Thursday, January 7, 2010


The White Stag by Ruth Sanderson

Beldane would have found the scene unfolding before him amusing if capturing this legendary creature weren’t so damned important. Legend tells that whoever subdues the magnificent beast will be shown visions of the Fay Enchantress and how to free her from her vile captors.

More shouting and cursing erupted from the undergrowth to Beldane’s right as the White Stag charged forth in a shower of leaves, twigs, and clods of dirt. Two of his peasants chased blindly after the Stag, scrubbing their eyes free of dirt while attempting to throw a dirty sack over the beast’s head. One had a hoof-shaped welt emblazoned on his forehead and his eyes were slightly dazed as he stumbled along.

Beldane tighted his grip on his steed’s reigns.  He wheeled his horse around, nearly clipping one of the Low-Borns under the chin. He had heard shouts in the gloomy distance. Someone has come to rob him of his prize!
Erec and Enide by Chrétien de Troyes
Arthur revives the custom of hunting a white stag with the reward that whoever kills it will be allowed to kiss the most beautiful maiden at court. Erec and Queen Guinevere are insulted when a dwarf, attending a knight with his lady, uses a whip on the Queen's maiden and on Erec. Arthur kills the white stag; but the kiss is postponed three days while Erec pursues the armed knight. Erec is given hospitality by a vavasor, impoverished by war, with a wife and most beautiful daughter. Yet this vassal is able to supply Erec with his daughter and the weapons necessary to challenge the knight when he claims his lady is most beautiful and tries to take the sparrow-hawk for the third time. They duel in combat for a long time before Erec gains the advantage and spares the life of Yder, whom he sends to Arthur's court. The beautiful daughter Enide is given a dress by Queen Guinevere and wins the kiss of King Arthur for the white stag. Erec and Enide are promised two castles by his father, King Lac, and they are wed at court in celebrations that last two weeks. In the tournament that follows Erec excels in combat.

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