began to shout at her, but she couldn’t make out the words. She awoke suddenly, covered with sweat, her face wet with tears.