King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson by Kenneth Kraegel
“On the day Henry turned six years old, he woke up early, ate a large breakfast, mounted his trusty donkey, Knuckles, and went out in search of adventure.”
Henry is the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of King Arthur. He receives gifts of a helmet and a sword (just his size) on his birthday. He has a picture of castle on his wall. He wants to be a brave knight like those of King Arthur’s days. So, he goes out in search of adventure and battle.
First, Henry seeks out a fire-breathing dragon and challenges him to a fight. The Dragon (drawn with wings, tail, and talons – but not frightening), takes a deep breath then blows smoke rings around Henry. When Henry says he wants to fight, the Dragon suggests he try the Cyclops in the mountains.
Henry and his donkey ride off to seek the Cyclops. Henry challenges the Cyclops to battle. The Cyclops stares at Henry. Henry stares at the Cyclops. Finally, Henry gets frustrated and asks to start the battle. The Cyclops says they’ve done battle – a staring contest, and that Henry lost.
“NO! NO!” cried Henry. “I am not interested in a staring contest. I want a struggle of arms, a test of might and courage!”
“Hmmmm,” the Cyclops considered. “If it is a physical peril you desire, you should visit the Griffin down in the valley.”
When Henry finds the Griffin, and challenges him to battle, the Griffin agrees. The Griffin gets out a chess board. The Griffin suggests Henry find the Leviathan if Henry is looking for danger.
Henry gets on a raft in the waters and announces himself to the Leviathan, calling out a challenge. A large head emerges and begins: “GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR…” Which is the start of ‘greetings.’ Henry climbs out of the water and dashes away before the beast can continue.
“I say, grrrreeeetings to the highly esteemed great-great-great-gr– Hey! Wait! Where are you going? I thought we were going to play a game? Hello?”
The story ends with Henry playing chess with his new friends, the Griffin, the Cyclops, and the Dragon.
This is a cute story – sure to be popular with young listeners who love knights and the King Arthur legends. At first, Henry does point his sword to threaten and challenge the various beasts (all of whom are much larger than Henry). But, each beast answers his challenge in a non-violent manner. And, in the end, Henry has new friends.