“Ta-dah!” Announced GarGar who produced a shiny, red apple with a flourish. With a gentlemanly bow, he offered it to Queen Pirouette. With a broad smile, she curtsied and took the fruit from his hand. To her surprise, he discreetly pressed a small, folded piece of paper into her hand.
“You may want to wait until you are alone before you eat that,” whispered GarGar with a wink.
Taking his queue, Pirouette yawned and said, “We are feeling a bit fatigued. We shall retire to our private apartments.”
With that, the Queen exited the room, passing a sea of bowed heads. Court etiquette dictated that when the sovereign either entered or exited a room, courtiers were required to kneel, bow or curtsy to the point where their heads were lower than the King’s or Queen’s. Compared to the average woman, Queen Pirouette was very petite, so the tallest members of the Court were practically forced to lay flat on their bellies when she passed them by. It never ceased to amuse her to see these arrogant noblemen scrambling for the proper position in order to remain in Her Majesty’s good graces.
Once alone in her bedroom, Pirouette opened the piece of paper. With Ladies Abigail and Natasha looking over her shoulder, the Queen murmured the contents.
Can you imagine a moonless, starless Sky
tonight? I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
When Pirouette read these lines, it took her breath away. It was as if some giant had come up behind her and given her a tight squeeze. There could be no doubt that the man was indeed GarGar. Queen Pirouette and he used to play a game. They would take turns constructing sonnets. GarGar might write the first two lines, but then Pirouette would write the next two. Back and forth it would go until someone completed the entire poem. This esoteric practice began early in their courtship but there were very few who knew the exact details of the game.