Bravado the Cowardly Knight

January 13, 2008
By Kara Dekko, Stillwater, MN

There once was a knight named Bravado,
Who flashed a sword like no other.
Except he was a cowardly knight,
Who often cried out for his mother.

Bravado rode a large, white charger
The ground rumbled when he walked.
The steed's name was Galliant; however,
He was skittish, thus often mocked.

Bravado shivered and trembled in fear
When ogres came passing by.
And hid himself under berry bushes
When gryphons were flying high.

Galliant would hide away in his stable,
He charged off wildly, afraid.
And one day he knocked himself out,
When he ran headlong into a maid.

The other knights laughed at the pair,
They thought they were a grand joke.
Poor Bravado and Galliant,
Were often pushed into the moat.

One day a mighty dragon came,
And roared into the land.
Wreaking havoc and causing chaos;
No one had a plan.

The fair princess Dae stood watching,
Gasping at the red dragon's maw.
Who swooped down and carried her off
Into its mountain hall.

The Kingdom's knights ralllied together,
Vowing to bring their fair princess back.
They charged away to the dragon's keep
For courage they did not lack.

Hiding behind his great white steed
Bravado cowered to escape the dash.
He didn't want to go to the dragon's den,
Where he'd surely be reduced to ash.

Bravado told this to his horse,
Who stomped and nodded his head.
So there in the stables they waited,
There was nothing else to be said.

Suddenly they heard a great roar
And Bravado jumped in the air.
Peeking out the window he saw,
The brave knights fleeing the lair.

They tore past the stable window
Brave faces now showing fear,
Bravado noticed something was missing
The princess was not at all here.

A worried look crossed his face
He clasped his head in his hands.
What am I to do, he thought,
I'm not the bravest in the land!

Then he stood up, straight and tall,
On his face a determined look.
He decided that now was the time
To take a leaf from the chivarly book.

"I have never been courageous,
But I'm going to take an endeavor.
Frightened I know I will be,
But I cannot be a coward forever."

He jumped onto his charger's back
And they raced to the dragon's keep.
I'll show those other knights, he thought,
When later we will meet.

They rode along the narrow passes
Of the craggy mountain side.
Until they came to a wide-mouthed cave;
A place where a dragon would hide.

Along the passageways they rode
Coming to a high-ceilinged room.
Finding mounds of jewels and gold,
Like treasure from an ancient tomb.

There sat the great, red dragon,
The Princess Dae upon his knee.
Its voice rumbling in its throat
The princess talking soothingly.

Bravado sat dumbfounded,
Unsure of what to do.
He trembled a little, then gave a cough.
And the two looked at the two.

The dragon gave a belching roar
The princess patted its side.
"Not another knight!" it groaned
"They always attack my hide!"

"I will not attack you, mighty dragon,
If you will do likewise,
I've come to rescue the Princess Dae
Perhaps we can compromise."

"I do not need any rescuing," said the princess,
"As you can see, I am quite fine.
The dragon took me as he was lonely.
I really do not mind."

"The dragon is actually a kind creature,
And he makes good company.
Those other knights that came before
Are annoying and boorish to me."

"All I wanted was a friend,
Cause everyone runs from me.
The Princess Dae has been so kind,"
said the dragon, "as you can see."

"Oh, great dragon," said Bravado,
I truly feel for you.
I wish something could be done.
So you could live here too."

Bravado sat thinking a while,
Until he concieved a plan.
Suddenly it came to him;
Loudly, he clapped his hands.

In this mountain you still will live
But you can fly to the valley below.
There you may visit Princess Dae
To drop in and say 'hello.'

"You've made me so very happy!" said the dragon,
Thank you so much, sir knight!"
He then placed them on his back--Galliant in his claws---
And the dragon took off in flight.

Down the rough mountain side they flew,
Around the crags and peaks.
Bravado could not wait to see the knight's faces,
When they see what they didn't seek.

The castle came into view;
The knights huddled on the ground.
When they saw the dragon coming near,
Their eyes turned big and round.

They looked completely dumbfounded,
Bravado had found what they lacked.
The princess and Bravado dismounted,
He turned to them, and smiled back.

Bravado was no longer the cowardly knight,
And was no longer pushed in the moat.
Galliant was no longer skittish and mocked.
No longer were they thought of as a joke.

Theye were now know as the brave duo,
Bravado and Galliant together.
And as time went on, they never changed,
They stayed courageous forever.

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