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A Medieval Story

This story was sent to me via email by Uncle Bill as he likes to be called. Personally, I love calling him Billy Bob, which I do not think he likes too much, but let's me get away with.(grin) I wanted to acknowlegde him, as he faithfully sends me email, with jokes and inspirational words on a daily basis. In five years, I do not think he has missed a day. He was my first friend online and continues to be my backbone here. Here's to you Billy Bob! Lots of hugs....

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him, but was moved by Arthur's youthful happiness. So he offered him freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer; if, after a year, he still had no answer, he would be killed.

The question was: What do women really want?

Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgable man, and, to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. Well, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by year's end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everybody: the princess, the prostitutes, the priests, the wise men, the court jester. In all, he spoke with everyone but no one could give him a satisfactory answer. What most people did tell him was to consult the old witch, as only she would know the answer. The price would be high, since the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no alternative but to talk to the witch. She agreed to answer his question, but he'd have to accept her price first:

The old witch wanted to marry Gawain, the most noble of the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur's closest friend!

Young Arthur was horrified: she was hunchbacked and awfully hideous, had only one tooth, smelled like sewage water, often made obscene noises...He had never run across such a repugnant creature. He refused to force his friend to marry her and have to endure such a burden. Gawain, upon learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur. He told him that nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared toArthur's life and the preservation of the Round Table. Hence, their wedding was proclaimed, and the witch answered Arthur's question:

What a woman really wants is to be able to be in charge of her own life.

Everyone instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur's life would be spared. And so it went. The neighboring monarch spared Arthur's life and granted him total freedom. What a wedding Gawain and the witch had! Arthur was torn between relief and anguish. Gawain was proper as always, gentle and courteous. The old witch put her worst manners on display. She ate with her hands, belched and farted, and made everyone uncomfortable.

The wedding night approached: Gawain, steeling himself for a horrific night, entered the bedroom. What a sight awaited! The most beautiful woman he'd ever seen lay before him! Gawain was astounded and asked what had happened.

The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her (when she'd been a witch), half the time she would be her horrible, deformed self, and the other half, she would be her beautiful maiden elf. Which would he want her to be during the day and which during the night?

What a cruel question? Gawain began to think of his predicament:

During the day a beautiful woman to show off to his friend, but at night, in the privacy of his home, an old spooky witch? Or would he prefer having by day a hideous witch, but by night a beautiful woman to enjoy many intimate moments?

What would you do? To find out what Gawain chose click here, but don't look at it until you have made your own choice.

The Answer!

Medieval Trivia

To jinx something is to bring bad luck to it, and something that brings bad luck is a jinx, and so is a period of time during which a run of bad luck is experienced.

The modern form of the word dates back to approximately the sixteenth century, when a jynx was a charm or spell that was supposed to cause bad luck or evil influences. The name came from the frequent use of such charms as the feathers of the wryneck, or jynx bird, a kind of woodpecker. That name in turn may have come from the Latin iynx, possibly from Greek iuzein (to call).

Sternutation is the act of sneezing, and a single sneeze can also be called a sternutation.

You might think that someone who sneezes is a sternutator, but actually a sternutator [n. STUR-nyuh-tay-ter] is a substance such as pepper that causes sternutation. Such a substance can be described as sternutatory [adj. stur-NYOO-tuh-tor-ee]. Strangely, the seemingly logical verb sternutate is not listed in any reference we can find.

All of these words came originally from the Latin sternuere (to sneeze), through Middle Ages English sternutacioun (sneezing). Sternutation contains all the vowels a,e,i,o, and u, although they do not appear in order.