Despereaux will finally be facing the consequences of his actions…

DiCamillo alludes to some real-world songs by the king’s lyrics – the song about stardust was Stardust by Nat King Cole, and the song he sings this chapter (Deep Purple) uses similar imagery. Tellingly, they’re both about lost love, and Deep Purple was actually written as a duet.

But Despereaux has eyes only for the princess.

Despereaux stared up at her in wonder. The Pea, he decided, looked just like the picture of the fair maiden in the book in the library. The princess smiled at Despereaux again, and this time, Despereaux smiled back. And then, something incredible happened: The mouse fell in love.

Reader, you may ask this question; in fact, you must ask this question: Is it ridiculous for a very small, sickly, big-eared mouse to fall in love with a beautiful human princess named Pea?

The answer is . . . yes. Of course, it’s ridiculous.

Love is ridiculous.

But love is also wonderful. And powerful. And Despereaux’s love for the Princess Pea would prove, in time, to be all these things: powerful, wonderful, and ridiculous.

You can’t help who you fall in love with, but you can occasionally help how you act on that love. However, Despereaux’s love isn’t given much of a chance to grow before his brother spies him acting in a decidedly unmouselike way.

What Furlough saw was Despereaux Tilling sitting at the foot of the king. What Furlough saw was the princess touching the top of his brother’s head.

[…] And, executing a classic scurry, Furlough went off to tell his father, Lester Tilling, the terrible, unbelievable news of what he had just seen.

Until next time…

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