Post #21.9, Thursday, June 17, 2021

Historical setting: 584 C.E. On the Road to Tours

         At least my grandson-in-law sees the futility of brother’s fighting one another. May he one day grow wise in peace.  But then he chatters on about futility of family wars. There isn’t really virtue in his logic.

         He explains a pragmatic flaw in warring against one’s brothers. “Yes, family wars are very bad for my king because his magical power for winning in battle is in his long hair. But his brothers also possess the same charm, so in family wars where all of the long-haired kings have the same magical power the magic becomes nullified one by another. So King Chilperic has called for every count and landowner to gather horses and to arm themselves to defend him, our king.”

         “So you need these horses for battle?”

         “Yes, of course for that.” Clearly my steady gaze hides nothing and he notices my disapproval.

         He adds a possible appeasement. “But of course I’ve heard horses are good for many things: strong as mules, fast as the wind. They can be helpful in farm work and also for delivering messages.”

         So now I find a more comfortable place on the wagon seat next to Daniel. Our journey continues in silence.

         It’s all about the game I suppose. So here we are adding those ubiquitous game pieces on the board imaged as the heads of the warhorses. I see these grandsons getting themselves into a game with a more confusing strategy now, leaping in corners and slaying pawns without enough foresight to save themselves from being cornered by mere pawns.  Personally, I’ll just follow the bishops in the straight and narrow, most trustworthy diagonals. I’ve been around long enough to know this game never ends with a win. The conclusion always comes in that last moment just before the king is dead – check-mate.

         We find this market has an abundant selection of horses. Also several of these lesser, but newly landed counts are here on this same mission — to prepare themselves for a war to support the king who gave them their land.  I can quickly see that Daniel and Count Bertigan are not horsemen.  So apparently, I am here to select some fine warhorses and maybe take these two men from their imagined self-images of heroes on horseback, into the realities of sitting astride a living, breathing, fur-covered beast.

         Dear God where is your peace?

(Continues Tuesday, June 22, 2021)

Published by J.K. Marlin

Retired church playwright learning new art forms-- fiction writing, in historical context and now blogging these stories. The Lazarus Pages have a recurring character -- best friend of Jesus -- repeatedly waking to life in various periods of church history and spirituality.

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