My infamously well documented susceptibility to the ways of individualism unquestioningly influenced my initial acceptance of the vagaries of a Wonderland existence. In other words I was far less inclined to find the strange troublesome than would the many. A well-meaning explorer in the vein of Stanley or Cook, my education had been admittedly historically and empirically blinkered to date, I was forever happy to encounter the seeming new or obtuse even if acceptance had much to do with the recognition of salient points of natural similarity than any willingness to deviate from my well-constructed and presently highly defensible norm. I was without question, doubt or query a proud and unwavering offspring to the illustrious majesty of our Queen Victoria and her ethical principles and boundaries.
The fact that Alice should immediately stumble across the Lion and Unicorn so soon after leaving the Tweedle twins was not a particularly surprising happenstance. The two similarly explosive pairings, divided only by the longevity of their irascibility, doubly proved for her developing sensibility the consistent condition of brotherly animosity and interspecies conflict.
Lion and Unicorn were a perfectly matched pair in so many ways, opposite yet equal supporters of regal painted escutcheons, bearers of the finest arms ever seen by mortal man, woman or imaginary creature. How shameful that opposed to the establishment of wondrous collaboration between two delightful friends there instead raged a need for daily interrogative joust betwixt these two valiant stalwarts of heraldry.
The Lion, past great roaring beast of Edwards staff, properly known as Sir Gaffray Crowfoot, was an infamously fierce warrior, a writer of epitaphs, and exceeding fond of finely painted and enameled armor of quite excellent stylistic flair. He had in the past been of fine physical form but now through the unfortunate passage of time and perhaps too much fatted calf was but the shadow of his previous robust self. Poor Lion was tired and weary of struggle, mauled by toil and duty, now but looking for a pleasant and fulfilling retirement perhaps on a decadent Isle in the Aegean.
Unicorn, the terrible horned Albannaich beast, fleet of foot and high stepper supreme, was inclined towards the dandiness of perfectly tailored doublet and pantaloons with exquisite patent leather court hooves bearing shiny diamond encrusted silver buckles. Ever he remained that stalwart laddie who gored fiercely upon tippy toe for the Bruce’s kingly cause. Laird Michel of Ravensbeak of the purple and black plaid was eternal a sight to inspire a wiry highlander’s bravado.
Laird Michel stood head and shoulder above Lion both physically and intellectually but had about him a timidity that could turn into a sudden refusal to leap and the need to flee at the gallop. No match for Sir Gaffray in the down and dirty world of pell-mell he was inclined to fly, often great distances, before returning ever and always to take his sanctioned place opposite Lion in support of James first and fourths universal crown.
Any compromise mutually acceptable to the macabre beasts was perhaps the worst nightmare. Both would consistently either speak the truth or lies but seldom at the same time. In fact, the only day neither ever committed falsehood was of course on Sunday when both were saint like locked away, one in a very picturesque Anglican Chapel in a valley just west of Colchester, the other in a ships biscuit of a plain kirk on the Glaswegian east bank of the great Clyde. Alice considered herself particularly fortunate to have encountered such famous fellows, the reverse side of virtually every coin ever struck in the royal mint.