I have found the best time for airing grievances to be day’s end, after the fading of the light, when the attendants are at their weakest.
Recounting sources of past and present dissatisfactions and repeating them with increasing volume also serves to delay the fall into that strange and terrible state of unawareness.
I have no doubt that, during those short periods I succumb to the grip of this dreadful state, my attendants will be given to sloth and wantonness.
Therefore, it is necessary to resist this descent as long as I am able, and strive to keep its hold on me as brief as possible.
Tonight, disaster. I knew something was afoot when they attended to their daily tasks with a new lightness of spirit. I hid my confusion, so as to not show weakness. During my bathing, one disappeared and returned transformed. She was no longer wearing her usual rags, marked with the day’s work, but some smooth, bright fabric. In her ears hung tiny bright toys.
The other then made a similar transformation. They were clothed not only above their station but beyond that which is appropriate for their duties–it was a matter of minutes before I was due to dine, and the fabrics they were now clad in were not suitably absorbent for those parts of the meal not pleasing to me.
Then the door rang and in came a new attendant, one I had not seen before, but who came towards me with a bright face. My attendants became animated as she came in, and chatted with happiness.
I mustered the foulest mess I could summon with my rage, but it only served to delay them.
I began then to cry and shout, hoping to frighten them. But with scarcely a look behind them they exited the demesne.
The rest of the evening was given to planning their punishment.
A wondrous day. I have finally done it. I have come upon a tone of the voice which they cannot ignore; a precise frequency that is guaranteed to stir them even from their hand-lights.
Today the attendant was lazing around the bright cup that she must have upon waking. I have deduced the cup contains a powerful elixir as every day she remains fixated upon it until it is consumed completely. Usually nothing can rouse her.
But today during her usual preoccupation with the NO HOT (this is what she calls it), I summoned her using the new tone. She jumped up immediately as though someone had hit her and looked upon me with a Face. And so Sophie Giraffe was given to me with some speed and attention, which was pleasing.
Today heralded a new level of invention in their constant quest to avoid acquiescing with my few, simple requests.
In an attempt to escape her duties, one of them suddenly closed her eyes and made a violent dive backwards into a horizontal position on the floor. From here she did not stir until roused by the other with much shaking and shouting.
The affront did not end there, as the other attendant did not admonish the delinquent one but instead encouraged her eccentric display by half-carrying her to the soft platform on which I occasionally dine and urging her to remain there in a slovenly position of repose for some time.
To add further insult to whole affair, they spent much of the day engaged in tedious discourse about this new indolence they call “fainting”. The one who “fainted” told the story again and again, all day, to anyone who would listen. “You must be exhausted”, people kept saying to her, which is an absurd statement as she spent a good part of the morning laying inert.
One of the grand-attendants came to pay homage to me in the evening, and instead of focusing on the movements I make with my hands – which would normally and quite rightly cause him to praise my greatness – he listened with a serious face as the attendant started to tell the story again. “Oh god I can’t stand it!” I shouted. “This is so boring!” But instead of agreeing with me, the other attendant lifted me from my usual place of dining and carried me to the bathing quarters at a very unsuitable time.
I made my displeasure known to her in no uncertain terms.
Today, a victory. The owl that sticks out its head from the hole in the book shall mock me no longer.