Sunday, June 14, 2015

Gwen the Alligator: The Story of King Arthur, Camelot, and the Holy Grail

Welcome to King Arthur’s castle as it remains.

Looking at it now gives me great pains.

It’s dilapidated and clearly falling apart,

If you only knew how this breaks my alligator heart. 

Here at Caerleon in Southern Wales

Is a place where fantasy and fancy prevails.

Camelot was once alive and thrived.

Oh, how I wish the legend would be revived.  

Since you’re a visitor, I’ll tell you what I know. 

Please interrupt me if I’m talking too slow. 

It’s all about a quest for the Holy Grail,

The cup from Christ’s Last Supper without fail.

It was also used to collect the blood from his side 

At the Crucifixion where betrayal applied. 

Then, once upon a time an alligator laid an egg.

The egg hatched with me—leg by leg. 

Mom named me Guinevere, or Gwen,

After the wife of a king who conquered many men.

Momma loved legends and daunting tales,

Folklore galore and all the small details.

King Arthur was Momma’s favorite fable.

It even involved a circular table.

We lived in the moat by his famous castle.

Camelot was its name, and it wore a tassel.

Guinevere was the wife of Arthur the king.

The ruler of Briton gave her his ring.

She was as beautiful as beautiful could be,

Noble and gentle and loving high tea.

Tragedy struck when Guinevere fell in love,

With Lancelot, not Arthur, who she gave a shove.

I wonder why she liked Lancelot so much?

He was brave and loyal to Arthur and such.

Guinevere’s dad tried to keep them married.

Leodegran gave Arthur the table when harried.

Arthur’s Round Table of Knights was strong.

Gwen must have known her romance was wrong.

At first Lancelot did deeds of honor,

Soon enough Guinevere was a goner.

Lancelot saved Gwen from death and danger.

So Guinevere decided not to be a stranger.

It caused so much turmoil the Round Table fell.

The Knights did nothing but fight and yell.

The quest for the Holy Grail was less than ideal,

But the divine power sought might have been real.

Arthur tried to ignore Guinevere’s lies,

But then he could see his sudden demise.

So, he fought Lancelot with his sword and shield.

The Knights took sides, and no one would yield.

Her unfaithful heart destroyed the Knights.

Their swords slit each other’s tights.

Before Arthur married, there was a warning:

The sun might not rise the next morning.

Merlin the wizard told Arthur: “Beware.”

Arthur didn’t listen, and Merlin felt despair.

He foresaw the ruin Guinevere would bring:

The downfall of the kingdom—every bad thing.

Eventually Guinevere left Lancelot alone.

Arthur had pulled Excalibur from the stone,

Proving that he was meant to be in charge.

Guinevere’s apology was very, very large.

Excalibur the sword was magical with powers.

Only Arthur could fight with the blade for hours.

He had excellence to run the kingdom with might.

He would do what he could to make the wrongs right.

From then on Guinevere decided to be loyal.

After all, she was Queen, and it was royal.

The Knights of the Round Table were gone.

Arthur asked his nephew Mordred to be a pawn.

Mordred took charge during a military campaign.

Then Mordred started to argue and complain.

He began to devise an evil scheme and plot,

Almost like the chaos that Sir Lancelot brought.

Since Arthur was fighting battles in other lands,

Mordred thought he could make demands.

Mordred wanted Guinevere as his bride.

He could rule Briton and as king preside.

This time Guinevere didn’t take the bait.

She refused Mordred’s offer without debate.

The Tower of London became her new home.

She locked herself inside so she couldn’t roam.

Mordred would have to stay far, far away.

Guinevere remembered Arthur without delay.

When Arthur returned, he found a surprise:

Putting his nephew in charge was unwise.

He fought Mordred until he reached his death,

But Arthur was wounded; he took his last breath.

He journeyed to paradise and beyond.

It was almost like Merlin waved his wand.

His tomb said: “Here lies Arthur, King that was,

King that shall be, and he is great because

He fought against evil and kept the land free.

He helped those in danger find jubilee.

The Holy Grail was a sovereign quest,

But now King Arthur is forever at rest.”

When Arthur had died, Guinevere felt remorse.

She entered a convent and prayed, of course.

She helped the poor for the rest of her time

And apologized for mistakes in her prime.

Lancelot was never again to see her face.

She knew she had caused the kingdom disgrace.

As years went by, she loved Arthur more.

The church buried her body by him for sure.

Guinevere and Lancelot live on in mythology.

It had become a classic anthology

Of mystery, magic, love, and wars,

Of adventure, betrayal, and swinging doors.

Chivalry and fate had touched imagination.

Medieval history caused a great fascination!

I always tell my friends where I got my name.

Now that you know you’ll never be the same.

A world in great need, maybe will learn:

Legend has said one day Arthur will return.

Keep your eyes open if you see him let me know.

I’m waiting for my prince and going with the flow.

An alligator’s fate is a castle not a swamp.

Don’t tell me different, or I will chomp and stomp.

King Arthur will find me as a bride-to-be,

A British alligator that shall sing a song to thee.

Thank you for your time on your travels today.

How I wish I could lengthen your stay!

King Arthur will come back one day soon.

‘Till then I’ll swim beneath a silver moon.

Camelot forever in my heart and in my tail!

Long live King Arthur and the Holy Grail!


Copyright 2017 Jennifer Waters

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