This is the Tale of The Camelot, a King Arthur Legend of the Sword Story. It is one of the many tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.It is adapted and brought to you by Stories to Grow by.
Long ago in England, a wise and just king ruled the land. His name was King Uther. Times were good and the people lived well. King Uther wanted a magician at court. And so he chose the famous Merlin the Magician. Merlin could see into the future. And he knew those good days were not going to last.
King Uther and the Queen Guinevere had a child, a baby son. At a castle party for the royal birth, Merlin the Magician took the King aside. He said, “Sir, there is something you must know. Soon a great darkness will fall over this land. Your child is in great danger. Let me take the baby far away. I will be sure he stays safe.”
“Merlin!” said the King in surprise. “You are a great magician. And you are my friend. But there is no way we would let anyone take our child away!”
Sir, there is something you must know.”
Sadly, soon after the child’s birth the Queen died. Not long after, King Uther was killed in battle. That very night, Merlin swept into the castle and took the child. The next morning, the royal nurse went into the nursery. Alas, an empty crib! In fear, the nurse, the nobles and servants looked everywhere. But the baby was gone!
For years, there was no king to sit on the throne. No king to set the laws. Men of high rank fought each other to be king. Darkness fell over the land. Robbers and bands of wild men ruled the streets of London. Evil men broke into houses and took what they wanted. Travelers on the roads were jumped and robbed. The people of England lived in fear.
Yet far away, there was a quiet place. A good knight, Sir Ector, lived in peace with his two sons. His first son was named Kay. His younger son Arthur had been adopted as a baby. Years before, a stranger had come to Sir Ector with a baby. He asked if Sir Ector would raise the child. The old knight took the baby in his arms, glad for a second child. He named the baby Arthur, and raised the child as his own.
Yet far away, there was a quiet place.
When Arthur was ten years old, the same stranger returned to Sir Ector’s home. He could read and write, and so Sir Ector hired him to teach his two sons. Kay could not sit still for lessons and he stopped coming. But Arthur listened with wide eyes. He learned everything. I bet you have guessed by now who that stranger was – none other than Merlin the Magician!
At the end of each day when Arthur finished his chores, that was time for the lessons. Merlin would sit with Arthur for hours and teach him about the world. Arthur was a thin lad, not strong like his big brother Kay. Merlin said not to worry about that. He said what mattered most was to have a heart that was big and strong. Merlin saw how the foxes and deer followed Arthur. He could see that the boy had a very big and strong heart.
By the time Arthur was 16, his brother Kay had become a knight. He was now called Sir Kay. Arthur loved nothing more than to serve his brother as a squire. He kept great care of his brother’s tunic and helmet, his spears and lances.
Merlin saw how the foxes and deer followed Arthur.
One day at lesson time, Merlin looked away. He stood up.
“What is it?” said Arthur.
“The people need hope,” said Merlin. “Arthur, there is something I must do. I must go now.”
That night, when the nighttime was at its most dark, Merlin the Magician came to London’s market square. He stood in the middle of the square. He held both his arms high. And pointed his wand to the stars.
The next morning at dawn, people started to arrive at the market. There in front of them was something most odd. A block of white marble stood in the middle of the town square. Resting on the block was a giant stone the size of a very large rock. At the very top of the stone there was a golden sword handle and a few inches of the blade, shining in the sun. Yet – this was most odd – the rest of the blade was buried deep into the stone. None of this was there the day before!
There, in front of them, was something most odd.
What’s more, these words could be seen on the top of the blade:
“Whoever pulls out this sword from this stone is the true king of England!”
As soon as the crowd knew about the message, men jumped up to that white marble block. One after another, they gave the sword a yank. Each tried and tried, but the sword stuck fast. It would not move.
One said in gloom, “There is no man alive who could pull out that sword!”
“We’ll see about that!” said a voice in the crowd. The Duke of Cornwall, dressed in silks and ribbons, stepped up to the white marble block. “Hear ye, hear ye!” he said. “I call for a tournament to be held, one month from today. Knights from anywhere and everywhere in England are invited to come. There will be contests and prizes. And a grand feast for all!” The Duke said to his wife, the Duchess, “If I know men, this tournament will draw the strongest, finest knights in all of England!”
Said the Duchess, “Good idea, my dear. All we need is one knight who is so strong he can pull that sword from the stone. Then we will have a king again, at last!”
The people danced and cheered. At last there was something to feel happy about! News of the tournament traveled fast. From castle to village, to every far corner of the land. At last, word got to the far-away home of Sir Ector. Sir Kay heard the news when he was polishing his helmet.
“Arthur!” he called out. Arthur was by the woods, feeding birds from his hand. He set down a pile of seeds for the birds, and a pile for the squirrels. Then he ran fast to see his brother.
“There you are!” said Kay. “There will be a tournament in London. We must set out at once!”
What great news! Arthur had never been more than a few miles from home. He would be the best squire ever for his brother! Arthur ran back to the house. In the courtyard his father was getting the horses ready.
Sir Ector and his two sons rode through London on their way to the tournament. Riding through the market square, something shiny glinted in the sun. “That sword looks like it goes right into that stone,” said Arthur. “But how can that be? That’s impossible.” But why were guards standing all around it?
The father and his two sons reached the tournament. Sir Kay ran off to get in line to register. Sir Ector greeted many old friends – dukes, earls, barons, counts and countesses. Arthur sat in their tent, polishing his brother’s helmet till it shone bright.