The Linnet's Wings The Winter´s Tale, Ravens and Robins - Page 53

Ravens and Robins When he started poaching pheasants; taking presents to the king I thought Oh good! I’m rid of him You know -- it’s a cat thing. But not a bit of it. This cat had hatched a plan you see and part of it involved a bit of subterfuge and me. The Royals had a daughter a bit plain -- a bit rotund, for whom it seemed no suitor suitable had yet been found and Puss, that’s what I called him, fancied a life of luxury and decided in his scheming way that she should marry me. So while I was skinny-dipping he purloined all my clothes, flagged down the princess’ carriage and she said: Here put on those and made her footman take his off. She said I looked quite fine. Then she drove me to the palace and ordered meat and wine. I don’t recall what happened next but it seems I am engaged. That furtive and rapacious cat had my whole life story staged. It’s the night before the wedding and I’ve never been more sure her father the King’s an imbecile and the princess is a whore. I know I can’t go through with it. Marry? I’d rather kill her. I was never meant to be a prince. I’m content as a simple miller. I am writing this for you today ‘cos I won’t be here tomorrow. Don’t mess with talking animals. They’ll only bring you sorrow. Don’t be like me, so innocent! Talking cats aren’t at all cute. They’re malevolent, maleficent. Just give the cat the boot! 53