“So as far as fairy tales go, there is always a damsel in distress. Sure does help if the damsel is the princess of the land. Lovely as heaven and delicate and fragile as our soaring egos 🙂
The tale remains incomplete without a charming prince. Charming in every way possible. This aint that kinda story. Well at least not entirely!
The land was happy. The king was fair and just. Two apples of his eyes, his queen and his perfect princess Ellena. For a while, their happiness knew no bounds. As far as fairy tales go, such happiness is never meant to last. And it didn’t either. No surprises there. You see, Ellena was cursed with a spell. The day she turned 18, she was to sleep a dead person’s sleep.
The jester thought it wasn’t a big deal. 18 was the legal age to hit the local tavern. An evening in the tavern usually resulted in a dead person’s sleep. Ale… The tavern sold the best ale in the kingdom.
Unfortunately, the joke was all a joke and it could not be anything beyond that. The princess hit 18, and that night when she slept, she wouldn’t wake up the day after. She wouldn’t wake the day that followed. The weeks and months that followed brought no new welcome change. This worried the king a lot. Word was sent to all the kingdoms around that the prince who could wake her up, would win her hand and could rule their land as well.
Princes gathered. Princes wondered. A smart prince had figured out a plan that could work. Blood of a slain dragon, its final breath of fire were what it would take for the princess to awaken from her slumber of slumbers. The prince called upon his bravest of knights. The task was handed and a quest had begun.
It took a while. It wouldn’t be much of quest if it could be accomplished that easy. The knight braved the elements, he braved his fears and finally braved the nasty dragon. Blood was shed, scars were newly made. End of the day, a dragon was slain, its blood in a jar and its breathe of fire was kept burning bright.
A gala celebration was in order. Ellena was finally up. The prince held her hand. He was her celebrated hero. The two kingdoms rejoiced. Lovely princess and a handsome prince. A pair tailored to perfection. A match made in heaven indeed. The frenzy could not be curtailed. The people were overjoyed. Ale flowed like a raging river and merry was made all the while.
Far away in a corner, a concerned young lad frowned. He was the knight’s young apprentice. New to the ways of the world. He thought courage and gallantry were the currencies used by knights to gather fame and admiration of the masses around. His inexperience showed. His eagerness was obvious. His disappointment could not be masked. But you did the dirty work, he protested. You slayed the dragon. You brought the princess back to her life. The world will never speak of you or your deeds of courage. The world will never hear your solemn promise to uphold the words of your oath. Its not fair, he worried.
The knight couldn’t help but smile. His young apprentice had a lot to learn. Swords and battle were a child’s play compared to the many lessons of life one picks. His young apprentice had a long way to go.
You see, the knight started. I’m a knight by choice. My courage is a making of my choice. I choose to throw my life to dangerous quests. I choose to risk getting killed for kicks and fun. I never wanted princesses yearning for my return. I am not what kings are made of. I don’t really aspire for riches untold. I love my life. I love the roads long. I love my steed , its loyal ways of life. I love to live by my blade. And better still, I am in immense love with this armour of mine, he said pointed to his bashed up beaten dented armour.
What? This armour? , the young apprentice remarked. He could not comprehend the mediocre ambitions of his teacher. The armour was an armour like any other. It was not special in any way possible. It was old, tarnished and the shine had long worn off. This made no sense to him. His teacher was now a disappointment too. He lacked ambition, he lacked fame. the worst, he lacked that desire to even dream of ambitions. The young apprentice felt that he had wasted his life following a wrong teacher.
This one? whats so special about this one?? It will barely survive another quest. You must be joking , said the young apprentice.
The knight smiled. This was my very first armour. It continues to be the only armour I’ve ever had. Do you know why?
The apprentice shook his head. He had no clue what so ever!!!
You see little lad, the blacksmith. A wonderful daughter he has. She’s my biggest fan. Better than bards, she knows my tales. More than my life, she owns my heart. There is a lot of love and care that goes when she mends my armour. She restores it. She keeps me alive and she keeps our love alive. The secret to life is, my little apprentice, not all fairy tales are of princesses and princes …. there is a lot to a tale beyond the walls of a castle.
The young apprentice understood it all now. A knight in pursuit of treasure is always a restless one. Reckless ambition that usually invites reckless death. His teacher was not that kind. He had found his dearest and most precious treasure. That changed everything. Not mediocre, not lacking ambition. Just the smile of a satisfied content man.