|THERE ARE NO ERRORS IN THE STORY OF The Golden Knights
||[Mar. 29th, 2009|05:10 pm]
I DOUBLE-DOG-DARE YOU to find something wrong with this! |
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO MAKE COMMENTS AS TO EDITING, OR IN GENERAL. Thank you.
Who is that bold and merry lad who dares stand taller than the king himself? It is Prince Edward the ever-growing – why, I knew him when he was small enough to dash between a grown man’s legs to flee from the mischief he had caused – if he was ever to cause mischief, which I’m sure his highness never did!
Has Prince Edward ever missed his father’s Faire, that sturdy steadfast fellow, that prince in pearl-and-crimson? He calls for Twp to tell the tale of the Golden Knight, for it is his favorite. It involves his two favorite things – fishing and turkey legs.
The Golden Knight
Part 1 The Golden Fish
Now I might tell you the story of how a king fought a dragon, or perhaps retell the story of the acrobat that saved a princess from talking lions. But Edward is the prince, and he has decided, so you will hear the story of an old fisherwoman and her sister, and that’s that!
For everyone that believes me, you must give me a present, and for everyone that does not believe my story, you must pay a penalty.
On the shores of the sea there was built a clever house for two sisters, and their names were Medwyn and Rapunzelrose. These two old women were once great ladies of this kingdom. But the great lords who were their husbands had died before them… is that not the way? And now that their children were grown, nothing would please them more than to live alone by the seaside, the two of them. So a trim house was built for them by the edge of the ocean, and there they lived without care.
What did they do all day? Nothing but argue with each other, just as they had when they were young.
Now they always say, they of the greatest talk are they of the least work. So naturally Medwyn, in the midst of her talking, said to Rapunzelrose, “Look here! We were once great ladies of a great kingdom, and now we live in peace by the ocean. But we cannot live like loitersacks; one of us must take up a work of some kind.” And so the youngest sister called for a little fishing boat and docked it hard-by her own front door. In this way, the old woman began to go fishing every day.
One merry May morning, that fisherwoman caught a golden fish. “Come, this will please my sister well!” she said. But listen, my prince. The fish spoke to her! “Pray do not eat me, but set me free and I will grant you a wish. Even if you are a poor fisherwoman, I shall give you a house as great as any castle.”
Rapunzelrose said “My house is no greater or poorer than any other, and I am as happy as I choose to be. But here is my most welcome wish: give me a beautiful garden of roses and woodbine and jasmine, and let there grow great bushes of strawberries for my breakfast, and blackberries as well, with rows and rows of lycorys and brown-mint and every good spice, and let there be no end of hearts-ease! Make this garden grow if you can grant wishes.”
“It is already done,” said the golden fish, “but you must never whisper from whence came this magic, or you will lose all your treasure, even down to the last blade of catswort.”
The old fisherwoman returned home, and what should she see but a beautiful garden! And no grander garden was ever grown in a lord’s manor. There were neatly trimmed rosebushes, and stone walls overgrown with woodbine and jasmine. Alongside the eastern wall grew a low tangle of strawberries, and on the west, a tall blackberry bush, and the paths were lined with sweet-smelling rows of lycorys and brown-mint. And for hearts-ease (what you call pansies) there was no end, and each corner of the garden was prettier than the last. Every color you could wish to see was there, like radiant ribbons streaming in the sunlight, and no prettier place could be found in our fair city, or in the king’s castle, or beyond!
Up the walkway rushed the lady Medwyn, saying “What, news, little sister! Right before my eyes there grew such a garden as I have never seen, even in our father’s castle! How did it happen?” But our royal fisherwoman remembered her promise to the golden fish and would only say, “I was fishing and caught a boon.”
“The greater the rogue, the greater her luck,” scolded her sister, and would not give Rapunzelrose a moment’s peace for the rest of the day. On and on she asked and inquired and argued and pressed her to tell the secret.
To every child who sits here, I ask, would you do that to your own sister?
So her sister deviled her day and night, until the old fisherwoman could bear it no longer. But listen, my prince! the moment Rapunzelrose spoke, the grand garden vanished, even down to the last purple pansy!
