Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Sack Knight, part 3

Ignatius was later woken by the sound of the creek calling his name. He rose to his feet and made his way to the edge of the creek bank. The creek’s bubbling laughter forced a smile to his face. “Sir Ignatius,” said the creek, “your will and your strength have aided me in a great way today. Truly, you cannot be the worst knight there is, as you told me earlier; for the worst knight there is would not have aided me as efficiently as you have!”
            Ignatius felt himself beginning to turn red, and the smile left his face. “Please, creek,” he pleaded, “do not hail me as the hero you make me out to be. I was only doing what my conscience told me I must do. I am not so great and heroic.” But the creek wouldn’t hear of it. Ignatius had done it a great service when he just as easily could have walked away and left it to suffer. “You are nothing less than a hero, Ignatius,” it told him, “and for that you must be given a hero’s medal. Walk up my bank until you reach a small pool in the forest, full of mosses and ferns and all manner of lush greenery. There you will find a small bush blooming with hundreds of white, starry flowers. Take one of these flowers and weave it into the mesh of your sack, and that shall be the medal of heroism given you by me.”
            Ignatius shook his head forlornly. “I cannot accept it,” he told the creek, and turned to leave. He felt tears well up in his eyes and his legs begin to grow weak, as he always felt whenever anybody praised him or hailed him for heroism.  He could hear the creek calling, “Ignatius! Sir Ignatius!” and he tried to block the sound from his head. I will not be given a medal I truly do not deserve, he thought to himself, and that is that. That foolish creek doesn’t know what a true hero is, if it thinks that I am a true hero. Finally, he could no longer hold back the tears, and set himself down on the mossy ground to weep. “I…am…the worst…knight!” he lamented through his tears and sobs. “The…very…worst…knight…there…is!” He cried until his head ached and his face was red as a fresh-picked apple, and when he finished he found himself exhausted and laid his head down, ignoring the mud and the wet moss.
            Ignatius was not sure how long he had been asleep, but when he awoke, his headache was gone and his tears had dried. He found himself staring up at a bough of beautiful white flowers, each one pointed like a star. He remembered the coat of arms of the knights of Fair Alora: a large, blue five-pointed star with a white flower in the center, symbolizing a gentle, compassionate demeanor in addition to bravery and strength. The creek must have led me here while my spirits were too low to be aware, he concluded. He broke off a bough of the white, starry flowers and stared at them thoughtfully. The creek’s voice echoed in his head amongst the thoughts of the deed he had done for it: Your will and your strength have aided me in a great way today. You are nothing less than a hero, Ignatius, and for that you must be given a hero’s medal.
        Finally, he plucked off one of the white flowers and stuck it into the mesh of his sack, at his right breast—not because he felt that he deserved it, but because he felt that he would be doing the creek a disservice by declining it. 

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