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Tale II: The Knight of the Spoon

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Phew! years ago there was a kid. Of course, he was old enough to be upset if you called him “kid”, but he was a kid, anyways.

His name was Albert Charles Julius Robert, but everybody used to call him “Ryan”. He had a younger sister, called Christine Caroline Margaret Mary, but everybody used to call her “Sophie”. She was as pretty as her brother was brave, but this tale is not about her. Maybe someday I will explain you the tale of how she (with a bit of her brother’s help) could defeat the evil plans of the Prince of Darkness (PoD) to make all UK trains smell. But not today.

As I want not to explain how their parents met. One of the prettiest noble ladies of the Kingdom and one of the most brute farmers over the whole world. Maybe some day they will explain it to you themselves.

Just let me tell you they were a nice couple raising a nice couple of children. A perfect kingdom family at the service of Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith and much more titles I want not to bother you with.

Maybe you don’t know it, but the Kigndom had severe rules about how to behave in front of Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith and much more titles I want not to bother you with.

Of course, Ryan knew them, because they were used to the Court etiquette, been his mother a Kingdom Lady by birth and by merits (someone should say to marry Ryan’s father was heroism, although I think she really loved him). But he could never went to one of the Court suppers that were made in honor of Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith and much more titles I want not to bother you with. O wait… let’s call her “the Queen” from now, I’m pretty sure you are tired of all those caps and titles.

But time flights, and one day, Ryan became old enough to receive his first invitation to one of those “the Queen”‘s suppers. He was happy but nervous: “what if he will burp accidentally?”, “what if his father will leave one of his infamous laughs?”, “what if one of the dishes will be soup?”… the last the most feared one… Ryan simply hated soup. Maybe because he was not nimble enough to use the spoon as naturally as his sister, or with the elegance of his mother… or because he was his father’s son… The main thing you must know is he hated soup.

The great day came. As usual, it came by surprise, falling from time’s shoulders while time crossed flying the sky over Ryan’s house. His parents passed the last three weeks giving him advices about how to behave in presence of HMEtIIbtGoGoGBIatBDbtS, the Queen. Her mother told him to not speak if she (the Queen, not his mother) did not ask him something directly. His father told him to not call her “amigo” if he was asked something by her. And a lot more of nice advices I’m pretty sure you know been as you are well-mannered children.

He put him his new clothing, waved good-bye to Sophie (who was not old enough to go to the supper yet), and jumped over the golden chariot what will carry him (and his parents) to the Palace.

Things went smoother before the dinner. The Queen (o yes, that reverenced woman who made Ryan think about his Grandma) didn’t asked him anything, and he was able to sit far enough from her to become unadverted.

Then the dinner started. Thousand waiters (one for each guest) started to carry dishes and put them in front of the Queen’s guests.

Of course, no one was talking too much, and never to the Queen, if she didn’t asked they something first. And when she was tired of the current meal (or finished it), all the waiters ran to the table and put away the guests’ meals, as used to be usual in those days.

Ryan was happy: all the meals were delicious: he never guessed you can eat pizza (yes: pizza!) in the Palace.

Then… his waiter put a new dish in front of him. O my! Scared, he noticed the heat raising from the dish… Soup! Nooooo!

He knew it should be a discourtesy to not eat the soup while the Queen was eating hers, but… it was soup! He stared hopeless at his dish, wishing with all his force to make it disappear. But the dish, bloody dish (I’m sorry for the rude language) decided to remain there.

Ryan’s mother looked him a bit upset: if Ryan didn’t taste the soup, Her Majesty (yadda, yadda, yadda) maybe shall never invite them to her suppers. His father pinched him from under the table: he was able to keep their laugh under control, and didn’t called the Queen “amigo” when she asked him about his last duties.

But it was soup, and Ryan hated soup.

Maybe you know Ryan. He’s a really brave kid (althoug he was old enough to be upset if you called him “kid”), but that soup (and, over it, the spoon at his hand) were making him mad. But he was the son of his mother, and he must to be polite in front of the Queen. And he was the son of his father (althoug not as loud as him) and had to show bravery and honor. He took the spoon with his right hand (that was, of course, the right hand to hand the spoon with), sinked it in the soup and put it into his mouth, in the bravest deed never made before.

It…

was…

DELICIOUS!!

AWESOME!!

AWELICIOUS!! DELISOME!!

MARVELICIOUSLY AWELOUS!!

He was wondering why he hated soup before, and he was been ready to start eating it until the dish was complete and absolutely empty.

Then…

Then, the Queen (Her Majesty And So Long) decided she had enough soup for that night. Ryan, horrified, saw her raise her hand, readying it to leave the spoon away. It should be the end of his soupiness, a word he invented merging happiness and soup. All that awelicious delisome soup will be wasted just because she had enough. Ryan wanted to cry.

