Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Splendid Hairs of the Three Bald Knights




The following is the beginning of a story that I'm working on to follow up on the picturebook The Magic Mustache, that I wrote and the brilliant illustrator Stephane Jorisch illustrated. Any ideas about where it should go would be welcomes most appreciatively!

*

There were once three old grandfathers who long ago had been brave and handsome knights with splendid heads of very long hair. Now they were bent, wrinkled, and old. They were also completely bald.

Except:
One had a very long hair growing out of his nose.
One had a very long hair growing out of his ear.
The oldest had a long hair growing out of a mole on his chin.

Once, they had jousted, they had rescued, they had quested. They had fought dragons, ogres, evil knights, and ugly turkey vultures. Now everyone thought they were useless.

Indeed this year, they hadn’t even been invited to the King’s ball. But they went anyway, combing their hairs over their bald heads to make themselves look younger.
“I haven’t worn this suit since we fought those brontosauruses,” said one.
“I feel like I’m two hundred and seven again,” said another.
“I don’t remember where we’re going,” said the oldest, “but when we get there, I’ll know what to do.”


Just after the second dance, the king received news that a large and evil turkey-vulture had captured a princess. The king gathered his knights around him and said, “Brave sirs, I need you to venture forth and rescue the princess.”
“I’d go,” said one, “but I just got this new hairdo.”
“I’d go,” said another, “but I, too, don’t want that turkey-vulture to mess up my hair.”
“We’ll go,” the three old grandfathers said, shuffling toward the king. “We’re bald anyway!”


And so the grandfathers took hold of their walking sticks, wrapped their very long hairs around themselves—for warmth—and set off to find the Turkey-Vulture.
“I haven’t had a good adventure since we had to discover fire,” said one grandfather.
“I feel like I’m a hundred-and-four again,” said another.
“I don’t remember we’re going,” said the oldest grandfather. “But when we get there, I’ll know what to do.”


The Turkey-Vulture lived in a dark and smelly minivan parked on the far side of a great gorge. The grandfathers scratched their bald heads for a minute, trying to come up with a plan.

“Take one very long nose hair,” said one grandfather.
“Take one very long ear hair,” said another.
“Take one very long mole hair,” said the oldest.
“Now climb across to the other side,” they said together and flung their hairs across the gorge, wrapping the ends around a massive tree.

And the three bald grandfathers pulled themselves across the gorge into the land of the Turkey-Vulture.

The doors of the minivan slid open with an ominous whoosh, and the Turkey-Vulture flew out, hissing and spitting and snickering.
“The king sends three old wrinkled, bent, and bald knights to fight me, the mighty Turkey-Vulture?” it said. “Fat chance. I am the ugliest, most frightening beast anywhere. And I have the princess locked away in the tallest basement in the kingdom.
“We may be old,” said one.
“We may be wrinkled,” said another.
“But we still remember a few things,” said the oldest. “Just wait a minute while we remember what they are and then we’ll know what to do.”

1 comment:

mike cannell said...

the nose hairs of cthulhu!