Now the old women had to live without their treasure. But look -- one jolly June afternoon, the fisherwoman caught that golden fish again! “Come, this will please my Medwyn well!” she said, but the fish cried, “Caught me again, old woman? Why will you eat me? Just set me free and I will grant you a wish. Even if you are a poor fisherwoman, I shall give you a castle fit for a king!” She said, “I have lived in castles before, even now my brother’s son sits in a clever castle, why should I want one as well? But this is my wish: get my garden back, golden fish. Let there be roses and honeysuckle and jasmine, and blyberries as well. And let there all the good medicinal herbs too, both loose-strife and hearts-ease and care-away! Get my garden back, golden one.”
“A garden for a queen,” quoth the queer fish, “but you must never whisper from whence it came, or come the morn it will melt away, right down to the last bramble-berry seed.”
Rapunzelrose returned home, and again she found her glorious garden, and no king ever saw the like! Upon the rose bushes bloomed the most fragrant flowers, and the garden walls were overgrown with honeysuckle and moonlight-on-the-grove. Alongside the eastern gates grew a low tangle of strawberries, and on the west wall, a tall blackberry bush. The paths were lined with sweet-smelling rows of lycorys and brown-mint. As for sorcerers’ violets (what you call periwinkles) there was no end, and every color you could wish to see was there, like a bright flag carried before a king, until no prettier sight could be found at our fair Faire or beyond.
But no sooner did she see her sister coming up the garden walk did Medwyn set upon her! Whereupon came she by this boon? Was it again the golden fish? Will she not speak! (For even when they were princesses in their father’s castle the sisters behaved this way, as I suppose all sisters do.)
Now our Rapunzelrose was determined to keep silent, for she dearly loved her garden, but she also loved her sanity, and no answer would do until she told her sister about the golden fish.
“Now see what you have done with my wish!” cried the careworn fisherwoman, as the garden melted away, right down to the last white honeysuckle blossom.
And so the old women lived without their treasure. But look! One odd autumn hour, she did catch that fish again! “Wretched woman – I’ll never be rid of you!” cried the fish, “Just cut me into two pieces and bury me by your front door. There shall grow something that shall be your true heart's pleasure.”
No sooner said than done, and there in front of the clever green house, the aged princesses buried the two halves of the golden fish. There grew, before their eyes, two cheery golden trees, upon which grew, like oakgalls, first one golden foal, and then another. By bedtime there did bloom, like apple blossoms, first one little golden boy, and then another!
No greater treasure could the old women wish for! Within the year, the babes had grown into two young men, as tall and sturdy as a fine door post. Nor could you have seen their like, howe're you searched. They were as gold as a ring, or a brooch on the cloak of a king. In truth, if you looked upon them as they slept, certainly you would have thought each a golden statue! For their hair was gold, and also their faces, and from fingernails to the soles of their feet, so much that their foster-mothers never let them out in the heat of the day, lest their fine features soften in the sun!
These four lived merrily beside the sea for many years; the two old women, the two golden youths, the two golden horses, and the two golden trees. “But they can never leave the shore,” mourned Medwyn, “For one cannot go about in the real world as a golden statue!” Happily for the princesses their foundlings were at ease to live with them, and to ride into the forest hunting every day upon their golden horses.
Part 2 The Knights of Kester
Carefree the four were, and how they lived in all joy in their house by the sea. But the dark day came when the boys rode further than they had before, up into the hills known as the Kester, and to a keep with towers tall, the keep known as the Kester Vara. There they saw flags and banners in black and white, for a grand joust was always held that time of year. There they met the people of the keep, all the knights and squires, even the Knight Captain, who wondered at their faces and their golden horses.
The knights who had gathered at that fortress invited them to watch the tournament, and treated them like great lords, and no sooner had the golden children sat to see what a joust was about, well, what do you think? They begged the Knight Captain that they too could compete. Many knights wished to meet them on the list field, to try the mettle of golden men on golden horses. The golden children met them well, for they were like one with their horses, and they felt no pain, no matter how hard they were struck. So well they were met that, before the day was done, they were both knighted in the list field, and they were known as the Golden Knights.
So they made merry for many days, and upon returning home, they pressed their old mothers, saying, “Why did you not tell us about that great place, and what great things go on there?”
The old women became sorrowful, and spoke, saying, “You have found the outpost that marks the outland of our own kinsman’s kingdom. Beyond the border lie many wonders of which we have never spoken! Go not past those hills and into that kingdom, for one cannot walk about as a golden statue in the real world! Remain here and grow old with your foster mothers, and be our hearts' ease.”
Now the youngest, (who they had named Cavenjon) heard the pleas of the royal women, and almost set his heart to stay. But the oldest, (who they had named Treynhew) could not be satisfied, so he begged that he could set out past the outpost, and that his brother go with him, and see the whole world.
