The needle poked her again. Clumsy fingers, Princess Alena cursed. She stuck her salty index finger in her mouth and sucked.
“Gently… gently…” said Yasbee, her lady-in-waiting. “Let your arm be like a reed in the wind. Up and down, up and down. Back and forth.”
Alena tried again, with two conflicting thoughts. One was why she should have to form needlework when no one would ever sell it or frame it on a wall. The counterpoint was that it wasn’t the end result, it was learning of the skill. Grace and poise, balance and detail. These are qualities of a princess.
“Sorry,” Alena said. They continued to sew by the fireside in silence for a time. Every once in a while, Alena would look out the window at the grayish sky.
“So…” Yasbee said. “Has your father talked to you about… your…?”
“Your classes. I expect they’ll start tomorrow. Don’t they?”
“Classes for what?”
“Why, your weight issue, of course.”