The Red King was a man of very good humor, ever generally able to see the funny side of anything he much preferred the role of comedy to that of tragedy. The events that had led to this particular day’s unfortunate melee was ones he really was most inclined to bleach from his memory, each step on the sad descent to the madness of war being more than a truly sane man could abide.
“It all started with a birthday cake you know! A very unimpressive cake at that, but two layers and then with just a simple jam filling, not one trace of fondant cream to be seen.”
“A Victoria sponge?”
Alice decided that the king looked quite so distraught in the telling that she should at least appear to be paying more than scant attention. Loin, Unicorn and White Rabbit all seemed to have no particular interest in the Kings emotional rendition of the narrative whatsoever. In fact Lion and Unicorn had begun a new game of chess whilst Rabbit was carefully making notations in a small white leather-bound pocketbook of each and every move with grandiose flourishes of what appeared to be the well inked tail feather of a flamingo.
“Well generally in Wonderland court circles we term such delicacies Waterloo sponges, being we are of a higher station, dont you know. My wife, The Red Queen is very particular about such niceties.”
At the mere mention of the Kings spouse Lion and Unicorn toppled from their seats and began running about the grass in sheer panic.
“Not very fierce at all.”
Alices disdainful aside was fully understandable considering she had yet to experience the formidable personage of the Red Queen face to face.
“Is it Waterloo sponge?”
Hatter seemed quite nonplussed by Alices question.
“I don’t think my cook has yet been trained to bake that particular line. No doubt the variety will soon enough be available in the Market’s dining car under Miss Mia’s excellent conducting.”
Ignoring Hatter’s perpetual puns Alice took the large silver platter from his grey gloved hands and setting it down on the back of a slow passing turtle began to cut a very generous slice.
“Might I have a piece too?”
As the King had asked so very nicely Alice gave him her slice, set upon an a festively decorated Royal Wonderland tea plate.
“Do you have any tea, Hatter?”
Hatter quite naturally had a trolley close to hand and prepared to pour a steaming measure of Earl Rouge into a matching patterned china cup.
“Milk, you Majesty?”
“Cow or Camel?”
The King thought for a moment.
“Do you have sugar, Hatter? If you do I will have the camel, Bactrian style I think.”
The Hatter genuflected profoundly and pouting a smidgeon of camel milk into the bottom of the cup added two sugar lumps with a flourish.
“Shall we sit in the shade, it do get rather hot in the sun. This crown in dastardly heavy you know.”