Peter waits in horror for a crazy duchess, who can't even remember her own name, to propose. He would say no, if it weren't for those ridiculous women's protest groups!
"This just isn't the way it's done!" Cried Edmund to Peter while pacing back and forth across his brother's room.
Peter was sitting on his bed, his head in his hands. "I know Ed. But what can I do? Turn her away?"
"You're not going to say yes are you?" Edmund asked disgusted.
"Of course not. But you can't reject a person before they ask. We've never done it to one of Susan's suitors, even if we knew she'd say no."
"Yes, but that was different. It's great fun watching Susan's suitors get humiliated, but are we really to let this girl embarrass herself in front of the entire court?"
"I hear you Ed, but if we deny the lady the right to come before the king and ask for his hand in marriage, do you know what a mess it will turn out to be? Do you remember when we first told Lucy she couldn't go to war? Women's protest groups from all over Narnia surrounded our palace with signs, singing songs and forming human chains. That one took weeks to clean up. They wouldn't leave until we promised each of them a date with one of us! It took me 2 months to get through them all."
"Really?" asked Edmund. "I was done in two weeks?" Edmund let out an exasperated sigh. "Any way, do you know the mess it will create when she asks you to be her knight in shining armor and you say no? Imagine the headlines." Edmund held his hands up as if he were reading something in the air. "First time in the history of Narnia, girl asks king for hand in marriage. High King Peter rejects unsuspecting maiden sending her in tears back to her own kingdom. Women of Narnia demanding war on the heartless leader." He put his hands down. "Either way Pete, we're going to have lots of angry women in the front courtyard."
Peter got off the bed and began to pace back and forth. "I guess I could just say yes."
"NO! Absolutely not! You cannot marry that loon! Every morning I wake to find some new and ridiculous gift in the Great Hall. First there was that devil dog. Do you remember? She had that strange tail and chest. She looked like a large cotton ball."
"It ate all of Susan' shoes. It peed on the duke of the Lone Isles. And it consumed all our food in the kitchen.
"Then there was the life size statue of the two of you kissing. Not to mention the pink ponies, the hoard of rats with a note saying they made the most excellent of pets, the dolls for the girls that were enchanted by hags and came alive and cut off all of Susan's hair, (she's still not quite recovered from that incident you know?) Shall I go on?
"And have you considered the fact that you've never met her?"
Peter took a deep breath. "Well, if the statue of her and I are accurate, she isn't that bad looking."
"Peter, she made you a centar! How much do you expect she'll actually look like a statue she made of herself?"
"Well, at least we know she's artistic." He replied hopefully.
"You can't say yes."
Peter felt as if he would cry. "Well, we've been in impossible situations before. We'll beat this Ed. I know it."
THE NEXT DAY
The four siblings were seated on their thrones. A trumpet blew in the distance. They awaited the voice that would announce her coming.
"Duchess Anabun Tillar, with her Father, Duke Ricliff Gust."
Susan held one hand to her short, uneven hair. The other held a dagger to her side.
In the most ungraceful like manner, a petite woman ran into the throne room. She held both sides of her dress in her hands to keep from tripping, but she failed.
"King Peter! King Peter!" She called, teeth grinning from ear to ear. She tried to run to the king but was stopped by two guards who held her in place. She didn't seem to notice.
Her hair was blond and pulled back into many braids. Her eyes were big and brown and her skin was as white as the moon. Peter had to admit, though she looked nothing like the statue, her appearance wasn't all that bad.
Suddenly, her smile turned to a confused form. She looked to one of the guards. "Umm, why are you holding me? Are we betrothed?"
The guard looked to Peter confused. He returned the gesture.
"Anabun Tillar!" Called out deep voice. A rather fat, dark haired man entered the throne room. He bowed before the kings and queens. "Forgive me your majesties. My daughter often forgets her etiquette." He emphasized he word 'forget'.
The siblings studied the Duke as he tried to speak, but the girl stopped him. "Daddy please. I'm busy."
Peter signaled for the guards to let her go. She brushed her dress off and then looked to the High King. "I am… Um…" She looked to her father and he whispered something.
