The story I am about to tell you is a story that I read many many moons ago in a comic book. I used to spend my weekends reading maybe a couple dozen of comic books in a store where for a small fee, you can read all the comic books they have on their store. I tell you – that was much better than watching television.
The story is set in the medieval ages in England. A boy who was poor was working as an apprentice to a blacksmith. He was an ordinary boy whose parents died while he way young, He worked hard to earn a living to help out his aunt who takes care of him.
One night on his way home, he heard a horse galloping hard so he stopped in his tracks. The horse slowed and the man riding it fell to the ground. Our hero immediately ran to help the man. The man was covered in armor but has wounds in the legs and body where the armor was pierced.
The knight was dying and the boy tried to comfort him with water from a well. The knight was so thankful for the water and the care from the boy. He knew he was dying. He pulled a thick ring from his finger, and handed it to the boy. He told the boy to go to a castle about a hundred miles away and present the ring to the person in charge and tell him that the knighthood was passed to the boy.
Sadly, the knight passed away within hours. The local villagers buried the knight. The boy was grieve stricken during the burial. Months passed before he decided to bring the ring to the castle. He hitched a ride for a few miles with vegetable growers bringing produce to the local market. He walked the rest of the way.
He knocked on the castle door and when a big hunk of a man opened it, he told the story of the knight giving him the ring and the knight dying. To his surprise, the man grabbed the ring, and grabbed him by the throat. He then accused the boy of killing the knight and threw him in the dungeon inside the palace.
For the next few weeks, he lived in the dungeon, given only water, bread and vegetable soup every now and then. The burly man let him out one sunny day, only to put a yoke on him and told him to pull a plow and plow the field.
He was made to plow to field for a few months. He turned thirteen during this time.
The master told him that his aunt was notified of his location and that he is in the castle for punishment for his killing of the knight.
Months passed and daily his work activities increased. He found out that the burly man was in charge of the castle and he has several assistants and servants to help him. He was never mean to other people in the castle but he always harsh to the boy.
Years passed and more tasks were added to his tasks. They made him pull a heavy cart to the local market loaded with fruits to sell in the town market seven miles away.
One day, while pulling cart, a group of boys his age (he is 15 now) started picking a fight with him. Out of frustration with his life, he easily beat two of the boys, and the three ran away.
During this time, he was never bitter. He was just confused and frustrated about his lot in life. He learned to be very patient and obedient.
The next week, on his way to deliver more produce, the same group of boys came again, this time with three more and started beating up on him. This time he got beaten to the ground. Fortunately, one of the castle’s assistant was passing by on a horse and helped him get back to the castle.
This time the burly head of the castle decided it’s time to teach him to defend himself. So for the next few months, in addition to his daily tasks – he had to train in hand to hand fighting, sword fighting, use of spear and shield and other weapons.
He was also told that he needed to brush up on his reading and was assigned dozens of books to read. One of the assistants tutored him in general studies. There were other boys in the castle but they weren’t allowed to talk to each other.
To be continued….