On a very rainy day, in a very rainy city… Sir Cricket von Marionette decided to have his portrait taken. You see, Sir Cricket had a ladyfriend whom he bestowed the utmost admiration upon. One could even say he prized her esteemed company beyond all other crickets in that drizzly town. Perhaps even in the entire land, though Sir Cricket von Marionette was not one to go galavanting too far beyond the streets of his beloved home.
At any rate… this ladyfriend, Penelope Chirpington, had mentioned in passing that she would quite like to look upon the personage – or rather, the buggage – of Sir Cricket when time and circumstances were not favorable to their being together. In other words, she longed for a certain portrait, to keep on a certain table, which sat in a certain room that served as a place to pass the time, when not in a certain charming man-bug’s company.
Sir Cricket had a fervent desire to make this wish of Lady Chirpington’s come true. And yet, where among the cobbles of that great and shadowy city would he find a portraiteer who would accomidate the peculiar nature of being a rather diminutive size? In all his days, Sir Cricket had never seen such a portrait, and surmised that his dear Penelope had only entertained the notion due to the fact that she had spied such things in the parlor of the Duchess of Bigguntall. After all, Lady Chirpington had found a tiny nook near the Duchess’ hearth, where she could warm herself on particularly dreary days by sitting on a cushion made of a powder puff. Sir Cricket quite enjoyed those days, for his treasured ladyfriend would return to him smelling of lavendar talc. Of course, propriety demanded he not say this directly to Lady Chirpington, but he always made sure to comment on the particular quality of the air whenever the occasion allowed.
So with a determined mind set on Lady Chirpinton’s wish, he dressed in his finest hat and spats, and scoured the streets and snickleways of that city, unflagging in his faith that somewhere there would be a portraiteer who would not cringe upon the sight of a smitten cricket.
Much to Sir Cricket von Marionette’s delight, he happened to find one… snugged cheek-by-jowel between a millinery shop and a cafe that sold exquisite almondine tarts (he knew this, of course, because he had the rare fortune of sampling a crumblette dropped by a usually fastidious baker, who was momentarily startled at the sight of a cricket donning a red top hat).
The portraiteer – an aged man whose stature had grown more acclimated towards being nearer the ground after years of bending and stooping behind the black drape of his photo-contraption – was most accomidating to Sir Cricket. He even managed to find a stool of impressive height in amongst his props, and lent a withered old hand as means of transport for Sir Cricket to travel the distance. Sir Cricket said nothing of the fact that he could have easily jumped three times that height with only a faint flick of his legs…. after all, he was a gentlebug, and could not even fathom turning away such a kind invitation by the portraiteer.
And so, Sir Cricket perched upon the tall stool, and waited while the aged man disappeared beneath the billowing black canopy. He thought of his cherished Lady Chirpington, and how delighted she would no doubt be as he presented her with his token of all consuming affection. He imagined the little table she would set it upon, and even was so bold as to envision her lovely green face lit up by moonlight as she stared upon his likeness. So pleasing was the thought, that his wings fluttered slightly, and the room filled with the bright shirrupping sound of his particular stridulation.
A true surprise was his then, as he heard an echo of that winged violin! In fact, it seemed doubly as sweet…chirpchirpchirping in a way that struck him as quite familiar. Most familiar. Distinctly and singularly familiar! He heard the old gentleman chuckle behind the curtain, and in that moment the world flashed with a giant poof of light. Momentarily blinded, Sir Cricket wiped his eyes…then peered back at the portraiteer. There, sitting pretty-as-you-please atop the gangly-legged photo contraption, was Lady Chirpington, dressed in a particular pink gown that she frequently borrowed from the Duchess of Bigguntall’s dollhouse.
The old man extracted himself from behind the black drape, rubbing his whiskered chin and shaking his head. “T’missus shan’t be believin’ this’un tonight… no. Two chirpers on t’same day, an’ both in fancy clothes. No, t’missus might just think t’whiskey finally got t’best o’ me affer’all.” And his shoulders hunched and shook with a laugh as he shuffled to the back of his workshop.
As for Sir Cricket, he launched himself most gracefully – if not a bit eagerly – from the stool to the perch that Lady Chirpington occupied. Her smile was a ray of sweet buggy light that cut through the dismel dark day. She had decided that for as much as she wished to have in her possession a portrait of her dear Sir Cricket… she knew he would no doubt pine away his days if he did not have one of herself as well. The room filled with the sound of shirrupping wings, only this time in besotted harmony.
The serendipity of it all was too much to be left uncelebrated. Sir Cricket promptly fetched a few more crumblettes of almondine tart, along with some generous droplets of limoncello from the baker’s own bottle, transported in the hollow of his red top hat. And there atop that marvelously boxy camera, Lady Chirpington and Sir Cricket von Marionette resolutely decided that it was a Most Momentous Occasion on a very rainy day. And it would forevermore be remembered thusly as their portraits sat side by side on a certain table, in a certain room that served as a place to pass the time in eachother’s most certainly charming company.
The tale of Sir Cricket von Marionette and his quest to have his portrait taken…. which you can see (and purchase! ;) )if you click here
This was a bit of fluff I wrote today after creating this picture. I decided to tell it in a fanciful, verbose way… a bit of nod to one of my favorite authors, Charles Dickens. I apologize in advance for any butchering of grammar or punctuation. :D