Harold the Horribly Hairy

"And then...and then, I just chopped off his head in one fell swoop!" The drunken man swung his glass of beer around to demonstrate his point. "And I could do the same to any man that doubts it!" All the locals shook with fear. This was the Harold the Hairy they had been hearing of who had been ravaging the countryside for the last fortnight. And now, he was in their village; but what could they do? They again shook with fear.

Unnoticed by them, however, was one man who just stared at Harold with amusement. "WHAT!?" exclaimed the inebriated man. "Don't...don't believe me, do you?"

"Well no, Sir...what do you call yourself?" The one asked.

"Harold, Harold the Horribly Hairy." Harold said.

"No, I don't believe you, Sir Harold, and I hereby challenge you to a jousting tournament at 6:00 this evening"

"Very well then. But, what is your name?"

"My foes call me Sir Invincible. My friends call me Sir Guirard."

At exactly five-thirty that evening, the local townspersons began to assemble at the tourney green. Men, women, and children of all ages thronged the sidelines. Indeed, it seemed that even the dogs and cats of the village had turned out for the event. The young ladies waved handkerchiefs of silver and blue, the colors of Sir Invincible's coat of arms, while those who had not heard of Sir Harold's horrible deeds cheered for the hairy knight.

The flags above the sports ground flapped in the breeze, and to the east and west of the field all was frenzied excitement. The knights were preparing for battle.

Sir Invincible was kneeling before a cross, praying for God's blessing on the coming battle. As he stood, his right-hand man put the last touches on his armor. Sir Invincible mounted his steed.

Harold the Hairy rubbed the wart on his thumb, swept the hair out of his hideous eyes, measured the width of his very large biceps, looked across the field between his horse's ears, and saw that Sir Invincible was ready. "Prepare for death!" he said, addressing Sir Invincible.

The knights spurred their horses forward. There was a flash of metal from each end of the field and then -- CRASH! The combating men came together in the center of the tourney green. For a while, the onlookers could only see a whirl of dust, both knights having been knocked from their horses. Then, a large gust of wind swept across the town, clearing the dust from around the two forms. Harold the Hairy was lying on the ground, while Sir Invincible stood tall and proud on Sir Harold's broad chest, holding aloft the sword of Harold the Horribly Hairy.

The onlookers rushed to surround Sir Invincible, who was borne amid many cheers and cries of gratitude straight to the local Earl's castle, where the townspeople demanded that he be made a Lord. Of course, the Earl had no choice, given the noise they were making, so Sir Invincible became Lord Triumphant and lived happily ever after.

The End

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