The Unfinished Tale of Knight Kevin

Chapter 1  Introduction                        
Of all the Knights who sat round Arthur’s table                                    
and told heroic tales of noble deeds                                    
of how they rescued damsels in distress                                    
and carried them to safety on their steeds                                    
or fought the evil barons in their castles                                    
delivered lowly folk who were enslaved                                    
or killed some awful monster in its lair                                    
and other situations to be saved …                                    
Of all these Knights was one who rode uniquely                                    
in every exploit tried, he always failed                                    
and other knights guffawed how things went wrongly                                    
recounting often all his goofy tales …                                    
“… Remember when entrusted with that message                                    
the king required delivered straight away                                    
and one week later reached the destination                                    
to find the message lost and gone astray …                                    
… Remember when he rescued Lady Anne                                    
and galloping away upon his horse                                    
she tumbled off the back, fell on the ground                                    
he galloped on not noticing, of course                                    
and when he reached a castle place of safety                                    
he turned around and gasped “where’s Lady Anne?”                                    
and realised only then what must have happened                                    
he had to try and rescue her again …                                    
… And what about that time he fought a dragon                           
his sword got stuck inside his tatty scabbard                           
and fleeing fast he tripped right down a well -                           
we pulled him out all freezing, drenched and haggard …                           
And then that scene with evil Baron Hardnut                           
who chased him up the tower to the top                           
forgetting where he was, jumped out the window                           
and bruised himself all over on the rocks …”                           
And so the knights laughed loud at his expense                           
a schadenfreude mixed with some concern                           
since Knights have reputations they must keep                           
but such success must honestly be earned …                           
… yet failure's how we learn to grow as humans                           
we have to keep on trying just the same                           
and that’s what this Knight did - he persevered:                           
a humble man, Sir Kevin was his name                           
And wise King Arthur held the bigger picture                           
said “Kev is not so good at certain things                           
his strengths lie dormant, yet to be discovered                           
and we might be in debt to what he brings                           
but courage has this man I’m sure aplenty                           
a stalwart heart, compassion for the poor                           
so though he fails to rescue any damsels                           
he’ll find his niche one day, surprise us all …”                          
Chapter 2  A Special Encounter                        
After a rest at the capital castle                          
Sir Kevin decided to ride forth once more                          
with mindfulness focused on being successful                          
else never return to King Arthur at all.                          
Ten days out riding he spied in the distance                          
a forest so thick, the way wasn’t sure                          
approaching its edges he felt his skin tingle                          
with fear and excitement, emotions galore                          
Dismounting his horse (who’s name was McTavish)                          
he entered the forest with caution, alone                          
an hour or so later the undergrowth quivered -                          
a sad eerie sound, plus a sickening groan …                          
And drawn to the strangeness he plied his way forward                          
heart beating fast on adrenaline high                          
drawing his sword he prepared to encounter                            
some awful big monster which authored that cry                          
But what did he find in the bushes half hidden -                          
some lesser-known creature, a bit like a bat                          
with both its wings broken, it lay there a-trembling                          
Sir Kevin’s eyes widened … “ye gods, what is that?”                          
and filled with compassion he knelt down in wonder                          
cupped the poor creature with love in his hands                          
though Kev didn’t notice what came from its nostrils -                          
a wee puff of smoke seeming harmless and bland ...                          
He carried it back to McTavish, still waiting                        
who took a deep breath when he saw what Kev brought                        
for horses aren’t stupid, they try to help humans                        
though humans don’t follow their different talk                        
yet savvy McTavish knew when to be silent                        
be patient and honour how Kevin must learn                        
and so he accepted the newcomer’s presence -                        
for destiny flows with its twists and its turns.                        
They camped for the night on the edge of the forest                        
and ended up staying there several weeks                        
since Kev was concerned his new friend should be rested                        
recover quite fully … and then be released …                        
And meanwhile he gave it the name of ‘Sir Alfred’                        
the name of his father who’d died long ago                        
for Kev was a babe when his dad died in a battle                        
so never had learned all the things he should know.                     
One bright sunny morn when the dew was still glistening                  
Sir Alfred flew up, went higher and higher                  
and looping the loop in a glorious freedom                  
he dive-bombed back down with a cry, breathing fire                  
Sir Kevin astonished, in keen admiration                  
said “look there McTavish, it wasn’t a bat                  
it is but a dragon, a wee baby dragon                  
and now he’s recovered - how lucky is that!”                  
For somewhere deep down, Sir Kev knew a story                  
a story now lost, distorted, killed off                  
that dragons who’re conquered with love and compassion                  
become something new - at which people still scoff                  
for serpents aren’t evil, the gofers for devils                  
they wish to evolve like the rest of us too                  
becoming upgraded - a dragon of wisdom                  
they know what’s a good life, a life that is true …                  
Sir Kevin looked up and he shouted to Alfred                  
“go there my friend, you’re free to be free”                  
the dragon swooped down and he sat on his shoulder                  
and whispered quite clearly “you’re joking - what me?                  
