Friday, August 7, 2009

A Little known Arthurian story

King Arthur was pensive. Sitting on his throne, with his hand to his chin, the great king looked sad and lost. All was silent in the court. A patina of gloom seemed to have descended on Camelot.

Knights in shining armour looked at knights in matte finish material. Varlets looked at knaves. Maids looked at pages. (Most of whom were pages in charge of clearing out the cobwebs in the palace, otherwise known as web pages).

Only Queen Guinivere looked on proudly. From time to time King Arthur would look at her sadly and shift his gaze back to the floor.

Suddenly there was a puff of light and Merlin the Wizard appeared. The assemblage promptly bowed to the King's revered wizard and advisor.

A quick glance around the room told Merlin that all was not well. With a wave of his hand, he bid them to be gone.

"We wish to have a word with the King in private", he roared and the company dispersed hastily.

"What be it, Arthur? From whence hast this gloom descended, like the fog descendeth on the lake? Excuseth thou the Purple Prose, but we are wearing our Purple gown today" said the Wizard.

"She slept with Gawain last night", said Arthur, gesturing with a thumb towards Guinivere, who continued to stare defiantly.

"I have but purity in my heart, O reverent wizard Merlin" said the Queen.

Merlin gazed at her with his magical vision and turned to Arthur

"'Tis true, Arthur. She speaketh not a lie. Art thou sure thou hast seen what thou thinks though hast seen? That it is not a despicable illusion by Sir Mordred?"

"Ask thou that thyself", snapped King Arthur

"Hast thou, Queen Guinivere, done what Arthur sayeth?"

"I do not deny the event, O Wise Wizard, merely its impropriety"

It took the Wizard a few moments to work this out. Turning to Arthur, Merlin asked

"Hast thou sanctioned this, King Arthur? Art thou NUTS!"

"I swear I have not. She has been sleeping with them all. Last night it was Gawain. The night before it was Galahad. And the other morning I spied Lancelot tippy-toeing out with a smirk on his face. Yet she denies all wrongdoing, and continues unrepentant. We are at a loss"

Merlin smiled sadly. "Arthur, Arthur, thou art a dolt"

"Me? What did I do?"

"Think back, Arthur. Did thou not covenant Guinivere to unhesitatingly and guiltlessly obey thy commands?"

"Yes, but that was to help her overcome her reservations about killing, should any evil being attack her when I am away"

"And rightly so. But is it not beholden upon thee, then, to weigh thy words carefully and evaluate all their implications?"

"I suppose so, but what did I say?" Arthur cried in puzzlement.

"It is always the simplest explanation, mon ami" said Merlin. "What is the last thing thou tellest her before retiring?"

"Has thou kept the milk bottles outside the castle?"

"No, after that"

"Oh!" Said Arthur, for realization had dawned upon him. The wise Merlin had solved it, as usual.

"I tell her to have a good night" he said.

"Exactly", smiled Merlin

Update: I have received an interesting mail from one Prof. Hogsbottom, expert in Arthurian History. He says "Back then, pages in charge of cleaning cobwebs would have a free run of the premises and thus be privy to all kinds of secrets. As a precaution, therefore the pages in charge of the royal chambers would be locked up in special cellars (or crypts) so that they could not relay information accidentally overheard. They were called encrypted pages"


Siddharth said...

This is unbelievable! First Poirot, now Merlot...sorry Merlin!

Pages who cleaned cobwebs = Web Pages !!! LOL!!

Your stories are getting better by the day!

- Sid

Idling in Top Gear said...

Ahh, so that's where Good Knight mosquito mats got their name!

Web pages, lmao. :D

Sowmya Srikrishnan said...

This is super cool :)

Guys in the office are wondering why I am LOLing

Bea Walker said...

Shining armour and matte finish....LMAO!

Ranju said...

aiammooo...har har har heeheee heee...good one !!!

PS: thou wrote this outside the window or from inside?

Nowhere Man said...

But what about the chastity belt of queen Guinivere?
Yes we heard all about it from the "atwitter" Pages before they were accused of denial of service attacks..

Nav said...

"Has thou kept the milk bottles outside the castle"

A gem...

Nav said...

"Has thou kept the milk bottles outside the castle"

A gem...

le embrouille blogueur said...

NUTS....thou art the greatest Naren...thy sense of humor has crippled the sides of my bloated self ...

maxdavinci said...

sirjee tussi cha gaye.

telling her to have a good knight wud prolly have been more powerful with all the knights at the round table having stories to tell!

Anonymous said...

Alright, where is Naren? And what hve you done with him?

LOL, gosh you're on a roll!


Anish said...

I bow to thee, ignoring the pain in my stomach :D

The update was awesome too!


Raju said...


narendra shenoy said...

@All - Thanks a million! I usually get a nasty look when I tell groaners. And here is an entire community of seemingly sane people who are saying they actually like it without expecting monetary compensation. Heaven must be like this.

The missus of course has given up. She's currently scouring the classifieds for lead weights to tie around my neck and bung me into the Arabian Sea. But I have you, all my wonderful blog friends. I'm going to celebrate this with a bottle of vodka so russian there is zilch in roman script. Sheela is trying to scare me by saying it is probably Ukrainian insecticide.

So what if it is?

Anonymous said...



buddy said...

brilliant. simply brilliant

PS: poirot was brillianter, if i may

Anjana R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anjana R said...

whoa! looks like ive missed quite a bit of this pun-avalanche!
uber funny :D

Doli said...

heheheh this is really good.. almost fell off my seat laughing :)