"I am Anabun Tillar." Her enthusiastic smile quickly faded and she looked to her father. "Ana what? You named me Anabun? How could you?" The old duke looked down and shook his head.
Peter exchanged a glance with Edmund.
"I'm hear to request your permission to," Peter held his breath, "feed my cattle on your lands. They're quite lovely really, and I think my sheep would just love them."
Peter let out his breath and his eyes grew wide. "Excuse me?"
"Yes I, wait… no, that's not it. Why did I come here daddy?"
"Excuse me, what is going on?" Edmund asked.
"You see your highnesses," the Duke replied, "my daughter suffers from short term memory loss."
The girl stood proud. "I am princess Attambottom. I mean, Cherie Fusslepuss. Wait no. Who are you?" Anabun asked her father.
"I am your father, and you are the Duchess Anabun, and you are here to ask King Peter to be your husband."
Peter wanted to strangle the Duke for reminding her. Edmund whispered in his ear. "We could use this to our advantage." Peter smiled.
The girl looked at Edmund. "Umm… You're not Peter are you?"
Edmund shook his head.
She smiled with relief. "Oh good!" Then she looked at Peter, and let out a loud and happy cry. "Whooooiieeeee! We're getting married? Well bless my socks I think I've died and gone to heaven."
Her father put his hands over his eyes and shook his head back and forth.
"I'm sorry," cried Lucy brought to tears of laughter. "But you haven't even asked him yet."
"Asked him?" Replied Anabun. "Isn't he supposed to ask me?"
Susan clenched the dagger closer to her leg, and then let out a cry as it pierced her thigh.
All attention was now on the queen as the Duchess asked, "what's wrong with your hair?"
Susan wanted to run at her but Aslan's voice rang in her ears. "You are Susan the Gentle. Bear it well." She took in a deep breath.
"You know, I have a fabulous stylist that could fix that right up for you."
"Forget Gentle!" She said out loud and was about to jump out of her seat but Edmund put out an arm and held her down.
Anabun looked to her father and whispered, "loopy," while moving her finger in a circular motion by her temple.
"So about my cattle!" She said to Peter who perked up. Was it possible she'd forgotten already? Her father was about to remind her why she was here again but Peter quickly silenced him with his hand.
"Yes your cattle! Of course, they can eat here whenever they want. Alright, thanks for coming, have a great day, goodbye!"
She raised a brow at him. "You assume I want to bring my cattle all the way from my home, which is 20 miles away, to graze on your grass? Wow, you are conceited."
Peter looked confused again.
"I say, I've never met a snobbier king! To think his grass is so much better than all the other grass in Nantucket."
"Narnia dear." His father reminded her.
"Narni who? No dad, she and I aren't friends anymore. Gosh, can't you remember anything?" She turned back to Peter. "As for you, your wife must be one miserable person. I must say I feel quite sorry for her!"
"He hasn't got a wife." Lucy said enthusiastically. Peter shot her a look. She was making this difficult.
"Haven't got a wife?" Said Anabun. "Well, I'm available! Why don't we get married?"
All the Pevensie's except Lucy's (who was giggling furiously at the moment) mouth's dropped wide open. Susan showed Edmund the dagger. He shook his head.
When no one replied, Peter asked her the only thing he could think of that might deter her attention else where. "Do you like cheese?"
His siblings all shot him strange look. They could see desperateness on his face.
"We have so much cheese, perhaps you and your father would like to take some home with you?"
"Cheese? Well, umm… I think… What were we talking about?"
"Cheese." Peter said nervously.
She thought about this for a moment. "Oh yes cheese, of course! That's why I'm here. We're having a cheese famine!"
"Cheese famine?" Edmund asked confused.
"Yes, cheese famine! There hasn't been any cheese in our land for years, and my cattle really likes cheese. They're dieing off one by one because they haven't had cheese in such a long time, and that's all they'll eat."
Peter laughed with relief. "Of course! Cheese… for your cattle… You can have as much as you like!"
"Umm, Miss. Anabun?" Lucy asked.
"It's Tummytum." Anabun interrupted.
"Of course, I'm sorry. Miss. Tummytum," (the girl smiled satisfied) "I don't think that's why you came."
