“A lovely song. Just the song I have been waiting to hear.”

The terrible foul odor of the dungeon did not bother Mig. Perhaps that is because, sometimes, when Uncle was giving her a good clout to the ear, he missed his mark and delivered a good clout to Mig’s nose instead. This happened often enough that it interrupted the proper workings of Mig’s olfactory senses. And so it was that the overwhelming stench of despair and hopelessness and evil was not at all discernable to her, and she went happily down the twisting and turning stairs.

“Gor!” she shouted. “It’s dark, ain’t it?”

“Yes, it is Mig,” she answered herself, “but if I was a princess, I would be so glittery lightlike, there wouldn’t be a place in the world that was dark to me.”

I find it interesting how Mig begs a comparison here to Sam Gamgee from Lord of the Rings (at least the books). Sam frequently talked to himself (even going so far as full-on arguments with himself), and while the obvious similarity is their lower-class statuses, they also have another thing in common, at least when they talk to themselves: They’re alone, in a fairly stressful situation. Mig is, in fact, very isolated, even when she’s around people, because she struggles to comprehend what others are saying.

At this point, Miggery Sow broke into a little song that went something like this:

"I ain't the Princess Pea
But someday I will be
The Pea, ha-hee
Someday, I will be."

Mig, as you can imagine, wasn’t much of a singer, more of a bellower, really. But in her little song, there was, to the rightly tuned ear, a certain kind of music. And as Mig went singing down the stairs of the dungeon, there appeared from the shadows a rat wrapped in a cloak and wearing a spoon on his head.

“Yes, yes,” whispered the rat, “a lovely song. Just the song I have been waiting to hear.”

It’s the song of a person similarly discontent with her station in life, and more importantly, someone envious of the princess.

The dungeon was quiet, but it was not quiet in a good way. It was quiet in an ominous way; it was quiet in the way of small, frightening sounds. There was the snail-like slither of water oozing down the walls and from around a darkened corner there came the low moan of someone in pain, And then, too, there was the noise of the rats going about their business, their sharp nails hitting the stones of the dungeon and their long tails dragging behind them through the blood and muck.

Reader, if you were standing in the dungeon, you would certainly hear all these disturbing and ominous sounds.

If I were standing in the dungeon, I would hear these sounds.

If we were standing together in the dungeon, we would hear these sounds and we would be very frightened; we would cling to each other in our fear.

But what did Miggery Sow hear?

That’s right.

Absolutely nothing.

And so she was not afraid at all, not in the least.

She held the tray up higher, and the candle shed its wek light on the towering pile of spoons and bowls and kettles. “Gor,” said Mig, “look at them things. I ain’t never imagined there could be so many spoons in the whole wide world.”

“There is more to the world than anyone could imagine,” said a booming voice from the darkness.

Next time: Beware of the rats…

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