A lord had three sons. One day, when they were fully grown, he took them to the top of the tallest tower of the castle and made them fire an arrow over the parapet and into the town. And wheresoever the arrow fell, there his son would find his wife.
The first son, the lord’s favourite, and upon whom the lord had lavished his entire life’s fortune and love, fired his arrow and his strength was such that the arrow flew out beyond the town to the castle of the neighbouring kingdom. It flew through the window and struck the headboard of the bed where the king’s fairest daughter was sleeping. And so the lordling and the princess were married that very afternoon.
The next day, the second son, about whom the lord was largely indifferent, fired his arrow, and his strength, though not as great as his elder brother’s, was still such that the arrow flew out over the town towards the church, where it struck the gate of the vicarage. The bishop’s only daughter was cleaning in the yard, and so the second son and the bishop’s daughter were married that very afternoon.
On the third day, the youngest son, who the king despised, fired his arrow. After years of abuse and neglect, the young man was so weak and useless that the arrow tumbled straight down into the market place below, where it struck a travelling merchant in the throat and killed her instantly. And so the third son and the corpse were married that very afternoon.
1. Written on the 18th May, 2016
2. So I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to include it here.
3. Perhaps cause it was a bit too bleak and cynical
4. Even for me.
5. (And the same applies for next week’s one, too)