“Fear not for us,” they told the old women, “for as long as these two trees blossom and flourish, so it is well with us. But if they wither and die, than we are in some danger.” Then with this comfort, they left their house by the sea.
Now Treynhew and Cavenjon rode back to the Keep of Kester, and remained with the knights there, telling all that would listen that they would see the whole world.
The Knight Captain said “You dare not, for the wood beyond the safety of this keep is full of robbers, who would gladly rob a man whose horse is gold, as well as himself!” And when Cavenjon heard these words, he would not go any farther, but turned back, and went home to his foster mothers.
But Trenyhew cut off his locks of gold, and using these he purchased many bear skins, thus he clothed himself and his horse. But still a glint of gold might be seen! So he went and found mud, even as a child might do, maybe even a child that is here! And – did you ever do this, prince Edward? -- with mud he covered himself, his face and his hands and his beard! And thus muddied, he rode safely through the wood.
Far through the forest our mud-man muddled, until he came to – what do you think! Why, our Fair City! And what was the first thing he saw in our own city, but this very Faire!
Part 3 Princess Rose Rampion
Now listen, Prince Edward. In those days, long before you were born, the Faire continued for several days, from the first sight of the purple blossoms on the redbud tree until the color had faded at last. The Faire was given in honor of the High King’s daughters, and filled with whatever delighted them, and all the high-born ladies came from all the kingdoms around to attend.
So it was that, on the day the Golden Knight came upon our Faire, the king was not attending (for that king was not at all like our Good King Henry, who would not let a Faire pass him by!) nor even his other children, but only Rose Rampion, his youngest child.
Now here comes our bearskin-brother, so blinded by the flags and pavilions and banners and every sort of strange sight that he led his horse on, his mouth agape, with no thought of what he was wearing! “Here” thought that mud-man, “are the world’s wonders!” For he had never seen so much color in his life.
So he walked and wandered and was amazed, and enjoyed the sparkling of the shining wares, the music of recorders and lutes, and the calls of the actors and the musicians and the dancers. And the smells, who can resist them? Then, in the midst of it, what should he see but a procession of great ladies, each brightly decked with ribbons and flowers, and each one fairer than the last. These were the daughters of the mighty dukes and barons and counts, and even princesses from other countries. They wore dresses of satin and silk and golden brocade. Their hair was adorned with garlands of ribbons. Each wore a cloak of fur and fine fabric, and in their hands they held baskets, filled with presents presented to them by other fair-goers. They took in the sights of the fair in a grand parade, and all stopped to bow to them as they passed.
“These are surely the wonders of which my mothers spoke!” cried Treynhew, “for there can be no sight as stunning as this!” And without a thought, he strode boldly into the midst of the ladies, knelt at their feet, and proclaimed that there was nothing else as beautiful in the world.
When the gentle ladies looked on this muddy man dressed in bear-skins, they laughed loud and free.
“We are the daughters of grand houses, from countries great and proud, why should we be accosted by such a man?” they asked, and they jeered and joked and made no secret of their scorn.
But one pretty maiden stepped forward. She was neither the youngest of them nor the oldest, but she was the greatest of them, for she was the Princess Rose Rampion!
“This strange fellow must be from some far-off land,” she said. “It is not meet to mock a man from a foreign country, nor is it right to ridicule the poor.” But the damsels only derided her.
“Come, he has done us no harm, but only spoke of our beauty!” she said, but the maids made fun of her and mocked her even more. “Her father will not let her marry a prince or a duke,” they whispered. “Maybe she should marry this bear-skin!”
Now these murmurs, our maiden could not bear, for it was true; her father would not consent that she should marry, and she was well past the age that she might take a husband. So when she saw that the terrified Treynhew was nigh to tears, what better way to spite her friends but befriend him?
“Be merry, bear-skin, and be my companion today!” And before the amazed maids, she took the Golden Knight by his hand, and they took in Faire together.
So princess and mud-man spent the day happily, for she was well pleased with Treynhew, and his tales of his home by the shores of the sea. Our mud-man could not be more pleased when Rose Rampion told him of her travels to faraway kingdoms, for he thought she had seen the whole world. As for the princess, (who had seen the Faire every year since she was born) she truly delighted in showing her escort her favorite musicians and magicians, and every last singing pirate. And so when the day was nearly ended, they knew they could never bear to part, and would be content to remain side-by-side forever.
