Romila, the youngest queen was married to the ruler of Sharara, a small kingdom on the banks of Gomti river. She was seventeen, bubbly, fun-loving with stars in her eyes. Her husband was twenty years older than her, totally involved in being a ruler, and the two could not relate to each other at a mental level. It was a marriage of political convenience, for mutual benefits of the two kings – her father and husband. Needless to mention, that he had a harem full of queens, who came from different backgrounds, and did not share much in common.
Friend was the name of a moose in the royal garden, whom Romila had befriended. She insisted on calling him so. Friend loved chocolate mousse, and Romila would order large quantities of it from the palace kitchen to feed him. One fine morning, Romila was gone. The King was away on the battlefield, fighting a war against invaders from another continent. The country was on high alert. The palace guard was summoned by the Head Queen, but nobody seemed to have any clue about the missing queen. Males other than the King were not allowed entry in the harem space, hence, an elopement was ruled out. Was she kidnapped? And could the enemies take any advantage of the missing queen.
Meanwhile, the King faced danger at several points, but was protected by a young soldier, who kept riding close to him. The King had never seen him before, but somehow, the face behind a bushy moustache felt vaguely familiar. He did not have much time to think, as a spear was headed his way, and the young soldier took the brunt, while shielding the King. His bleeding body was left behind in the thick of battle, as the army moved ahead to the next post.
The Head Queen was greeted by an unusual sight in the morning, as she was checking her mail in the palace courtyard. A soldier’s body lay on the palace lawns with a horse besides him, and Friend with his head bowed down sat close. The bowls of his favorite food sent from the palace kitchen lay untouched. Moose’s friend had proved her worth to the country and her husband. She was a trained warrior, who was never given the opportunity to display her talent.
Her animal friends shed tears for her – the queen who died unsung, unrecognized.