The Chronicle of the Land of Llamalot
Once upon a time, in the far-off land of Llamalot, good King Ringsbury issued a proclamation to the Knights of the Round Manger. ‘A Pageant of Sporting Prowess will be held in the Lands of far off Somerset. Go forth and Make Merrie with the Good People of that Shire and of the County of Gloucester and of the Flat Lands thereabouts.’
Sitting on his throne, The Good King told Sir Prancealot to lead the Princes Rollo and Mo on this Embassy of Goodwill and to pass on his felicitations to his kith and kin.
So, one fine day, Sir Prancealot instructed the serfs to ready the Chariot for the arduous journey to the place they do call Somerset. Fine treats of the choicest of hays were prepared. Sweet thirst-quenching crystal-clear water was provided. Harnesses were polished till they shined as doth the sun on a midsummer’s day. The ladies of the court plaited colourful ropes and the Chariot was made comfortable for the three noble Knights on their long journey.
The serfs asked Sir Prancealot if he was ready to depart and the noble lord led his Royal charges into the Chariot. ’Twould be the first time just these three gallant knights had ventured forth to a Game of Sporting Prowess but they were not afraid. The serfs rolled the wagon which was to tow the Royal Chariot out of Llamalot and proceeded on their way.
A long, long while later the Chariot was brought to a stop in the place they do call Somerset. Sir Prancealot quickly set about making camp for the day and chose a spot not too open, yet not too secluded in the far south west of the Field of Sporting Pageantry. The serfs decorated the camp with banners of the prettiest colours and prepared a banquet for the Knights who didst tuck in veritably.
The Knights were pleased to see Prince Mo’s sister Princess Bella of the Flowing Locks at the Pageant. She was accompanied by her sister the Lady Mulfra. The brothers and sisters talked about Llamalot and the Knights were able to pass on the best wishes of Queen Maesivere, Princess Bella’s mother. (Noble King Ringsbury Pendragon believed the ladies were his daughters but he was not always right in these matters).
Many people came to the Pageant to cheer on the Knights and Ladies and a host of wonderfully coloured pennants were presented to the assembled throng. Indeed, Prince Mo was pleased to be awarded a blue pennant in the not so knightly Trial of the Geldings whilst Sir Prancealot was presented with a red pennant and Prince Rollo was presented with a yellow pennant.
The noble House of Heath was represented by the young king, Arthur and his sorcerer Merlin, and indeed it was this most mysterious Merlin who bewitched all. The wizard was awarded the most magnificent prize of all, for he had mastered the Trial by Walking in a Circle, and his pennant was of many hues of blue and of red and of white, and all the people and serfs were happy.
The noble knights and ladies rested awhile, ate a fine feast, and allowed the people of the place they do call Somerset to talk to them.
Presently, it was announced the Trial by Agility would be held. Many have competed but few have passed this trial. Prince Rollo guided his serf around the course, past fearsome matting, over stupendous jumps, under oh-so-low wires, and through devilishly noisy obstacles. The noble Prince did very well but it was felt his run wouldst not trouble the scorers.
Sir Prancealot’s serf (silly fellow) bounded past one obstacle in his eagerness to run the race, but the noble knight corrected the serf’s error and completed the fiendishly difficult Trial by Agility.
And then it was the turn of the blue pennant winning Prince Mo. Spectators cheered, serfs were told what to do and off they charged pell-mell. Round one obstacle, bypassing another as ’twas a might flappy in the breeze, and refusing at a third. This was the chicane or ye ‘in-and-out-weavy-poles’ which shouldst be navigated with skill and alacrity. Prince Mo had possibly partaken of too large a lunch and could not squeeze through the oh-so-narrow opening. Try as he might, he just wouldn’t fit and as one serf pulled from the front and another serf pushed from behind, he would not fit through. The Royal Prince felt it beneath his dignity to compete further and anyway hadn’t the noble Sir Prancealot already done jolly well?! So he stopped and went to re-join his Royal brother Prince Rollo in their camp.
Several knights and ladies completed in the final of the Trial by Agility and verily it was a close-run thing, but the sorcerer cast one of his wondrous spells over the gathering and only he could master the race. He sailed over the matting and all cheered a big ‘Hurrah’.
Sir Prancealot knew good King Ringsbury Pendragon would be pleased with the red pennant for second place he had won for his King in the Trial by Agility. To be beaten by a mysterious wizard but no other knight was no mean feat.
And so, the wishes of good King Ringsbury Pendragon were fulfilled. His noble knights went forth and competed in a most friendly and cousinly manner with the ladies and knights of Somerset and the Shire of Gloucester.
They wouldst return home to that most wondrous of all lands, Llamalot, and there they would regale good King Ringsbury Pendragon, Queen Maesivere, the Ladies of the Court, and their fellow Knights with tales of their Embassy.
Here endeth the Tale of the Pageant at the Place they do call Somerset.