A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away, there was a great lord who lived in a castle. He had knights and nobles and servants, as well as mountains of gold, and the walls of his castle were impossible to break by anything from this earth. But the great lord’s most prized possession was his princess. The princess was more beautiful than all the ladies in all the courts of all of the noble and royal houses of the whole world. And she had an apple tree. It was a very special apple tree, and whoever she gave one of the apples from the tree would grow strong.
One day, the princess saw a broken old knight with only a black spot on his shield where a family crest should be. Moved, she gave him an apple and returned to her castle. That could have been the end of the story. Perhaps the knight would have thanked her and been on his way. Or maybe they would have sat together under the apple tree once in a while. But that’s not what happened. The great lord was furious. He told her that her apples were only for the knights of the castle. Then he locked her in the castle’s tower.
Now the old knight heard the weeping of the princess, and smelled her fragrance mixed with the salt of her tears. So he sat on his roan in front of the castle’s drawbridge with his apple in his hand. His heart began to beat with power, and his blood began to flow faster, and he became strong. Now as he became strong, he began to pray, and a myriad of angels appeared on the horizon. Some of the angels were kind bearers of good fortune. Others were wise deliverers of God’s word. But others were angels of vengeance, and there was fire in their eyes. The strong knight thought of the walls of Jericho, and he trembled.
This is the story of how the great lord gave the princess a strong knight for a champion.