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  • Writer's pictureOliver Sun

THE LONG-AGO TALE OF BLAIR CALDWELL (Part I - Chapter 3)


Chapter 3 A Ceremony Gone Wrong


 

Pierre and Elizabeth did not tend to read the newspapers, otherwise the news of Euclid would’ve met their ears earlier. Their pups did not either – they did not read anything, for they only knew the first five letters of the English alphabet (A, B, C, D and E). Prince Euclid was born that day Pierre and Elizabeth did not expect anything special. It was great gossip and hearsay for the Wood, although foxes did not approve and any sort of gossip or hearsay. Euclid was the firstborn of King Bartlett, a majestic lion with a very majestic mane more majestic than he was himself and was to be the king once Old King Bartlett fell off the throne. All of the swans did a dance on the lake as the newborn lion, Prince Euclid, was shown to every house and burrow. Carnivals were rowdy with chinwags and the Lion Prince, a featured one in the wood, was invited to the sermon in Sherwood Cathedral. Pierre and Elizabeth got a visit from a mail-stoat informing them of the birth of Euclid. Both of the foxes broke in pure ecstasy, howling in pleasure that a new Lion Prince was born. Euclid was firstborn (and currently the only child of the royal family) so he was to be king when King Bartlett was either too old, dethroned or travelled to other woods so that he could find more civilians to knight and to become his servants. “Ceremonies will be held at nine o’clock in the morning till six o’clock in the evening in honour of Prince Euclid. I do say, I’ll be taking the day off after I inform everyone in the neighbourhood about the birth of Euclid. I’ll be attending the ceremony,” said the mail-stoat blithely, rushing off to the next door. “My! My!” cried Pierre. “Ceremony in the honour of a new prince! Very well then. I’ll attend, and so will you all. We’ll have to be dressed up finely and I shall not take a single pipe. In fact, I’ll try to hide my fangs from King Bartlett and Queen Dior.” “I agree, Pierre,” replied Elizabeth. “It was a filthy habit in the first place for you, dear, to smoke those dirty tobacco pipes. Better put you in the finest suit. Mr Seamus will go to the ceremony as he is, for we don’t have any clothes of his size.” “That will be alright, madame,” said Mr Seamus amicably. “Blair will have to go as he is as well, for we don’t have any clothes that small-sized. But I suppose he’ll be hiding in Mr Seamus’s pouch anyways. The cat… um… he can come… as long as there isn’t any mischief, Pussy can come along. But don’t eat anyone.” “Precisely, Pussy,” said Blair, who had woken up and had heard all the gossip. “Don’t a bit you even think of eating anyone. Don’t eat the mouse, Pussy, because they’ll come as well, got that? Oh, and most definitely don’t eat Prince Euclid.” “Pussy’s never been as hungry as that,” chuckled Mr Seamus. “No, but seriously, dear, please manage your cat and, yes, don’t make him eat anyone… no mice, no rats either… don’t he even think about rats and mice… and undoubtedly do not go eating Prince Euclid, or the guards will possibly kill you,” added Elizabeth firmly. Pierre got into his finest outfit finished with a red tie while Elizabeth got into her finest ballgown. “How do I look? Do I need the green tie instead?” inquired Pierre. “Hope I’ll look fine for the ceremony… especially in front of King Bartlett and Queen Dior.” “No, you look splendid, dear,” said Elizabeth. “But the biggest dilemma is me. Haven’t I put on a bit too much lipstick like last year when I went to the ball? Oh dear… oh dear! Lipstick has always been my biggest issue.” “Tell me about it! You looked totally horrendous,” guffawed Pierre. “You looked like a fiend when you put on too much lipstick… but you seem delightfully splendiferous, my dear, perfect for a ceremony. It will be held at Harmony Park, where they usually hold a ceremony in honour of the birth of a royal one.” “Harmony Park it is, then,” said Elizabeth. “We better hurry. It’s eight forty-five and I still think I’ve put on too much lipstick… but if you say I’m delightfully splend-whatsit, then I haven’t put on too much lipstick. I’ll drive us there. We’ll get there in a minute.” In fact they did. Once they got into the family car, Elizabeth sped off nearly ramming into a pedestrian (a lady-swan) and they arrived at Harmony Park in a minute. “You’re here early,” said one of the guards armed with a musket. “You’re no thief, I suspect?” “No, you halfwit,” snapped