A King, An Ogre and A Festival
Written by: Bob Brumfield
High up on a mountain, there was a kingdom of Minutians ruled by his Majesty, good King Bill, and his queen, the Lady Elizabeth, the tallest of all their subjects. Every year on May 1, there was a celebration crowning the King and Queen of Spring. This year Bernard, the shoemaker’s son, was the crowd’s favorite choice to be the king and the beautiful daughter of the dressmaker Matilda to be his queen. Then the king would announce their engagement.
The night before, there was dancing, and dining, court jesters in their funny costumes, fire eaters, and magicians. Everyone had a fun time, that is, everyone except Rogar the Ogre. He hated the sound of laughter, and a lot was coming from the festivities.
The next evening King Bill would announce the winner of that year’s celebration, but Rogar had other ideas. He would kidnap Bernard and put an end to the festival. On April 30, he put his plan into effect. Sneaking into the shoemaker’s house, he threw a sack over Bernard’s head and carried him off to his cave. Bernard’s father, William, and his mother, Claire, went to the king and begged him to help.
“Please, please help us, Your Majesty, cried, William. Rogar has taken our boy.”
“Certainly, I’ll do what I can to save your son,” said King Bill.
King Bill sent one of his squires with a message to the ogre’s cave. The note said, “Rogar, it seems you have the upper hand. Let’s try to come to an agreeable solution. I’m willing to listen to any proposal within reason.”
Rogar sent the messenger back with his reply. His answer was filled with contempt.
“King Bill, seeing that you think so little of me as a subject, maybe, I can impress you as an enemy. I challenge you to a duel to the death.”
The messenger hurried back to the castle with the answer.
“What! Who does he think he is?” raged Bill.
“He’s the man who has my son,” Claire countered, “You can’t forget that.”
“No, I can’t, and I won’t, “promised Bill
Calling for his knights, King Bill explained the situation to them. And, in case he loses the battle, he chooses who would inherit the throne. He appointed Phillip the Brave to be his successor.
His knights were all in favor of storming the ogre’s cave, but the king pointed out it would dishonor his name to do such a thing. He had to go through with it. He sent his reply back to Rogar.
“Rogar, I have no other choice but to meet your demands. I will meet you on the Castle Green at daybreak, and we will settle this once and for all. I have only one request of my own. It would be best to let Bernard go and let the festival occur. I’ll meet you tomorrow at daybreak.”
The king’s messenger sadly took his message to the ogre’s cave. Rogar was overjoyed at the king’s answer. A look of pure evil came over his face. He knew defeating the king would cause the day to be a day of mourning, and he was confident of winning against King Bill because he had little experience in battle.
Rogar replied, “Bill, how foolish you are to think so highly of one of your subjects to risk your life for a shoemaker’s son. I will gladly accept those terms. “
All night long, his knights and even queen Elizabeth pleaded with him not to go through with such an unreasonable demand. After all, what did a shoemaker’s son matter?
“Think of what the loss of your life to the kingdom would mean. “They almost all said.
“Think of what the kingdom would think of me if that boy’s” life meant so little to me I wouldn’t even try to spare his life. “Came Bill’s reply.
All night long, Elizabeth his Queen, his squire Daniel, his knights, and Phillip the Brave prayed in the chapel for a miracle. As the sunrise in the eastern sky turned red, and the sun would soon appear, King Bill prepared to meet Rogar. Daniel began helping him into his armor which was rusty from lack of use. It was a little tight, and it squeaked a little when he moved.
He was ready.
With as much ceremony as the kingdom could muster, the company moved to Castle Green. Rogar was already waiting. Rogar said contemptuously, “I’m surprised you made it.” as King Bill approached.
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world, ” Bill said with the same contempt.
Suddenly Rogar swung his sword, surprising Bill, barely missing his head. He turned again, but King Bill was more prepared this time and dodged the swing. Back and forth, the battle went on. Clang! Clang! Clang! Their blades crashed against each other’s swords. Clang! Clang! Clang!
Back and forth the contest went when suddenly a new sound was heard. A loud thudding sound, and everyone knew a telling blow was landing. Standing over the fallen ogre was King Bill swaying on his feet, barely able to stand and lift his sword. The ogre fought his way to his knees and said:
“You fought a great fight. Now end it.” Rogar raised his head, exposing his neck.
“As did you,” Bill said
King Bill raised his sword over his head, brought it down on Rogar’s shoulders, and stated, “Arise, sir knight! “
Bernard and Matilda were unanimously elected King and Queen of Spring, and King Bill happily announced their engagement. The festival was a fantastic success attended by one happy ogre who loyally served the kingdom for the rest of his days.