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Bonfire Knight

By: Roy E. Hare

Sir Guy of Bluwatch, Knight of the Realm, was deep in thought as he rode his white stallion along the dusty road. Trudging behind leading a donkey, loaded with all the gear that a knight needed when he undertook a mission for his sovereign, was Fred Bear, squire to Sir Guy.

Fred was tired and hungry. He had been on the go since five o'clock. Fetch this, fetch that, pack up, pick up, feed the knight, feed the donkey, all his food was taken on the run.

"Couldn't 'arf do wiv a rest sire, me knees is nackered, me feet's all hot, and me back is killing me."

"Won't be long Fred, see up ahead is our destination, the sun is dancing on the roof tops. A scene to be remembered."

"Looks as if they're stoking up the fires, at least we should get somefing 'ot to eat," said Fred.

"I'm afraid it will be well done Fred, the houses are on fire."


Sir Guy's "What the devil is that?" was answered almost as he spoke.

Racing up to the fire, in clouds of dust, came a donkey pulling a cart, full of buckets. As the donkey and cart came to a standstill, the driver started to throw the buckets to the men, forming a chain to the banks of the river. Sir Guy and Fred, helped to bring the fires under control.

As the last flame flickered and died, they were approached by the leader of the fire fighters.

"Thankee kindly good sirs. Would you care for a pint of beer to wash away the dust and smoke? We are just heading for the local tavern."

"Most kind of you sir. May I ask your name?" replied Sir Guy.

"You may sir. 'Tis Edward Land, I be Mayor of this town."

"What a stroke of luck, the very fellow I have business with. I am Sir Guy of Bluwatch, Knight of the Realm. His Right Royal Majesty has sent me to find out why he has received no taxes from this town, for the last two years."

"Let us away to the tavern and discuss this long and sorry tale over a few quarts," said the mayor.

Fred nodded in agreement.

When all were sat with a foaming pint in one hand and bread and cheese in the other, the Mayor began his tale.

"It's like this 'ere, for two years we have had a dirty great dragon, coming out of the hills, rampaging through our town. Friday nights he comes thumping down the road, spitting flames at all and sundry. Since his little boy dragon was born, it has got worse. He celebrates Friday and Saturday nights."

All the locals nodded their heads, and grunted. "Aye, it's right." The Mayor took a long sip of his ale, before he continued.

"It takes us all our time and money, to get building materials for repairs. We have nothing left for taxes. I have written to the government but nobody has bothered to reply.

"Worry not good sir, your troubles are at an end. My squire and I shall sally forth on the morrow, and put this dragon's lights out.

Early next morning, before the sun had time to climb from its cloudy bed, Sir Guy and Fred moved quietly through the streets, calling at the fire brigade. They selected some equipment. Then they climbed the steep rocky hill that rose above the town. As they turned a bend, a small movement caught their eyes. Sir Guy as always spoke first.

"What is it Fred? Go and have a look, it's hobbling, so it could be hurt."

Reluctantly, Fred ventured forward, hesitating only until he saw how small the creature was.

"It's a baby dragon sire. Looks like it has broken his leg." "Sir Guy was glad he had passed with honours in First Aid. He proceeded to use the knowledge.

"Find a couple of twigs Fred, we'll make a splint. Poor little fellah must be in agony."

Although Sir Guy had been trained to kill dragons, the King had decided to try out a new policy of care and kindness, to all dragons, after a pilot scheme had been successful in Wales. The Welsh dragons, were now quite friendly to the local inhabitants.

Sir Guy now had the chance to put this new policy into practice.

Carefully splinting and bandaging the little dragon's leg, he gave him a marshmallow, which the baby dragon toasted with his hot breath, then swallowed.

When Sir Guy had finished his repairs, the little dragon hopped away to the shelter of a large rock.

"That was a good job, don well Fred, the King will be proud of us."

At that moment a large flame scorched its way over their heads, exploding in a flash of yellow and red, as it hit the ground. Almost twelve feet tall, arms crossed, a dragon stood blocking their path.

"Oi…What you doing with my kid?"

Fred and Sir Guy went into action, like a well oiled machine. Grabbing two red cylinders from their packs, they banged them on the ground and squirted foam straight into the dragon's mouth.

The dragon sputtered and coughed. Then staggered back in shock.

"Oi…you're not supposed to do that." he shouted.

"Dragons ain't supposed to speak." said Fred.

Advancing toward the dragon, Sir Guy forgetting the King's 'be kind to dragons proclamation', whirled his sword round his head, ducking under the dragon's threatening claws, he thrust toward the heart. He hesitated just long enough to make sure his aim was true.

In that split second he heard a tiny voice say "Please…please don't hurt my pa."

The sword halted, just before it split the horny skin.

"Please don't do it. He's not all bad. Without his love and guidance, I shall only grow up wanting vengeance. I'll probably turn out a worse vandal than my dad.

Sir Guy lowered his sword, looked down at the small pitiful baby dragon, with his broken leg all wound up and tears flowing down his face.

Sheathing his sword, Sir Guy bent down and picked up the little dragon and gently cuddled him.

"There, there, don't cry. I think your father has learned his lesson. If he promises never to terrorize the town again, we will let you both go home to live your lives in peace."

The little dragon hopped down from the knight's arms very carefully. He hobbled to his still coughing parent.

"Did you hear that pa?"

Yes son. I promise to try to be a good dragon in the future. I am very sorry for all the trouble I have caused."

Sir Guy looked at the dragon, then he looked at his squire. The world was changing. Dragons would have to learn to be good neighbors and knights would have to learn to do something other than kill dragons. Had they all become redundant? What would they do with themselves? Perhaps, dragons could be tax collectors and knights could play sports. But, how long would the world endure taxes and grown men getting paid to play children's games?

"We shall see," thought Sir Guy.

"Come Fred, let's be off from this place. I saw a nice field below. Perhaps we can kick a ball around it. That should work off our energy."

About the Author

Roy E. Hare was born in East London in 1928. At the end of the Second World War, Roy served in the Royal Air Force between 1945 - 1948, mainly in various posts in India. Married in 1954 and still going strong. Moved to Yorkshire a number of years ago, and spends his time walking and writing stories and poetry.

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