The sun rise was more beautiful then any the village had witnessed in days. Most would attribute the sun’s beauty to Sir Taylor’s presence at home again, but when Taylor looked up to the sky that morning he knew the beauty was that of nature’s. The young man wanted to get an early start at his work at home, something that most Knights never did but Taylor did not let the title interfere with his duties at home. He and Princess Ann would be riding into the market place in the few hours to come accompanied by Taylor’s sister and Prince Henry.
“The sky is gorgeous, Kintessa,” Taylor said to his horse, brushing the long mane to the side. He quickly looked around the barn. “I haven’t forgotten anything, at least I do not think I have.” He made a list in his head of his chores and noted that he finished them all. “Kintessa, you and I are going to take a ride before we go to the square. We are going to take a ride in the beautiful new sunlight.”
Taylor guided the horse out into the fields and mounted it. The grass was wet with dew and it sparkled as the new rays of sun washed over each blade. The colors of the sky were nothing like he had ever seen before; the yellow, the orange and all shades in between.
“This is the sun which creates new life,” Taylor said aloud to his horse. “Many things will grow today.” Kintessa knew where she was going although Taylor had said nothing about their destination. She galloped into the woods and down to the brook at the bottom of a hill, a clearing which Taylor spent much of his private time just thinking and reading. The brook was large and he loved to sit on the soft grass and watch it run clear down to it’s unknown destination. He often compared it to his life, something which he could not tell anyone else even the Princess for fear he would be considered a mad man. His theory was his life ran much like the brook, clear, a little bumpy every now and then, and running to an unknown future which lie ahead. He attributed the rocks to when he had to lose himself in battle. They were not huge bumps, not enough to throw the brook of it’s course, but they were there and they made their presence known.
It was though God had made this clearing distinctively for Taylor, the woods ended at it’s edge and the grass grew and shared it’s soil with flowers of the most exotic colors. Taylor often took a few back to the castle and back to his own house. Over the brook the woods started up again and the trees once again towered over the small brook almost making it seem out of place. The sun always shone down on the clearing, warm and full of life. Oftentimes the Knight found himself lying on the cool grass with the sunlight splashing down upon his face, he felt alive even though he was resting.
Today, he wanted to cross the brook.
“Stay, Kintessa,” he commanded leading the horse to the water’s edge. The brook was so clean both Taylor and his horse drank from it regularly. The knight stepped onto the familiar rocks and made it safely to the other side of the brook. Today he wanted to find his favorite tree and study. Taylor’s tree was separated from the others, almost as though it had been outcasted from the tree society. It was closer to the brook’s edge then any other tree so Taylor had taken that tree to be his own ever since his childhood.
He took out his sword and bowed to the tree. “Friend, let us exercise.” When he raised his head he noticed something peculiar. There were marks in the tree that had not been there before. He touched them lightly, they were slices from a sword not his own and they were recent. He looked around. “Who goes there?” He asked the woods. He put his sword back in his belt. “If you show yourself now I will not have to kill you.”
“Sir Taylor, it is I,” a voice came from behind him.
Taylor whirled around. “Zachary,” he said addressing his 15 year old brother. “What are you doing here?”
“I- I’ve been practicing,” the boy spit out. His face lightened and he grew satisfied with himself and his now steady voice. “I want to be like you.”
Taylor was taken back. “Zachary, you have yet to attain the title of a Squire. You must become a Squire before Knightship. I am the youngest Knight that has ever been, four years short of twenty-one.”
“I am aware of it,” Zachary insisted. “I wish to become a Squire. I know there is no chance of I becoming a Knight the way you have. I cannot save a Princess in distress, but I wish to become a noble.
Taylor thought for a moment and then took out his sword. He tossed it from hand to hand. “Are you good?” He questioned the boy.
“What?” The brother said not sure that he had heard right.
“Are you good?” Taylor repeated.
“I do not know, Sir.”
“What arm have you been using?”
“This one.” Zachary took out a sword that was evident he had made himself, the blade was long and was cut off an at odd angle, but the handle looked sturdy enough.
“Let us see how you joust,” Taylor instructed. “You know the rules, I’m sure.”
“Very well.” He caught the sword in one hand. “Take your mark.”
Zachary grew excited as his brother took his stance. He was nervous as well for fear he would prove himself a fool. He prayed he would fight well, just as his brother always did.
In moments the two brothers’ swords were clanking together loudly in the early morning silence.
“Lean with your left,” Taylor instructed. “Good!” He nearly missed what would be a fatal wound in battle. “A little too good,” he mumbled to himself shielding the opposite sword from his face with his own. He managed to push his brother back a little and resume the harmless clanking and reflecting. “You would want to take a jab here in battle,” Taylor instructed. “It would at least slice your opponent. Then as he was recovering you would knock him down and end the fight.” Taylor reflected Zachary’s sword but tripped over a root and toppled to the ground. The Knight laughed as his brother stood there dumbfounded. “Faults in nature work to your advantage as well,” the young man said from the ground. “I would be done for had this been a real fight.”
“You are a good teacher,” Zachary said reaching for his older brother’s hand to help him up.
“Good fight, young Squire” Taylor took his outreached hand firmly, holding it tightly in his own but did not allow Zachary to help him up. Instead, he pulled his brother down next to him in the grass. “Never let your guard down,” Taylor said jumping up and grabbing his sword and Zachary’s from the grass. He placed both the tips gently on the confused boy’s chest. “That is how most accidents occur.” He put his own sword in his belt and threw Zachary’s down on the ground. Taylor grabbed the boy’s hand, pulling him to his feet before he had time to play the same trick on the Knight.
Zachary brushed himself off. “No fair,” he complained. “You are much stronger than I.”
“Aye,” Taylor agreed. “And thus is true with many other Knights, you must learn to handle their strength and improve on your own if you ever wish to become one.”
Zachary nodded. “Thank you, Sir. You have taught me well.”
“Zachary... After chores we could practice together,” Taylor suggested. “Do you like that notion? You can build up that strength and I could teach you what I know.”
Zachary nodded eagerly. “I’d like that very much, Taylor.” He grew more ecstatic with the thoughts of he and Taylor jousting every day. “Thank you, Taylor, Thank you!”
Taylor chuckled and put his arm around his brother. “You are welcome, Zachary. Just do me a favor- try not to slay me. I like my heart where it is.”