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The Dwarves and The Blacksmith (inspired by the elves and the shoemaker)

“Your weapons aren’t what they once were,” sighed King Grimm with disappointment on his face, “and if they don’t improve back to your extraordinary quality I fear that the Black Army will overcome our poorly equipped soldiers.”
Kragor, the blacksmith, looked at the floor disheartened, his age showed with gray speckling his beard and hair, and he knew that his skills were diminishing but he did not realize that his weapons were so important to the fight against the Black Army. “I will try to make one more sword and if it is magnificent I will continue making weapons for the King’s Army.”
Kragor went home and set out steel, wood, and leather that night to make the sword early the next morning. He woke up and went down to begin working on the sword. To his surprise the sword was already complete. It was a fine sword with a magnificent hilt and the sharpest blade he had ever seen in all his years. “Who came and made such a marvelous sword?”
So Kragor took the sword to the King and he was satisfied. “I want you to make two maces for my personal bodyguards. I want them to be even finer than the sword that you have brought. Do you think you can accomplish it?”
“I will try your majesty,” responded Kragor.
So he went home and laid out iron, steel spikes, and leather to make the maces. Once again he went to bed to rest his broad, aching shoulders, ready to wake in the morn’ to work on the maces.
When he woke up and went back to the forge prepared to work on the maces; however, when he got to the forge he was astonished to find that once again the weapons were already finished and of magnificent quality. “Who is making such fine weapons while I rest? Whomever done this is a better blacksmith than I even if I was still in my youth.”
So Kragor once again took the weapons to the king and the king was amazed by the quality of the weapons. “This is even better than the sword and the weapons that you were once so famous for!” exclaimed the king.
Kragor did not tell the king that he was not making the weapons. So Kragor continued getting requests from the King, the Knights, and Emperors of the land and soon became very rich.
One day Kragor finally decided to tell the king that he was not the one making the weapons.
“What?” yelled King Grimm.
“I am sorry your majesty,” apologized Kragor, “but I was only trying to make a living.”
The King thought “Should I punish him for being deceitful? He’s been loyal to me for years, and he was still giving me the weapons I asked for.” Then to Kragor he said, “I guess I shall let this one slide, but I want to know whom to give the real credit to.”
So the King and Kragor went to the forge and waited. They hid under a table and peeked from underneath the table cloth, and when it was about midnight they heard a soft pitter patter of feet on the cobblestone.
“Here they come, but they sound tiny?” questioned Kragor in deep confusion.
The Dwarves came into view, their beards drooping from their hard looking faces, and their hard leather boots making thuds on the floor, their rough broad shoulders, developed from their long days mining diamonds, contrasting their below average height. They looked around the room and saw supplies that Kragor had lain out on the workbench. “Looks like we are making a gold sword today boys,” the leader of the group said roughly with a low almost growling voice.
The Dwarves with large smiles on their face picked up their hammers and began hammering out the gold into a thin razor sharp blade. Their arms rippling with muscle as they quickly, yet efficiently, hammered away. They made short work of the blade and immediately began working on the handle. They formed designs into the soft leather used to wrap the hand and a half handle.
“I think our work is done,” the leading Dwarf frowned even though their work was grand. “If only we had armor we could actually be in the battles instead of just supplying them, but I guess for now this is the best we can do,” he sighed as he walked away from the forge back to their homes in the mine.
The King and Kragor crawled out from underneath the table. “Did you hear them as they left? I think you should make them some fine armor in return for all the great work and money they have given you.” The King said as he dusted off his pants.
“That’s a good idea,” Kragor thought about the idea for a moment. “I will get to work immediately,” he replied and picked up some iron off one of the shelves of his workbench.
He worked all night hammering, stretching, and bending the iron into shape, concentration deep in his face, as he formed chain mail, iron helmets, and shields for each Dwarf. He did not look as old as before while he effortlessly struck the iron over and over with his crude, yet effective, hammer.
“I believe my work is done,” Kragor thought to himself looking with pride in his fine work. “I must lay the armor out on the workbench where I normally lay the swords.”
Kragor laid out the armor, which was glistening in the last rays of sunshine before nightfall, and ducked under the table waiting for the Dwarves to come as they did each night.
“Let’s see what we’ve got today boys,” the leader of the Dwarves growled in his usual gruff voice.
However instead of finding more materials to make swords with, he found the armor. “Is this for us? It has to be! It is just the right size for Dwarves!” thought the Dwarf. “We have armor!” he yelled with great excitement like a giddy child opening presents, handing a helmet, shield, and chain mail to each of the Dwarves. “Tomorrow we join the fight against the Dark Army! We no longer just make weapons; now with this fine armor we can use them!”
Kragor smiled under his table as he knew how much this meant to the Dwarves, and he was the one that made them this happy.
“To whom do we owe our gratitude?” one of the Dwarves asked.
“It is me,” Kragor stepping out from under the table, “But it is I that owe you gratitude as I have made many riches and fame throughout the lands of your work, and I plan to now give you the credit for the weapons that have pleased so many.”
The Dwarves refused, however, for they did not want fortune or fame but only to fight against the Dark Lord. So they ran back to their caves before Kragor could object, preparing for the battle they would fight in the next morning.
…………


King Grimm strode into battle on his fair white horse. He shouted across the battlefield rallying his troops to end this war once and for all.
“This is it,” he whispered to Kragor waiting beside him on his own horse prepared to go into battle, “this is where we win or lose. This is the end of the war.”
They could faintly hear the Dark Lord rallying his troops across the open plain that was soon to be filled with bodies of both sides.
Then, it was under way the Dark Army began to charge their disfigured forms sprinting across the open ground their pure black eyes gleaming with fear in the sunlight.
The King commanded his cavalry to charge and meet the opposing army his ground troops marching behind them, he could see the fear in their eyes as they met those of the black army, but they had trained for this moment and as quick as it had come the fear left.
The ringing of metal hitting metal ringed across the plain as the opposing forces met in the middle of the battlefield. The battle stayed even not wanting to turn to either side.
“If only we had a group of fierce warriors, even if there is only a few, to flank them.” The King sadly spoke to Kragor.
“Did I hear small group of fierce warriors?” asked one of the Dwarves as the ten of them walked up behind the King.
“Why yes you did.” said the King with a broad smile on his face.

…………………


The Dwarves charged at the enemy’s flank, carrying their diamond battleaxes they had worked so hard on the night before. They yelled their battle cries and smashed into the enemy, slaughtering the first beasts they could get their weapons on. Startled by the sudden change, the enemy had no idea what to do. This brief moment of despair gave the King’s Army and the Dwarves the opportunity to begin driving them back slaying all those who were in their path of destruction as if they were a tornado. Soon the Black Army was retreating back to the blackened and bare land from whence they came.
“Victory!” yelled the Dwarves; quickly it was echoed by the rest of the army.
The war was over and Kragor started a business with the Dwarves. Kragor made armor and they made weapons, both of the highest quality. Knights, Kings, and Warriors throughout the lands came to buy their products and they lived in prosperity for the rest of their days.



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ProudTeach said...
Nov. 6, 2012 at 11:38 am
Really enjoyed this rendition of THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER... keep writing!
 
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