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A Brave Knight Can Only Go So Far - a short story by A.B.King



   Once upon a time in a land far far away, the people of far far away had a giant problem – literally.
   A giant named Giganto (who was so tall that when he stood up straight, his body from his chin up would be lost in the clouds) would be coming to far far away to make them slaves.
   The King and Queen of far far away called upon the Knights of the Round Table to come up with a solution.
   The head of the Knights of the round table, Obed  suggested that they attack .They would fight the giant.But Caleb the youngest knight (who had a reputation for not being very strong, brave or Knightly in any way) said that that would be foolish, that the giant would only crush them underfoot. He explainedthat compared to the giants, they were like ants.
   Caleb was laughed at for stupidity. He should be thanking God they don’t kick him out of the knights of the Round Table. But perhaps that’s what they get from choosing a Knight that knew nothing about bravely, they thought. Why, if Caleb’s late father hadn’t been one of the greatest knights of the Round Table whoever lived they wouldn’t have even let Caleb touch a sword.
Celeb told them in desperation that going to fight a giant was just plain stupidity not bravery.
   “What else can we expect from a boy who is living in his father’s shadow”, the head of the Knights of the Round Table said, he also made it very clear that if Celeb didn’t shut up he might not get to see the morning sun ever again.
Obed organised the Knights and others in the land of far far away who were ready to fight and defend their land. Obed left out Caleb because in his words, “..he didn’t want little boys to ruin his plan.”
Obed and his quickly put together army attacked and like Caleb said they all got crushed.
   Since Celeb was the only knight who didn’t want to go and wasn’t allowed to go, Caleb was the only member of the Knights of the Round Table that was still alive.
   Caleb the only knight alive went before the King and Queen. He told them that he feels bad about the demise of his fellow knights as well as all the volunteers in far far away who were eligible to fight but they would have all been alive if they had listened to what he said.
   Although the King and Queen hated to admit it, they knew Caleb had a point. But now their only option was to flee the land of far far away. The little stunt they had pulled had made Giganto really angry, now they weren’t sure whether he would still want to make them slaves or just kill them all out of anger.
   Caleb told the King and Queen that they shouldn’t run. That there is no need for their marvellous reign to come to an end just because of Giganto. He told them to give him a little time and he would come up with a permanent and satisfactory solution in which no life would be lost.
The King and Queen where sceptical because Caleb was so young and in far far away Men where ranked according to their strength and bravery, none of with Caleb was known to have. He was just a young man who spent all of his time writing psalms and reading books all day. In the King and Queen’s eyes, he was a scholar not a knight. He had no business being a knight in the 1st place, he was nothing like his father, he would do better as the Dean of education of the prestigious University of far far away.
   However, the King and Queen knew that they had paid the price – a very expensive price for not listening to Caleb. If they had listened so many wouldn’t have died. Anyway, what do they have to lose now, they might as well listen to what he says.
So they gave Caleb some time to come up with a plan – a solution.
   Caleb got on his horse and headed for the chapel of far far away.
   Once there, he got on his knees and began to pray. Unlike most people who pray then get up and walk away, Kaleb knew that prayer was communication with God – It was communication and communication means two people exchanging words – talking to one another. Which means when he speaks, God replies, then he responds to God’s reply and God responds to that and so on and so forth – COMMUNICATION.
   So when he communed with God, he was clarified on what to do - he got all the information from God that he needed.
   When he returned to the castle to stand before the King and Queen; he stood with confidence, with boldness, with a certainty of victory, because God’s plans never fail – they just can’t.
   Caleb told the Queen that they should command everyone in the city to gather together, but 1st he would need to have a round table meeting with every baker in the land of far far away, that they would  be baking the largest cake anyone had ever seen – a cake which its tip reached above the clouds.
   “ARE YOU CRAZY! DO YOU THINK THIS IS SOME KIND OF JOKE???”, the King and Queen shouted simultaneously.
   But Caleb reminded them that they had agreed to give his plan a chance they were bond to their word, a King or Queen was never supposed to take back their word. Besides they should remember what happened the last time they didn’t listen to him. He also told the King and Queen that they should bear in mind that their alternative plan – their plan to run away is flawed because there is no way that Giganto would come to far far away. Look for them, not find and go back home. Giganto not seeing them there would only make him more angry after travelling that long distance from the land of the giants and he would dedicate at least the next few weeks if not the rest of his life to find them and that means he would certainly find them.
