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A Story: A Letter from Lady Alicia

A Story: A Letter from Lady Alicia (with English-English spellings of some words rather than American-English spellings)

One day, after a long and demanding ordeal, a knight of the 5th century returned from his crusade. However, he did not return to his own time. His services were needed in the 21st century, so after a confusing journey through time and space he arrived at a much changed Avalon. Nevertheless, he knelt and kissed the sweet earth. After some searching he found a letter carved on slate buried deep inside a stone chamber in a long forgotten cave. The letter was from one of the many descending generations of daughters of his sister. It read:

My dearest Uncle Justin,

On return to these fair isles, I fear you may not have received news of the kingdom. You should be aware of certain developments that have taken place in your absence.

The land has been laid waste by chemical giants who spread their miasma without shame. The nuclear dragon poisons the children in the villages near its lair and the sparkling waters, the lifeblood of this green and pleasant land, are filled with the excretions of industrial goblins.

The crystal clear air is oppressive with the noxious wind of strange, rolling, beetle-like imps who have stolen the friendship of the horse from the people. How the horse, deer, oxen, badger and fox are meant to survive this invasion is unclear for the numbers of rolling imps is growing day by day. The horse is now relegated to enclosed fields where he or she stands with grace and elegance, watching the imps that have usurped them pass by.

I pity the poor heron, swan, duck and goose. And the mole, the owl and the little field mice are suffering the effects of pesticides and herbicides; unearthly concoctions designed to destroy the healing herbs and tiny insects that bring diversity to our world. The small animals’ eyes swell and their babies wither and die. And poor hawk’s eggshells are too thin for her to sit on without breaking. The prospects for these little ones are uncertain.

My dear uncle, prepare your heart for anguish. The bear is gone. So is the wolf, the lynx and the wolverine. Eagle is rarely seen. The silvery schools of fish are only half a many as they were, but that is not the worst of it. The poisons leaching into the once clear waters are preventing the male fish from being male. And poor frog, poor dear frog… has developed a frightening shape with sometimes up to 12 spindley legs, even more than a spider.

The beautiful meadows are without the hum of bee or colourful flutter of butterfly. The woodlands and forests are diminishing, sometime replaced by stands of trees, monotonous in their similarity. No longer does the wild boar search for truffles in the woodlands; rarely does the cuckoo claim a nest or does the woodpecker’s hammer resonate in the distance.

The people are drugged with make-believe images of a healthy future prepared for them by teams of liars or they are dispirited by lack of access to the land which has been claimed and cordoned off. They put up little or no resistance. They let these awful conditions remain and act only when their personal disbursements are directly threatened. They find a grandfather smoking a pipe more offensive than a beetle-like imp passing foul, poisonous wind in their faces and in the faces of their babies. Strange, but true.

Alas, they have put their futures into the hands of the dark knights whose allegiance appears to be with the giants, dragons, goblins and imps rather than with the land and the future of their children. The people seem to have forgotten that the land is their soul and clamour for the dark knights’ approval and curry favour and compete for their table scraps.

Siege Perilous awaits! So sharpen your broadsword, you dagger and your wits and come to the round table to await your friends.

May you fare well, my dear uncle, in this strange and unusual time.

From your loving niece, The Lady Alicia


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