William R. Mistele Copyright © 2005. All
The Knight and the Dragon
This story was made up by
King Irkomen, his wife, and his youngest
daughter. The daughter’s name was ice
because when she was born an icicle had formed and crept down across the window
of her bedroom.
King Irkomen: So
I hear you are having trouble sleeping tonight.
That’s right. Can’t
fall asleep. I keep waking up.
King Irkomen: I know the remedy for this. It is part of a long tradition. A bedtime story is the solution.
I don’t want a story.
King Irkomen. This one is different.
King Irkomen. The three of us shall enter the story and the
power of our wills will determine the outcome.
That’s sounds interesting. OK,
mom, why don’t you go first.
Once upon a time there was a brave knight.
But he was very sad. A mean old dragon
stole his bride on their wedding day.
Ice: So the knight swore he would rescue
her. He searched far and wide.
One day, he found the dragon tying the maiden to a pole in a forest clearing.
And the knight said to the dragon, “Release that maiden or you are dead.
The dragon laughed and said, “Foolish knight, to challenge me is to die.”
Ice: Wait you two, you skipped my
turn. “Must dragons and knights always
fight?” asked ice still using the voice of the maiden.
Dad: What? No fierce fight to the death?
No romantic and daring rescue?
Ice: Why can't you two work together for a
Ah, I see what you are after. So the
maiden cried out: “Wait, don't fight, I have a better plan of action.”
“Impossible,” said the dragon. “It is my
nature to collect beautiful maidens, to hoard gold, and to ravish the land.”
“And it is certainly my nature,” said the knight, “to rescue maidens in
distress, to slay dragons, and to defend what is right.”
King Irkomen: “So, you see, fair maiden, we really must
fight,” said the dragon.
“Look,” said the maiden, “I am a part of this story as much as you. And since I am so beautiful my last request
you cannot refuse. I want you two to
Queen Irkomen: “OK.
We will change places for a moment out of respect for duty and honor,”
decided the knight.
“Speak for yourself, knight,” said the dragon. “But I will consent to this request to put
the challenge to the test.”
But after changing his shape into that of the knight, the dragon said, “Gee, so
this is what it is like to be a heroic knight: I imagine people telling stories
of me over ale and mead and singing my praise down through the ages.”
And the knight said after turning into the dragon, “You know, as a dragon, I
just want what's mine: gold, beautiful
women, and the fear of mankind. I have
been hiding out in caves for a very long time.
I think I would enjoy, for a change, a castle and a kingdom to add to my
lineage.” The two looked at each other
and said, “Perhaps we can make a deal.”
And so they did. The knight built his
castle over the dragon's cave. In the
brief moment he was the dragon, the knight decided he liked country living and
And in the brief moment the dragon was the
knight, he thought about all of the kingdom's treasures and decided they were
not very safe. So he offered to guard
them for free.
Ice: The maiden, now a queen, visited the
dragon regularly. She liked those who
took her suggestions to heart.
Queen Irkomen: And when she was away on royal visits, she
sent the court minstrel to entertain the dragon. The minstrel put the dragon’s stories into
songs that made both of them famous.
King Irkomen: And the knight was happy. No one even thought about attacking his
kingdom, for he had a dragon on his side.