I am quite prepared to rule my own country, but my uncle insists that the people do not like being ruled by a woman, and that I must find a husband to help me manage affairs. So be it. I have not made a choice yet.
Now something interesting has happened. A young man named Geirald and his companion have presented themselves to us. Geirald claims to have slain a giant and to have killed twelve robbers who have been a menace to my people. I notice that Geirald’s companion is wearing the ring of the robbers’ leader, Hankur the Tall. Why? I wonder. Could Geirald’s quiet friend be letting Geirald take the glory while he does all the work?
I will test the courage of this knight, Geirald. I will propose that he fight a joust with my page. (The page will be me.) I will find out what this man Geirald is made of, if indeed, he is willing to fight.
The Jousting Queen in How Geirald the Coward was Punished, Brown Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.