The mannequin stands silent, at attention, dressed in the finest white tie fashion.
His classic appearance is marred only by the secchi disk emblems seen on his hips, temples, and knees. Exactly why a display mannequin would need fiducial markers is left unsaid, and is probably a question better left unasked. A smudge on one marker suggests that the mannequin’s life is not all wine and roses. If the mannequin could talk, he would likely have stories to tell.
He stands in an alcove cleverly lined with mirrors so that the view past his shoulders extends to infinity, almost as if he is stuck in the transition from one plane of existence to another. He does not seem too happy about that.
The time for a revolution is upon us. If left to his own devices, the Prince will fritter away the kingdom in his absurd belief that he was once a frog. This cannot be allowed to continue.
There is no doubt about it.
His slightly green complexion in all the official photographs can be easily explained as a trick of the light and the overuse of these new fangled fluorescent lights in the palace. Before he installed the lights, he never pointed to photographs as evidence. Now he does all the time. Only new photographs, of course.
His unhealthy liking of flies is more difficult to explain. But there is historical precedent. Sir Renfield, at various times, and at various ages has always kept flies in abundance. While one might accuse Renfield of vampirism, the flies never made him a frog.
Furthermore, as so many have demonstrated so well, merely being skilled with a weapon does not make one a soldier.
No, the Prince is not a frog.
And his continued insistence will bring this country to the brink of war if he is not stopped.
It is happening again. None of us are really ready. But then, when is someone really ready for a war?
We’ve been taught the needed skills. And yet, here we are again.
And somehow, I predict we will be back here again.
This time, we have warning and weapons of a sort. Not the right weapons for what we will face, but at least we have something. Last time, we had neither warning nor weapons. Our defenses were down. We had no resources to train, no plans, no contingencies. Frankly, it is a miracle that we survived.
Our historians will admit to all of this if pressed. They don’t like to talk about it ordinarily because the subject verges on disrespect for our leaders. But the disrespect is both intended and important.
We were not prepared, directly due to the actions of our leadership.