Before dinner, I decide that I should start to teach Lily to read and write now.
I am wearing my underwear, so I slip on the nearest dress to me. It turns out to be a dark blue one with sparkles on the elbow-length sleeves, and in a diagonal line across my torso. It flows down to just past my knees. So, slipping on a pair of black ballet pumps as I go, I make my way down to the servants quarters.
To be honest, I don't see what the problem is with being down here. I mean, it's not like I'm going to catch anything.
When I reach the door, I consider knocking, but Mother once told me that 'princesses are far too dignified to ask permission to enter the room of a slave'. So I just open the door.
It's absolutely boiling with all the ovens in use at once.
"Um, excuse me," I say, Nobody hears me, they're all too busy doing their duties. "Uhhh... hello? Hi?" Still no response. "Uhm, hello?" Finally, one of them notices me in the doorway. I smile. "Hi. Is there a little girl called Lily down here?"
"No. But you should have rung the bell instead of bothering yourself with coming down here."
"I never ring the bell," I tell him, a bit more suddenly than I am intending. "Anyway, when she gets here can you tell her to come up?"
"I'm here!" Lily's behind me.
"Oh, OK. Thank you for your help," I say to the servant, even though he didn't actually do anything. He nods and gets back to what he was doing. "So, do you want to learn to read now?" I ask Lily.
"I'd love to!" she exclaims happily. And then her face falls, "But I've got to help with servant stuff."
"Oh. Ummm... have you got a pen and some paper? Oh, wait, this has pockets in it." I shove my hands into the hidden pockets in my dress. "Ah yes. I thought I'd left it in here." I undo my blank diary and draw 'A a' on the first page. "This is the letter A," I tell Lily. "Practice it as much as you can until next time I see you. And keep the diary."
"Really? Thank you!" Lily's face lights up again and she runs into the kitchen. I smile as I go back to my room.