@snarke commented last night that this might be one of those paintings I *shouldn’t* letter.
Having taken a few hours to think about it, I believe she’s right.
So we’re gonna keep the poem and the painting separate.
The horse sipped his wine gingerly; he’d always been saddled with a somewhat delicate constitution. “I believe you’ve answered all the questions I currently have, Your Majesty. I look forward to working with you.”
Richard III flashed a grin that seared the edges of his mouth. “Oh, you can dispense with that title, Horse,” the former monarch said with an uncharacteristic chuckle. “Addressing me as ‘Sir Plantagenet’ shall be quite sufficient.”
“But…I don’t…Sire, I’m afraid I don’t follow?” The horse straightened his burgundy power tie with as much confidence as his hooves would allow. He’d spent the previous two weeks practicing in front of the barn door mirror for this interview, and to be thrown so abruptly off course was obviously a celestial slight.
“Well, it’s quite simple, my good Horse,” Richard replied, eyeing a grape suspiciously before squashing it into a juicy oblivion. “Earlier this month, the employee who previously held your position met took an early retirement in Bosworth Field. In the heat of battle, I shouted before God and the killer angels among us that I would forsake my kingdom for a new steed. And since an acceptable applicant has now been identified…”
“…you must abdicate the throne,” the horse finished. The tiling in Richard’s kitchenette quietly oozed magnificence.
“So every time your gaze falls upon me,” the horse muttered, more for his own benefit than for Richard’s, “You shall be reminded of your sacrifice. You will recall that you willingly surrendered wealth, power, influence—all in exchange for my services.”
“Yes,” said Richard, a pinch of irritation sprinkled onto the syllable. He glared the heavy goblet wrapped around his left hand. “I trust that will not present any obstacle? You did describe yourself as ‘a facilitation architect that proactively adds dynamic value by synergizing best practices.’” He drummed his fingers forcefully on the desk. To his equine companion, each staccato lash of Richard’s imperial finger-march was a miniscule thunderbolt. “What say you, Horse?”
The horse stared blankly ahead, past the tyrant directly in his path. Every potential word from his lips now seemed too expensive to contemplate.