My parents were killed by some Knights of King Arthur                  
they left me for dead … I’ve nowhere to go                  
I’m now your companion for ever and ever                  
a natural law - it has to be so”                  
Kev was dumbfounded, he glanced at McTavish                  
who slowly glanced back as he smiled a deep smile                  
for both thinking likewise - their fortunes were changing …                  
‘the power of a dragon - and now on their side?’                  
“Let’s go” said Sir Alfred “adventure awaits us”                  
and Kev said “Karumba - we’re three in a team”                  
McTavish neighed happily, ran in a circle                  
and snorted “I’m ready!” … Oh boy, what a scene …                  
They trotted on briskly ‘till reached a small village                
and stopped there to drink from a newly-dug well                
when out ran a farmer who brandished a pitch-fork                
“Uh-oh” thought McTavish “the farmer from hell”.                
But they were mistaken, the baron’s bad henchmen                
had kidnapped his daughter, his ‘Tracy’ was she                
and thinking Sir Kevin was one of their number                
he’d wanted revenge as was plainly to see                
Up jumped Sir Kevin,“no worries good fellow                
we’ll rescue your daughter, be back in a jiff …”                
McTavish sighed cautiously, raised half an eyebrow                
hoping this time they’d succeed with no hitch …                
They galloped away to the baron’s old castle                
with ‘Tavish intrigued by the thickening plot                
they rode through the night ‘till the next day was dawning                
while Alfred flew high - and then signalled to stop.                
Chapter 3  The Rescue                
From their wooded vantage point the trio spied the castle              
built upon forbidding ground, a rocky craggy hill              
set against a brooding skyline stood its ugly tower              
chances sneaking in unseen were virtually nil              
Kevin said “we’ve not a clue where Tracy’s held as captive              
might be in the dungeon-pit or might be in the tower              
Alfred said “I’ll fly by night to give me decent cover              
check it out, reporting back - will take but half an hour”              
Nightfall came, a storm was brewing, off flew dragon Alfred              
black on black disguising well from soldiers on patrol              
landing at the tower window, peaked inside the prison              
nothing to be seen at all except a pile of clothes              
On the point of heading back he thought he saw a movement              
underneath that pile of clothes was someone keeping warm?              
Hooted gently like an owl to rouse the sleeping stranger              
suddenly some thunder crashed with lightening from the storm …              
In a flash the person there was suddenly awakened            
standing svelte a stunning maiden blessed with golden hair            
walking to the window where she gasped at seeing Alfred            
fairest maiden of them all could only stand and stare            
“I’m Sir Alfred” said the dragon “come to rescue Tracy            
“are you Tracy by the way, been kidnapped from a farm?”            
“No I’m not, I’m Lady Gwen, or ‘Gwendolyn’ more fully            
Tracy works with kitchen staff - errr, has she come to harm?”            
“Made a slave is harm enough, but what ’bout you m’lady?”            
Gwendolyn said “not a clue” with tears in her eyes            
“all my life I’ve lived up here - see no-one but the servants            
life is awful, help me please … and soon, or else I’ll die”            
“Do not fear my Lady Gwen, tonight you will be rescued            
first I’ll melt these window-bars, prepare for your escape”            
Al blew darting shots of fire, and soon the bars were melting            
“we’ll be back” he said to Gwen, and left her feeling great …            
Kev was gobsmacked when Sir Alfred finished his reporting          
“people think a dragon snatched and ate her in their lair          
now we’ve two to rescue too, we’d better do some planning          
extra help we’ll need as well …” said Kev in some despair.          
Then they heard a scuffling sound emerging from the woodland          
standing soon amongst them all, an ageing wild boar          
“greetings friends, a storm is brewin’ - why you sat ‘ere talkin'          
staring at the castle like you got a plan - what for …?          
Every night I forage food from round about that fortress          
know its movements back to front, so tell me what’s your game?”          
Kev replied “we’re here to rescue Lady Gwen and Tracy          
much depends on how it goes - and that is why we came”          
“Well I never” said the boar “I know a secret doorway          
leadin’ to the servant’s quarters near the kitchen store          
guess the one who’s Tracy is the recent new arrival …          
by the way my name is Brian … what we waitin’ for?” …          
“That takes care of Tracy, fine, but what about the lady?”        
Kev was thinking out aloud “we’ll need a length of rope …”        
“Maybe in the armoury” said Brian, getting restless        
“maybe in the dungeon-pit - I’m hungry, time to go…”        
“Problem’s solved” Sir Alfred said “remember all that clothing?        
