awrence and Shannon had been gone to the seaport all day and one night. In the morning they were sighted, tho', their packhorses laden with gifts.
A merchant ship had sailed in, overflowing with glorious wares, gotten from as far off as Persia, Africa, and Poland. The King and his friend had been curious, and had ridden off to see. As the two brought the curios in, aided by servants, their eyes twinkled. Shannon proudly presented Virginie with an amber arm band, Sean with a beautiful flute from Arabia, and Queen with a fabulous mirror, for which he traded his treasured harp. "I've still me lute," he said when she protested.
Lawrence passed out various gifts, but when he got to his wife, he smiled slyly. "And now, I present the finest of all!" He opened a box, reached in, and brought out a cat. Jo's eyes lit up in excitement. "All the way from Siam. That, my love, is almost at the edge of the Earth!"
The dainty face was chocolate brown, as were its feet, and tail. The rest was a warm cream color. Lawrence exclaimed it was a female.
Jocelyn was so amazed that she was able to leave the blue brocade cloth the king had given her, and jumped excitedly around the Queen. "Oh, what will thou name her?" Jo decided to delay the christening. She kissed her husband and took the young cat to her chair and sat with it, ecstatic.
A while later the excitement died down. As to names, Lawrence had suggested Phaedra, Shannon had suggested Tabitha, and others had mentioned Milady, Belinda and Samara.
That night, Lawrence carried the Queen to their room. Later, as he lay beside her, he kissed her and began to caress her, as he did every night he was there. Just as he was about to kiss her again, the little Siamese jumped between them. The couple laughed and Lawrence tossed the kitten off the bed gently.
All went very well for a while, but the next time he cat chose a bad time to interfere. The King and Queen were in the very midst of their amour. The Siamese jumped between them and upset everything. The King moaned and sat up, throwing his legs over the side of the bed. The Queen could not help but laugh, not at the cat's interference, but at Lawrence, because he sat with his face in his hands, growling! Her laugher was contagious; he began to laugh also, and soon both of them were laughing hysterically.
When they had sobered a little, the King snatched the poor, well-meaning cat up and gave it to Clancy to keep for the night, and believe it or not, he and the Queen actually did live through the night!
Before there was the novel, there were the stories...
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Old Stories: The Cat Story, 768 AD