The Knighting

Ancient redwoods stand tall like stoic guards defending the tomb of an Unknown Warrior. Blue moon light, diffused under the protective canopy of the redwood giants, illuminated the amphitheater.

Birds, gentle little ones that sing morning duets and those with ruthless talons for prey; furry creatures, ones that scurry on little feet and those with remorseless canines; all fixed their gaze from branch, rock, and forest floor onto the center stage. The stillness of air and foliage, the utter immobility of witnesses, human or not, brought the eerie sounds of forest murmurs to all captive ears.

A deep, commanding voice, tempered with confidence and compassion, gently broke the sanctity of silence and captured the hearts and minds of all witnesses, human or not.

“Tonight under the auspiciousness of this blue moon, we gather—with our hearts filled with honor and pride and our minds filled with clarity and purpose—to honor one of our own. Richard Thaddeus Crossman, son of Thaddeus and Katherine Crossman, please step forward and kneel before me. By the powers granted to me as your King, for your unwavering loyalty and gallantry, for your impenetrable courage and resolve, and for your unquestionable faith and call to duty, I do proudly bestow upon you all privileges and rank accorded to a Knight in this kingdom. Sir Richard Thaddeus Crossman, do rise before me and take this sword and defend with it this country with your life and soul. May God bless and guide you, Sir.”

Mothers of all sons wept with joy. Fathers of all sons equally yielded to throats tightened with immense pride. A profound sense of the call to duty united these people; for them there was no other way of life. The birds and furry creatures, loyal subjects of the forest, held these particular humans in highest regard with word traveling throughout the animal kingdom of what they bore witness to under this blue moon: The knighting of Sir Richard Thaddeus Crossman, honored warrior of King Augustus and kindred spirit of the forest denizens.