Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tuesday Tales: The Black Thief and the Knight of the Glen

I enjoyed last week's tale so much that I revisited the thievery this week for Tuesday Tales with an Irish tale called The Black Thief and the Knight of the Glen. In this tale, we have princelings, evil stepmothers, and quests. Sounds familiar.

As the Queen died, she made her husband promise to hide her three boys on a lake after her death in fear of the new Queen. After her death, her husband hid his boys away and remarried. The new Queen learned of the boys existence and demanded an audience with them. She played a card game with each of them. The oldest and middle child lost to the Queen. The youngest won his game with his step-mother. For winning, she compelled the oldest and middle child to complete a quest to capture the Knight of the Glen's wild Steed of Bells. The youngest requested to accompany his brothers and compelled the Queen to stand on a tower facing the wind with nothing but corn and water until they returned.

Of course, such a thing is no easy task. The Black Thief of Sloan also accompanied the boys on their adventure and was similarly captured by the Knight of the Glen. The Knight intended to boil the boys from the oldest to the youngest and then finally the Thief. For each of the children, the Knight demanded a story in exchange for a pardon. The Thief told a story of stealing gold from witches to secure a pardon for the oldest. He told of an incident of grave robbing to secure a pardon for the middle boy. To secure the pardon for the youngest boy and for himself, the Thief told the Knight of a tale involving the slaying of a giant and his rescue of a weeping woman and a child. The child ended up being the Knight, and so he released the youngest boy and the Thief in thanks for his life.

After they were all free, the boys told the Knight why they had tried to steal his horse. He relented and gave them the horse to save their lives from the Queen. On the way back to the castle, the evil Queen heard the horse's bells ringing. She threw herself off the tower and died.

Gruesome story but full of various fantastic tales and a great ending. When will these evil Queens learn not to mess with the kids?

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