Later that night, Mig tries to tell Uncle what she saw earlier. She describes the “human stars” that were “glittering and glowing.” Mig shouts about the princess, the king, and the queen, and she says shyly that she’d like to be a princess. Uncle laughs—Mig is too “ugly” and “dumb” to be a princess. He wishes he still had the hen and the tablecloth instead of her. When Mig says again she wants to wear a crown, Uncle laughs, puts the kettle on his head, and says he’s a king now because he wants to be. He dances and laughs for a while, and then asks Mig if she wants a clout to the ear for spewing nonsense. Mig doesn’t, but Uncle hits her anyway. He forbids her then from speaking of princesses and reminds Mig that nobody cares about what she wants.
The language Mig uses to describe the royal family is telling. She doesn’t have the language to describe them in a more straightforward manner—in part, perhaps, because Uncle and her father haven’t taught her any language to describe good, beautiful things. All Uncle hears, in fact, is that Mig wants power—and he mocks her for this. Keeping her hopeless and making her feel small, after all, is how he maintains his power over her. Hitting her for bringing up the royal family casts hope and beauty as dangerous things for Mig; they put her physical safety at risk.