The old King looked older everyday. Still he rose every morning at dawn to hear mass, eat breakfast and attend to the business of running the country. His movements were slow and deliberate. His voice was raspy and tremulous. When addressing him, one was obliged nearly to shout because of his hearing loss. He’d been King for so long that there were few living who could remember his predecessor.
When she was first introduced to the King, Princess Pirouette, much like many children who are not regularly exposed to the elderly, was taken aback by his advanced years. It was only through gentle words and little acts of kindness that the King was able to ally the young girl’s apprehension. As she grew older, the Princess found that His Majesty was the first person she would consult when she had a problem or question that needed to be addressed.
When GarGar, le Comte des Deux Chats arrived at Court, Princess Pirouette was sixteen years of age. In his calvary officer’s uniform, he cut quite a dashing figure with his black riding boots and red cape, his curved sword bouncing against his hip as he strode into the Throne Room. Pirouette watched from a gallery above, hidden by a coromandel screen. As soon as he entered the room, all the courtiers hushed their whispering, and more than one woman hid her blushing cheeks behind her fan.
When it was Princess Pirouette’s turn to grant her monthly audience to all the new arrivals to the Court, she stood at one end of her Presence Room. The new courtiers were already assembled at the other end of the room when she entered through a hidden door that was disguised as a bookshelf. They all bowed or curtsied, depending on their gender. With her fan, she motioned for them all to rise. In the past, it was her custom to flit from one individual to the next, barely taking notice as they each kissed her hand, but in this case, she paused in front of le Comte and looked intently into his face. She was a little taken aback when, contrary to protocol, he returned her gaze with aplomb.
Between the two of them, King GarGar and Queen Pirouette could oscillate (pro or con) on any issue (foreign or domestic.) Thus, their enemies were kept in a state of perpetual confusion. Unfortunately, even their most ardent supporters were often left second-guessing what the royal pair were going to do.
Upon consultation with their closest advisors, King GarGar and Queen Pirouette decided to summon a new parliament. This was in response to a movement among the nobility to expand their rights and privileges. This might be well and good for the noble lords, but the result would be a curtailment of same for the commons. For the greater good of the realm, Their Majesties decided to give the people a voice in the debate. Of course, the House of Commons would be expected to protect their power jealously and vigorously.
King GarGar and his best friend, Baron von Maxwell went riding in the woods. They came upon a little cottage with round windows, a round front door, a round chimney and a roof made of moss. Intrigued, they dismounted and knocked on the door. There was no answer, but as the door was unlocked and they were the King and his best friend, they decided to take a look. Inside they were confronted with the most delicious odors of baking bread and roasting meat. The table in the one room cottage was adorned with the most sumptuous fare: cakes and casseroles, a tureen of creamy mushroom soup, a big bowl of salad and a beautiful silver candelabra as a centerpiece.
When the mob pushed its way into the garden, King GarGar was ready to greet them, sword unsheathed. Without a second thought, he waded into the crowd of rioters, swinging his sword with abandon. “You will all get your comeuppance!” He shouted, nearly choking with rage.