[A light-hearted and humorous take on the old knights tale…]
The dragon smelled as dragons do. Something similar to a blacksmith’s furnace I would imagine, then again I’ve smelled similar things coming from certain kitchens I’ve dined in. The food probably as foul as its breath.
It came to be that I was there for a reason so predictable that I bet it goes down in legend. I was there to rescue a princess caught up and taken captive by this beastly dragon. I should say it has been done so often now that they should not be allowed to roam free. Princess’s I mean, since they always seem to blunder into the worst of messes.
“Hold there I say! I’ve come to rescue that lass!” I had long come to the conclusions that these dragons were smarter then they appeared. Indeed capable of thought as great as a human’s. Not just these beasts that most assume.
Sure most had mocked my ideas and even claimed me half-mad at them but as the dragon turned, sitting on its overgrown haunches and eyeing me like a curious thing I still assumed I was right. It snorted as its response.
“Very well then, if you will not take to diplomacy then you shall taste my blade!” And doing as all knights must, I moved my hand to my hilt and with a great hoist I proceeded to unsheathe my blade… which to my slight embarrassment didn’t move from its sheath.
A lesson to those younger knights out there, this is why cleaning ones blade is very important. It seems the blood from my last kill, a hydra it was, had dried my sword straight to the metal of my sheath.
Now I admit I was looking rather perplexed as the dragon regarded me closer. I strained to pull my blade out once more and in becoming so intent at trying to remove the blasted thing I slipped in my saddle. With a loud thud, armor and all I happened upon being face to face with the belly of my steed.
Now being in a real pickle, I decided that I really did need to shape up, as the dragon’s large eyes gained an odd look in them. I figured it was hunger as it moved a bit closer. My steed is a strong war-horse, but not all too bright. When it saw the lumbering creature come closer it realized it needed to retreat and I was left standing alone with no sword while my horse watched from the road at least 6 yards away.
“You incompetent idiot!” caught me by surprise as I looked past the dragon to notice the tied princess seeming somewhat annoyed.
“I don’t see what your problem is, I’m doing all the work!” I corrected her quickly as my eyes turned to my current situation. I tried to recall my heroic training. Big dragon, no sword, no horse… it seemed a bit tricky. Gauntlets being the easiest to remove were the first things I thought of. Quickly I had removed my right one and brandished it like a weapon.
“A hah! Now again I ask you to hand over the princess and leave the area!” I shouted loudly, gaining back my knightly flare.
“It’s a Dragon! It can’t understand you!” Again came the criticism from the princess. I started to wish this one had been gagged as some I know had. Now gaining a slight understanding for why some of them were…
“If you will mi’lady I am not talking to you!” I shouted past the dragon, as it again grew closer. If I were not as noble as I am I might have added in a few other comments not suitable for this tale.
Now where was I. Oh yes, the beast and I were on equal ground. It with its massive teeth and claws and I with my gauntlet. I know it seems a bit uneven, but you must remember I am a highly trained knight.
It opened its loud jaws and let out a roar I haven’t heard in months. It left a slight ringing in my ears and a vibration through the metal of my armor. I realized that was only a warning roar before it would open its bellows and shoot out a stream of burning fire.
That was the moment I knew I had to act. Now it might have looked like I flung the gauntlet out of pure panic, but I assure you I had aimed. And the only reason I had ducked and shielded myself was to keep any fire from my face if it had happened to let out its fire first.
So with my well-aimed shot with the gauntlet it seemed the beast had swallowed it
whole. The piece of metal piercing its jugular enough so the fire burned his insides… or some other nonsense. I kill dragons not explain them.
Either way the beast hit the ground with a rather loud thud, enough to make my balance waver a moment. I stood over my foe with fierce pride as it let out a last gurgle of breath; that sent a wave of heat at me. I would have waited the standard five minutes to relish in the battle, but there came an annoying voice pulling my attention somewhere else.
“What are you doing?! Get over here an untie me!” Ah yes.
Well it was the next thing on my list, so I promptly left my place and wandered to where she stood tied to a rather large bolder.
