Medieval Knights!

Knight With, Sold Separately Horse.

Or: No, That's not a Superfluous Comma!

Or: How Much is That Horsey in the Pasture?

Or: Damn, That's a Lot of Subtitles.
Being a knight is much like being in the music industry. The select few are the world's best minstrels, playing for kings and beating beautiful young female serfs off with a stick; the majority are playing for their dinners in seedy inns where the food will probably give them the runs.

The knightly industry, such that it is, isn't much better. The best knights ride beside kings on pure white chargers. The rest are much like our hero, Knight With.

The dashing Knight With. Knight With, a demon slayer - albeit a very junior one, with more stuffed targets to his name than actual monsters - wasn't very lucky. He had the misfortune of starting his monster-killing career right around the time when most of the monsters terrorizing the kingdom left, presumably to terrorize some other kingdom.

So, for a few years, With could be found acting in a surrealistic puppet show in which Punchinello mistook him for a sheep and attempted to fondle him. It was a bigger hit with the parents than the kids, a fact which he found rather disturbing. He eventually gave it up and decided to get back into knightly hijinks.

Fortunately - for the monster hunters, not the general populace - there had been a recent monster influx and screams of help were finally becoming more common. Knight With hoped this was a sign he'd be needed. Sadly, though, it's hard to ride dramatically through the gates of a king's keep or into a besieged village when you lack an actual ride.

But fate had some interesting turns in store. While walking through the countryside in the hopes of purchasing a half-lame mare (and subsequently using it to lure a stallion away from a nearby breeder), With happened to see a black stallion standing near a fence. It was fully armored and seemingly ready to gallop gloriously into combat. Horse! Yet this was a peaceful area, with no obvious combat or reason for same. Was the king or some other potentate passing through? Perhaps this is my chance for glory!, the knight thought.

The knight hastily jumped a fence and ran into the nearest outbuilding, intent on asking anyone present why the horse was fully barded. Unfortunately, the nearest outbuilding was the kennel, and the dogs sleeping therein took well to neither trespassers nor people who ignored that proverb about sleeping dogs.

A few hours later, the homeowner - a knight himself, recent immigrant from a nearby land famous for its bricks - came home and found his dogs rather noisily focusing their attention on the roof of the stables. Quite undestandably, as there was a fully armored knight lying on the roof making use of his entire vocabulary of obscene words.

"Excuse me," the blocky knight called to the roofbound interloper, "but you're on my stable. I'd appreciate it if you'd get off it and leave. If you don't, then I shall fetch the ladder and start teaching the dogs how to climb it."

"Er, hello!" the trespasser called down. "Just the person I want to see!"

"I'm getting the ladder."

"No! No! I was going to ask you why that horse was fully armored when this quiet glen sees few monsters and fewer conflicts."

The knight frowned as he looked at the armored stallion, now resting against the nearby kennel. He muttered, "The glue man still hasn't taken that blasted thing?" Raising his voice so the roof knight could hear, he said, "Why are you interested in that? Suspect an invasion no one told you about?"

Knight and knight like night and day. "Well, no, I was thinking that royalty might be passing through."

"Actually, I was attempting to sell the beast, but no one will give me a cent for it."

The blocky knight heard interest flood into the voice of the intruder. "Sell it?"

"Yes, sell it. I've no need for it, being rather not built for it - I prefer horses from my homeland with the the divot in their back for seating, don't you know. But no one is interested."

"I'm interested, good sir!"

The knight suspected that the tresspasser was feigning interest in order to get out of his predicament, but a buyer is a buyer. "Excellent. I'll give you the horse for ten gold pieces. Ten more and I throw in the barding."

"I have it right here! One mome-oops!" A small flurry of coins rolled noisily down the roof and landed on the ground. The dogs were temporarily distracted by the coins from heaven, but forgot them as soon as they were deemed neither threatening nor edible.

The knight on the ground picked up the coins. Fifteen gold, and three more gold worth in silver. Plus a rather neat-looking button. Close enough. "The horse is yours, knight... er, what is your name, anyway?"

"With. Knight With."

The small yellow knight considered making a joke at this point, but left it pass. He called his dogs off, moving with them to a safe distance while Knight With clambered down from the roof. As he watched With carefully make his way down, he wondered aloud, "How the blazes did he climb up there in plate mail?". His dogs didn't respond. Though, if they had, he would have been rather surprised.

A handshake sealed the agreement, and With happily led the horse away from the wall and out the gate while the other knight sent his dog pack into their kennel. The equine beast seemed a bit unstable at first, but that quickly changed. Sadly, it only changed when the horse fell on its side and fell asleep; it's rather difficult to be unstable when lying on one's side.

Sleeping Horse. No relation to Crazy. "What's wrong with this beast?" With cried.

From the other side of the fence, and with a few dogs still by his side, the other knight called, "He's not a gift horse - look in his mouth!"

Knight With attempted to do this, but when his face got close the animal let out a foul-smelling snore. The knight backed away and bellowed, "His breath smells like bourbon!"

Poignant social commentary. Oooh. "Yes," the other knight called back, "he's rather an alcoholic. I don't know how, but he manages to sniff the stuff out no matter how well you hide it. Shout his name at him, he'll come round."

"What is his name, anyway?"

"Sold Separately Horse."


"Sold Separately Horse! Though we just called him Sold Separately. Or Separately. Or Sold. Which is exactly what he is now, when you think about it." With a cackle, the knight retreated for his house.

Knight With shouted "Sold Separately" a few times, and indeed the horse did get up. Wavering a bit, he managed to stay up this time. With a start, With suddenly realized the horse hadn't been standing next to the fence and buildings, he'd been leaning on them.

With carefully mounted Sold Separately and they staggered off into the sunset. The knight was, like a good knight should, thinking only pleasant and forgiving thoughts about his conniving horse-selling enemy. Well, mostly pleasant and forgiving, anyway.

The horse, of course, was looking for a bar.

Run along home.
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