A Challenge...Part 05byathena_by_night©
A Challenge ~ Part Five
During the daylight hours the Hall was transformed and encompassed,
The place where King Doug settled disputes and those, against whom were trespassed.
Regal he was in his throne and with his faithful counsel by his side,
He ruled fairly as King Solomon had done before him with unconscious pride.
As King Doug loved his kingdom, his subjects, his position,
He was thoughtful and kind and didn’t act out of malice or derision.
His very presence commanded respect, his bearing one of selfless leadership,
He helped them all in their problems, their triumphs and friendships.
Master Gary with King Craig by his side, knew this to be a just man,
And if he pled his case well he could be assured a good solution to his plan.
He noticed Princess Ri off to the left with Knight Jules in tow,
He grinned at his own entourage that would witness the show.
Sir Billy cleared his throat as was his wont in instances such as these,
And announced the newest arrivals for the King to seize
In his warm embrace to his breast, he greeted all,
And to King Craig he also kissed as was his due to his presence in his Hall.
Ri sniffed, she sputtered in the shelter of Jules’ shadow,
She stamped her dainty foot and felt her blood chill her marrow.
She knew that she had behaved wantonly, recklessly at that,
But she was not one to stand by and allow decisions to fall like Bartholomew Cubbin’s hat.
Sir Dale and Sir Keven were doing their best to have order prevail,
They were in on the secret that Sir Billy, Eric and Ben had hatched on a grand scale.
The five were waiting with bated breath for King Doug to proceed,
To watch Master Gary and Princess Ri disobey or concede.
Sir Billy had instructed the courtiers to remain in silence,
He wanted no mistakes on the royal record of malfeasance or pestilence.
While they smirked and they bounced from one foot to the next,
King Doug resumed his seat with King Craig on the throne to his left on the pretext
That they would jointly decide the fate of the two who disrupted the Ball.
Master Gary ran a finger under his collar at his remembered gall.
Princess Ri was escorted to his side to face the two great men,
She glared once at Master Gary and hoped for a sign of fortune or omen.
Billy arrived at his podium once more, not to read the charges, but his group’s own thoughts,
He knew that they would be supplication to King Doug for their mischief, but they sought
To provide a humorous solution to the sticky problem Gary and Ri faced,
They knew that neither wished to be embarrassed nor disgraced.
“Hear Ye, Hear Ye, all who have presented themselves today.
There is a point of order that may have been overlooked I must say.”
King Doug widened his eyes at hearing Billy’s rendering,
King Craig placed a hand on his arm, as he wanted to listen to this tendering.
King Doug subsided, but not before shooting a piercing glance at his audience,
While he would remain silent for anon, he would not have this degenerate into a rout of nonsense.
Sir Billy proceeded with caution for he had no desire to anger his liege,
He opened and shut his mouth like a landed fish for a time before laying their siege.
“When the gentle King Doug made his decree,
A glove was thrown in gauntlet by Princess Ri.
Whilst this is usually reserved for the kingdom’s males,
A challenge was issued when Master Gary grasped the glove’s tails.
We propose that the challenge decide the fate of the two,
And that the winner determines their course and the other bow without rue.
Should this be a challenge with epees? Should this be a game of chance?
No, it should be a game of wits, which they love so well, let them showcase their dance.”
Billy wiped his brow as he finished speaking,
Knowing that what had been proffered was streaking
Close to a line in which King Doug alone would address
He peeked through his hands at the King over whether their idea he would bless.
Kings Doug and Craig looked amused to say the least,
They wondered allowed if condoning this would sooth the savage beast?
Of course they were too gentlemanly to say which beast would be soothed,
But everyone knew that Princess Ri was a law unto herself and needed to be detoothed.
Master Gary and Ri glanced at each other, the wheels spinning in their heads,
Now that they were put out there to provide a decision, they would have to be careful in their treads.
They backed slowly away from the other, the first smile gracing the Princess’s lips since last night,
When Master Gary had put her on the spot and had contributed to her plight.
She figured it was her right to start, never one to back down,
She contemplated her words as her smile turned to a frown.
“My dear Master Gary, you sir have always been such a clown and twit,
How could you battle me with only your looks and no wit?”
Master Gary through back his head at her foolish sally,
And formulated his own to add to his side of the tally.
“Ah, Princess Ri, let me clear up your mind that harbors a grave misconception,
I was in error of your swan, but when I realized I made a mistake, I was willing to make an exception.”
Ri sighed hard and she thought deep before answering,
“So, this mess at our feet is due to your usual foolish blundering?
We are pressed to join hands in the clutches of marriage,
And your best is to say that you were being untrue to your honorable carriage?”
“You mistake my intent, you silly goose, you blithering nut,
I was being urbane and gracious in trying not to mention that I only wanted to pinch your butt.
You have always fascinated those of us, who don’t catch your eye,
So when I realized whose feathers were in my hands, how could I not try?”
“You mock me now with thoughts of my royal tail,
At your peril I might add. And in your mission you did fail.
For birds of a feather, as you know, flock together,
Your plumage was deflated with your mistake of whether
You would proceed with me, or choose another.
I really think you should gather your druthers,
And tell us true, that you have loved me from afar
For this long time, now you back peddle like a falling star!”
She thought her speech pretty, she thought she was ahead,
But Master Gary had other ideas swirling in his head.
“You flatter me with your words, of that there is no question,
But before you declare yourself winner, might I make a suggestion?
There is another adage to be used in this situation,
Another saying to consider upon this most momentous occasion.
Don’t they say ‘don’t count your chickens before they hatch?’
Your smugness now may cause a decision you don’t want to snatch.”
Everyone’s head was swiveling from one to the other battling contestant,
As they traded reckless barbs with each other, no thought of catholic wisdom or protestant,
In evidence as their world had shrunk to just the two of them,
No one could get a word in edgewise, never mind an ahem.