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The Merry Widow Annabelle

By Letty A.

The Merry Widow Annabelle lived up above the gatehouse. In a gabled room with walls of stone and a grate over her window. In sorrow, t’was said, to this room she’d fled, to mourn her husband’s end. And would cross no more the threshold o’er till love once more did a new paramour send.

Tales of her beauty were spread, of lips ruby red and eyes the color of asters. All the men of the land came, hearts in hand, in hopes she’d soon join him at the pastor’s.

In the dark of night burned a candle bright through the slats upon her window. And the men would crawl up the ivied wall to try their hand at the merry window.

But she sat turned away from her suitors’ gaze, ignoring their protestations. Cutting down to a man their romantic plans and dashing their hopes of elation.

“No average man shall I wed nor mere raw boy take to my bed. Such qualities do not move me. Only one bold and brash, one heroic in act. Go, you are not he.”

Then one day came a man with a cunning plan to claim, once and for all, the widow’s hand. With a flash of his sword and a black warning word, he warned all others away from the widow’s land.

Then, one a cold, stormy light, when he saw the widow’s light, he climbed up to her window. And pressed his nose to the glass, and in a frail voice asked, or the succor of the merry widow.

“Maid, I’m a lost roving knight, please pity my plight, and to your house let me enter. I’m wounded and cold and fear I’ll soon die without the aid you might render.”

Annabelle rose and before the window froze, considering the man before her. “Sir, a knight bold and brash, is what I have asked. Admit you I will, since you fit this bill. Descend, I’ll unbar the front door.”

“Drink deep from this cup, and then we shall sup, there’s a table laden and waiting.” The widow commanded once the knight his sword to her had handed.

And she turned from her charge to see her door barred while he downed the wine she had poured. ‘Twas the last act he’d take, for it was his mistake to beauty his trust afford.

To a dimly-lit room the widow led her would-be groom and pulled him up a chair. Then the knight got a fright that near robbed him of life, and lowly laughed widow fair.

As the candles she’d lit, the knight had had a fit, at sight of his dinner companions. Eight corpses sat to enjoy a repast they would not soon rise to abandon

“Worry not, my good knight, you will join them this night, thanks to the swift poison you’ve imbibed. But now take to heart, the words I impart, and the lesson I proscribe.”

“Force will not carry the affection of one you hope to marry. Nor bullying win you her heart. Hubris, you’ll find, will fail you every time. Love rewards not an upstart.”