The Lady Pauncefoot

An Airing - Niroot

An Airing – Niroot

“It’s simply glorious – I love her mottled flanks, they do so set off the damask patterns of the paliquin.”

“Why thank you, Marjorie, my dear – I’m quite sure your Walter could arrange something similar for you.”

The great beast shivered beneath the pale British sunlight – it was a world away from the dense Indian rainforest from whence it came. The fruits of the Empire were too often plucked, and sent to bloom in the Home Counties.

It was inevitable that the fruits of the forest would wilt in less-clement climes. Its heavy bird-feet patrolled the immaculate gardens – it could not stomach the harsh British greens, and so the Lady Pauncefoot filled her garden with birds-of-paradise and pineapples, stunted gingko trees and stinking durians. It preferred the moss hanging from bearded trees and the lichens between the cobbled footpath.

It was losing weight, pinning for the monsoon rains and the swarming hordes of Swamis.

They burned the forests, to drive it out, they cast heavy nets over its sprawling shoulders and dragged it to the ground – it was simpler to catch the infants, but the British ladies preferred the frantic colours of the wild to the calmer, tamed beasts.

Lady Pauncefoot mourned the death of Aadarshini, her riding beast.

Her husband sent for another.


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10 thoughts on “The Lady Pauncefoot

  1. andreablythe says:

    Fantastic little vignette!

  2. Kate Loveton says:

    Very imaginative! I liked the illustration you chose, as well.

  3. I can totally see the aristocracy doing this. I love the contradiction between her mourning for the beast and then doing it all over again to a second one. So sad. Gorgeous, as usual.

  4. Lucy says:

    So.very elegant. I did enjoy this. I felt so sorry for the poor animal. Lovely. Lucy

    • Thanks Lucy – I think that while it would be brilliant if dinosaurs still lived, people would all too quickly take advantage of them. Although I would watch the dinosaurian equivalent of sheepdog trials and of the Kennel Club. And hadrosaur steaks would be delicious…

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