If by any chance you missed it, please have a read - that man is going places on his bicycle.
Literally. And for a good cause.
And more thanks!
Thank you dear Readers, for the many and various suggestions you kindly offered when I appealed for help in naming the Golden Princess.
I have now had a long chat with her Imperial Highness.
We sat in the sunshine and discussed the matter in depth. Napoleon, who finds being an Emperor quite tiring, was having one of his regular naps nearby.
|Napoleon gets very tired|
'It's high time you chose your name,' I said. 'Everyone is waiting with baited breath.'
She looked unmoved by this admonition and ate some more grass.
She loves grass.
|The Princess didn't appear to be listening|
'Here is the list,' I continued. I wasn't at all sure I had her full attention. 'Eugenie, Zarina, Orianna, Sheba, Aurelie, Constanza, Beatrice, Christabella, Grace, Countess Markievicz, Cleopatra, Charlotte, Christina, Elizabeth, Orla, Gwendoline, Pauline, Gilda, Titania and Beauharnais. There's also -' I hesitated and then ploughed on: 'Chickadee, Edna, Dolly and Mrs Smith.'
I was slightly out of breath, but happy to see that she had stopped eating at last and was listening intently.
'Yes, those will do nicely,' she said and turned to walk away.
'You can't have them all!' I protested.
'Why not?' she asked. 'Princesses always have lots of names.'
'Empress...'Napoleon spluttered in the background. He had obviously woken up. 'Not just Princess. Empress. Always be an Empress to me...'
She ducked her head coyly at this tribute and Napoleon crowed loudly to cover his embarrassment. 'Dolly,' he squawked thoughtfully. 'Rather like Dolly.'
'Dolly?' I exclaimed. 'But what about Eugenie? Cleopatra? Something with a royal ring!'
The Princess started eating the grass again, and it seemed that as far as she was concerned, the conversation was over.
'Twenty four names is all well and good,' I said. 'But what am I going to call you every day?'
We had by now attracted an attentive audience.
|An attentive audience|
The Golden Princess thought for a moment, her head on one side.
'Mrs Smith,' she said at last.
Napoleon uttered a strangled noise. 'Mrs Smith?' He ran after her, frantically flexing one wing. 'But Empress...!' he repeated, faint but persisting, and then he stopped. 'What about Dolly?' I heard him say tentatively. 'Rather like Dolly,'
|Napoleon ran after Mrs Smith|
I left them to it. I know when I've been put in my place. Evidently we are not yet on first name terms.
Mrs Smith it shall be. And prizes will be awarded accordingly.
Perhaps one day I'll be permitted to call her Eugenie Zarina Orianna Sheba Aurelie Constanza Beatrice Christabella Grace etc etc...
However, in the privacy of the boudoir, it sounds like she's going to be Dolly.