“Am I a bad father?”
The Moon King collapsed onto his throne, and threw his arms into the air. Kanivys wasn’t sure how to respond to this question. The answer was obvious, of course, but Kings required a diplomatic approach.
“I gave her everything. I even gave her food, Kanivys, why won’t she love me?” he said.
“This is in reference to Elina, I suppose?”
“Do I have another daughter?”
Varique considered this a moment. “Oh. No, this is about Elina. I don’t think I understand her. She’s seems distant, aloof. She’s nearly six and still won’t consummate with me. I’m not able to get through to her.”
“She will grow to love you, in time”, said the Duke of Rats, rummaging through his sack.
“Why must I wait? Am I not the ruler of the skies, conquerer of the worlds, handsomest of the gods? I deserve her, Kanivys. We deserve each other. Why doesn’t she see that?”
Kanivys reached into his sack. “If I may, my King, I believe I have a way to warm her heart”. He pulled out the strange creature. He had found it mixing medicine in a mortar in the middle of the Sea of Tranquility. Capturing it was an easy feat, and he’d kept it as a curiousity for some time before seeing a use for it here.
Varique stared at the creature, which was huddling naked on the ground. “Why would I want this? Is it a rat?”
“My King, over the years, you have benefitted from my council and my friendship. Perhaps a similar bond of friendship might benefit your daughter. Thus, I gift you this royal advisor. It’s called a ‘rabbit’, my King. As you can see, it has neither sharp teeth nor cunning intellect, making it a perfect substitute for a rat to give to a girl.”
Varique examined the creature. Yes, it was soft and feminine. Cuddly, instead of wiry. Weeping, instead of sneering. Naked, instead of clothed. Foolish, instead of scheming. It had much to teach his daughter. “Can you talk, ratbit?”
The rabbit looked up at him. “Please, my lord, my family is very sick, and I need to go back to them!”. Ugh. The first thing words out of its mouth were bitching and moaning. It really was a feminine rat.
“Couldn’t hurt, I suppose”, said the King. “Do you have a name, Rabbert?”
“It’s Tetheter, sir”.
“Tether, I hereby annoint you High Advisor to Princess Elina. It’s a great honor. I’m sure your family will be proud”.
“Sir, please, my family needs the medicine the Duke confiscated from me! They’ll die, my lord!”
Varique singled to one of his Concubines. “Take him to the tower, with the Princess.”
The Concubine grabbed the creature (a robert?), and flew off with him into the night.
Varique smiled. “I feel good about this plan, Kanivys. I think this might work.”