Her Majesty’s hand advanced, mercilessly over the table. Everybody, seeing her do that were becoming ready to stop eat. Then, a voice, a tiny voice, a timid voice, a trembling voice, raised over the silence of the moment.

– Please…

Not much silent, if I must be honest (and I must), because the whole supper the air was full with the music of the Queen’s harper (rumours said he was not only her harper, and the truth is she made him rich with presents for his music).

The harper himself, that well-known around-the-world rich harper missed a note. His first missed note since he joined the Palace crew.

(if you are curious about what happened to that rich harper, let’s just say he, ashamed for that missed note, exiled himself from the Kingdom and went to the continent, where he changed the strings with keys, just to be sure he will never miss a note again)

The Queen herself became astonished. It was the first time ever someone interrupted her through the supper time.

You know she was in her right to make that rude person who interrupted her to be punished. Twenty years in the Tower of London, maybe, should be a good and appropiate punishment for that interruption.

But she was, in fact, a Grandmother herself, and she noticed the tiny, timid, trembling voice who raised over the silence of the moment came from a kid’s mouth.

– Yes, kid? What’s that important matter that lead you to interrupt me, My Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith and much more titles I want not to bother you with – she said -?

You should think she was upset. Outraged, maybe. But she was not as angry as you can think.

– Please, Her Majesty – told Ryan (who, as you’ve guessed, was the kid who talked without permission) – , please, Her Majesty – he repeated, a bit louder – let me ask Your Majesty a Grace.

The Queen raised an eyebrow.

– Wich kind of Grace you ask me, young man? – asked her to Ryan, with a solemn voice in the middle of a solemn silence (a solemnce, maybe?).

– Your Majesty – started Ryan -, don’t leave that spoon over the table – with each word, Ryan’s voice took confidence, and became firm and serious -. Please, Your Majesty. I ask it to you in the name of all deliciousness that someone can find on the world. Until today, I hated soup. Until today, I didn’t noticed how marvelous a little spoon full of soup can be. It will be a shame if I let you (my deepest apologizes for my audacity, Your Majesty) or any of the people here let this soup to be wasted.

The Queen stared at the young brave. Silently, solemnly, she sunk the spoon into the dish and tasted the soup again.

Silence was awful. Broken suddenly by the sound of the missed note the rich harper had found (in the worst moment, if I should say it).

The Queen’s face was stone-ish.

– Come here, young lad. Come here NOW!

The silence fell again over the dinning room. It had to be a very hugue silence (mainly because the room was hugue itself). Luckily, no one was hurt by it.

Ryan, trembling, went forward. Step by step, fully concious of all the people eyes, reached the side of the Queen’s chair (not a throne… thrones are too much uncomfortable, and even the Queens don’t like to sit over there while dining).

Finally, Ryan reached the Queen’s side, and knelt. It was not a self-humiliating kneeling. It was the proper one: the right knee on the ground, the body firm (as if it was hanging from a rope), and the head inclined over the chest. Ryan knew it was his end: he would be jailed, tortured or, worse than that, forced to hear his father singing again and joking in front of his friends.

Then he noticed something. It was not the executioner’s axe cutting his neck. It was something way more delicate. It was like if someone was touching his shoulders with a spoon. The right one first, the left one after, and then, his head was smooth hit.

– Let ye know, the whole Kingdom, that I, Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith and much more titles I want not to bother you with – she said, before taking a long breath, as that was a very long title to pronounce with all that solemnity – let ye know, I was saying, that I, Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith and much more titles I want not to bother you with, grant you… errr… what’s your name, young kid?

– Ryan – said Ryan, using again that tiny, timid, trembling voice

– Let ye know, the whole Kingdom, that I, Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith and much more titles I want not to bother you with grant you, Ryan (only Ryan?) – asked her, surprised. Of course, Ryan forgot his true name was Albert Charles Julius Robert. But a Queen doesn’t keep her crown over her head if she’s not able to hide surprise when appointing someone, and continued – grant you, I was saying, the title of Knight of the Spoon. From now and until the Sea raises over our Kingdoms, you and your descendants will be known as the Knights of the Spoon, and I, Elizabeth the Second yadda, yadda (yes, even a Queen like me can become tired of all those titles), ask you and your descendants to keep over the defense of the soup. From now, and until the Sea raises over our Kingdoms, the Knights of the Spoon will have the duty to make all people to finish their soup.

And since that night, The High Honorable Order of the Knights of the Spoon (or the “spoon-knights” as people know them), preserve all the deliciousness of the Kingdom. And beyond. And beyond of beyond.

And since that night, Albert Charles Julius Robert was called Sir Ryan, Defender of the Soup. Or simply “Ryan”.

Because once a Queen calls you by a name, it’s your sacred duty to keep that name and leave away all you had before.

Something Ryan did with delight, I believe.

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