Please see my previous post, “The Fanny Tales – The Barista” for an explanation of what the hell this is and for the introductory prologue of my modern Chaucerian character, The Barista. As stated before, the assignment was to write a tale that the character might actually tell, thus creating a collection of different stories in diverse styles with vastly different morals. As the class’s bawdy tale of sexual escapades was covered by “The Marriage Counselor’s Tale” (see previous post), I decided to play it straight, as I think this at times cynical barista may still believe in happy endings.
THE BARISTA’S TALE
For in a far off land in days of old
Where magic lives, or so I have been told,
And satyrs dance with fairies in the night,
An age of dragons, wizards, and the knight
There lived a young courageous stable boy
Who served a baron with a daughter coy.
Both youths dreamed of serving King Arthur’s court
But by those knightly standards both fell short.
And so they made one secret, des’prate pact
To fake the gender or the title lacked.
The baron’s daughter could teach chivalry
And pass the stableboy off as gentry.
In turn he’d make the bonnie lass a man.
They thought they had themselves a fool-proof plan.
By dark of night the two did run away.
They set off through the forest of the Fay.
They traveled through that haunted fairy glen
Where fay lights danced upon the misty fen
And found themselves a disillusioned knight
Who’d grown so cynical of wrong and right.
His moral spectrum had become so grey
That he would train them for a modest pay.
They learned to joust, to fence, and to be strong
If they would tend the horse that rode along
with them, break camp, and also hunt his food.
He had a temper and a foul mood
But he was a good teacher, albeit gruff.
Under his guidance both grew brave and tough.
When they were done their training he then brought
them to the jousts and fights in Camelot
And passed the two of them off as his kin,
His only thought the sums that he would win,
But he was summoned by good Lancelot
Who seemed to be unnerved and quite distraught.
The Lady of Shalott had disappeared.
And was forever lost or so he feared
She had been taken by a mighty foe
To a cursed isle where few did dare to go.
No man could reach its silver shores alive,
All were bewitched by those feared sirens five
Who sang them to their deaths upon the shore
All who went there were lost forever more
Or if somehow they shook the Sirens’ song
There was a magic on that isle so strong
That made the very land rise up and fight.
The trees themselves did drive off any knight.
The disillusioned knight was their last chance
For he had once been teacher to good Lance
And though he had grown bitter and irate
His protege still knew that he was great.
And so the knight and squires agreed to go
To save the Lady and defeat the foe.
They left with haste and sailed to the isle
But the two men the sirens did beguile.
The spell they cast worked only on the males
The female squire could eas’ly work the sails
And once upon the shore the spell was broke.
So to the hostile trees the boy then spoke.
As a farmboy he’d tended to their kind.
He knew that men and the land were entwined
And so they’d not take arms against the three.
With valor they did crush the villainy
And together they did save the Lady
But when they brought the damsel safely back
A serf of the baron’s exposed their act.
“A girl and stableboy!” Good Lance did shout
“Of treason high you both have been found out!”
“Good, Lance,” said the knight, “do not judge them thus!
For they are braver still than both of us.
It is the heart that makes the knight so brave
They cannot help the form that fate has gave
To them, now let us their two faults address
Title is but a name no more, no less
I have no sons nor kinsman to succeed
me, so this boy can be the heir I need.”
Good Lancelot to this did acquiesce,
“But there’s one problem here you must confess,
Much harder than to change a farmboy’s class
Is to create a man out of a lass.”
The knight did say, “You are correct, I guess.
But she’s the title of a baroness
And who’s to say a girl can’t serve the realm
When lovely face is hidden in a helm
Can any tell that she is not a lad?
Her heart is brave and true as any had
She could not hide her heart and live a lie
nor could give up, that’s nothing to decry!
These two have something I lost long ago
But thanks to them now once again I know
what it does truly mean to be a knight
To fight for justice, truth, and for what’s right!”
And so the two did serve their mighty king
And to the kingdom justice they did bring.
The two of them were knights of great glory
And here is the moral of the story:
That ev’ryone cannot change what they are,
Against all odds, though, they can still go far.
Thanks for reading. For more fun with Chaucer, check out Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog and Chaucer Doth Tweet.