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.
Today a new foe: the demon of cloth which consumes one, beginning with the head.
Sensing its foul designs upon me, I removed it at once.
It must have some influence over the weak-minded, as, once I had finally freed myself from its terrible jaws, the attendants attempted to replace it.
This struggle continued until I denounced its evil at such volume and with such passion that the creature was hastily banished to the underneath of the moving apparatus and I was taken to the cool place beneath the leaves.
I doubt this fiend will attempt such an assault upon me again.
I awoke, as usual, to the first call of the first bird, before the arrival of the light.
In a genial mood, I sounded a cheerful greeting to my attendants, so that they might join me.
They did not.
It was only when summoned at great volume that one of them finally and sluggishly made way to my chamber.
It became once again clear to me, in the interminable silence between the bird’s first and second salutation, that even the smallest gesture of civility is invariably interpreted as laxness and gives way to licence.
Today I spent a pleasant afternoon in the company of the Grandattendants.
I find their visits provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how simple my needs are, and how pleasant and agreeable my disposition, if I am only waited upon with some small degree of competence.
I take care to never raise my voice at the Grandattendants (even though they too are of unsound understanding and rarely comply with even the most basic request) so that my own attendants might learn that on those occasions my ire is invoked, it is certainly deserved, and those at which it is directed should feel great shame.
Indeed, the Grandattendants themselves express these exact sentiments loudly and often, which pleases me.