One day, just as the summer sun was starting to send its warmth and light through the windows, Tibbals rushed into her friend’s room. “Carling! Carling, are you feeling better today?”
Carling stretched and rolled over. “I think so. It’s too early to tell.” Carling had become accustomed to sleeping longer than usual, probably the result of the potions Chamay continued to give her.
“Daddy is hosting a feast tonight. I want you to come!”
“A feast? What’s the occasion?”
“I don’t know. It’s all been very hush-hush. Something to do with the meetings he’s been having.”
“Meetings with whom?
“I don’t know that, either.” Tibbals swished her long, blond tail from side to side. “But it doesn’t matter. Any excuse for a banquet is fine with me.” Then her hand flew to her mouth. “My goodness, look at you. We have so much work to do!”
Over the next several hours, Tibbals was in her element. Carling was bathed in bubbles and then covered with perfume, her hair washed and scented. Tibbals went through every item of clothing she owned to find just the right garment for Carling. Tibbals’s dresses, made just long enough to cover the human-like part of her body, were long on Carling. Tibbals described them as “elegant.” The Centaur filly decided green was the best color to go with Carling’s auburn curls and violet eyes, so all other options were cast aside.
Jewelry was next. Tibbals, as was to be expected, had quite a collection of valuable baubles. “Purple stones match your eyes and really stand out on the green fabric, don’t you think?” said Tibbals, who was really having way too much fun treating Carling like a dress-up doll.
Carling nodded. She had never had the luxury of playing dress-up and wasn’t completely comfortable doing so now. But any time spent with Tibbals was always fun, so she played along.
By the time the gong was struck, announcing that the time to enter the dining room had arrived, Carling was finished to Tibbals’s satisfaction. The Centaur stepped back. “You look ravishing. You look like a…a queen!” she said, tears suddenly flowing down her cheeks.
Carling reached up and hugged her friend.
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