A Patrick McNamarra Adventure
It was hideous. It was huge. It was hideously huge, massively disproportioned, and grossly inappropriate for the position to which it was about to be elevated. But, there it was: the Queen’s pet hippopotamus, clad for the occasion in Regal Burgundy and gold, paraded through the streets of the capital, this evening to be knighted and appointed Prime Minister of the Empire. More than a few members of the crowd that was usually seen at or around the Royal Court had written in their secret diaries of their desperate hope that this, the latest of Her Majesty’s antics, would turn out to be nothing but a cruel joke on their behalf, but of course no one spoke a word of it.
Among the commoners, on the other hand, the situation was quite the opposite. The word on the street was— But surely you’re all already aware of how slanderous and hurtful the common man can be in his ignorance, and it would not be fitting for me to disseminate such foul language any further. Anyhow, the opinions of those of lesser blood was of little concern to anyone worth speaking of. Anyone, that is, except Sir Patrick McNamarrra of Sherwellie.
Sir Patrick – admittedly an eccentric – had the quaint idea that from the buzzing and booing of the subjects, some element of truth, unclouded by the necessities imposed by politics and proper conduct, could be skimmed. And Sir Patrick was very worried indeed. A hippopotamus to lead the parliament? Unheard of! What would the reaction at the courts of Europe be? There had of course been numerous rumours of Louis, the King of France, having taken all manner of things – animate and inanimate – for Royal Concubine, but that was France. Sir Patrick was deeply worried that the popular idiom “well, maybe in France,” an exclamation useful when faced with absurd propositions, would soon be reversed.
He would not have it.
To be continued…