When they woke up the following morning the sun had been up hours before them. It was a very hot day. So hot that the birds were using a jackhammer to dig worms from the ground. So hot the fish were parboiled in the river. So hot you could pull baked potatoes from the ground. So hot the chickens were laying fried eggs. So hot the trees were fighting over a dog. So hot the cows were giving evaporated milk. So hot the squirrels were fanning their nuts.
As they travelled through the forest in search for the unicorn with a golden tail, King Arthur and his Knights met with the Big Ogre.
Remember him? He is the Big Ogre who lived by the Bridge Between Two Mountains. He is the one who gave Merlin the potion of wisdom to put in the King’s drink and make him wiser.
Well, he was now no longer by the Bridge Between Two Mountains. He must have been holidaying in the forest. On vacation, as it were.
“You must be Arthur Pendragon, King of Camelot,” said the Big Ogre, “you look wiser than I was led to believe,” he smirked winking at Merlin.
“Yes … that’s me …” replied Arthur ready for a fight.
“Let me test your wisdom, Sire,” said the Big Ogre, “what creature walks on four legs for a while, then walks on two, and then on three?”
“A mosquito!” piped out Sir Hair-Net.
“What?” admonished Arthur, “a mosquito? It has six legs … not four or two or three … idiot!”
“A camel … a camel …” interrupted Sir Nose-Bleed through his nostrils.
“No no … not a camel … a centipede … he has many legs … and seven eyes too …” said Sir Careless.
Sir Lancelot laughed and said, “You are so addicted to exaggeration that you can’t tell the truth without lying!”
“It could be a carpet … or … or … a tree … I know … I know … I got it … a stick of broccoli! A bunch of broccoli even … with ice cream … strawberry flavour!” said another Knight who was so dumb his dog taught him tricks.
“Will you all shut up …” commanded the King, “this is not just a guessing game of anything idiotic and cretinous that comes into your pea-brained minds! We need to think this clearly and logically.
“Now let me think … What creature walks on four legs for a while? Then walks on two? And then on three?
“I don’t know … I give up!” he told the Big Ogre.
“It is man,” smiled the Big Ogre, “man crawls on all fours when he is a baby, but then eventually stands and walks on two legs, until he gets very old and he needs the help of a walking stick serving as a third leg to keep him steady!”
“It could be a lawnmower,” said Sir Gardener who wasn’t really listening, “a lawnmower … that’s what I need to invent to cut the grass in Camelot. Using a vacuum cleaner doesn’t cut it, you know!”
The Big Ogre shrugged his shoulders and continued, “deep in the forest, Arthur Pendragon, there is walking stick stuck in sticky stickiness. It was stuck there years ago by a stick insect which was a stickler for details.”
By the way … a collection of stick insects is known as a branch … (I thought I’d add this joke in to lighten the mood!)
“Whoever manages to pull out the stick stuck in sticky stickiness will become a great King of Camelot and rule it wisely with compassion, care, and … and … cream donuts!” declared the Big Ogre.
“Where is this stick?” asked Arthur.
“It’s behind you!” replied the Big Ogre.
The King approached the walking stick and said, “this isn’t a sticky substance … it’s mixed concrete.”
“Yes,” said the Big Ogre, “it is mixed concrete. Best grade quick drying cement. It was stolen from a building site by thieves who ran away in a cart pulled by 13 horses. Only the cart toppled over and the concrete fell onto the thieves. The police are looking for some hardened criminals!
“Now try to pull the stick out!”
Try as he might, King Arthur could not pull the walking stick out of the cement that cemented it to the cement which it was. He began to panic and think that he was not destined to be King of Camelot after all.
Eventually, exhausted he struck the cement with his sword, and noticed that some bits crumbled. He struck it again and again, and more tiny bits of cement flew here and there. He continued hitting the concrete block, and then used an axe instead of his sword, as bits of different sizes flew in the air all around him. Finally he had broken the whole lump of concrete and the walking stick pulled out easily.
The Big Ogre smiled and said, “Arthur Pendragon, you will now become a great King of Camelot and rule it wisely with compassion, care, and … and … cream donuts!”
And with that, the Ogre vanished into the woods.
“We need to send word back to Camelot,” said Arthur, “Genevieve, and Botox and the other Knights must be worried that we’ve been away in the forest for so long.”
At this, a raven flew down to the ground and made one of its croaking noises that normally foretell gloom and doom and … whatever bad things you wish to consider.
“Sire,” said Sir Birdwatch, “this bird has been following us for the past few days ever since I have been leaving a trail of bread pieces to show us the way back home to Camelot. Perhaps if we tie a message to its leg it will inform those in Camelot that we are OK!”
“Can the bird read?” asked Sir Stupid the Great.
Arthur wrote a message on a scroll of paper that was so big and heavy that even a flock of eagles could not lift it off the ground.
On his second attempt he wrote a shorter message using abbreviated language like LOL, IMHO and so on.
This was tied at the bird’s leg and it flew straight away due North.
“Hey … Camelot is that way!” said Arthur.
“Perhaps it can’t read maps either,” said Sir Stupid the Great, who at the time was not the stupidest one in that group.
And the moral of this story, (so far), is: If your problem is a big one, try to focus on small solutions which together might resolve your concrete obstacles.
Also, be kind to old people; whether walking with a walking stick or walking with a dog. Which makes three or six legs!
Also, if you need to
send a message, use the Post Office, or a Courier Service, or send a text or
e-mail. Not a bird!