Zippy, the Queen’s fool, had known her since she was a newly born infant. So weak at birth, the little infant couldn’t even utter a cry, and her poor mother succumbed to the rigors of childbirth less than an hour after the ordeal, leaving the child an orphan. Her father preceded her mother to the grave just a few months beforehand, sacrificing his life in the defense of the kingdom that he’d every hope of inheriting from his aging uncle, the old King. Never in the old Fool’s life had he ever felt the slightest fear from his charge until this outburst when ejected him from her presence. Would she really have cut my head off? He asked himself.
That Pirouette had been born a female, rather than a male, was considered a colossal tragedy. Never in the annals of the Kingdom’s history had a woman inherited the throne by her own birthright. The old King, who was still in full control of his mental status, hurriedly pushed legislation through parliament that designated the newborn infant as the undisputed heir to the throne. Nobody expected the child to live, so the law was considered moot. As fate would have it, the sickly child thrived, exhausting three wet nurses a day. Before she was even a year old, she was walking on her own two feet. By the time she was two, this prodigy could chatter in not one, but two languages. The old King, who had sired many children, who themselves had sired many offspring, had outlived all of them, leaving this bright toddler his only indisputable heir. Without need of an act of parliament, the old King could happily designate the heir to his throne to anyone he chose.