The Man Who Would Not Cringe (a very good short story)

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All the village’s people cringed as the Lord Hadley of Murkingham passed on his white steed. He had returned from another victory over the barbarians from the north. With knights, squires, and a peasant army, the vandals from far were no match for his command.

However, one man at the edge of the crowd near the road on which Lord Hadley advanced, stood erect. His head tilted as if looking over the head of the Lord.

Lord Hadley halted his steed and inspected the man who looked no different than the rest of the village dwellers. He looked at the man as if inspecting foul-smelling livestock.

Have you no respect?” Lord Hadley said forcefully.

For certain, I do, My Lord,” the man said.

Then, why not cringe as the rest?” Lord Hadley demanded.

I can not see all your glory curled as if a sleeping dog,” the man said.

A sleeping dog will not bite,” Lord Hadley smiled.

A sleeping dog will not warn nor serve his master,” the man said.

Lord Hadley moved his steed closer to the man. He lifted his hand high as if to strike him. The man did not cringe. Hadley struck the man, but the man never flinched.

Even a dog has the sense to cringe,” Lord Hadley bellowed.

I am not a dog,” the man said.

Who are you?” Lord Hadley said leaning over toward the man in order to hear.

I am the man to whom you are bending,” the man said.



  1. Love it. Sometimes when I dream, I find myself in medieval times. You made me remember a dream I had a couple years ago. I found myself in a village, and I asked a peasant where I was and he answered – “Ah my lady, but you are in Canterbury, where the rich eats well and the poor eats dirt, where the maids are easy, and the wives break dishes.” I always enjoy those types of weird dreams.

    • You simply must write that into a story. I, too, often visualize myself transported back to those times (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arther’s Court). I don’t know why, but I can’t get by the odor there must have been.

Blather away, if you like.

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