My son and I have just finished the wonderful book, “She Was Nice to Mice” by Alexandra Sheedy (aka Ally Sheedy). Not only is it a great story but it added a little British history as well. Highly recommended!
The ‘she’ is Queen Elizabeth I and she was a force to be reckoned with (see the film ‘Elizabeth’ with Cate Blanchett) but she was, indeed, nice to mice.
“Skidmore slid under a table, skidded around a chair and knocked over plates and goblets as he tried wrapping himself in the tablecloth.
That was where they got him. They unwound him from the cloth and dragged him to the middle of the room. Many heads craned forward. And then the worst happened. Some lords pinned Skidmore down with their feet and one man came forward with a knife. Skidmore squeaked and the man shrilled. “Now you little foul rodent, we’ll see your bewitched head roll! Just like the bewitched Anne Boleyn’s did! Cruel and filthy beings do not live long!” He raised his hand that held the knife.
‘WHAT? STOP IT! STOP IT AT ONCE!” We all turned out heads. The Queen was standing looking outraged.
‘HOW DARE YOU! YOU INSOLENT FOOL! YOU IDIOTIC TRAITOR! WHAT WAS THAT YOU SAID ABOUT MY MOTHER? OR DID YOU NOT KNOW THAT QUEEN ANNE WAS MY MOTHER?”
“Y-your Most Noble Highness, I…”
“YOU WHAT?” She crossed to him with cheeks aflame. “YOU WHAT?” She begun to shake him. Then she threw him on the floor. ‘ON YOUR KNEES, YOU DIRTY, SINFUL MAN! YOU WHAT? YOU WHAT?”
“I did not mean it Your Most Gracious Majesty, it just came out.”
“YOU FILTHY BEAST, YOU LIAR!”
“But I forgot she was your mother.”
“WHAT? DO YOU KNOW HOW GUILTY YOU ARE MAKING YOURSELF? ANNE BOLEYN, YOU SAID WAS BEWITCHED! JUST WHO DID YOU THINK SHE WAS? I KNOW HOW DISGUSTING YOU TOADIES ARE! LIARS! SINFUL PEOPLE! NOT EVEN PEOPLE – PIGS! HOGS!”
She threw a goblet at him. It landed with great noise at his feet. ‘YOU DISGRACEFUL TRAITOR!” She picked up his knife. “Nasty men do not live long, ” she said quietly.
‘TAKE HIM AWAY! TO THE TOWER! WALK HIM THROUGH TRAITOR’S GATE TIME AND TIME AGAIN! TAKE AWAY HIS MONEY, AND HIS LAND! UTTERLY DISGRACE HIM! GET HIM OUT OF MY SIGHT!”
She turned to the men who had trapped Skidmore. “Get your feet off him! Poor little pest. Feed him. Give him some pudding. He has just done me a favor.” The Queen held out some pudding to Skidmore. Skidmore took it and licked her hand.
The Queen gave Skidmore a little push. Then she saw us. “Ah, so you have friends and family,” she said. “More pudding. Or is there not some cheese? Here, my friends.” She picked up some scraps from the table and scattered them around the room, calling to us to come and eat. Then she turned to the guest and said, “Well. don’t just stand there. You came for a banquet. SO BANQUET!”.