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Barnaby's Chance: The Knight


"What do you mean by being here?" asked the shape in a sort of cross voice and nudged Barnaby in the ribs again with his lance.

Now if there was one thing Barnaby did not like, it was to be poked. He didn't like verbal pokes and he didn't like physical pokes. He stood up then and looked up into the face of a very tall, very cranky knight in shining armor. He had a white cape and a white feather on his helmet and there was a large white horse behind him, tied to a tree.

"Cut it out!" Barnaby said loudly, "I didn't do anything wrong."  He was very surprised at his own courage - and very much surprised that he didn't feel so terribly afraid any more.

"Do?"  repeated the Knight.  "You don't have to do anything wrong.  You can just be wrong."

"Wrong about what?" asked Barnaby.

"Wrong about... wrong about... well - what are you doing -  being here?"

"I don't even know where ‘here' is," said Barnaby, "And I am just being me."

"Ha!" shouted the Knight, "Are you? Are you, indeed. Well," he said brandishing his lance again - we'll just have to see about that, won't we?"

"I don't know," said Barnaby looking around wildly for the Blue Horse. "I don't even know what you're talking about. And don't poke me again."

"Why shouldn't I?" asked the Knight. "I'm in charge here."

"So what? You can't just go around jabbing people. What's wrong with you?"

"Am I wrong?" the knight asked in a suddenly-worried sort of way. "I mean I know I am not right because I am left  - in fact I am the only one left, but not being right doesn't make you wrong. Or does it?

"I don't know," said Barnaby, "And stop talking like the Mad Hatter. I've read Alice in Wonderland you know. All I am saying is don't touch me with that lance again."

"But knights are supposed to go around jabbing people with lances. We always have."

"I don't think that's a good reason," Barnaby said.

"I do," said the knight. "At least I know what's expected of me. I like knowing what I am going to be doing next."

"Yes, but only if it makes sense," said Barnaby who suddenly realized that there were some very new feelings inside him and that some very old feelings had gone. In fact, he was not at all afraid of this peculiar man now. And he was getting very hungry.

"Well anyway I'm going to have to take you prisoner," the knight said perking up at the thought. "You were being where you aren't supposed to be."

"And where is that?" asked Barnaby, wishing that Chance would show up and help out.

"Inside. You're not supposed to be Inside. You're supposed to be Outside."

"Well, if you take me prisoner, won't I be even more inside?" Barnaby asked.

And suddenly the Blue Horse appeared.

"Excellent question," he remarked as though this were an ordinary conversation and this were an ordinary day. "Breakfast anyone?"

4 Comment count
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Funsilly Fantasy

He might stick a lance in his pants and dance with a prance, what with a blue horse and all.

Write on,


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That would be the Dr. Seuss version of it, I imagine! Thanks, Christine. Just got a lovely note from an agent I really respect who called it "adorable", so that and a couple of other exceptionally cool things, made my day. And it's still early! Hope all is well with you. I'm bounded on all sides by a PhD dissertation but I occasionally come up for air. Nice to see a fun message like this when I do. :) H

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What a trip this Barnaby's

What a trip this Barnaby's Chance...The moment before you mentioned Alice in Wonderland, I thought Harrison is very Carrollesque and Clintonesque (depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is) in this piece. I’m intrigued…want to read more. And I love having just a bit at a time, since my time is so limited on the internet anymore.

Also think this photo of you is delightfully Franciscanesque.

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Carrollesque I get.

Carrollesque I get. Franciscanesque I also get, though we did not wear earrings in the convent (!) but I must admit I am stopped by Clintonesque. ("Is" is always liminal, as you know, to me.) Can you enlighten me?! And thanks, Lynn for taking the time to read this. I just saw an impressive picture of you at an authoritative podium so clearly you are as (over) busy as ever.

I'm not sure it is your kind of book, being about a small uncertain boy, whose only real friend is the next door lady who writes about tea, but who, unlike many of us, gets to take a very deep journey into his own head on a carousel horse, and comes back the better for it.

But it is a children's (ish) book. However, now that you have said this, I am inspired to post another section - this is from the middle. And there is, in my Facebook photos, a photo of me as a nun in my real habit, which did not so much resemble the silk and velvet you see before you as a very dusty potato sack. But then we all have our illusions! H