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Topic Subject:Squire Mouse - A Medieval Fable (Story Thread)
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Lancer
Archer
posted 12-01-01 11:36 EST (US)         
STRONGHOLD HEAVEN Presents:

SQUIRE MOUSE

ABOUT THIS STORY:

Fantasy: All characters are animals. No humans allowed.
Comedy: Pythonesque, parody, satire, slapstick.
Characterizations: Can be animal or human-like stereotypes.


Please enter only story posts in this thread. Use this link to the DISCUSSION THREAD to post communication and comments.

[This message has been edited by Lancer (edited 12-01-2001 @ 12:30 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Lancer
Archer
posted 04-02-02 12:11 EST (US)     76 / 85       
Bushtail regained consciousness amidst the sweet smell of berries and tea leaves. His upper armor had been removed and a monk mouse was busy applying a poultice to the deep wound under his upper arm. A length of cloth in the monk's possession would soon become a wrapping to both cover the wound and immobilize his injured shoulder. It hurt, but stalwart Bushtail did little more than wince once in awhile as the monk layed to in his work.

Scurry was sitting near Bushtail, the older squirrel knight discovered on regaining his senses, also being attended to for various cuts and bruises. Scurry came to be near Bushtail because when the dispatcher of Grinning feinted dead away, Scurry staggered to his feet thinking his comrade in battle to be mortally wounded. He attempted to provide what aid he could, but the monks among the bystanders either moved him aside or themselves began to address Scurry's own wounds. Little was said among them as Bushtail was senseless and Scurry was too exhausted to do much of anything else.

It was Scurry who spoke first upon seeing Bushtail awake and alert. "They say your wounds are not dangerous, but you must be still while they attend to them."

"You are well?" said Bushtail, somewhat weakly.

"Well enough," said Scurry, wincing at the application of yet another bandage on a cut more open than the others.

"Grinning is finished?"

"For good," confirmed Scurry. "A masterful stroke, Sir Bushtail. Well conceived for the circumstance," he added.

"An excellent subterfuge, Sir Scurry, feigning disadvantage like that. It gave me an excellent opportunity."

"Hrummpf," Scurry's eyes rolled. He knew the situation better than Bushtail. "Yes, well... I wouldn't say 'feigning' exactly describes the circumstance. A confession, Sir Bushtail... That miscreant feline had me cold, that is, until you skewered him."

Bushtail's face changed expression as if something exceedingly difficult was about to be said. "The truth be out, Sir Scurry... In the battle where you anonymously interceded on my behalf, there were perhaps two too many rats even for me. I was as relieved as much as angry when you appeared."

Scurry blinked and started to laugh. Bushtail began to chuckle as well, but winced as one particularly forceful laugh gave him such a tweak in his shoulder that tears nearly filled his eyes. Brother Mouse berated them both. "Enough, Sir Knights! You make this task more difficult by the minute. Cease for a moment, I say!"

"I think we have been commanded," observed Scurry.

"Indeed," concurred Bushtail. Both knights fell silent as the monks completed their work.

The mouse maiden had seen to the care of the two knights and then hurried from the Great Hall to meet with the Elders. There were preparations necessary for the Celebration, and to receive the Queen. And there was also the need to address the sadder circumstances of the death of brave Sir Chattering.


LANCER
One word deserves another.
mouse
HG Alumnus
posted 04-05-02 00:40 EST (US)     77 / 85       
"Check on the wounded, bury the dead, get ready for the Queen, prepare a celebration is a squire's job never done" mumbled mouse as trotted out of the great hall to meet with the elders.

"Half the troops are off shadowing those rats to see they leave the country and how are ever going to be ready for the Queen" the elders were worrying aloud as mouse arrived at the meeting.

"First things first we need to see how the wounded are doing, specially Crispin" mouse interrupted the discussion.
"I'm much better" squeaked a weak voice of Crispin who was close by. "Ah youngling that is good news are you strong enough to help" asked mouse. "Yes I'll help" squeaked Crispin. "Good we need you to be sure the young ones keep the fire built up and busy while we take care of the sad duty" mouse's voice broke on those words.

Troops straggled back into camp carrying the dead with them. They laid them gently in a rows away from the the fire where Crispin and the young were keeping busy with the fire. Tea was brought to the tired troops and a bit of bread before they started their sad duty of digging graves. Some of the monks came over rolling up their sleeves "we'll help with the graves then say the prayers" the monks spoke as one.

