August 13, 2010

Are You Sitting Comfortably? Another Bedtime Story...

Once Upon a Time...

There lived an Old Welsh Knight. He was the silliest old Knight who ever lived, and he liked to tell great tales of his life as a young Knight to anyone who would listen.

He used to tell tales, for instance, of how, as a young Knight, he fought great naval battles on great warships, and how he was once a member of a secret army who protected the Kingdom. In the great tales he told, he was the bravest, wisest and most popular Knight who ever lived.

But all of his great tales were just lies. He had just been a cabin boy on the great warship and had never seen a battle, and he had never, ever been a member of a secret army. He told the lies to try and make himself look big and brave and fierce, but he was really just a very silly, very sad and very lonely Old Knight.

His only friends in all the Kingdom were other lonely Knights, who would come to the tavern and share goblets of his boiled mead and swap great tales of bravery and derring-do; but the Old Welsh Knight always made sure that his own stories were bigger and better and more exciting than anyone else's.

But the Old Welsh Knight and his few friends were not all they pretended to be: One of the younger and most popular Knights of the group had once been locked in a dungeon for frightening children. He never told the other Knights this, because he was pretending to be a great Knight and wanted the others to like him. Another of the Knights would boast about how he had attacked great red dragons in his younger days, but had really only ever attacked his poor wife and children.

These Knights were happy, though, and spent long evenings in their tavern trying to impress one another with their great tales of heroism and bravery. The one thing that united them, the one thing upon which they were all agreed, was that their Kingdom had the greatest and wisest King in all the world, and that they would each willingly lay down their lives in his service.

But then, voices of dissent began to be heard throughout the Kingdom. People began to whisper in the taverns that the King was not the greatest and wisest in all the world: He was a cruel King, who stole the taxes of the poor and had all who disagreed with him thrown into exile.

The Old Welsh Knight and his few friends were angry to hear of people saying such things of their King, and would denounce them loudly, calling them “Traitor” and “Spy” and “Villain” and calling for their exile from the Kingdom.

And so it went on, for month after month.

But the voices of dissent spoke only the truth: For the King was indeed a cruel and despotic ruler, and more and more of his Subjects came to realise this.

But it wasn't just the people who had slowly come to see the truth about their King: There were even Knights - who had once been admired by the Old Welsh Knight and his few friends – who saw the truth about the King and denounced him, upon which the Old Welsh Knight and his few friends would suddenly turn against such Knights, shouting that they were traitors and claiming they had known all along that they were foreign spies.

And it wasn't very long before the Old Welsh Knight and his few friends were the only ones who still believed in the goodness and righteousness of their King.

Until, one day, the People had had enough, and they overthrew the King, and he was delivered up to the justice of his enemies. And in the ruins of his palace, the People found all the evidence to prove that the King had been every bit as bad – and worse - as everyone had said.

The Old Welsh Knight and his few friends saw the evidence, too, but were too proud and foolish to admit that it was all true and that they had been misled by the evil King for many years.

And even though the Old Welsh Knight and his few friends tried to bluster, and shout loudly about how they were still the wisest, and bravest, and truest Knights in all the Kingdom, the people simply ignored them, and laughed at them, and went about their business.

And the Old Welsh Knight and his few friends were soon entirely forgotten, and died, unloved and unmourned.


Anonymous said...

"Once Upon a Time..."

Thanks Dad.


Anonymous said...

locked in a dungeon for frightening children

haha i nearly fell off my chair when i read that

Anonymous said...

Another very poor vote for the Fascists last night!

River Ward, Medway UA. Con gain from Lab. Con 617 (44.6%, +5.6), Lab 544 (39.4%, -0.7), LD 104 (7.5%, -0.7), Green 45 (3.3%, +3.3), BNP 39 (2.8%, +2.8), Eng Dem 33

Anonymous said...

All I can say is, if, you have children I bet they think you are the greatest story teller going, if not I know of quite a few little ones that would hang on your every word