Sunday 16 April 2023

A fairytale that has nothing to do with Scotland. Part 8

Part 7

Once upon a time former Queen Nancy and former King Paul moved from the Butter Palace to GlassUdders where they hoped to be able to continue to suck on the teats which had provided them so much milk and honey hitherto.

Newly crowned King Hārūn immediately performed a cleansing ritual on the Butter Palace. He sang

I got a palace named Rama Dana Dana Dana Ding Dong

It’s everything to me

I'll never set it free

For it’s mine, all mine

There would be no more butter in the Butter Palace, but for the present the change of name was kept from the peasants.

Unfortunately, Hārūn discovered usurpers everywhere. Princess Cordelia was telling everyone that it was unfair that she was not Queen as no one had known the true story about Nancy and Paul. Princess Regan was once more trying to bring back the Old Pretender King Alan. There would once more be butter and lubrication in the Palace.

Unfortunately, the Heddlu had turned up one morning at the Glassudders. It was fortunate that Nancy was fully dressed otherwise she might have frighted the Heddlu horses.  Paul after gaining sustenance from the Glass Udder, which was Green and engraved “because you gave me a pay rise when I was working for someone else, though really I only ever worked for you”, went to discuss plumbing with Headloo and learned a great deal about ballcocks and cock washers, rings, and cocks and bulls.

At the same time the Headloo discovered an enormous litter at the King Mother’s. It wasn’t as if either Paul or the King Mother had been littering, rather it wasn’t about dropping instead of carrying. Nearby there were also one hundred peasants whose job it was to carry the litter when Queen Nancy was due to survey her kingdom. It was so big that it had beds and even a latrine that unfortunately was rather unpleasant for the peasant underneath, but who treated it as a privilege to serve Queen Nancy even in this way.

Paul had wanted to surprise Nancy about the litter. He certainly surprised Hārūn who knew nothing about the litter nor the rather large number of ducats that had been spent on a moveable home which had never been used.

Worse the rulers of Sasainn had forbidden peasants to carry Kings and Queens around without being paid and demanded they got ducats.

Hārūn even more unfortunately discovered that he knew almost nothing about the Kingdom. He discovered that the sums had not been checked by the chief teacher, which was dreadful as how could any King or Queen learn about sums if they were not checked and corrected. But both Nancy and Paul had deemed it demeaning to be checked by a mere teacher and so had developed sums that were not always according to the rules and sometimes gave answers that others might not have got.

But subjective arithmetic was about the rights of diverse thinking. Just as Nancy might feel that she was really a King, so she might feel that 10 + 11 = 19. It was oppressive and discriminatory to make everyone conform to rules that had been made up by white people from Sasainn and so Paul and Nancy had devised their own ways of doing sums and they were better by far than Sasainn sums.

But the teacher who was supposed to listen to Paul’s sums had resigned because he could not accept that either 2+2 might = 5 or that a boy could be a girl. He thought the whole way of doing sums was contradictory.

Nancy told the Never Even Consulted committee that she had checked the sums herself and there was no need to worry as everything was fine. The kingdom had vast numbers of ducats as the peasants loved them. But she didn’t tell those Never Even Consulted about the teacher who refused to listen to Paul’s sums, and she didn’t tell them about the litter and the moveable feast that would happen when she was carried by the peasants shoulder high through the kingdom, because one never reveals that one knows about a birthday surprise or an anniversary surprise.

Meanwhile desperate to divert attention from the litter and the chat about plumbing King Hārūn decided the thing to do was to imitate Nancy as much as possible in her method of doing sums. In his kingdom boys could become girls just as 2+2 could equal 5 if he willed it.

The nasty Sasainn had told Nancy that she neither could change the rules of arithmetic, nor could she make boys into girls. Richie Richi thought counting was too important to make up as you went along otherwise, he might turn out to be Richie Poorie. For the same reason boys couldn’t just decide to be girls without proper counting otherwise we’d lose track of how many boys there were and how many girls. What if all the girls became boys. What would that do to the birth-rate? We’d all be Arthur even if we wanted Martha and how would we pull our swords out of stones or put them in for that matter?

Meanwhile there were ever more reasons to divert attention. The galleys that had painted windows but couldn’t float and were desperately needed to replace the galleys that had sunk due to the wicked Sasainn enforcing the rule that galley slaves had to be paid. How had the kingdom paid so much but not gained any galleys? Where had the ducats gone?

The blacksmith who made all those tuagh-chathas and somehow was able to turn rocks into something as sharp and hard as Stalin how had he paid only 5 ducats for all those smiddys and where anyway were the Pikes? Don’t panic we could always use wooden ones.

But then Hārūn discovered that the Never Even Consulted could sometimes record and could sometimes leak almost as badly as the Head Loo.

There was Nancy telling everyone not to worry, not to question, not to even suggest that there might be anything wrong with the sums. Did Nancy know at the time that she told the Never Even Consulted that there really were problems with the sums and that the teacher was beginning to complain that he was not listened too. That would look rather like trying to stop the Never Even Consulted from finding out the truth. That would be almost as naughty as Paul’s problems with the plumbing, the cocks and the bulls. From the Head Loo might come all sorts, leaving the mobile litter with lots of stools, but nowhere to sit down. Not even a throne. 

"Let this cup pass from me" said Nancy it has stools in it.  

Part 9