Lancer
Archer
posted 04-05-02 16:05 EST (US)     78 / 85       
Scurry and Bushtail, the Knight of the Oak's arm and shoulder wrapped to protect and immobilize his injured shoulder, stood quietly, heads bowed, as the body of Sir Chattering was slowly lowered into its grave. Crispin too was nearby, among a group of young mice who had earlier demanded that Crispin repeat over and over again the story of his adventure within the castle of Sir Grinning. Heaving a sigh each time, Crispin did as he was asked, only to have another group of young mice, and some adimiring mousettes, appear at his side and request the story again.

The squirrel honor guard brought arrows to bow as Chattering was lowered ever further towards the ground. Just as his cloth wrapped body reached ground level, the honor guard released 21 arrows at one time in an arc flying over the knight's grave and over all who watched. The bows twanged as if one giant device. The arrows whooshed overhead and fell harmlessly into the lake beyond.

The mouse maiden had added something special that she knew Sir Chattering would appreciate from beyond. She searched ceaselessly for just the right place for Sir Chattering's final resting place. Hours into her search, she heard a shout from Rory. Both she and Kia arrived at Rory's side to find that he had found exactly what mouse was looking for: a mature birch tree with a pleasant, quiet, peaceful view.

It was here that the ceremony took place a day later. And now brave Sir Chattering, young Knight of the Birch, lay beneath the shade of the tree he championed with its perfect view of the land, forest, lake and hills he fought to free from Sir Grinning. The ceremony ended with a chant sung by the mouse monks and a final prayer. Those who were there walked away from the area as quietly as they could so as not to disturb the peace of Sir Chattering.

At the camp a messenger arrived announcing that the Queen of the Tigwood Forest would be in their midst on the morrow.


LANCER
One word deserves another.
mouse
HG Alumnus
posted 04-05-02 18:48 EST (US)     79 / 85       
"Ohhhhh me ohhhhhh my how will we ever beready for the Queen in time" moaned mouse. Rory and Kia started rounding up troops to get food for the cooks. There were a number of cook fires burning around the main clearing as cooks started the baking and cooking for the Queen's arrival. A cart full of wines were brought by more monks. "A gift for the troops and the Queen from the Lord Abbott, where would like it mousemaid" asked the monk driving the first cart. Rory rushed up as he saw the mousemaid pulling on her ears with worry. "We'll put it in the stream to cool sir, if you could bring the carts close" Rory said as he bustled around to clear the way for the carts.

Kia alighted on branch over mouse's head "The musicians are here and have setup near the area cleared for the Queen's stand and the stand has been finished by the beavers and otters" she twittered softly. Mouse stopped tugging her ears maybe they would be able to do it after all. "Thank the otters and beavers for me please Kai" mouse called softly.

Mouse looked around and went to check on everything it seemed all was well in hand and she heaved a sigh of relief. "Now if the weather would just hold" she muttered to herself.

Lancer
Archer
posted 04-09-02 16:05 EST (US)     80 / 85       
The sky lit up bright as day for a brief instant and then the sounds of a million battles rolled across the treetops and faded into the distance. The mice closed sensitive eyes to the bright, blinding lightning and held paws to ears to shut out the sound of thunder reverberating throughout the forest.

The mouse maiden sat glumly, muzzle on paws. The best laid plans of mice and otters, she thought. Rory and Kia stirred nearby, Kia making little whistling sounds giving testimony to the fright lightning always caused her. "Hush, Kia," said mouse. "It is just a storm cloud. It will pass."

"Soon," said Kia, making a little whistling sound that accompanied the 's'. The quail shifted slightly to press a little more closely to Rory's furred side. "Yes, I expect so," said mouse, trying to reassure the timid bird.

Fortunately, mouse was correct. Unfortunately, the storm did its usual score of damage. Some of the preparations so carefully supervised by mouse were found the next morning to be in disarray. Just as mouse finished her assessment of the damage, a trumpet call signaled the arrival of the Queen. Too late, thought mouse. Just a little too late.

The Queen's transport was lowered to the ground to permit her to step out of its interior. She stepped out dressed magnificently in... her... royal... finery?

The Queen's robes were soaking wet and the Queen herself looked drenched. With a wry smile on her face, the Queen of Tigwood Forest, looked upon her subjects and exclaimed, "Yes, my faithful, even the royal personage can be caught by surprise by a sudden cloudburst!" Then she burst out in laughter and motioned to all of her respectfully bowing subjects to rise. "Now, is there anyone here who can lead the Queen to shelter and some dry clothing?"

