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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."


"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

6 May 2015