Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Random Guest Star

Well, tomorrow is my birthday,* so you’ll get no blog post from me this week.  But, luckily for you, I’ve engaged a guest blogger to keep you amused until my return next week.  This is a story that my elder son wrote for school, and is reprinted here with his permission.  I’ve edited it only slightly; these words are all his, and convey a bit of genetic talent for the craft, if I do say so myself.  Whether he will pursue this or not, I can’t say.  But it seems a promising start.

The Bard’s Tale

There was once a man, many years ago, who was said to be a great bard, and also, the luckiest bard in all the world.  He would travel from kingdom to kingdom, country to country, singing songs and generally enjoying a carefree life.

It was one day that he was in a kingdom, having been requested to play a song for the king.  He played a happy, joyous song, but the king was sad, and simply sighed and motioned for the bard to leave.  The bard slung his lute around his shoulders once again, and before leaving, asked why the king was so sad.  The king said his daughter had been taken away, as a sacrifice to a group of trolls that would otherwise destroy the kingdom, were they not sated.  The bard, being a heroic sort, offered to save the princess.  The king sighed again, and said that he was certainly welcome to try.  The bard ignored the king’s pessimism, and set off for the trolls.

He asked around, and learned the road down which sacrifices were taken, and happily set off.  After a few days of travelling, he came across a forest, which he happily skipped into, singing a merry song.  A group of bandits heard him, and set off to find him.  They leapt out at him, baring knives and crossbows and swords.  The leader walked out and asked for everything the bard could offer.  He smiled and said although he had not much of material value, he had songs.  The bandit leader rolled his eyes.  “Another merry idiot,” he said.  “Open fire.”  The crossbows all fired at once, sending a hail of arrows at the happy bard.  He simply stood still as every arrow missed, the closest simply shooting his hat off his head.  “A fine shot!” he remarked.  “Now, may I have a turn?”  As everyone stood astonished, he took a bow from a pack on his back, drew it, and aimed it at a rock.  It hit the rock, ricocheted into an archer’s arm, preventing him from shooting any more, through the arm, into several more lined up in a row, hitting the chest armor of one, and bouncing into the leader’s shoulder.  The injured fell and held their wounds, while the uninjured stared in amazement.  They all ran, fearing the bard, who happily marched forward, through the forest, and up a rocky mountain path as night fell.

He saw a fire ahead, and the ugly warty trolls gathered around it.  They were lighting it, and intended to cook the princess.  The bard saw why they were a threat to the kingdom: each was as tall as fifty men!  The bard walked up to the colossal trolls, four in all, and introduced himself.  A troll swatted at him with his club, which the bard hopped back from, just in time.  “Well, that was rude!” he said.  The trolls grunted, clearly not conversational types, and another tried to hit him again, which he jumped back from, again.  He slung his lute from his back into his hands, and began to play a song, dancing and jumping, merrily dodging the giants.  He did this for two days (it is said), until the giants all began to tire, and collapsed onto one and another.  He smiled, and walked around the cluster of bodies, and untied the princess.

“My love, I have rescued you!” he shouted, smiling.  He moved his head sideways, expecting a kiss on the cheek.   “Thank you,” the princess said simply, walking down the rocky mountain path.  He followed, asking “aren’t you going to kiss me?”  The princess looked at him and shook her head.  “Just because you saved me doesn’t mean I love you,” she said, moving her hand to brush away branches from a tree.  “I appreciate the gesture, surely, but not enough to marry you, or whatever you intend.”  The bard looked shocked.  “But ... but ... I’m the luckiest bard in the world!  Courting is so simple for me!”  The princess shrugged, and walked off.

The bard sat, sad.  But, he had an idea.  All he had to do was serenade the princess!  Days later, the princess sat at her room in the palace, when she heard music.  Opening the door she saw the bard.  “Look, really, I appreciate everything you’ve done, but I do not love you!”  She shut the doors, but he was determined.  Every day for the next month he sang to her, becoming more and more unhappy with her determination not to love him.

Eventually, she married a prince, and the bard was devastated.  It is said he threw himself off a cliff, singing his song of love.

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And there you have it.  I thought it was a bit of a downer personally, but its author says it’s just a story with a message.  And the moral of it is:

Don’t be so fucking cocky that you commit suicide at the first girl who doesn’t return your affections.

Sounds reasonable to me.

* Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you already knew I’m a Scorpio and a Horse, and I’ve dropped a few hints as to which decade of life I’m in, so at this point you should be able to work exactly when I was born ...

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