Guardianship of the four cardinal points of the tower is assigned to the Royal Watch of the King’s Guard called the Good Knights in Spider-spun Tights who are assisted by a set of sweet little ancient chess pawns known as the Les Petits Pions (Pawns in French). The Four Good Knights are: Sir Wilbert Tartantights, Sir Pembert Piphead, Sir Stutbert Slinkysticks and Sir Chesbert Cheddarcheeks. These dolls have rather an unusual back story. You see, there was a very fancy toffee nosed third wife socialite who'd been extremely and lavishly angry with her snooty old husband with roaming eyes and had thrown a scandalous and thoroughly cathartic fit in his study. During the course of her outrageous remonstrations she had hurled a few of his prized Staffordshire porcelain dog ornaments about. Afterwards she felt a lot less stressed but decidedly more guilty about the headless canines and their smithereened bodies. It was no use attempting to glue the shattered bodies back together but four of the heads were still intact and the lady paid the most creative little girl in the hood handsomely to craft bodies for those doggy noggins. It never occurred to the awfully artistic lass to make dog bodies she naturally and artily crafted gentlemanly bodies. Odd proportions but elegant all the same. The grouchy old husband did not fully appreciate the artistic endeavour and accepted the up-cycled gift with a disgruntled grunt and an exchange of divorce papers. The dolls therefore lived in the dark musty bottom drawer of his mammoth mahogany desk until he rebelliously passed on and his estate was sold off by his money grabbing fake fourth younger wife. Boy was she a piece of work! She didn’t even bother to shake out all the drawers so the dolls went to auction along with the desk. The desk was then purchased by my eccentric English Uncle and even he did not discover them, for he was perennially engaged in his profession of Advocate, speaking legalese, travelling the globe on expeditions with the Royal Dendralogical Society or going for bucolic walks with his canine companions. Those dogs have always ruled the roost and they gave the gentlemanly dog headed dolls a hard time. They tended to jeer and mock them for their transhuman arrangement deridingly alluding to them as ‘The Wepwawets’ (ancient Egyptian canine gods) or ‘Wets’ for short. My Uncle's dogs favourite past time was trying to lick the dolls when they got too close to the edge of the desk when outside of the musty confines of the drawer for refreshing breathers and exercise on top of the desk.
It was Pascal that eventually discovered them for he was pecking around my Uncle’s dishevelled study at about midnight. Bachelors tend to leave plenty of crumbs and garments lying around, so Pascal was wont to pop in of a summer eve and see what morsels he could relish. Partaking of his nocturnal victuals he nearly jumped out of his feathers when the four gentlemen addressed him from the desk top on which they were engaged in some or other thespian shenanigan to wile away the time. (The previous now deceased desk owner had tended to collect theatrical ephemera, books and plays which the dolls took a keen interest in and pursued this field part time.) My Uncle's overindulged canines were fast asleep on his bed with him. My Uncle is one of those people who will let their dogs sprawl out on his bed like spatchcock chickens on the roast while he clutches to the remains of the blankets hanging from an inch wide length of mattress at the bed edge. I inherited this gene from him except in lieu of dogs I’m decidedly a cat person. The subject of Cats vs Dogs is strictly taboo in my Uncle’s house. I know cats are better, he knows dogs are - end of. So after formal and polite introductions Pascal waxed lyrical about the splendid refuge of Royal Doll Town for outcasts and oddities which he felt sure would suit these refined and self distinguished dolls very well. They were ever so elated with the prospect of moving to the tower and fitted in superbly well. The King was in need of a personal Guard and so he knighted them The Good Knights in Spider-spun Tights, for once they had tried on a pair of Royal spider-spun leggings, there was no turning back. They ordered them in an assortment of stripes and gingham patterns, although Wilbert Tartantights always wore tartan in a complementary colour way. They reside in sentry box type domiciles reminiscent of a blend of striped circus tent meets quaint old fashioned beach change room located at the north, east, south and west cardinal positions.
