I was sitting in the evening sunshine on the grass outside of my castle watching the mallards at play when I heard a soft squeak.
I looked overhead as Mr. Squirrel ran higher in his tree and the Cooper hawk took flight but saw nothing. Then I heard it again a soft squeak closer this time but still I did not know what it was.
I laid back down to rest and enjoy the evening sun on my face and the sound of the early Spring bees buzzing amid the smell of the dogwoods and azellias. Then again that familiar squeak.
My brain searched in vain its memory of that sound and then it flashed before me but too late!
The four prongs of the walker pinned my chest to the ground. The new extra padded rubber feet had hid her approach and I was trapped. There above me galaring down out of the sunlight was the evil Peggysue . . .
Where have you been she asked? What have you been up to? Why did you leave MM? Are you dating? Have you found a lady to share your home?
She unscrewed one of the handles to reveal a I-Pod and started torturing me with Rap music. The other opened to reveal a Blackburry.
Join now or listen to rap till you are insane she screamed leaning ever heavier on my chest with the walker. Then the utmost of tortures a new honky honk horn no longer with a rubber ballon but now battery operated blasted my ears.
And so I confessed. No I am not dating. No I have found no one to share my castle. I left MM because I did not find that lady I was searching for and all I have been up to is working and going home.
You horrible scroundel! She screamed. Spending time alone! Failing to keep MM faith!
The music and horn stopped as I took the Blackbury from her hand. She eased the walker just enough to allow my credit card into my shaking hand and so I returned to MM once again.
God grant me success this time for that scarry sight of the evil Pehggysue still haunts my sleep and all I can wish for is the damsel of my dreams to hear my cry and appear . . .
The bridal garland landed in the outreached hand of Lady Susan who barely beat the Lady Wendy to the prize.
Sir Thomas who had been courting her for almost four years immediately knelt at Lady Susan's feet and proposed marriage to her which she radiantly accepted.
The knight smiled at the loving couple and then heard a crash of pottery behind him. He turned to see a cheeky little girl covered in jelly with a small cut in her hand from the broken plate scattered all around her. He reached for a napkin and began cleaning her gently asking her name as a servant assisted to clean up the mess.
In response the little girl simply put her arms around his neck and cried. The knight winced as she touched his neck and yet something marvelous happened. His neck was healed and the pain of the wasp sting left him as did the funny sensation passing through his body.
My name is angel she replied softly as he asked her name once more. Just then a beautiful lady with blond hair and the greenest eyes the knight had ever seen came up to him.
He stood the little girl rising with him in his safe arms.
"Are you ok dear?" she asked.
"Yes mummy." the little girl responded.
"May I have my daughter?"
"Of course" He replied still mesmorised by her green eyes that seem to sparkle like perfect jewels in a firmanent of beauty.
"Lady Jennifer" She said as if in answer to his thoughts.
"My pleasure." He smiled
Her smile in return was like a burst of sunlight from behind a passing cloud on a summers day. Its radiance overcame him.
The lady turned to leave with her child but Angel was tugging at his leg and her skirt at the same time and they both bent to see what she wanted bumping heads in the process.
The lady of the manor appeared and said "Well I suppose that is one form of introduction".
They both laughed rubbing their foreheads.
"Why don't you two dance while I get Angel some jelly?"
"May I?" Asked the knight offering his hand.
"Of course you may."
It was a quiet evening and the knight walked the battlement with his friend Sir Rodger talking over old times before the banquet. The knight had arrived to attend the wedding of Sir Rodger's only daughter.
The loving couple named Margaret and David cut the wedding cake and everyone applauded just as the two knights entered the room. The proud father similed and then noticed a pesky wasp lying on one of the tables no doubt attracted by the sweet smell of the food and cake. He reached for a napkin to squash the horrible little bug.
It had been a long flight and Frank lay resting on a table, trying to get his wind back, looking around the room attempting to see the knight amongst all the beautiful people dressed in their finery. The late evening sun felt good on his back. Suddenly it went dark!
In fear Frank flew off of the table and high into the air.
"Bah missed him". Sir Rodger said.
The knight laughed "Don't make it angry or it will sting someone."
Suddenly as if the wasp heard his very own words it came straight for him and stung him on the neck.
The knight was surprised at the weird sensation that came over him more than the pain. His friends wife on seeing what happened immediately came over and had the knight sit down. She then carefully removed the sting and rubbed the area with a little alcohol.
"Some of the sting will have already entered your system as it hit a vein but removing the barb has taken most of it away and the alcohol should help in reducing the pain of the sting and keep your neck from swelling." The kind lady Melissa told the knight.
"No worse than a scratch." The knight replied and yet he felt strange and was feeling stranger every minute.