Now the Princess Rose Rampion took Treynhew to the fine feasting hall, where the royalty reside when they tarry in our happy city. But listen, my prince, there was never so much derision or disdain as came from the daughters of the mighty dukes and barons!
“We are the daughters of great dukes and barons, from countries grand and proud, why should we eat with such a man?” (For so enamored were Treynhew and Rose Rampion, they had not thought he should wash up before dinner!) And as for the lords and dukes and barons who had asked for Rose Rampion's hand in marriage, but had been denied by her father, they could only look on in wonder.
Countless countesses and royal maids made no secret of their scorn. “Her father will not let her marry a knight or a baronet, perhaps she should marry this bear-skin!” This so angered Rose Rampion that she stood up before the whole court, turned to Treynhew, and said, “I love you with my whole heart. If you will be my husband, then I will be your wife, and be true to you as long as I live.” Treynhew, of course, was beside himself with joy. They were agreed, and they feasted and made merry, much to the amazement of the whole manor.
Night came, and the princess bade her servants show Treynhew to his room, and give him clothes that he might wear, and she bid him goodbye until the morrow. She then hastened to write a letter to her father, saying “I have chosen a husband, as is my right by law. But make haste to our Fair City and give me your blessing, for he is a foreigner, and the foster-son of fisherwomen.” And she became afraid, thinking, “What have I done for pride?”
But none were more surprised the next morning when the Golden Knight, having washed his face and beard and donned proper clothing, appeared at breakfast, as gold as a ring, and as shining as the sun! All ladies were silent and ashamed, and all the lords astonished. But none was so joyous as Rose Rampion, who thought, “Now my father will bless my marriage, even though he is only a foundling, and the foster-son of fisherwomen.”
It was the custom in those days that the Faire would fare for many days, until the last pink or purple blossom fell from the redbud tree, and so for more than a week, the lovers lived in joy and happiness. Each day they would take in our fair Faire, and in the evening they remained in the manor-house, awaiting word from her father, that they might marry.
But alas! Her father, the king of our country so many years ago, wrote to her, saying “You shall not marry with my blessing, neither a fisherman or knight or wizard, for you are my darling and the child of my old age, and I cannot consent for you to marry. But remain in our Fair City, and I shall bring my old body there shortly.”
The same morning, Treynhew told Rose Rampion that he had dreamed of hunting with his brother, and riding his golden horse out on the open ride, and so he must on that day go hunting. “Go with care,” the princess cautioned, and he put on his bear-skin, covered his beard in mud, and went.
Part 4 Deer Wood
He rode for many hours into Deer Wood, and followed all sorts of game, and fared quite far the whole day. At last night came on, and he looked for a place to bide the night. He chanced upon a great bramble bush, as tall and broad as a castle wall, with thorns so soft and fragrant you would have called them flowers, and berries the size of apples. In his hunger, the Golden Knight sought out the berries, and in this way found a path through the wall. Inside the maze of bushes were scents as scrumptious as the smells at Faire (if anything can be as scrumptious as the scents at Faire!) and it gave him cause to wonder. So it was with gaping mouth that he entered the clever green house that he found there.
Within that green house lived a hermit-mage of great renown, and she was called Betten, from the house of Edwartae. She was an imposing old woman with hair of silver and bright blue eyes, and though she was old, she stood as straight and tall as a doorpost. When she saw the muddy man in his bear-skin, weary and hungry from his ride, she took him to be a poor wood-dweller seeking her medicines, as so many in our Fair City do. Without kind words or proper greeting, she sat him down at her table and brewed him a tea of stout goldenseal, and bid him drink.
But alas! Treynhew had grown accustomed to the courteous words he had received at the manor-house and at Faire, and the goodly food and drink he had been served there. Here he was unhappy with her treatment, to say nothing of her bitter tea! The ancient enchantress showed him no courtesy, but instead questioned him closely about his health, as she would any other patient. She asked about his diet, and the condition of his stomach, and disagreeable things not spoken of at the table! Soon Treynhew thought the woman must be mad, and told her so, and the old woman became cross with him as well.
Now we all have our warlings and our darlings, and the darlings of the old magess were a gray dog and an orange cat. And where one would chase the other would flee, and where one would flee the other would chase, and thus they made their merriment in the house. The two plagued Treynhew, but the old woman gave them no thought, until he shook his sword at them in a rage, and moved to strike them with it.
