The Knight and the Lion

"The Knights Fight"

The two knights did not recognize one another. They spoke not one word before they charged, thrusting their lances forward as hard as they could. It is strange, for Yvain loves Gawain, and Gawain loves Yvain as dearly as two friends can. Yet at this moment it is clear that they are full of hate and seek to kill one another the first chance they get!

Their lances made of ashwood shatter as they clash together and they set to work with their swords, denting helmets and hacking shields. The jewels in their helmets are soon crushed to powder and they beat so hard against each other's nose-guard and neck and forehead and cheeks that the skin is bruised red and black and purple. Their long coats of mail are torn and they grunt and gasp as the blows crash on their heads until their brains are almost beaten out.

They rest a little, to cool down and get their breath back, then they attack even more fiercely than before. The eyes in their heads glitter beneath their helmets as they swing their swords in their strong grip. The hot blood bubbles from many wounds and runs down their armour.

'These knights are fighting for real!' cry the people who are watching, and many try to persuade the Elder Sister to let the fighting be stopped. Even Queen Guinevere begs that two such excellent knights should not be allowed to injure each other like this - but the Elder Sister will not change her mind.

Day turns to night, and still the fight goes on. Each one's heart is full of fear now, for they both see that they have met their match at last. They rest once more - longer than they mean to, not daring to begin again, out of fear of each other and the growing darkness.