She is not like the other women and I will dress her like no other. The whole world to see my creation, no apprentice will lay a finger on the precious material; every stitch sewn myself, I owe it to my country. All the colours of the rainbow; that is what they will wear on the night, diaphanous, floating, clinging, swirling, but my girl will be in black and silver, except perhaps rubies in her tiara, to compliment her black hair.
The other women walk and that is all they do, they have no art; she moves with elegance and speed in his hands. I unlock the drawer with the single key and take out a small box and another, sprinkle onto my palm the finest sequins, the most perfect pearl beads. From a tin I unfurl skeins of silver thread. I put them away; the designs must stay in my head while I cut and pleat.
Today she comes for a fitting, the bodice is perfect. She is a real woman, her body firm and strong, yet when she stands motionless, as I check the fastenings, she could be a doll.
The evening comes and I have summoned the best artist to dress her hair with the silver tiara, to make her dark eyes shine and her lips as roses. Her man in black is ready to lead her in front of millions.
They dance and spin, his strong arms lift her, she soars, head held high like the bird she is. When this magic night is over the crowds cheer; surely the silver ice will turn to gold.
It is not to be; silver turns to bronze. But it does not matter, she skated perfectly, my beautiful black swan.