“Ah yes mi’lady I have come to save you! Now if you will just hold still.” As if she could do anything else at the moment. Still courtesy is courtesy.
I slipped around behind her and began untying the knots before something curious struck me. I don’t know why it had never occurred to me to ask any of the others I had rescued, but I felt the urge to ask it now.
“Just how does a dragon so big like that ever tie a princess with knots like these anyway? I mean these knots are so small and well tied you would think he couldn’t manage things like that with claws so large.” I would have thought more about this but her sudden outburst caused me to leave my train of thought.
“What the hell is your problem?! I have never seen a man so dimwitted in all my life!” and then she let out a scream almost as piercing as the dragons had been.
I looked down to notice I did have another gauntlet. I mean if she was about to spew fire out her mouth like her eyes were doing at that moment it might just come in handy. Either way I managed to free her from those pesky knots.
“There you go, free at last!” I moved in front of her as she rubbed the red marks across her wrists. I leaned forward a bit, expecting the usual kiss as all knights are suppose to receive after such a daring feat. It’s almost an unsaid agreement.
One that this princess broke as instead of a small kiss against my lips, I felt her fist collide there instead knocking me back a bit in surprise. Merely surprise of course as everyone knows girls hit much weaker then men. The whole fact my lip was bleeding was only coincidental.
“What on earth was that for?” My pride was genuinely hurt.
“You actually thought I was going to kiss you? You stupid knight! I… I should have your head for this! You just wait till my father hears of this!”
“Excuse me, but if it wasn’t for me you would be dragon food mi’lady! A kiss is standard fees for such heroics.” I brushed myself off and grunted. “If you didn’t want to be rescued you should have told me!”
For some reason this seemed to provoke her more as she suddenly made noises as if she were having a hard time breathing. Grunting and growling and carrying on in such an unladylike manner.
I shook my head, about to give up on the whole affair as I walked towards my steed, which had come closer from his hiding place at the main rode. Loyal bugger, if not a bit dull as I said but at least he hadn’t left me trapped with the beast. The princess I mean, not the dragon- though the smell from charred dragon carcass was just as fowl a fate.
I offered the disheveled maiden a ride into town and bent low to hoist her up behind me, but again only received an indignant look for my efforts. To think, I Sir Fredrick of the gallant knights being treated in such a manner. This woman was all but impossible! I had rescued her from a dragon, been denied payment, and now was being treated like a common scoundrel!
“Mi’lady…” I grit my teeth and tried to keep my noble composure. “Do you intend to sleep on the ground, in the rain tonight? Or would you please allow me to accompany you into town?” Maybe she suffered some sort of madness? A poor shame. Maybe her parents had paid the dragon to steal her away.
She seemed to finally listen to logic as she grabbed my hand and I had prepared to hoist her up… that was until she yanked hard and I found myself slipping from the saddle. I swore I needed to fix that blasted thing. The saddle had to be broken for me to fall from it so many times.
Before I had a chance to pick my heavy armored body from the floor, I felt her foot on my backside as she mounted my horse.
“What are you doing?” I turned to find her fairly well adjusted in my place, already rearing my horse back and away from me. Maybe she didn’t understand what with that hysteria and all that. “I know you’re confused, let me lead you back to town Mi’lady before you hurt yourself. I’m sure there’s some medication or that you can get to make you feel all better again.” I was only looking out for her after all.
“You’re the only confused one here! You blithering idiot!” She snorted.
That was even less lady-like of her.
“You call yourself a knight? You’re clumsy, rude, stupid and weak! Why you’re just lucky that dragon was just as stupid as you!” With that she turned my warhorse around and plotted off quickly towards town.
I was left abandoned. I tried calling for my horse, but he didn’t turn. I suspect her mad yelling must have deafened him. What a world this was becoming! Well, I was a royal knight. I suppose I could enjoy the brisk walk back to town. Though I couldn’t help wondering if any other knights had such trying ordeals as I, the great knight Fredrick had dealt with today.
Ah well. I suspect it’s all well and good.
After all, it was part of being a knight I suppose.