|Follow the littlest knight as he battles to save the kingdom from the terrible dragon and win the hand of the princess.|
|A Children's Book|
Written and Illustrated by Carol Moore
The Princess was the King and Queen's only child and it should come as no surprise that the little blacksmith loved her very much for she was both kind and beautiful. She was even smaller than he, and had dancing eyes and long silken hair which she wore in a coiled braid. But, alas, the little blacksmith could admire the Princess only from afar because she was, after all, a princess and he but a lowly blacksmith--not even that tall.
Many knights went to battle and many knights were hurt as the dragon moved closer and closer to the castle. The King declared whosoever killed the dragon would be granted half his kingdom. Now knights came from across the sea. They were the most fierce, the bravest and the biggest knights anyone had ever seen. A thousand of them gathered to attack the dragon.
But with his great wings the dragon took no time in knocking 50 knights from their horses and breathing fire on the rest. He said,
In desperation the King proclaimed whosoever solved the riddles and killed the dragon would be granted their heart's desire.
Now the merchants got busy. Suddenly there were swords everywhere: fat swords, skinny swords, sharp swords, dull swords, fancy swords, but mostly tiny swords so that one man might carry many of them. But a tiny sword is more like a dagger and most knights were too proud to carry a sackful of daggers.
here was also a need for building materials to make the bridge, all kinds and shapes of wood and rock and rope and twine. Of course, with all this material they needed carts to carry it and animals to pull it so there was a run on wagons and horses and donkeys and oxen.
Lastly, the chinaware merchants had a field day. They sold crystal goblets, wooden goblets, big cups, little cups, coffee cups, fat cups, skinny cups. To fill these cups the wine merchants and the milkmaids sold red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, cow's milk, goat's milk and all types of fruit juice.
As a matter of fact, the kingdom had never known such commercial success. Nothing was left of anything resembling a sword or building material, or a wagon to hold it, or an animal to pull it, and there was not a drop of liquid left in all the kingdom but ordinary water.
What was left were sacks and sacks and sacks of money piled everywhere. And did this do any good? No. The knights for all their effort and all their supplies couldn't defeat the dragon and now the countryside was strewn with debris and the kingdom was a mess.
Only the little blacksmith's heart was full of hope for he finally had a chance to win the hand of the Princess. He fashioned a suit of armor and a sword out of old tin cups and scrap metal, mounted his pony and rode to court. Bowing before the King, he said, "I wish to be knighted so that I may rid your kingdom of this horrible monster."
There was a moment of silence, then everyone but the Princess began to laugh. In fact, they laughed and they laughed, which made the little blacksmith's ears turn red. The King said, "You are no match for this dragon. It takes might to fight. You are simply too small."
The little blacksmith squared his shoulders. "I may be slight but I can fight."
The Princess was impressed. It was clear to her he was brave and good. "Father, for my sake, knight him this day. You promised 'whosoever should slay the dragon,' and surely he deserves a chance."
The King couldn't refuse his only daughter. He rose from his throne and knighted the blacksmith. Then, for luck, the Princess unwound her long braid, pulled out a single hair and handed it to the littlest knight. He placed it in a pocket over his heart. "May you have good fortune, my brave knight," she said.
So the littlest knight set out on his pony to find the dragon. He met many tired and injured knights and one helpful fellow told him, "Go back. One man can't carry 1,000 swords, nor can you cross a bridge which isn't there, and if you fill an empty cup it won't be empty any more. It is all a trick." He thought the littlest knight was the biggest fool.
But the littlest knight charged anyway striking a blow with his sword.
"Ouch," said the dragon. The littlest knight charged and struck him again. The dragon roared.
Suddenly there was a buzzing from the knapsack. A bee flew out and up to the littlest knight's ear.
So the littlest knight grabbed the beehive, throwing it at the dragon's head. Immediately a thousand bees flew out with a thousand stingers. With their tiny swords they stung the dragon again and again. The dragon's eyes began to swell and he could hardly see. With a bellow of pain and anger he leaped into the air and flew off to his cave in the mountains.
The bee did just that. The littlest knight couldn't believe his good fortune until he was fully halfway across the ravine, balancing like an acrobat. The Princess's hair seemed magical for it stretched the whole distance and even with his weight did not break.
He made it across and entered the cave. There he found the dragon in a far corner. It was in misery with its eyes swollen shut and its forked tongue lying on the ground. It hissed at his approach, for it could still smell him.
But the littlest knight wasn't afraid. With his kind heart all he could feel now was pity. He wanted to help the beast, to give it water to drink and cool its swollen eyes.
Returning outside he climbed down the cliff to the stream below. At the bottom there was plenty of water but nothing with which to carry it. Then he spied a chipped cup some knight had tossed from above. Carefully picking it from the sand he filled it as best as he could and climbed back up.
But when he got back to the dragon he discovered that not only had the cup been chipped but it had a crack he had not seen. What little water there was had drained out while he was climbing. He approached the dragon and said, "I'm sorry. I meant to help you, I really did. But the cup is empty."
To his surprise the beast rose up with a roar of glee.
The first thing the littlest knight did was attach the beehive to a high rock at the mouth of the cave. The bees were thrilled. They had a new home with shelter, protection and most important, privacy, and the stream below had enough flowers growing by it to make more honey than they would ever need.
At first the King and all the kingdom were terrified. All except the Princess, that is. She trusted her littlest knight and upon hearing the whole story set about immediately to make a healing salve for the dragon's eyes.
The littlest knight married her and got half the kingdom. The dragon got back his eyesight and, true to his word, guarded the kingdom faithfully.
In time, the littlest knight and the Princess had seven children who loved taking rides on the dragon's back.
Of course, they lived happily ever after.
Posted by Pooja Singh Sunday, 11 March 2012 at 21:22