The throwing of the bridal crown was taking place. That garland of flowers worn by the bride on her head as she was married at the alter was supposed to bring luck to the maiden who caught it and all believed that she would be the next to marry . . .
Love is given and not received,
Like a cooling summer breeze,
It comes with scent of flowers,
Of azure skies and gentle hours.
It is the time I share with thee,
In simple moments neath a tree,
As we lye and touch and kiss,
These simple things they bring me bliss.
Into my life you came one day,
On a summer night far away,
I in time did realize,
You were a treasure and not a prize.
A gift from God to teach me well,
The important one who saved me from hell,
How did you achieve this task?
Through faith in the One who lasts.
My love for you it made me change,
Although at first I found this strange,
Slowly bit by bit I placed my trust in it,
This feeling of love from deep inside.
The knight rode on, his memory of his old friend's words as fresh in his mind as the first time he had read them on the scroll shaking in his hand as he cried. Was that it? Would he lose his next battle and someone would weep and shed a teardrop for him? Mysteries confound them all!
On my faithful steed onward we have many miles to cover before nightfall.
The maidens words haunted the knight. He wondered who if anyone would ever shed a teardrop for him. Who if anyone would bring him love. And this talk of mystery and keys? He was confused and yet he looked back through the mists of time to when the old Moor had first approached him asking the knight for help in his time of need and the knight had gladly aided his fellow man.
A friendship developed there and many words of wisdom the old Moor had shared with him. Many meals too he had enjoyed with his old friend and his family.
He remembered the Moor's daughter a product of two cultures both east and west and a poem her father had written for her mother that she gave him at her father's funeral.
She simply said my father wished that I should give this to you . . .
The knight rode out on his charger called black beauty. Her sister black streak had been his mount earlier that day and he felt blessed to have two such fine steeds that Lexi the Stablemaster had sold him for ten acres and 40 ducats of gold.
As he rounded the bend that ran towards the fork between the village and the dark wood he saw a fair maiden standing alone looking just a trifle bewildered. "May I help you?" He asked.
May I ask you a question sire?"
"You perform valiant deeds and assist those in need?"
"Yes maid that I do"
"And if I ask will you a boon for me do?"
"If it is in my power . . .yes."
"Will you answer a question for me then Sir knight."
"Certainly." Our brave knight replied.
"Do you search for love?"
"I did once he replied" . . . the blue eyes turning misty as if searching a painful memory of the distant past.
"Then tell me true and your words I will measure for you." the fair maid replied.
Past the mist and the marsh whence the unicorn came is a tale of a sorceress. She has never been sen lore has it she is beautiful , an old hag no one knows for sure. Truth be told she is a shape shifter for she can be anyone or thing she desires. Her magic is good and very rarely uses it unless she feels it necessary to use it. Her magic is the most powerful in the land.
walking through the village is a figure wrapped in a cape and hood ; this figure is handing out food and aid to villagers looking for the old hag. She has heard of the old hags plight to help a knight find a fair maiden and has touched her so deeply she is willing to join forces with the old hag, for this is not what she uses her magic for but the plight has filled her heart with so much love she will join forces.She has left word that she is searching and will know if the old hag is willing to speak to her. She goes back to the mist of which she came to await word.
The young maiden's back quivered as she felt that she had just been lashed and she let out a soft howl of inner pain.
Yet magically the two remaining shirts in her basket changed from polo to crew neck shirts. They were magnificent! Made with that material her sister had once called silk. A material from far away in the east. Her sister liked it because she said it was made from the spinning of worms and sold by merchants to the elite and rich.
Her sister spat out those words for she hated privilege and wealth, yet could turn pewter into gold at will. She knew also that her sister herself wore silk box like appendages under her course knit hawthorn dress. The reason the sad maiden knew was because she was forced to hand wash them in the creek and it made her so sad every time because downstream all the fish died.
The girl did not know what to do. She knew she had been given a second chance by her evil twin but how to trap this knight? What on earth could she do?
Suddenly she looked up and there riding towards her was our knight . . .
The shirts were very well made and seemed a perfect fit. Funny they had the smell of fresh pine on a clear sunny morning. Each one slightly different in odor not unpleasant but a kind of woodland smell that he liked.
Removing his gloves and heavy leather and under cotton shirt he tried on one of the polo shirts.
A funny feeling started to come over him. What was it? He made to try yet another shirt but was running a little late and so headed for his new contraption imported from Alhambra in Spain. A marble and ceramic tub called a bath complete with warm water and soothing oils. What was it his friend the old Moor called it? Yes liquid soap whatever that was. He liked it anyway. It refreshed him after a hard day in the saddle. His old friend had told him wash regularly and you will retain good health.
His fellow knights thought him silly to bath every day but he did feel better for it. Funny since entering the bath the funny sensation seemed to go away?