Not surprisingly, it was mouse who stepped forward and offered assistance.

"Your name, please, if you will," said the Queen.

"Squire mouse, if you please, Your Majesty. Or simply mouse, if you'd like. Follow me, please." And mouse led the Queen and her attendants into the camp. As she passed Crispin, standing among the recovering mice, she glanced sideways at him. There was something she wanted to say to him, if only circumstances would permit... and Sir Scurry was amenable.


LANCER
One word deserves another.
mouse
HG Alumnus
posted 04-09-02 16:49 EST (US)     81 / 85       
Mouse took the Queen into a tent and had some of the other mice ladies bring towels and some dry clothes. They took away the Queen's wet gown to dry by the fire.
"So sorry your Majesty the only dry clothes we have are tunic and pants. You could wait with a bit of tea to warm you for your gown to dry" mouse mumbled a bit embarrased.
"Worry not mousemaid tunic and pants will serve me quite well but tea and a bit of chocolate would certainly be nice" the Queen spoke quite gently. One of the lady mice scurried in with tea and chocolate. "Kai and Rory are getting things organized and cleaned up from the storm" she whispered to mouse. The knights are arriving and the band is ready" mouse had a big grin spread across her face. "Now if you could just get the best tunic and pants for the Queen all should be well". The mouse lady's mouth dropped open "tunic and pants for the Queen" the shock was clearly visible on her face. "Yes dear mouse lady pants and tunic will serve me well to see the brave troops" again the Queen spoke quite gently.
Lancer
Archer
posted 04-15-02 20:06 EST (US)     82 / 85       
The sun was nearly at its peak in the near cloudless sky when the ceremonies commenced. The Queen of the Tigwood Forest was conveyed to the quickly constructed dais. Her feet were never permitted to touch the ground as servants saw to it that she stepped from her carrier to the steps leading up to the dais. Comfortably seated on the best chair to be found in the remains of Sir Grinning's sacked castle, the Queen observed a dignified silence as the soldiers of her Army of Tigwood Forest and the irregulars from the surrounding communities conducted a colorful Pass In Review.

Crispin opted to march with the irregulars, as did his comrades Cleese and Clep, and the others of the area who unified to confront Grinning. The mouse brothers of the monastery did not march. Instead, the brothers stood at the foot of the dais in silence, while the Abbot sat behind the Queen observing the parade's progress.

Knights led off the parade. In the foremost ranks of the knights, side by side, rode Sir Scurry and Sir Bushtail on their newly acquired warhares. The Queen noted Sir Bushtail's salute in particular and acknowledged the salute of Sir Scurry, whom she knew by reputation only. Following the knights came the massed formations of otters, mice, moles and other creatures of Tigwood Forest. Then came the irregulars.

The mouse maid had been invited to stand in the vicinity of the Queen. Many questions had been asked of mouse, about bravery, brave deeds and those who had performed them. Crispin's name had been mentioned, but not any of the deeds of mouse, herself. This was something mouse would not do.

"Which one is he?" the Queen had asked. "Which one is Cleese and which one is Crispin?" Mouse complied with the Queen's request noting the dress and location of each of these mice. "Ahhhh," said the Queen. "I see them now. My, they are young indeed. So admirably brave." The Queen watched both mice intently as they passed by. Cleese and Crispin both became slightly uncomfortable, for though they were supposed to keep their eyes properly "caged", they could not resist trying to sneak a glance at the Queen. To their surprise, she was staring directly at them as if interested in them alone. Hence, both marching mice were made uncomfortable with the attention they saw directed their way.

The parade concluded with the passage of the irregulars. The Queen rose to speak to them all.

"Soldiers and friends of the Tigwood Forest. I give you thanks for what you have accomplished and praise you for the victory you have achieved. The terror of Sir Grinning is ended. Sir Bushtail and Sir Scurry, I ask that you step forward."

The two knights directed their warhares to leave the knights' formation and approach the dais. In front of the dais, they lowered their ceremonial lances in salute and bowed their heads respectfully. The Queen resumed her speech.

"Your Queen commends you both and the late Sir Chattering for your bravery and your victory. Your names will be recorded in the great History of the Tigwood Forest for all who shall follow to remember you by and your deeds. I bestow upon both of you, membership in the Ancient Order of the Evergreen Leaf, and name you champions of the Kingdom of the Tigwood Forest." The Queen paused a moment and looked towards those standing before her. "A cheer for these two brave knights!" The otters, mice, and others all joined in raising a very boisterous cheer for Sir Bushtail and Sir Scurry.

