Seventh Black Jester of Uniqueness

I stood still so as not to jingle the bells at the pointy ends of my floppy hat. My eyes alone wandered around the throne room at those wearing silks, lace, buttons, and dyes only slightly duller than my own brightly patched frock. Some ladies’ faces were nearly as painted as mine, and some men’s collar or sleeve ruffles only slightly shorter.

The other jesters needed no black paint upon their faces, but I did. Who would laugh at and respect a pale jester, one who blends in with his collar? Darker jesters could make fun of everyone without shame. Lighter skinned men doing the same would just be rude. The courtiers knew about my paint, so I had to be on my guard.

When the King tired of the business of the day, he summoned me. I danced, an acrobatic feat punctuated with tumbles and jerking limbs, moving my body in quirky ways. Sometimes he needed me to dance until I nearly collapsed in exhaustion.

That’s what happened to the other six jesters before me.

An honorable death.

Or so they tell me.

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