He strolled back into his bedroom to see a horrible sight. The shirts were a crumpled mess of rotten leaves and grasses with what appeared to be some kind of speckled powder scattered over them. One thing caught his attention. There in the midst shinning like a bright ray of the sun was a single silver thread of hair.
Judging by its length it had to have come from the devout and pure lady on his estate everyone called affectionately aunt Maggie.
Maggie lived in a small hut near the rivers edge and was midwife, healer of the sick and the most giving, caring woman in the world. At 98 she had been around a long time and yet the kindness and caring that flowed from the purest heart radiated an inner beauty for all to see.
The knight put on his gauntlets and took out the foul heap to the garden where Harlod the gardner was burning rubbish from the kitchen. The knight threw the leaves and grass on the fire and swore he felt a chill run up his spine and thought he heard a distant howl of a wolf.
The simpleton of a guard looked out through the portal to see a vision of beauty. His master had gone riding that morning and his last order was to keep the drawbridge up till the knight returned but the girl smiled radiantly at the guard making him weak at the knees. She sweetly asked "what is your name?"
"Thomas maam" he replied stuttering. "I have a gift for the honorable knight who lives here may I come in and visit with him?" she replied adding softly "Thomas". The guard blushed never had he heard his name sound so wonderful to his ears.
"I am afraid I cannot do that madam." The lady bent forward to pick a wild flower revealing more than a hint of cleavage in the process. Thomas opened the drawbridge immediately and strode out trying his best to look impressive.
"If you leave the gift with me I will see that he gets it." The lady smiled and again murmered "Thomas". The sound was like the sweetest music his ears had ever heard. This girl was a dream come true a vision of perfection.
She wanted to trust the fool of a guard but if the knight did not get the polo shirts then her evil sister would punish her in some terrible unimaginable way. Thinking of this scared her so much she actually rembered that he was his sisters brother. That woman had changed Frank so much he didn't know if he was coming or going. That last time when he was a bat sent out to check on a rival baron who was putting up his sisters rent was really scarry but he was rewarded when he reported him cheating on his wife. His sister was still blackmailing the old fool.
Hmm what to do? Divide and conquer that was the answer. "I will give you all except two of these shirts she replied but you must have the serving wench place them in his closet without washing them". "OK maam." Thomas replied sad to see the girl depart. He raised the drawbridge and gave the shirts to the maid to place in the knights closet.
She went down the path towards the village and waited for the knight.
I came out of the shower and looked at the bruises on my chest and arm left by the aluminum-mum-mum walker and stuck out my tongue which was turning from black to a lighter shade of purple from that foul tasting potion poured down my throat.
Thankfully the desire for romance was also subsiding back into the recess of my brain. Phew that was a close one! A few more ounces of that putrid liquid and I may have become a serious searcher of a soul mate.
I decided immediately to put double sided sticky tape all around my property. $10,000.00 seemed a bit stiff but the local tradesman assured me that no rubber tipped walker could cross such a barrier. The woman is devious I replied but he simply said "trust me Sire".
I did for he was a friendly soul and yet as he clip clopped away I could not help thinking that the sign on the back of his wagon left me wondering "frank repeat business garanteed". Was it just the fact that he could not spell or the fact that his horse wore rubber boots?
I do not know the angel that God has intended for me to meet and so I give these words to all those angels who I may meet till one day that special one brightens my days with a smile brighter than the mid-day sun.
Word of Wisdom
Underneath the stars of heaven,
Once a gift I was given,
It was a word I heard in prayer,
The name of her who was not there.
In season and in time,
God's not men's nor mine,
I knew that through grace,
She to me would come.
To me though I did not understand,
For man cannot see the hidden hand,
Of a fair destiny yet to be,
Of love's wishes cast upon the amber sea.
The sea of time that unfolds,
Just as the universe's Master foretold,
I cannot tell you how or why,
I will simply love her till I die.
An angel placed here on earth,
One set above the rest,
To have and to hold from this day forth,
No more may I say of course.
Yet within my heart beats a drum,
That pounds out her name,
And makes it course in every vein,
Till it's back in my heart again.
It is a word selected from a foreign land,
By a beautiful lady with an empty hand,
Yet in her mind still she sees,
An evening sunset across an ocean breeze.
And on a distant shore her thought it reaches me,
And for a little while I stop,
Thinking of her idle thoughts,
And as I smile with ease knowing she thought not of me.
Yet in this universe untold,
Magic things they do unfold,
And like fairy stories told of old,
A knight is reminded.
And as I turn to leave a gentle breeze it touches me,
I stop and turn around and there I see upon the ground,
A blossom from a distant magnolia tree,
And wonder how far it took the wind to bring it to me?