"And now, I command the mice known as Cleese and Crispin to step forward." Nervously, Cleese and Crispin left their formation to stand before the Queen.

"I presume you are Cleese and you are Crispin," began the Queen nodding to each with the mention of their names.

"Uhh... Yes, Your Majesty," said Cleese, a slight quivering noticeable in his voice. "Yes, yo... your Majesty," stuttered Crispin.

"Cleese, it has been brought to my attention that your leadership in the dungeons of the castle are in a great way the reason Sir Bushtail, the Queen's Champion, was free to engage Sir Grinning." Cleese turned red under the fur covering his muzzle. "Well, Your Majesty, really, I..."

"Yes, I know there were others, Cleese. They will be recognized. But your actions were especially noteworthy, as were the actions of the mouse standing at your side, Crispin. You are well, young Crispin?"

"Ma... Ma... Mending, Your Majesty, thank you," said Crispin.

"Good. Mend quickly. There is a task ahead of you." Cleese and Crispin looked at each other. A task? What could that task be? The Queen smiled.

"My good mice, Cleese and Crispin. If you so choose, you shall be entered into training for knighthood. The Army of Tigwood Forest welcomes knights such as you, when you are trained and ready. Do you accept?"

"Yes, Your Majesty," both said at once. They were then directed to return to their formation amidst cheers from their comrades and the collected soldiers of the Queen.

"One last recognition," announced the Queen. Silence fell upon the host once more. "There is one who deserves very special recognition. One whose timely intercession ensured the victory we celebrate today. I call upon mouse, Squire to Sir Scurry, to stand before us now and be honored."

Mouse nearly fainted from surprise. The scene before her swirled suddenly as she took somewhat halting steps towards the place pointed to by the Queen. The Queen's words were coming to her as if emanating from a fog. Something was being said about her organizing the irregulars, about her finding Sir Scurry, about her uncovering the treacherous trick planned by Grinning, about her caregiving to the injured and about her attention given to a fitting resting place for the fallen knight, the heroic Sir Chattering.

Finally, the fog in her tumultuous mind lifted just as she heard the Queen say, "And how shall we reward you, Squire mouse?" The mouse maid was stricken. Reward? For me? Why... I haven't a thought or an idea. "Your Majesty, I... I don't know what to say..." And indeed she didn't in that moment; but something finally did occur to her even as the Queen stood patiently waiting for the mousemaid's response.

"My Queen, if it might be possible, this is what I would be happiest to receive as a reward..."


LANCER
One word deserves another.

[This message has been edited by Lancer (edited 04-15-2002 @ 09:00 PM).]

mouse
HG Alumnus
posted 04-15-02 21:29 EST (US)     83 / 85       
"A boon for my good and faithful friends Rory Hare and Kai Quail without whose help I could have done nothing. They saved me when I was hurt and couldn't remember who I was. They also helped me in ways too many to list. The boon I seek is for Rory to be trained as a knight's warhare and for Kia to be accepted into the Messenger's guild at your palace" mouse spoke in a clear voice for all to hear. "For myself just to return to my knight as his squire if he will have me back" mouse spoke much more softly this time.

The Queen smiled broadly at mouse "your boon is granted and your friends shall have the posts you requested". "Now for you mousemaid your much too modest thus I will appoint you to my court the post you will hold shall remain our secret" the Queen actually grinned at mouse's blush.

"Yyyyyyour Majesty" stammered mouse "ttthank you that is really too kind" mouse muzzle was a very bright pink. There were cheers all around for the Queen's honors.

Note for the readers of this story: mouse was appointed the Queen's spymaster. Thus ends Squire Mouse's story

Lancer
Archer
posted 04-17-02 15:44 EST (US)     84 / 85       
THE END

LANCER
One word deserves another.
Jayhawk
Eminence Grise
posted 04-18-02 03:27 EST (US)     85 / 85       
The grizzled mole blinked as as one of the logs from the fire collapsed and sparks blew upward. His snout was near silver and he was huddled in a rather comfortable chair. At his feet sat a gaggle of young moles, mice and squirrels.

"And thus ends the story of Squire mouse, " Tibbles spoke to his audience.

A young mole girl looked up at him.
"I want to be a knight too, great-grandfather."
"You will be, my dear, you will be. Just be as brave and true as squire mouse."

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