The audience began and they were led into the throne room. There in the centre sat the King surrounded by his royal household. Because Pepi didn’t see a second throne, he assumed the princess wasn’t present.

 

The chamberlain called the names, Emilius Carolinus Crumple. The first youth stepped forward and bowed before the King, who now requested his answer to the question: “What is happiness?” “Happiness is when you have lots of money!” Emil Crumple shot back. The King shook his head disapprovingly. “Wrong, young friend!” he said and the first youth was escorted out.

 

Ferdinand Foxi Maria Bellaria! The second youth stepped forward and bowed before the King. “Now Ferdinand”, asked the King, “What is happiness?” Ferdinand Foxi Maria strut forward, “True happiness Your Majesty is glory and success!” The old King shook his head: “Wrong, my dear Ferdinand!” and Ferdinand Foxi Maria Bellaria too had to leave.

 

Now it was the third claimant’s turn. The chamberlain introduced him as Sasha Kevin René Dumplingcooker.  The King bent forward: “Well then! What is happiness for you?” The youth blushed and began to stutter: “Happiness is, well, happiness is... happiness is when you’re fairly healthy, for sure!” The chamberlain rolled his eyes, the royal household looked up to the ceiling, but the old King smiled and said: “Though health is quite important, true happiness is something else altogether. It’s more than that!” And so Sasha Dumplingcooker was escorted out as well.

 

It was Pepi’s turn now. The chamberlain looked through his spectacles and read aloud, Pepi Beecher! That’s when Pepi heard a hushed “Pepi!!! How sweet!!”, and when he turned in the direction of the voice, he looked into the glittering eyes of a girl peeping over Alhambra’s shoulder. The nanny turned around and said quietly: “Milady!” Now Pepi knew who the princess was.

The King’s voice returned his attention to reality, “Now, what is happiness?” Pepi answered instantly: ".......

 

 

 

What would you have said?