The Third Story

The Queen

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If you were to visit Vàldovar (which would be very difficult, because – as you know – it is not to be found on any map), and if you were to go to the royal castle, you would find a grand banqueting hall. This is where feasts used to be (and still are) held at Wengeltide, on the Festival of Borothwade, and at Old Year’s End. The banqueting hall is the largest room in the castle, and covering the length of one wall there hangs a huge tapestry.
      Those who do manage to find their way to Vàldovar, and who visit the royal castle, always make a point of asking permission to view the great tapestry of Vàldovar, for its fame has spread far and wide. The tapestry shows the people, animals and plants of Vàldovar, and also carries scenes from the country’s history.
      There is, however, one very strange thing about the tapestry, and visitors who see it for the first time always point it out and ask the same question: ‘Why was the tapestry never finished?’
And, indeed, it is true – the tapestry is incomplete. Only about three-quarters of the picture have been sewn and, down...