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Knight Of The Rocks

The wind howled and blew sand in our faces as pebbles crunched beneath our feet. It was the second day of my family's summer holiday and I had joined the local kids as they scoured the coast for treasure.

"Listen to me!" shouted eight-year-old Lucy, brandishing a huge bag of pick 'n' mix. "A sweet to whoever brings me the biggest rock!"

And so we hunted. I found a flat pebble and hurried to show her.

"Silly boy. Not good enough," she said, stroking my cheek. "Use it as bait."

"Bait?"

"Yes, bait, dummy. Use it as bait to catch a bigger one."

Grabbing a net and returning to the shoreline, I tied the rock to a string and cast it to the waves. The sea reached for it with foamy fingers and ducked it deep.

I waited. But not for long.

The rocks, much to my delight, were biting well that day. The first big rock escaped but I managed to snare the second in my net. I hauled it up the beach and showed it to Lucy. Her blue eyes sparkled with pleasure.

"That," she said, "is a fine throne for your queen. Kneel."

And so it was that I received my knighthood on that windswept beach, surrounded by children I hardly knew. Lucy dubbed me her Knight of the Rocks and bestowed upon me the queenly gift of a kiss and a mint imperial. Standing high upon her throne, she sent the other kids off to find seaweed wigs while I, as her knight, remained on guard.

And I guard her still - even now, all these years later, as I sit at her hospital bedside, waiting for the tumour to claim my queen.

Story by:

Mark Farley

mumbletoes.blogspot.co.uk

6 May 2015