“His Majesty’s funeral should be a sombre affair, as sombre as humanly possible,” said Tata Sous-Sus, standing at the foot of the old King’s bed. Princess Pirouette put one hand to her forehead as though blocking out glare from the sun. “What’s the matter, my dear?” Continued Tata who was looking as grim and serious as she possibly could. Yes! She was wearing a new wig. Yes! She was wearing new makeup, new jewels and even a new gown, but that still didn’t give her the right to be so dictatorial, in Pirouette’s opinion.
“I don’t know why you should be so eager to make me Queen,” snapped Pirouette. “His Majesty is not even dead yet, and here you are measuring him for his coffin.” Tata Sous-sus stepped back and put a hand to her cheek, as if she’d actually been struck in the face. Never in all of their days together had Pirouette spoken to Tata with such sharpness. It was grief, no doubt, Tata told herself. As if to underscore her tenuous position at court, Pirouette continued, “I don’t know who appointed you to the planning committee for His Majesty’s funeral, but rest assured, there will be no undue pizzazz.
Pirouette rose from her place beside the old King’s bed and walked over to the window. Who should she see but GarGar, le comte des Deux Chats walking alone in the King’s private garden. He held a flower in his hand, something like a daisy, and he was casually pulling off the petals slowly and tossing them into the air. Pirouette was not impressed with Monsieur le comte’s cavalier manner.