The Lancer

This tall tale was published on the groaners listserv. The author is not known.

Two unemployed mercenaries were riding through a forest. Having no particular place to go, and in no hurry to get there, they passed the time swapping lies, swatting flies, and playing with their weapons.

“I bet you a fig you can’t skewer that apple”, challenged the lancer, whereupon the archer unlimbered his bow and brought down the apple with a single shot. “Not bad,” he said, “but I missed the core. Lets see you get that apple.” And the lancer wheeled his horse, thrust his lance, and skewered the apple.

A short time later they spotted a rabbit, which the lancer promptly dispatched. “Well, I have MY lunch,” he bragged. Not to be outdone, the archer bagged a grouse, and they settled down to cook their meal.

Their bellies full, they wandered along, vanquishing harmless targets and swapping lies as they went. Spotting a large toadstool the lancer broke into a gallop and deftly thrust his lance through it. But no! He missed!

The archer howled with laughter. The lancer circled, again he charged the toadstool, and again he missed. The archer laughed the harder. Over and over, the lancer tried to hit the toadstool, and over and over, he missed. By this time the archer had fallen from his horse and was rolling on the forest floor LHAO.

Finally, the lancer stopped. “I don’t understand it,” he wailed. “Everything else I can hit, even moving targets, but I can’t hit that toadstool”

The archer finally controlled his mirth. “Of course not,” he explained, “because toadstools are parry-sites.”

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