The Little Knight

Rajiv Jayaraj

There once lived a little knight,

tiny as can be.

Protector of a tiny town,

There was none more courageous than he.

Rain or shine,

Frost or quake,

Dark or light,

The little knight steadied his steed and manned his post.

In the summer, he was the unicorn king in many a children fantasy.

“Bow! Bow to me!” they giggled as they ran around him freely.

In the blisters of winter, his torch blazed a path for all of those lost to find a way past.

Even as icy mists pierced the woods, forcing the kingdom under lock and key,

Not an eyelid was bat; not a word was spoken.

For everyone knew if the little knight was on patrol,

The kingdom's gates would never be broken.

But the little knight had a big secret.

One nobody knew.

He worried just as much as me or you.

Sometimes more, much, much more.

And as the mist crept, overwhelmingly slow,

The silent voices began shrieking like frostbite in snow.

Still he did his duty. Still he stayed strong.

Still he stood guard, smiling outside our door.

As the sun slapped the city with sharp silhouettes,

And the town rubbed the sleep from their eyes,

The roosters call was quenched by a silence so deafening it made the woods still.

Though there was a foggy foe no longer, it had taken what it should not.

They watched his steed buck wildly without a rider on its back.

Crunch! Smoosh! Crack! Went hooves hurtling hymns across the unkept expanse.

“Little knight, little knight! Where are you my little knight?” they recited over and over.

They trekked trails, and stormed up streams, and even peeped in all his favourite pies.

He really did love pie, and he was only little after all.

But the little knight was nowhere to be found.

As light surrendered and night flooded the valley,

The townspeople wandered back through the woods in defeat.

They were confused and worried and sad and angry and alone all at the same time.

‘But Hows’ and ‘If Onlys’ clouded their minds.

Every step home felt heavy.

Their feet felt like cement and their heart a cemetery.

A prickling breeze sent chills down their spine.

It overwhelmed them with sorrow so sudden,

It was not sadness, not slightly; no, not even at all.

Unclear and uneven, that was how they saw their path ahead.

How could anyone forge a quest with this demon in their head?

As they contemplated turning back,

A mist around them rose.

Cloaking them in mystery and beckoning them close.

It rinsed off the blinders, unraveling our world.

In the distance they saw a man, tiny as can be.

Could it be the little knight?

It danced like a unicorn, strong, majestic, and free.

They raced after it like a shadow keeping up with the breeze.

Breathless and unrelenting their pursuit was finally at an end.

For there in the clearing overlooking their home,

He stood sword in hand and smiling too,

The mighty little knight and a motley looking crew.

Fear not my friends, he said aloud,

For I never truly left.

You see, the woods were being tormented,

And its creatures were left all alone.

I have chosen to be up here to see everything around,

So, I can protect you all better from every evil sight and sound.

Fret not my kin, I am fine.

Free from all pain.

So, keep your smiles shining bright even in the rain.

I promise my sword will protect you even from beyond,

Now and forevermore.

All I ask is that you all stand together,

And protect our kingdom door.


*Dedicated to my baby brother Khrisen—you were the little knight in all our lives. Sleep tight, I love you.

Rajiv Jayaraj lives in Singapore with his family. He occasionally writes eclectic stories about life’s beautifully messy moments. He also appreciates classic television and its revival through technology. You can find him @CallMeALiar on Twitter.

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