   Thus Caleb proved out to the King, there were only 3 options: (i) His plan (ii) Death (iii) Slavery (if Giganto is unusually merciful to them).
   “Very Well”, the Queen said, waving her hand instructively to Caleb for him to go and carry out his plan, “Do as you wish”
   “Thank you, your grace”, Caleb said as he prostrated to them.  Then he turned to go.
   “Oh! Caleb”, the King called to him gently as he sat on the throne.
   Caleb turned to face the king.
   “If you are successful in this endeavour of yours, it means that everyone in the land of far far away would owe their lives to you. A feat that won’t go unrewarded.”
   Caleb smiled and bowed, then turned to go away again.
What was the King really saying – What did he really mean? Anyway, Caleb didn’t have time to think of that, he had to focus on the task ahead of him.
   A miracle that in itself was something to talk about for generations to come was that Caleb pulled off supervising the making of the largest cake in all of time. A cake bigger than any ever made before and from the looks of it, bigger than ever would be made again. He pulled it off within days, just before the giant Giganto showed up. That goes to show the power of prayer. He had prayed about it.
   Caleb also stood on a fence they called the wall of the watchman. It was actually part of the wall that surrounded the capital city of far far away. On it was a special horn - the only one of its kind. It is said to have been put together centuries ago from the horn of a dinosaur the ancients called the Screamasourous. It was said the dinosaur had the ability to make a sound that was a billon times louder than any sound any other creature could ever make. Although no one has lived long enough to validate that claim, the noise gotten from the special horn built from one of its tusks amplified the voice of anyone speaking through it that everyone on the continent of far far away could hear it clearly.
   The King and Queen of far far away keep the horn to be used for only emergencies. It was so loud they hated to use it but today Caleb would be going to use it to talk to the giant Giganto.
   Caleb also told all the people of far far away to get balloons that are imperious to air and liquid, and then to use a rubber band to tightly tie them around their ears in a way that their entire ear would be covered with the balloon. The purpose of this was to lessen the impact of the sound of the special horn on their eardrums. He had read somewhere that sound doesn’t travel through vacuums and since only a little air might escape into the balloon at the moment they are trying to tie it around their ears, then they would be able to partially hear his conversation with the giant.
   When Giganto came, Caleb quickly began praising the Giant and saying all kinds of good things about him.
The people of far far away where shocked. They were all like, what does he think he’s doing.
   Caleb didn’t mind what he knew the people would be thinking he just went on. He told Giganto that the knights that attacked him where renegade and weren’t acting on the behalf of everyone in the land of far far away. Caleb told the giant that he personally believes that those knights got what they deserved.
   This angered the King and Queen like Caleb knew it would but he just kept going.
   Caleb told the Giant that the people of far far away were extremely privileged to have the opportunity to become his slaves and the cake he saw before him was a sign of their gratitude. Caleb promised the giant that they would be his loyal slaves and serve him with joy and gusto.
   That did it, the King and Queen of far far away was extremely angry with Caleb. What a traitor he had turned out to be. They could order for Caleb to be removed from the front of the special horn but not when Giganto was there. Not when Giganto was warmly becoming Caleb’s close friend – No, close slave.
   The giant Giganto was thoroughly pleased with Caleb. All the anger that Giganto had come with had totally vanished.
Giganto moved close to the cake that was almost twice his size and inhaled. Hmmm, Yum – Yum.
Giganto ate the whole cake and as it is the case with a human who eats a volume of cake that’s almost twice his size, Giganto began to have a running tummy.
Giganto taught he was dying. He had never eaten so much in his life. How could he have? Just the same way humans don’t eat meals that are almost twice their size, in the land of the giants no one cooked a meal that was almost two times the size of the giant. So Gigantohad never had a running tummy before. He just lay helplessly on the ground holding his stomach and screaming that he has been poisoned.
   The King and Queen walked up to Caleb, they were pleased with him. They told him that when he was talking to Giganto, they taught he was being a traitor. That they never guessed that he poisoned the cake the giant would eat.
   Caleb told the King and Queen that actually he didn’t poison the cake that the only thing different about the cake was that he made sure it was the sweetest cake he (Caleb) ever tasted.
