The Chronicle of the Land of Llamalot. Trial by Apple
Once upon a time, in the far-off land of Llamalot, the deeply loved, wise and noble King Ringsbury Pendragon issued a proclamation to the Knights of the Round Manger. ‘Go forth and gather up the choicest of morsels for ye long and arduous Winter to come!’ he commanded.
The senior knights Sir Sten of the Good Heart, and noble Sir Brodivere – defender of the weak, protector of children – bowed before their King and didst enquire:
‘What shall we gather, my Liege?’,
‘Why, the sweetest of green apples for my people during the long months to come. Gather ye russets, and gather ye dessert apples, and gather ye eaters and gather ye apples that maketh ye juice of the apple (for my dear serfs to drink). But do not gather ye cookers from distant Bramley for I do not want my people to have a case of the gripe’.
Sir Sten of the Good Heart, and noble Sir Brodivere – defender of the weak, protector of children – asked the young, yet noble and most regal of knights, Prince Stoney of the Henge to accompany them in their quest. Prince Stoney of the Henge was from the house of Queen Maesievere, and King Ringsbury Pendragon thought of him as his very own son (though King Ringsbury Pendragon was not always right on matters of fidelity).
And so preparations began for the Great Apple Expedition of the Autumn of this most mellow of years. The serfs gathered all their cousins together to assist in the preparation. Saddles were stitched and panniers were cleaned. Halters were polished and bridles didst shine as the sun on a bright Summer’s day.
Sir Sten of the Good Heart, and noble Sir Brodivere – defender of the weak, protector of children – had undertaken this Trial by Apple in years previous and assisted the noble Prince Stoney of the Henge through the dense forests and orchards they encountered. The forests were dark, but the Knights were Brave and didst despatch branches to the right of them, thistles to the left of them and the nettles that lay directly under their feet.
From tree to tree the Expedition travelled gathering apples all the way till the panniers were full to bursting. The serfs worked busily for their masters so the noble Knights didst pull the veritable fast one and chomped mightily on all they could find in the dark forests whilst serf-attention was elsewhere.
Returning to the Domain of King Ringsbury Pendragon, the Knights tarried awhile in another orchard where the choicest of morsels would be found. Here were the daintiest of apples, which, chokingly small, the noble Knights asked the serfs to bash up a bit so they could eat them.
After many hours the Trial by Apple was won and Prince Stoney of the Henge led Sir Sten of the Good Heart, and noble Sir Brodivere – defender of the weak, protector of children – back to the castle of their King.
King Ringsbury was mightily pleased and issued a proclamation for there to be three days feasting with the good King himself and his Queen Maesievere having the choicest appley morsels.
Here endeth the tale of the Great Apple Expedition, but another Tale from the land of Llamalot shall be told presently.