“What? You will strike my darlings?” cried the old woman, in a rage, and in half a moment, the Golden Knight lay upon the ground, turned into stone. She then drug him out into her garden and left him there. She forgot about him quickly, for it was often her way to act in anger and forget about things that were out of her sight. And if she thought it odd that a golden horse was grazing outside her high hedge wall, she paid it no mind.
His bride-to-be waited in tears for his return, and all the manor-house besides. But the king was pleased that the man did not return to claim his only daughter’s heart.
On the same evening, Cavenjon was standing by the golden tree, when it suddenly fell to the ground, for it had turned to stone. “Surely there has some misfortune come unto my brother,” he exclaimed, and then there was no comfort for him but that he set out to find the Golden Knight. After much good fortune, he found his way to our Fair City. There he met Rose Rampion and her father, and with their prayers plunged into the woods to find Treynhew. In good time he, too, found the golden horse grazing at the great wall of bramble-berries, and through the maze he found the wise woman of that forest.
To that old woman, Cavenjon bowed low, and to that old woman he spoke with great courtesy. “Save my two mothers, I have ne’er met a woman of such great stature and wisdom,” he said. Soon it pleased her to invite him into her house, even though he was the brother of the Golden Knight. There she served him a grand meal from her garden, and gave him wine to drink, and they were merry. And if Cavenjon saw that his stone-brother was now being used as a table, he paid it no mind.
“You have come for your brother, but you shall not have him, for he would have done my darlings great injury.” But Cavenjon spoke prettily, saying, “My dear old mothers were once great ladies of this kingdom, and well-regarded, but they say nothing ever made them so happy as my brother and I, for we are the children of their old age. For the sake of their many years, and their noble hearts, you must return him to us.”
Finally the heart of the silver-haired sorceress was softened. “Your brother did a great disservice to my darling dog, even so you must do a great service to him, e’er I forgive that loitersack. My dog is named Moonsel, and no nobler dog has lived; build him a house both warm and dry, and perhaps I shall restore your brother.” And Cavenjon did so.
But the hermitess was not satisfied. “Moonsel’s greatest companion is Astel, and no grander cat has ever lived. Build her a home both warm and dry, and set it beside Moonsel’s house, and perhaps I shall restore your brother.” And Cavenjon did so.
The magess was not satisfied, but said, “Now my house is a clever house, with green walls and silver gables and a bright crimson door. How shall these noble animals live in a meaner house than mine? Until their houses are the same color, I shall not restore your brother.” And Cavenjon painted them all green and silver and crimson, until they were every bit as clever as the house of their mistress.
Now days had passed since Cavenjon had come to the house of the mage, nor had he stopped to eat or sleep, but worked without a word upon the witch’s wishes. So when the houses were completed, she sat him at her table, and bid him sup, and said, “Now you are a greater lad than your brother, and more noble, and of a stouter heart. Would you really have this loitersack restored to life? See how happily he has attended us all this time? Isn’t he more pleasant as a table?” But Cavenjon could not be swayed.
So Betten, that great wizardess, took up two feathers of the scissorbird, and tapped the older brother once. Then with a redbud rod she tapped both brothers twice.
And when they looked one to the other, my prince, do you think? They were no longer golden knights, but flesh and blood! “Go now,” said the sorceress, “No longer fear for fine features that might soften in the sun. Live no longer in fear of robbers, nor paint yourself with mud – for one cannot go about the real world as golden statues. Live and age and grow old -- may you grow as old as your revered mothers.”
Now joyfully the once-Golden Knights returned to our city and our Faire, where they met the aged king, who was delighted to see them.
The king said, “Surely the royal fisherwomen, your two old mothers, are Princess Medwyn and Princess Rapunzelrose! They are both my aunts, the dear sisters of my father, and most beloved by me. So much did my baby’s sweet smile remind me of my own Rapunzelrose that I named her Rose Rampion! Long have we begged them to live with us in our castle: now certainly you shall marry my daughter, and live in my castle, and they will dwell there also!”
And when Medwyn and Rapunzelrose heard that Treynhew was to marry their brother’s daughter Rose Rampion, they were well pleased.
But they never left, those grand old women, their happy home beside the sea. It seemed there was some disagreement among them: Each one was overjoyed! and they argued as to who was the happiest of the two. Finally they said they could not leave their home until the argument was settled. So they stayed in their house by the sea, and if they have not stopped arguing, they dwell there still.
Now that’s my story, and every word of it is true!
For all those who believe this bard, you must give him a bite of your turkey leg.
And for anyone who does not believe me – hand over the whole thing!