THE LEGENDS OF KING ARTHUR / THE BEGINNING
This very old story begins with Uther, a great king. He was a good man and he was king in the south of Britain. Other places were very dangerous at that time, but people did not fight in Uther’s country. Uther loved a beautiful woman, Igraine, and he wanted to marry her. But she did not love him and he was very sad about it.
Merlin was a very clever man and he knew a lot of magic. He could change into an animal or bird. Sometimes, when he used magic, nobody could see him. He also helped people with his magic, and one day he came to King Uther.
“You can marry Igraine” he said. “I will help you. But when you have a child, you will have to give the boy to me.”
“I will give him to you” said the king. He married Igraine and later they had a baby son. They called him Arthur. When Arthur was three days old, a very old man arrived at the door of the King’s house. It was Merlin. Merlin took the child away: He gave the boy, Arthur, to a good knight. His name was Sir Ector. So Arthur lived with Sir Ector and his son, Kay, and the two boys were brothers.
A short time after this happened, King Uther was very ill. He did not get better. He called for Merlin because he wanted to talk about the future of his country. Merlin came and listened to the king. “I know that I am going to die,” King Uther said. “Who will be king after me?”
Call your knights and great men,” Merlin told the King. “Tell them, “My son, Arthur, will be the next king!”” King Uther told his people this before he died. But a lot of people wanted to be
king, so the knights and great men began to fight. There was no new king for a long time. When Arthur was a young man, Merlin went to London. He visited the Archbishop, the most important man in the church. “Call the knights to London. Then we will find the new king,” Merlin told the Archbishop. The knights came to London. They met at a large church, and the Archbishop spoke to them. When they came outside, they saw something strange in front of the church. It was a very large stone with a great sword in it. The sun shone on the sword and it looked very strong. The knights were excited, and started to talk about it. “Where did it come from?” “How did it get here?” “Who brought the stone here?”We didn’t see anybody. And who put the sword in it?” On the stone were these words:
ONLY THE KING CAN TAKE THE SWORD FROM THIS STONE
Every knight tried to pull the sword out of the stone. Nobody could do it- the sword did not come out.
The knights pulled and pulled. But they could not move the sword. “Our king is not here” said the Archbishop. “But I know that we will find him.” Ten knights stayed and watched the stone. The Archbishop invited all the great men in the country to London for a big fight. There were many big fights at that time. People fought on horses with sword in their hands. The strongest and best knight always won. “Perhaps the new king will come to the fight”, thought the Archbishop. Sir Ector went to the fight with his two sons, Sir Kay and young Arthur. Arthur was now sixteen years old. The young men wanted to fight with the other knights, but Sir Kay did not have a sword. Arthur was a kind young man. He wanted to help. “There is a sword in a stone outside a church. I saw it on the way here. I will get it and fight with it. Then you can have my sword”, he said to his brother. Arthur left Sir Kay and quickly went to the church. There were no knights outside by the stone because they were at the fight. Arthur climbed down from his horse and went to the stone. He did not read the words on the stone. He took the sword in his hand and pulled. It came out of the stone easily.