At Gulf Wars VI, which was my first Gulf Wars and my very first
SCA event I witnessed an act of chivalry which I believe would fall into several of these
catagories. It was, indeed, an act that convinced me that I had found something to
which it would be worthwhile to belong.
I was standing behind a group of Large Chairs in which sat some men and women with crowns on and trying to watch a fort battle. I had been told that if someone had a pointy crown they were someone special and to bow and basically avoid them until I had learned something about how to behave. I was trying to stay out of the way and still watch the fort battle when I saw a toddler, barely able to stand, playing with an arrow that was broken and had a very sharp point on the shattered end. The child's mother was preoccupied with the battle in which I believe her Lord was participating and had not noticed the danger inherent in the toy with which the child was playing. She was not negligent for she could reach out and touch the child but she had not seen the child stumble and almost get the sharp end in one of his eyes. I was debating going up and asking her to take the arrow away from the child and pointing out the danger it represented. I was weighing the baby's safety against the chance of being told to mind my own business when I heard a firm voice from the chair area say, " Milady, you must take the arrow away from the child. It is dangerous." I looked to the source of the voice and a VERY LARGE gentleman, I sure hoped he was a gentleman, sitting on the biggest chair had spoken.
The mother looked at him and then at the baby. She knew what was going to happen when she took the arrow away from the baby. Any parent knows that anyone using the expression, " As easy as taking candy from a baby." has never tried taking candy from a baby. She knew the child was going to pitch a fit and ruin any chance she had to enjoy watching the battle. As she reached to remove the offending arrow the Chair Voice spoke again and in a deep but gentle drawl said, " If he gets upset bring him over here and I will let him play with my hat." The baby did pitch a fit and the mother decided to take the gentleman up on his offer. He not only let the baby play with his crown he also staged a little mock fight. He cooed and mugged and explained to the baby that he was the mean man that made his mother take his toy away. He made fists and pretend fought the baby. The baby giggled, made little fists, and play fought back. Within moments the mother returned to her place with a happy, playful child who had totally forgotten his arrow and his anger.
I later learned that the man in the chair with the pointy hat was His Royal Highness Gareth. I never knew the name of the child or the mother. In this tiny tournament fought in the shadow of the great fort battle there were no trumpets or laurels, only a tiny baby's noblesse and the King's oblige.
The King put the well being of the smallest member of his kingdom before his own enjoyment and comfort. He also considered the well being and emotional state of the babe's mother and took steps to make his commands less harsh on her and her circumstances. I realized that someday that tiny meridian may have two good eyes to use when he wins The Crown and takes on that responsibility because of the King's care. In the babe's case it will be the second time he has defeated a king in single combat. The first time with a giggle and a smile. The second time with rattan.
Caereg ap William
(Editors Note: I would LOVE more stories like this one please, oh Please send me more, for I do so love this type of story)