"It's not? What do you mean?"
Peter, Edmund and Susan all turned to Lucy wide eyed and scared. "You came because…"
But Edmund had already jumped up and wrapped his hand around Lucy's mouth. "You came for cheese for your cattle." He finished for her. "And if you go with Mr. Tumnus here, he'll give you as much as you like."
She smiled and bowed ungracefully toward Edmund. As she turned to leave with her father, Lucy broke free from her brother's grip and shouted, "Peter's not married!"
Anabun turned around slowly and looked at the boys. "That's wonderful! Neither am I! I think? No, no I'm sure I'm not!" She marched back to the four royals and studied the two boys further. First Edmund. The funny look reappeared. "Your not Peter are you?"
Edmund sighed and pointed to his brother. A big smile grew on Anabun's face. "Well, it's a good thing we're getting married, because," she leaned in closer and whispered to him, "I don't think I could have handled that other one. Some people are just… you know?"
Frustration was growing in Peter. He was about to yell at the girl when he noticed something in the window. Two female faces disappeared then reappeared again, then disappeared once more. "How were they holding on?" Peter wondered. "And how did they get up there?" The throne room was one of the highest in the palace, and the window had no ledge beneath it to stand on. He knew at once who were they were. Spies sent from the UWNA. (United Women of Narnia Association) Everything that happened here would be leaked through them.
He sighed then looked down at the Duchess. He smiled at her. "I don't know what to say. I'm flattered."
She smiled at him. "They really are nice cattle aren't they?"
Peter jumped back in his chair. The cattle? Was this girl for real?
All were silent for a moment and then she looked over at the men with the trumpets. "Aren't you going to announce me?" She asked. "Oh never mind, I'll announce myself! Her ye, her ye! I am Her Royal Highness, Peelabutter Rusto, and I am here to…" she paused. "Peelabutter Rusto? Daddy what were you thinking?" She shrugged her shoulders and shook her head. "Never mind. I am here to ask for the hand of Peter, High King of Neutenhagen!"
"Well that's good." Lucy added. "Cause he's not married. And you'll be perfect together cause he loves cattle!"
"So do I!" Responded Anabun excitedly and then let out a little giggle.
Edmund whispered something in Susan's ear and then Susan grabbed Lucy and ran off with her. "Excuse me." She said before leaving.
"Well your in luck miss." Said Edmund rising to his feet. "Because I'm Peter, King of Narnia!"
Peter looked towards his brother shocked, but Edmund held up his hand towards him.
The girl eyed Edmund up and down. "You?" She asked in a surprised voice. "You are Peter?"
The girl paused a moment and then looked to her father. "Daddy! How could you bring me here? We rode 20 miles so I could marry him?" She threw her arms down to her side and started to march out of the throne room. "There's no way. Absolutely no way! Daddy, let's go. And I better at least get some cheese out of all this!"
Peter and Edmund let out a sigh of relief and then Peter turned to his brother. "How did you know she would do that?"
Edmund sat back down. "Didn't you see the way she looked at me? I knew she'd never accept me if I was King Peter."
Peter put a comforting hand on Edmunds shoulder. "Must've thought you were too tall."
Edmund forced a smile. "Yeah. Blasted genetics."
Lucy and Susan entered back into the room. "Is she gone?" Susan asked.
"Yeah." Replied Edmund.
"Lucy! How could you do that to me?" Peter said rebuking his sister.
She smiled and tossed her hair. "Maybe next time I want to go to war you'll think twice before saying no." She flipped her hair one more time and then exited the throne room, bouncing as she walked.
THE NEXT DAY
Peter sat down at the kitchen table and picked up the paper that was left for him every morning, called "The Lamp Post." He took a sip of his juice. He turned to the paper and the juice sprayed from his mouth as he read the headlines.
"Duchess Anabun Tillar Refuses King's Offer For Marriage!"
The story was about a beautiful duchess that was always giving to charities and who was greatly loved all over the land, (they'd made her sound like a saint) who was proposed to by King Peter. When she refused, the king threw a raging fit and threatened to kill all her sheep."
Underneath that was another article that read;
"Palace Suffers Sudden Cheese Famine!"