Story Dynamics – Stories » Story Archive » Normal Knight For A Daydream Too Long, by Rachel Hedman

Normal Knight For A Daydream Too Long, by Rachel Hedman

It was a normal day when a normal knight went on a normal quest for a normal dragon. Even the knight’s name was normal—Sir Lancelot. He wasn’t the Sir Lancelot of the Round Table. “Lancelot” was just a popular name for the times like how today a lot of girls are named Mary and a lot of boys are named David.

For Lancelot, getting up in the morning and coming face-to-face with a dragon was as exciting as swatting a fly from his head.

He had lost track of the number of quests he had been on. Perhaps 157? His parents could give a perfect inventory of his awards, trophies and medals. His father could state the stats of the length of every dragon’s wingspan. His mother could share how many damsels in distress he had saved including the fabric and style of the ladies’ dresses.

A museum had opened to display the heads of the dragons Lancelot had slain. Princesses and duchesses entered these halls. They batted their eyes and flickered their fans to get Lancelot’s attention. He rolled his eyes and excused himself saying he had another quest to fulfill. A lady often fainted at these words.

“Another day with the dragons,” mumbled Lancelot to his horse.

After hum drumming for 13 miles, he and his beautiful steed halted outside the dark entrance to a dragon’s lair. Lancelot slumped off his horse and casually walked to the cave. In a voice with as much enthusiasm as a snoring bull, he cleared his throat to announce what he had announced for all 157 quests.

“Today you face judgment with my sword—blah, blah, blah—for it is I, Sir Lancelot, who seeks your head!”

Rumbles echoed inside the cave’s walls. The dragon rushed out of the cave and glared at the knight with its scales laid flat.

“RRAAARRRRRR! How dare you speak in such a tone! And saying, ‘Blah, blah, blah!’”

“After 157 quests you’d probably get bored, too. So you know the routine. I’ll wield my sword about a dozen times. We’ll run in two figure eights. You’ll throw around a few fireballs. Then, I’ll stab you in the heart and finally cut off your head.”

“If we do it your way, I don’t get a happy ending, do I?”

“Stop talking and let’s get to work! I have another ‘amazing’ quest to go on.”

“Well, don’t you have a sense of humor!”

Lancelot completed one turn around the dragon when he froze. His sword hung in mid-air. He had heard a word that he had not heard in years.

“What did you say?”

“I said, ‘don’t you have a sense of humor!’”

Lancelot lowered his sword and put it back in its sheath.

“Humor? Yes! Humor! Oh—thank you!”

Lancelot charged the dragon—not with a lance—but with open arms and gave the shocked creature a hug around its neck. As the knight raced back to his steed, the dragon watched, unable to move from astonishment. Perhaps that dragon is still frozen in place.

As Lancelot rode back home, he didn’t hum drum or haw or sigh.

He thought back to when he was a child, about the height of his father’s knees.

Trumpets had blared from the castle walls as word was heard of a grand festival complete with jesters and jugglers. He tugged on his mother’s sleeves.

“Can I go, mom? Can I go?”

“Of course, sweetie. Your father will take you.”

Before Lancelot could protrude his lips in disappointment, his father picked him up and placed him on his shoulders.

“Oh, we will go to the jousting tournament. I dare say you want to be a knight and fight dragons!”

Lancelot’s legs dangled around his father’s neck. He squirmed and wiggled to get back on the ground so he could run away to find the jesters and jugglers. His father only hung on tighter, convinced that his son was excited to see the knights.

Conquered, Lancelot placed his elbows on his father’s head and then placed his head in his hands.

After the jousting tournament, Lancelot and his father journeyed home. Lancelot turned his head towards the festival grounds. He saw a jester stuff some crazy things into a burlap sack, swing the sack over his shoulder, and continue down the path—away from Lancelot.

All through dinner, his father shared the amazing feats of the knights and Lancelot stared at his food until it got cold. When his father finished his story, Lancelot blurted out, “I want to be the royal court jester!”

His mother dropped a plate. His father dropped his mouth. No more was said.

Later that night, before Lancelot went to sleep, he heard his mother wailing to his father. “Oh, how can our son think of being a jester? To betray his lineage?”

Lancelot never spoke his dream out loud again and followed the course his father showed him. He became page then squire then knight.

“Yet, the dream will be spoken now!” cried Lancelot as he came out of his daydream.

Lancelot knew he must approach the king yet he could not simply march up to the king and ask to be a jester. Usually a knight asked to become a lord or a duke and be over his own palace. No one asked to be demoted as an ordinary citizen, especially to be a jester.

Lancelot rode to the closest kingdom. For his plan to work, he needed to have the palace buzzing about a traveling jester headed there. Lancelot went to the marketplace and approached several villagers.

“Hey, did you know there is a jester who wants to be a knight? Have you heard of such a thing?”

