I am the grit in the gears, the missing bolt, I am the poker of sticks into spokes. I like to know how things work, but sometimes when I take them apart and rebuild them, I have a few pieces left over. I am a man, so I tend to leave reading the instructions until after it goes wrong. And like all men I have a comprehensive mental map of the world and never need to ask directions. I never get lost, only sometimes I'm late, or end up in the wrong place entirely. It's what we do.
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
Dragons....Yesterday 23rd April being St George's Day
"St. George was a knight and born in Cappadocia. On a time he came in to the province of Libya, to a city which is said Silene. And by this city was a stagne or a pond like a sea, wherein was a dragon which envenomed all the country. And on a time the people were assembled for to slay him, and when they saw him they fled. And when he came nigh the city he venomed the people with his breath, and therefore the people of the city gave to him every day two sheep for to feed him, because he should do no harm to the people, and when the sheep failed there was taken a man and a sheep. Then was an ordinance made in the town that there should be taken the children and young people of them of the town by lot, and every each one as it fell, were he gentle or poor, should be delivered when the lot fell on him or her. So it happed that many of them of the town were then delivered, insomuch that the lot fell upon the king's daughter, whereof the king was sorry, and said unto the people: For the love of the gods take gold and silver and all that I have, and let me have my daughter. They said: How sir! ye have made and ordained the law, and our children be now dead, and ye would do the contrary. Your daughter shall be given, or else we shall burn you and your house.
When the king saw he might no more do, he began to weep, and said to his daughter: Now shall I never see thine espousals. Then returned he to the people and demanded eight days' respite, and they granted it to him. And when the eight days were passed they came to him and said: Thou seest that the city perisheth: Then did the king do array his daughter like as she should be wedded, and embraced her, kissed her and gave her his benediction, and after, led her to the place where the dragon was.
When she was there S. George passed by, and when he saw the lady he demanded the lady what she made there and she said: Go ye your way fair young man, that ye perish not also. Then said he: Tell to me what have ye and why weep ye, and doubt ye of nothing. When she saw that he would know, she said to him how she was delivered to the dragon. Then said S. George: Fair daughter, doubt ye no thing hereof for I shall help thee in the name of Jesu Christ. She said: For God's sake, good knight, go your way, and abide not with me, for ye may not deliver me. Thus as they spake together the dragon appeared and came running to them, and S. George was upon his horse, and drew out his sword and garnished him with the sign of the cross, and rode hardily against the dragon which came towards him, and smote him with his spear and hurt him sore and threw him to the ground. And after said to the maid: Deliver to me your girdle, and bind it about the neck of the dragon and be not afeard. When she had done so the dragon followed her as it had been a meek beast and debonair. Then she led him into the city, and the people fled by mountains and valleys, and said: Alas! alas! we shall be all dead. Then S. George said to them: Ne doubt ye no thing, without more, believe ye in God, Jesu Christ, and do ye to be baptized and I shall slay the dragon. Then the king was baptized and all his people, and S. George slew the dragon and smote off his head, and commanded that he should be thrown in the fields, and they took four carts with oxen that drew him out of the city.
Then were there well fifteen thousand men baptized, without women and children, and the king did do make a church there of our Lady and of S. George, in the which yet sourdeth a fountain of living water, which healeth sick people that drink thereof. After this the king offered to S. George as much money as there might be numbered, but he refused all and commanded that it should be given to poor people for God's sake; and enjoined the king four things, that is, that he should have charge of the churches, and that he should honour the priests and hear their service diligently, and that he should have pity on the poor people, and after, kissed the king and departed."
But there are two sides to every story. As the following songs tell.
A dragon has come to our village today.
We've asked him to leave, but he won't go away.
Now he's talked to our king and they worked out a deal.
No homes will he burn and no crops will he steal.
Now there is but one catch, we dislike it a bunch.
Twice a year he invites him a virgin to lunch.
Well, we've no other choice, so the deal we'll respect.
But we can't help but wonder and pause to reflect...
Do virgins taste better than those who are not?
Are they salty, or sweeter, more juicy or what?
Do you savor them slow? Gulp them down on the spot?
Do virgins taste better than those who are not?
Now we'd like to be shed of you, and many have tried.
But no one can get through your thick scaly hide.
We hope that some day, some brave knight will come by.
'Cause we can't wait around 'til you're too fat to fly.
Now you have such good taste in your women for sure,
They always are pretty, they always are pure.
But your notion of dining, it makes us all flinch,
For your favorite entree is barbequed wench!
Now we've found a solution, it works out so neat,
If you insist upon nothing but virgins to eat.
No more will our number ever grow small...
We'll simply make sure there's no virgins at all!!
A Dragon's Retort (To the tune of "Irish Washerwoman")
(C) 1985 by Claire Stephens
Well, now I am a dragon, please listen to me
For I'm misunderstood to a dreadful degree
This ecolog needs me, and I know my place
But I'm fighting extinction with all of my race.
But I came to this village to better my health
Which is shockingly poor despite all of my wealth
But I get no assistance and no sympathy,
Just impertinent questioning shouted at me
Yes, virgins taste better than those who are not
But my favorite snack food with peril is fraught
For my teeth will decay and my trim go to pot
Yes, virgins taste better than those who are not.
Now we worms are deep thinkers, at science we shine
And our world's complicated with every new line
We must quit all the things that we've done since the flood
Like lying on gold couches that poison our blood
Well I'm really quite good almost all of the year
Vegetarian ways are now mine out of fear
But a birthday needs sweets, I'm sure you'll agree
And barbecued wench tastes like candy to me...
As it happens our interests are almost the same
For I'm really quite skillful at managing game
If I messed with your men would your excess decline?
Of course not, the rest would just make better time!
But the number of babies a woman can bear
Has a limit and that's why my pruning's done there
Yes an orphan's a sad sight and so when I munch
I'm careful to take out only virgins for lunch!
Borrowed from: SCA songs. Can you spear a ditty? - Society for Creative Anachronism -