Today is not That Day

Merle Innes the wizard strode through the morning-bright grove. "Friends, behold. Fabled Stone of Hope. Stuck in the top...Protagonize...sword of power. Et cetera."

Gathered villagers "Oohed", they "Aahed."

Satisfied, the wizard puffed his briar pipe. "Go on. Pull." He settled along the elbow of an obliging oak bough.

He glanced over the dimming morning sky. "Best be quick about it. Storm's coming. As usual."

Villagers crowded about shining Protagonize stuck in the Stone of Hope. They loudly discussed the problem at hand. A small child was sent running and fetched Jonny Deere the drover.

The wizard frowned. His pipe had gone cold. Jonny Deere stank like the oxen he drove inside the grove. The lad would never impress, never master slow-swinging any sword as a King majestically should. Protagonize would never choose that one.

The wizard cleared his throat. He cast a meaningful look over the darkening sky. "Friends. Someone just try..."

"Shhh. We have a plan," said the villagers as one, from oldest to youngest.

Then, together, their many hands acted. Twice-wrapped the ploughchain, low around the fabled Stone of Hope. The throng shouted "Ready." Jonny Deere clicked his tongue. His two oxen pulled and wrenched up the stone like a mossy tooth. And Protagonize its bright crown.

Had the wizard blinked, he would have missed seeing.

The oxen now thundered from the grove, hauling behind them Jonny Deere, the treasure on a chain, and chasing cheering villagers.

The sky in an instant filled blue. The sun again shone upon the wizard's face.

Merle Innes clicked his fingers over his pipe, re-lit it. He chuckled, puffed. Perhaps committee can be King.

The End

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