The Good Knights were assigned a set of eight little pawn chess pieces. Les Petits Pions: Li, Lu, Pi, Pu, Mi, Mu, Ni and Nu. They were carved centuries ago for a Chinese Emperor who adored playing chess. They were made to resemble sweet little boys and their cute big eyed faces were hand painted. They miraculously survived the insane cultural sweep Mao Zedong called for in China in 1966. The heinous bid to purge the country of the ‘Four Olds’ i.e. old customs, old culture, old habits and old ideas was a tragic, senseless loss of a wealth of art and artefacts and Les Petits Pions witnessed the brutal murder of the rest of their chess clan through the shadowy lacy lattice holes of the Fabergé egg they had managed to squeeze themselves into and hide away. This particular egg was one of the largest ever made and is a lost and unrecorded specimen. It was amongst the private collection of imperial and royal artefacts belonging to the aforementioned very wealthy individual in China. Les Petits Pions had managed to hoist themselves into the egg. Packed in tighter than a sardine slumber party they quickly closed the hinged oval door on the side of the egg behind them. A Mandarin duck couple who had spent their whole married lives happily nesting in the magnificently water featured fountain pool in the structured garden of the extremely rich person knew that they had to flee immediately as soon as the violence began. Knowing that the egg was the most treasured and favourite of the collector they decided to save it, besides the human was going to be slaughtered for embracing high culture and there was nothing they could do about that. So they flew into the midst of the wanton destruction of one of the most beautiful homes ever inspired and created by human hand and grabbed the egg between them and bravely rescued it unaware of the stowaways within. As every last beautiful human creation was barbarically destroyed by the vulgarity of senseless human hands, the ducks cumbersomely but determinedly flew across to Europe. They had heard via the word of bird of the famous Count Mandrake and it was to him and to the king fisher bird (for he was not yet king at that time), the ducks entrusted the magnificent egg. They related many a sad tale that was to be recorded in the Book of Bird for ever more. So excruciating was the taxidermied bird’s sorrow that the first metaphysical sad tear was shed and the watermark tradition began. Upon scrutiny of the priceless egg the Count opened the door and discovered the terrified pawns within. Their post-traumatic stress was so severe that the Count carefully extracted them and allowed them to recuperate in a room in the vestibular suite of his manor house. They spent many many years confined to bed in the foetal position. The Count and the bird had taken it in turns reading to them and teaching them English. Eventually after thirteen years, when they were marginally recovered, the by now King Fisher thought that assigning them to the jocularity of the Good Knights in Spider-spun Tights might help restore their devastated spirits a smidgeon. After much persuasion Les Petits Pions agreed. Queen Marcheline naturally butted in and proposed that the pawns should be groomed as little drummer boys cutely attired in traditional British school boy type uniform. It was decided to give it a twirl and the disciplined chess pieces showed a natural talent for their percussion instruments and made fine little drummer boys, a pair assigned to each Good Knight. The Good Knights had adopted the fanciful hot-potato affectations of the third wife when speaking but retained an essence of tail wagging doggy joviality when conducting themselves thereby endearing themselves to the little pawns. This supposed military watch is decidedly more akin to a thespian troupe as the four jaunty characters love to be watched rather than keep watch. They often relegate their stations to the sad and watchful Petits Pions so they can sneak off to the theatre and involve themselves with the concoction of grand Vaudevillian productions. When patrolling the cardinal points they never tire of boasting their self styled dogjutsu manoeuvres to Les Petits Pions. Every so often the sullen pawns may crack a smile but nothing ever side splitting. The little chess chaps are also extremely patient by nature as a consequence of participating in chess matches for centuries, so with serene forbearance they tolerate the turgid dramaturgy of the knights, besides, I’m not sure how much English they speak and understand. They are forever mute it seems. In lieu of swords, as the Queen cannot abide violence, the knights brandish brollies. These serve them well for the dual purpose of theatrical or martial arts props. Their prized collections of umbrellas hang on display in their sentry stations. The Good Knights also flirt outrageously with the Queen’s entourage of Ladies in Waiting. Foppish fawning, flattery and raillery is the instant order of the day the moment one of the Ladies is about, but with stoic German precision (aside from Freckeline, who's more easily distracted), they ignore and bypass with not so much as a flustered hair out of place.
The Cybiography of Queen Marcheline CLICK HERE:
AND HE SAID:
"Truly I tell you,
You're NEVER too old to be young at heart
P l a g i a r i s m is
a plague D O N ' T
S P R E A D I T ! ! !
R e s p e c t