Academic journal article Chicago Review

A Visit from the King

Academic journal article Chicago Review

A Visit from the King

Article excerpt

Home was in the middle of a wood, miles from anywhere, a gingerbread cottage where I hung my hat until the day the king came. He ordered me to remove my hat so he could hang his crown there. Wearing it, the king explained, made his head uneasy, especially when lying down, which he desired to do immediately & for which purpose he required my bed. Bareheaded, but scorning the removal of coat or boots, he climbed beneath the quilt and lay back against my pillows with a sigh. Then, clearing his throat and expectorating regally, His Majesty issued a further pronouncement: "Netting birds is taxing!" From under his coat he drew forth a sack which emitted shrill frequencies. "Blackbirds," he declared. He ordered me to bake four and twenty of them in a pie which he would require from me in one hour. If I failed he'd have my head. "Then you won't need a hat!" he quipped, "now shoo!" I backed out of the room, bowing, as prescribed by protocol. …

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