Classic Groaner & Shaggy Dog

This story is attributed to Bill Purcell, though we have not been able to confirm the authorship.

Once upon a time a young peasant boy was walking in the woods when he came upon a dead dragon. The young fellow knew the worth of this rare find, and saw it as his duty to report it to the King.

As evidence of his discovery, he cut off the dragon’s ear and stuffed it into his tunic.

He set off for the castle, and passing his house his mother saw him and called him over. Like all mothers she immediately sensed he was “up to something”, and demanded to know what it was. Like all sons caught in any act, he was forced to confess to his find. “Show me!” demanded his mother, to which the lad produced the still-bleeding ear.

Like all mothers she was disgusted by what her son was happily holding, and wanted to know what he intended to do with it. On hearing his plan she said, “Well, at least put it in a paper bag,” and gave him one.

The boy set off cheerfully towards the city. Passing through the next village his school teacher saw him and asked where he was going and what was in the paper bag, as school teachers do. Hearing his student’s intention, and being a true patriot, he declared the paper bag not worthy of the Monarch and repacked the now dried ear in a wooden box.

Feeling quite important, the peasant boy continued on his way to the capital city. He hadn’t walked ten leagues when he was accosted by the local Landlord on horseback who arrogantly challenged the boy’s right to be walking where he was and demanded to know why a poor serf was carrying a wooden box.

Thoroughly frightened, the lad showed him its contents and told him of his mission. The Landlord was a loyal subject of the King, and insisted the boy accompany him to his castle and have the artifact properly mounted for presentation.

As it was now late, the boy stayed the night in the guest room while the taxidermist plied his trade.

The next morning the lad was clothed by the Landlord in attire appropriate to one seeking an audience with the King. With the dragon part now beautifully mounted on a base and ensconced in a lacquered presentation case, the boy was safely seated in the Landlord’s coach and sent swiftly to the King’s castle, that none other subject of the King might interfere with this prized relic.

The King was greatly impressed to see the approach of one of his favourite Lord’s coaches and happily had the drawbridge lowered to permit its entry.

Amidst a fanfare of many trumpets the lowly lad stepped from the carriage and hesitantly walked towards the entry to The Great Hall.

Between serried rows of Courtiers he made his awed way to the foot of the King’s throne where he prostrated himself in the fervent hope that he wouldn’t be killed before he made his presentation.

The King accepted the beautifully crafted cask conveyed to him by the hands of his favourite Advisor.

A trusted Courtier regally opened the container and with an appropriate sweeping gesture placed it before His Majesty.

The King peered into the box and asked in perplexity “What’s this ‘ere?”

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