“Oh! Kind sir, you have saved me! I would have stepped into the mud for certain. Think what a pity it would have been to see filth cover the pearls upon my shoes. You shall declare your undying love to me, and I will say how devoted I am, and we’ll marry and live happily ever after!
“Because you saved me, sir, and that is the order of things.
“Marriageable age? Oh, you flatter me, sir! I am nearly twenty. Well, in five years I will be, so you can court me until I am older. I’m certain you can be patient. Such a gentleman!
“I can call you ‘sir’ if I wish; I don’t care what your real station is, though I’m certain once you come to the palace while you court me you won’t smell so…ungentlemanly.
“Exactly! Like a, a horse! Um. Are those the hairy ones with tails? Anyway, that doesn’t matter, you have saved me, and my pearl shoes, from a muddy puddle no less!
“Oh, sir! You have a sense of humor, though I am not quite sure what the joke is. You smile at me so that I think you are jesting.
“I can’t understand why you even ask that question. Of course you’ll need to save me from other dangers. The mud is only the first step. My husband will be the best hero. You’ll have to continually prove your worth and undying love for me, the beautiful princess!
“After the mud? I believe you must next save me from falling, like if I were to faint; we can try that one today. Sometime later recreant knights might steal me away. My cousin hired some good ones last autumn; I must find out who she used. Yet, she’s only a duchess, so I’ll have to do better. I know. Eventually, my brave sir, you would have to rescue me from a dragon!
“Really? How considerate of you to point out such a marvelous feature! I suppose you are a wise sir. Momma queen says that grey hair makes a person wise. You must be very, very wise to have so much. Momma queen says I’ll never have grey hair. Ohh!
“You saved me again! I nearly tripped and you were so quick as to rescue me from falling into that mud! It’s so hard to find a man who is willing to think of the ladies’ dresses. Sir, you may hold my arms as long as you like. Your grip feels so safe.
“What? But I do not even know the name of my rescuer! Surely you will stay a while? Perhaps you’d like some tea?
“Do say something else! Your voice is so forceful!
“Oh, my! Young sir, you’ve saved me. You are my new true rescuer! That grey-haired man over there tried to push me into this muddy puddle. I will have nothing more to do with him!
“Oh, kind sir. Catching me as I nearly fell into the mud and protecting me from the wrath of that wise man is saving me from two types of disasters all at once! I am so glad you happened along, even though you are not as wise as he is.
“Unwell? Dizzy? Good sir, I thank you for asking about my well being, sign of a true hero, but I don’t believe I hit my head. In fact, I feel quite secure now that you’re holding me. I shall not fall and muddy my clothes as long as you are around. You will make a better rescuer.
“Why, that sounds so exciting! I don’t really understand what you mean, though, to leave and go sailing. If it has you and me together, then I will be happy. I will hold you forever.
“What? My word. You can’t have said what I thought I heard because it is an improper way to speak to a lady. You mustn’t use such language around a princess! Oh, don’t set me down. What do you think you’re doing? And where are you going?
“How callous! You must walk me home like a proper suitor. We are a whole ten steps from the palace gate, and a princess should never go out unaccompanied. You haven’t rescued me from the dark! Or an ogre! Where do you think you’re going? I’m not moving until you escort me home! Oh, men.”