The people never had heard of such a thing and it wasn’t long before news reached the king. At once, the king requested that this jester come to his court.

When Lancelot heard of the king’s interest, Lancelot exited the palace gates and went into the nearby woods. Out of a burlap sack, he took out a bright costume he had made. While putting it on, he experimented voices he could use as a jester. He put some white powder on his face. Then he pulled out an old broom, his new “horse”, from the sack. He broke off a branch above him to be his sword.

Lancelot galloped along the path atop his trusty broom.

As he neared the kingdom, guards spotted him and announced the jester’s arrival to the king.

Trumpets sounded as Lancelot rode into the palace gates. Lancelot sauntered on his broom all through town and finally to the courtroom. The sight alone of the jester on his “horse” drew a large crowd full of curiosity.

Then Lancelot cupped his hands and mimicked the trumpets.

“Dodododo! Ah! Your majesty! I come before you to become a knight. My training is unsurpassable!”

“Is this so, Jester? How have you trained yourself?” mused the king as he twirled his beard with his fingers.

“I am an expert in the most strenuous exercise of all . . .laughter! Did you know ten minutes of vigorous laughter equals ten minutes of rowing a boat? Let me demonstrate.”

The jester turned to one of the king’s guards. The biggest guard was twice the size of the jester.

“May I borrow your sword? Place it on the ground?”

The guard’s sword was the same size as the jester.

“You may wonder if I can lift this sword! First, I will laugh. Hahahahahahahhahahahah! Now my muscles are ready.”

The jester seized the handle.

“To slay a dragon—gasp, gasp, gasp—it’s important—gasp, gasp, gasp—to intimate it by swinging the sword—gasp, gasp, gasp—a dozen times.”

The sword had not budged from the ground. The jester let go of the handle.

“Hmmm, it appears I shall have to increase my laughter exercise from thirty minutes to an hour for this sword! No matter, I will use my own sword!”

The jester swung his “sword”, the branch, several times and smacked his face a few too many times with the leaves.

The king furrowed his brows.

“Next it is required in a dragon battle to complete two figure eights to avoid tackle. Let me show you my figure eights that I learned through ice-skating. Guard, you will be the dragon.”

The jester took long awkward strides around the guard and completed the lopsided figure eights.

“Now watch as the dragon—guard, that’s you—blows his humongous fireballs!”

The giant guard stood at attention. Nothing happened.

“Ahem, now watch as the dragon blows his humongous fireballs!”
The guard still stood at attention. Nothing happened.

“Come on, guard, you are the dragon. Show me a fireball!”

The guard looked at the king, rolled his eyes, and blew a tiny puff of air from one side of his mouth.

“Guard, is that any kind of a fireball? Bigger! Bigger!”

The guard made a larger puff of air but was not about to do anything more.

“Hmmm, must be a baby dragon. Oh well. It is time to take my sword. . .”

The jester held up his branch.

“. . .and stab the dragon in the heart.”

The jester threw the branch like a spear and made a “tink” against the guard’s armor.

“With a strike like that, any dragon would plunge to the earth!”

The giant guard stood at attention. Nothing happened.

“Ahem, with a strike like that, any dragon would plunge to the earth!”

The guard still stood at attention. Nothing happened.

“Oh, guard! Please cooperate. Let’s try again.”

“With a strike like that, any dragon would plunge to the earth!”

Again the guard looked at the king, rolled his eyes, and slumped to the ground. The jester placed his foot on the “dragon” and pretended to saw the guard’s head as trophy. The jester lifted the imaginary head and exclaimed, “Ah! I have conquered!”

The palace erupted with applause and the jester gave a bow and threw out kisses to the ladies in the court.

The king was quiet. Then the king put his hand to his mouth. Finally, the king wrapped his arms around his stomach from all the laughter!

“Oh, Jester! Now I see how laughter is an exercise. Oh, my stomach hurts!”

After the king collected himself, the jester knelt before the king.

“I am ready to be knighted, oh king!”

“You? I enjoyed your demonstration, but I would sooner turn one of my knights into the royal court jester than have a jester become a knight!”

The jester smiled. “Do I have your word on that?”

“Yes, of course.”

The jester stood up straight and smeared the white powder from his face with the burlap sack to reveal Sir Lancelot.

“Oh king, I, Sir Lancelot, desire to be your royal court jester.”

The whole palace, which had once been full of roar and applause, became completely silent. Everyone waited to hear the king’s response.

After what seemed like hours, the king said, “I cannot have you lose your rank as knight!”

Lancelot drooped his shoulders.

The king continued. “So from now on, instead of being known as Sir Lancelot, you will be known as Sir Laugh-a-lot, my royal court jester!”

Upon hearing his dream spoken out loud, Lancelot picked up his trusty broom and galloped home, thinking of his next routine as a “normal” jester.

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