She was raised by fairies, of course she’s every inch the princess – the long gold hair, perfectly curled, the blue eyes, the tiny ankle. The grace, courtesy, wit, learning; even the playfulness which I so enjoyed when first we met. Our subjects adore her. Even Hans likes her, and he’s been in my service since we were teenagers, and can be a mite possessive.
And I owe her so much – the kingdom, the quest, meeting my father’s ridiculous requirements. We still have the dear little spaniel, he’s quite a favourite of mine – he doesn’t fit into a walnut any more, but an egg cup holds him comfortably. She used the impossibly fine silk cloth as a wedding veil.
She’s really very sweet, and still curls up in my lap so affectionately. Given that tradition dictates I marry some lovely lady, I could have done a lot worse.
But then there are … the eccentricities. The balls of string. The milk: she laps very daintily, but it’s still not quite polite. And the mice are a real problem. So far she’s only done it in front of me and Hans and he’s very discreet, but I have no idea how we’ll hush it up if she pounces in the middle of a diplomatic function. And the crunching noises are so distressing.
And, of course, her … other proclivities. I do my duty as manfully as I’m able, but I’m not really the biting type, and the yowling is becoming embarrassing. Fortunately Hans has a really good salve for the scratch marks.
It’s not that I wish she wasn’t a woman – I mean, obviously I do, but we all know that’s doomed. I just miss my white cat, and it hurts to be reminded of those simpler days.