   “WHAT!” they King and Queen exclaimed.
   Caleb explained to them that if he had poisoned the cake it means he would have killed  Giganto.
   “Shouldn’t that be the general idea?” the King and Queen asked simultaneously.
   “If I kill Giganto, the people of far far away would rejoice that their enemy is dead but when the news of Giganto‘s death reaches the land of the giants, at best only all of Giganto’s friends and loved ones would come to the land of far far away to take revenge, and at worst the King of the land of giants would send the army of the giants to kill everyone in the land of far far away. Either way everyone in the land of far far away would die. So killing Giganto would not be wise”, Caleb replied.
   “So what have you done to him then?” the King and Queen asked simultaneously.
   “I gave him a running stomach”, Caleb answered.
“YOU WHAT?!?” The King and Queen could hardly believe their own ears, “YOU WANT?” they asked again with rhetorical anger. “Won’t that just make him mad when the running stomach is over?”
   “As you may observe your majesties, Gignato doesn’t know that he has a running stomach, he thinks that he is dying”, Caleb answered in a maybe too released manner.
   “But he’s not dying and he would soon get better, and when he does he would only be in a lot of rage.” The Queen stressed.
   “Your majesties”, Caleb responded showing respect. “You gave me the right to take care of this problem. I humbly ask that you give me the courtesy to finish what I started.” He swallowed, then added “No questions asked.”
   The King and Queen stared at him in silence. After the seconds which seemed like so many minutes passed. The Queen let out a “very well.” She looked at her husband the King.
   Her husband looked back at her then turned to Caleb and said, “You may proceed.”
   It was a matter of honour. Kings and Queens are bound to be people of honour.
   As Giganto lay on the ground swimming in pain, he told Caleb that he should have known better than to trust a citizen of far far away. He had been outsmarted by someone with a much more smaller brain.
   Caleb told Giganto that there is a cure but 1st he must promise to spare all the people of far far away and also in times of difficultly when the land of far far away is attacked by enemies they can’t handle, that he would show up and protect them.
   “What???” Giganto cried out through the pain in his tummy.
   “Hey! If you want to remain like that, it’s fine with me”, Caleb answered calmly, then turned to walk away from the special horn.
   “Wait! I’ ill do it … I’ ill protect your land … Besides you’ ill practically be saving my life by giving me a cure.” Giganto felt a tight squeeze on his stomach then he barked as one who senses his time is near, “Now what is the cure?”
   Caleb made Giganto back up his promise with the Giant’s Oath. That way his word would never be broken, because any giant from the land of the giants who takes a Giant’s Oath that he/she was going to do something and doesn’t do it, that person would be said to have desecrated the honour of all the giants in the land of the Giants, and that giant would be hunted down by the other giants in the land of the Giants and would be killed.
   Now that Caleb was sure that Giganto would not harm anyone in the land of far far away now or any time in the future. Caleb told Giganto that all he needs is to use the toilet, he explained that all the running tummy would do is make him want to use the toilet a whole lot more than he normally does, and the more he uses the toilet the better he would feel.
   Since there was no toilet for giants in the land of far far away, Caleb instructed Giganto to use the sewage fertilization system the King and Queen had built to fertilize every farm in the land of far far away. It had been constructed in a way that the smelly fertilizer would not disturb the residents of far far away. So the people didn’t have to bother about smells when Giganto started using it.
   Caleb told Giganto to always remember that he could just as easily have poisoned the cake to kill him like he wanted to do them, but he chose not to.
Giganto knew it was true, he knew he owed his life to Caleb. He knows has if Caleb was half as wicked as he was he wouldn’t be alive.
   So that day it was recorded in the minds of all in the land of far far away and beyond that Caleb saved the lives of everyone in far far away including the throne – the rule of its King and Queen.
   Caleb was rewarded in a way he never imagined he would. You see, the King and Queen had no children of their own, so they adopted him saying they feel it is right to make him ruler after them. No one was more fit to be ruler anyway. Besides, if it wasn’t for him, there would be no kingdom anyway.
   Thus Caleb’s life compared to the ended lives of the other knights, proved that; a brave knight can only go so far, but a knight who has both God and wisdom will go a very long way.

THE END.


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