It was twilight and Queen Pirouette, her ladies-in-waiting in tow, decided to take advantage of the cooler weather and take a stroll through her rose garden. As the various butterflies hurried to get their last-minute bits of Buddleja nectar, the fireflies began their courtship rituals. Pirouette never tired of the glow of the little winged insects. Years ago, when Pirouette was just a little girl, Tata Sous-sus tried to comfort the little girl shortly after she became an orphan by telling her that two of them might be the souls of her parents on their way to heaven.
“Do you really believe that?” Asked Pirouette who, before the era of I.Q.’s, could still easily be seen to be twice the intelligence of her caregiver.
“Believe what?” Replied Tata, confused.
“Do you really believe those insects are the souls of dead people?”
Tata paused before answering. She always felt as if her charge was trying to make her look foolish, or to one-up her at every opportunity. “Well, you never know, my dear,” said Tata warily.
“And do you really think that my parents are going to heaven?”
“Of that I am quite certain. Your mother and father were saints. So kind were they. Not only are they in heaven looking down on you, they have wings and halos because they most certainly became angels, the very second they passed through those pearly gates.”
“What a load of rubbish,” said Pirouette. “If you believe in angels, fairies and saintly insects, then you need to read some scripture.”
Tata began to wring her wrists. The urge to slap little Pirouette was sometimes difficult to suppress, but the child had become inviolate. She’d become the closest living relative to the King. Now she was the heir-apparent. They couldn’t just say that she was the heir to the throne because, if by some miracle and the King fathered a legitimate heir, it would take precedence over her.