Pierre. “Come on, let us into the ceremonious park, would you, sir? If that shall not be allowed, I shall wait out here in the case of it being too early. I understand our earliness, yes.” The musketeer got out a piece of parchment with something written on it. He said, “A small little law conducted by the king and queen I shall read out to you now. Ahem! By the decrees of King Bartlett and Queen Dior, no civilian shall be allowed into the lands 'i which a ceremony, festival, etc. , shall be bore 'i the times earlier than the event begins of fear 'i the civilian or visitor being an assassin, cut-purse, etc, and shall…” “Sir, we get your point,” said Pierre, “Even though I did not understand a word of the parchment you just read out – but, surely, you know a good gentle-fox like myself here does not know how to speak Old English?” Some good minutes passed and the musketeer allowed them into the ceremony. “Wait! What about this big guy over here?” he snapped, but Pierre told him that he was ‘friend’ of theirs, and they were finally well allowed in. “It’s still early, though,” protested Mr Seamus. “But never mind. Look, here comes old King Bartlett to say something. Sit down, Pierre and Elizabeth, sit down, and listen to an incredibly wise lion, please, for it is your sovereign, after all.” “Good morning, inhabitants and residents!” bellowed the king. He was speaking in like something dreadful happened, and he did not usually speak like that. “I want to declare an incident that happened right this morning. It’s utterly vile, a very vile act was done! I, as the father of Euclid, reluctantly say this to you, but Prince Euclid has disappeared. In his cradle is a pool of a red liquid.” “Euclid’s been killed!” cried a frog. “We’re not sure of that yet. Please calm down,” said Queen Dior, hurriedly rushing up to the stage and snatching the microphone away. “It may not be blood, inhabitants, and residents. I might be melted wax from a red candle.” “Unbelievable!” snapped Pierre abruptly. “Please, your highnesses, this may sound very weird, but can I please drink a bit of the red liquid?” and King Bartlett, with a look, said ‘yes,’ but warned Pierre it may be poison. Pierre licked the red liquid in the cradle which had been displayed on the stage. “Well?” inquired the king. “Oh, if you need to know, Euclid’s blood type is A, you see. Don’t you forget that you redheaded creature… and if it is poison, I should perhaps call a doctor in case you’re poisoned. Well? Carry on, sir.” “If his is A, this can’t be his blood.” “Well if you say so, Foxy,” snapped King Bartlett, a bit bewildered by how shrewd this fox was. “But, due to the fact being a sovereign of this wood, I hereby declare no-one is a being who deserves to be killed. If it isn’t Euclid’s blood, whose is it?” “It’s red wine, you see,” replied the fox, as the crowd, astonished, applauded for this oh so very wise fox. “So, nobody has been killed in the Wood, and definitely not Euclid. But red wine may be a threat, Your Highness. Can it be, by any chance, Your Grandness?” “I think quite so. I’ll hire a few more musketeers to arm the palace with, then,” replied he. “But thank you, Mr Fox, for your wise words. Even though we can assure Euclid is not dead, he is still gone, and we shall organise a Search Party.” “Indeed,” replied Queen Dior. “Indeed, indeed. Euclid can be anywhere, either he may be in the palace but has run off to interfere with the cooks or may be out, somewhere in the massive world, maybe the snowy mountains of the Himalaya… but, no, he won’t be, of course, in the snowy mountains of the Himalaya. He can’t even walk yet.” “I suppose the guards and cooks and servants, etc., all know Euclid as well as their back of their hands. It should be no difficulty,” added King Bartlett. “Settle, please, everyone. I shall dismiss you and the ceremony shall be cancelled, for our host is not here.” With that, Pierre, Elizabeth, Mr Seamus, Blair, and Pussy all departed and drove back to their burrow, with the lady-fox sobbing. “Calm down, my dear,” said Pierre, who drove, for Elizabeth was too woeful and sobbed far too much to drive. “I’m sure Euclid will be found in a month or so, maybe quicker.” “I’m not sobbing for that. I know he’ll be found, Pierre,” snivelled Elizabeth in reply to Pierre. “I’m sobbing because I’ve put on too much lipstick again, and I was seen directly by King Bartlett and Queen Dior! Oh, shame on I.” Everyone else in the horse-coach rolled their eyes.




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