Gwen will make a rope from them and that will do the trick        
tie it to the hooked-shaped bar I melted to be ready        
Brian’s right, so why we waiting? Time we left real quick”        
Moving fast towards the castle, stormy weather raging        
Kev and Brian soon locate the secret passage door        
Al and ‘Tavish make their way ’til right beneath the tower        
Gwendolyn had sussed the plan - it wasn’t that obscure.        
From the window smooth as clockwork rope is slowly lowered        
agile Gwen climbs quickly down and grasps the horse’s back        
riding round the other side where Kev and Trace are waiting        
all goes well ‘till suddenly … a massive thunderclap! …        
‘Tavish rears, the three fall off as lightening shines a spotlight        
soldiers see the escapade and raise a loud alarm        
‘Tavish calms, the three jump on but such a load is weighty        
soldiers quickly catching up intent on doing harm …        
Lightening strikes the castle tower, soon a fire is burning        
all the soldiers turn around to help put out the flames        
distancing themselves still further, ‘Tavish plodding onwards        
soon they reach the safety of the woods from whence they came        
Looking back they see the fire roar like hell’s inferno        
Alfred said “that castle’s burning right into the ground”        
Kevin said “… and where is Brian? Such a helpful ally …”        
Tracy said “is that that thievin’ boar we never found?        
‘Ope he’s roasted, serve ‘im right for bein’ such a nuisance”        
Gwendo said “roast pork is really not my favourite meal”        
Alfred said “I see him coming, ‘gainst the flaming backdrop’        
Brian said “ … a little singed … but else was no big deal …”        
Tracy was returned to daddy, busy on the homestead        
Brian said goodbye to all and left for pastures new        
Kev and Gwendo headed homeward riding on McTavish        
relishing his usefulness, kept quiet ‘bout his views        
Some days later reached the modest castle of Sir Kevin        
Gwendolyn said “love it, love it, what a charming space”        
there she rested as a guest, enjoyed the taste of freedom        
both of them loved little Alfred flying round the place.        
Chapter 4  A Calm Before A Storm        
There followed on idyllic years      
Sir Kevin married Gwendolyn      
they made the castle like a home      
and had six children … two were twins.    
And as his reputation changed      
from ‘loser’ to a ‘can do’ man      
the other knights were real impressed      
and put it down to Gwendolyn      
and thus believed successful men      
have stronger women by their side -        
that may be true but none of them      
have special dragons for advice      
and as Sir Alfred’s wisdom grew      
he also grew in strength and size      
which made it hard to keep him hid      
from growing rumors, prying eyes.      
And meanwhile Baron Hardnut had  
rebuilt his castle, sure and strong  
but blamed the Knights for all his woes  
and felt he’d been severely wronged.  
“That damned Sir Kevin …” raged the baron  
“… got to get revenge one day ...”    
he hatched a plan and then sent word  
proposed a duel, come what may  
King Arthur knew the baron’s ways  
and trusted not he’d play it fair  
for Hardnut was a coward and  
he schemed with every so-called dare  
but challenges require response  
he’d need advice to suss the plot  
and so sent word to all the Knights  
to come at once to Camelot.  
Chapter 5  A Reconciliation  
Into the magnificent hall at Camelot they came  
dressed in their finery, with wives and children too  
Kevin and Gwendolyn of course, plus their tribe of six  
when suddenly into the Great Hall a dragon flew …  
instinctively the other Knights drew their swords  
and Alfred blew some fire to warn them all  
now ten foot long (plus tail) he cut an awesome sight -  
Sir Kevin shouted “STOP my fellow knights, put down your swords!  
for centuries dark lords like Baron Hardnut and his type  
enslaved fair maidens and blamed the dragons instead  
creating enmity between us and these creatures …  
and now’s the time to put this old lie, finally, to bed”.  
The famed Knights, trained in chivalry and humility  
looked to King Arthur who, seeing a special moment, rose  
“fellow knights, deep down you know Sir Kevin has spoken true    
perhaps the dragon also has some words to say … I suppose …”  
Sir Alfred, accepting a clear and gifted opportunity
flew down and landed by the large open fire:
children, adults and wary dogs wandering for scraps
looked on in amazement; fell silent. “It requires …”
he began “… a rebuilding of trust. My parents were killed
by three Knights, two of whom are actually standing here
but we have a greater issue to deal with right now
I am speaking, of course, about a primal fear
whether or not we can live together once more -
humans and dragons in harmony - remains to be seen
tonight we will find an answer to this vital question …
I need each of you to demonstrate a new start - I mean
you Knights have killed many of us, even claiming God’s will
we dragons have killed many of you, in self-defence -
approach me one by one, sword ready in hand and put
your head into my open mouth - let the ritual of trust commence!”
(to be continued ...)
Written by Josh
Published | Edited 25th May 2019
Author's Note
Still working on it ... :))
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