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The Plowshare

O gather, youth of my master, and hear my tale. That's how these stories always start, as I recall from the bards.
Yes, many a bard sang songs of me, for I was once the mightiest blade in the land. No, 'tis true! I look like a humble farming implement now, but I was forged into existence as the Silver Singing Sword, wrought by elfish magic for Sir Cymberleon, Knight of the Realm, and many--
What? Yes, I can sing! What's that supposed to mean?
No, you wouldn't like my songs. Not suitable for children. Elfish, mostly, designed to unnerve Sir Cymberleon's opponents in battle. Lot of minor keys.
No, I don't know "The Ballad of Lord Uthewg." I'm telling a tale, not taking requests.
As I said, I was once the Silver Singing Sword. Sir Cymberleon wielded me in battle after battle to unite the kingdom for Good King Aldo the First.
No, I guess he wasn't all that good, after all. But that was what we called him, and he was pretty good for a king. Yes, I'm aware of how many were slain during the unification. Slew a lot of them myself.
I'm sorry, that was inappropriate. But true.
At any rate, as history says, Sir Cymberleon was thrown down in the final battle, and his squire took me up. Edgerton, his name was. Good lad, always generous with the polish. Utter rubbish wielding me, however. I did my best, but I couldn't do anything when an arrow sprouted from his eye.
After that your great-grandfather, Hugh, picked me up. He was Sir Cymberleon's page. Far too young to fight at the time, being even younger than you are. Quite a bit smarter than Edgerton, however. Decided he didn't want to be a knight after all, after seeing what had happened, and carried me off. Took up farming instead, and hung me on the wall to honor his master and me.
But let's be honest. Hanging on the wall, even being admired by everyone who saw me? Boring. So boring. You cannot imagine, or perhaps you can. Finally one day, I whispered to your grandmother, pleading to be of some use. She was surprised to hear me speak, but she was smart, and she knew her father's tales. So we made a plan.
I sang a song I had never sung before, calling out to the elf who forged me, the Nameless Smith.
Yes, that was what they called him.
Yes, I suppose then "Nameless Smith" actually was his name. Not that I'd ever point that out to him.
At any rate, he arrived that night, stepping through a doorway of oak and shadow, and took me away to grant my wish.
Under an approving moon he labored over me, until I had been beaten into a plowshare. Now with your father and his team of oxen, I plow the fields and turn the earth, the hard, dirty work needed for the wheat to come. I do miss singing, though.
So, how does "The Ballad of Lord Uthewg" go?
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021
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