Sir Roderick of Caerphilly

The ish People © David Forward

The ish People © David Forward

Through Great Gates of Kiev and onto Baba Yaga

Trudgingly all the people in the village were now trekking through the forest and on their way, along with all their worldly possessions, including livestock, and the odd chicken or two tagging along behind, and making their way towards The Town on The Hill. The Evil Baron Sir Roderick of Caerphilly, had decided to move house, his house being a rather large castle. The village now stood in the way of its desired location, and Sir Roderick had given them all just one sunset and one sunrise to vacate its pretty hill side, with its view right across the three neighbouring manors. They had been chased out as far as the River Ingleburn, by men on horseback, who had threatened to burn Abramelin, the Old Hag from the village, if they did not make haste. Tarry a while said Abramelin, picking up some cows dung and rolling it into balls, which she then threw at the men on their huge stallions 24 hands tall, who drew out their long broad swords and began hitting them back, saying this isn’t brisket, lets head for the thicket.

At the Great Gates of Kiev, the villagers had to bribe their way into The Town on The Hill, costing them three goats and one pig. Once inside they all followed Ruth who led them to Baba Yaga, The Hut on Hen’s Legs, a hostelry known for its large yard with water well, here the villagers found a welcome from its landlord who arranged feed for their animals, and of course food for themselves. The village from whence they came, was known as Haglett, it being rather small with just a handful of families. It had been founded and carved out of the forest many moons ago, by none other than Abramelin, the Old Hag from which it took its name. Inside The Hut on Hen’s Legs, men were being plied with large quantities of ale by the wenches of the house. Word soon got around, and the men ventured out side to see what fate had just delivered to The Town on The Hill.

Thee was talking with Ye and Ye taking to Thee, whence there came by, Sir Roderick on his way to the Manor House. On seeing the Evil One, someone delivered a cow dung Bouncer, and it strook Sir Roderick right beside his noggin, knocking him clean off his mount, and sending him head long into a pile of empty barrels. The villagers quickly gathered around at such a sight, and so too did the men from Baba Yaga. How they did all howl with laughter at such a tumble, and to add salt to his wound, Sir Roderick arose to his feet, only to find he was now the proud wearer of latest fashion, a small bear barrel stuck firmly on his head. Some helpful drunks stepped forward with offers of help to extract Sir Roderick from his new found wooden topper.

Two men held the Baron by his feet, and two more stocky fellows took a firm hold of the barrel, and gave it a mighty tug but to no avail. A voice from the crowd cried out, fetch some butter from Baba Yaga, and smear it on his head. After such a deed of fun and merriment, they had gained no result of satisfaction for the Black Baron, now looking very much like a Costa Rican Banana, with all that melted butter running down his body. By and by, along came the local blacksmith who did see such a farce, he bellowed and roared at this vision of such comedy. Stand aside he said, and stepped forward through the crown, stooped down and plucked up Sir Roderick under his free arm and stood him up side down, barrel on the ground, and Black Baron, toes to the sky. Then with a very large hammer he was carrying, took a large swing at the barrel which exploded into a hundred fragments. Then to add to the injustice, he took Sir Roderick’s feet, spread them wide apart, and spun him round like a top.

The whole town were now backing off, fearing Sir Roderick’s wrath, instead to their enormous surprise, Rod the Bod, on finding his feet, and still quite dizzy, staggered unsure and unstable several yards sideways, and fell into the cattle trough. Ruth was quite horrified and took a large cloth over to Sir Roderick for him to cover his modesty and dry himself off. All the onlookers now began to cheer and clap. Then Sir Roderick did something most strange indeed, he actual took a bow, not once but three times, once in each direction of those around. The Baron then produce a further shock and invited everyone back into The Hut on Hen’s Legs, for drinks all round. Inside Baba Yaga at the bar, Rod the Bod began freely chatting with all and everyone, even Ye and Thee. It appears he had lost his memory from the almighty strike the blacksmith had given to the old Baron Barrel.

Sir Roderick was now asking who exactly he was and how did he get to be inside Baba Yaga. No one dared tell him, but then in came Ruth looking very serious and stern, she came right out with the information and demanded the return of her large cloth. Rod the Bod obliged, and tipped Ruth a reward of five gold pieces. Everyone’s jaws just hit the floor, five gold pieces would keep all the regulars of The Hut on Hen’s Legs in ale for about a whole year and three moons. Ruth gave the broadest grin ever, then reached out to a passing wench, grabbed an ale from her tray, and downed it herself in one, then took another and handed it to the Black Baron, Sir Roderick of Caerphilly, and said how do you fancy building yourself a castle in this town.

And so it came to be, old Roddy never regained his complete memory but instead had a change of character. He gave back the villagers their spot in the forest clearing, and what’s more he did build a great big castle right here in The Town on The Hill, and housed all the homeless, and passing vagrants, buskers, vagabonds, travelling entertainers, even Simple Simon stayed one night whist at the Fair flogging his pies. From that day on everyone called Rod the Bod by his proper name and he was now affectionately know throughout the Manor as Sir Roderick on the Rocks. He only ever had one request of the people, and that was to know who had bowled the Bouncer he’d been told had knocked him off his steed, and to this day everyone has been very ish about revealing the true identity. Strangely enough the Old Hag was never ever seen again.

Spoon Bowls © David Forward

Spoon Bowls © David Forward

13 November, 2017
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